The Divine:A Play for Sarah Bernhardt Aldrin Gaffud

The Spatial Experience

The theatre was a bit chilly when I walked in. Maybe, it was because my senses were heightened with anticipation to see this play. I have always been interested into theatre and other fine arts my whole life; I grew up with a music background. I filed in with my friends and the other freshmen and I was lucky to have a seat towards the middle back of the theatre. It provided a great view of the entire stage and my view of everything was centralized, always catering to the focal point of whatever scene was happening. It definitely made my experience of the play a whole lot better because nothing obstructed my view. The lights dimming and quieting audience alerted me that the play was about to start, so I got comfortable in my seat and prepared myself for the entire experience. How I interpret that place and what I make of it enhances or hinders my Good Life. Some places are better than others and definitely are more advantageous to achieve the Good Life, but it is all about perception. For example, my seat in the theatre was definitely a lot better than those who sat on the ends of the aisles or the very back or front of the theatre, but we both could have a enjoyable experience of the play if the perceptions were positive and optimistic.

Coté, Michael. "Theatre." Flickr. Yahoo!, 26 Sept. 2010. Web. 05 Feb. 2017.


I was unaware of how to dress for the production because I am so used to dressing in shorts and a shirt for seeing my high school productions. Originally, I planned to wear what I wore earlier that day, which was a t-shirt and sweatpants, but the description on Canvas wanted us to actually dress up as if we are going to the theatre. It was a tad of a shock because it was students who were in the play, but I realized it was different. Therefore, I dressed for the occasion. I attended the play with five other friends. I sat between two of my friends, so I was able to provide and be given commentary throughout the play, whether it be analytical, humorous, or inappropriate, it enhanced the experience for me. I was able to discuss what was happening as it happened, so the events processed in my brain much easier. Shared experiences are large contributors to the Good Life especially those with people who are closest to you. Having someone there to empathize with you is very important because the feeling of being understood is like any other. Loneliness and isolation no longer become a part of you. These experiences can be joyful and/ or sorrowful. I know surrounding yourself with those people and being able to share experiences with them creates a bond between those individuals that connects them no matter the distance or time.

Me outside the Constans Theatre in my "theatre attire."

THE CUltural and intellectual experience

The Divine was a very eye-opening experience. Taking place in the Canadian winter of 1905, the play shed light to the importance of discovering the truth, no matter how dark it is. The consequences and emotional trauma of keeping secrets are a prevalent theme throughout the play and also the censorship of theatre by the church. I have seen the destruction caused by covering the truth. No matter the severity of the secret, pain is inevitable. This play has taken this issue and manipulated it to contain some of the darkest and most dangerous secrets. From child molestation and sexual harassment within the church to unfathomable working conditions, my perspective on these issues have changed severely. I have been blessed to not have to live through these horrors, but there have been many who had to do so. It made me more aware of the darkness out there within humanity; even in the church, darkness finds a way into the "holiest" of souls. I can relate to the issue of secret keeping, but fortunately not to the level of the issues the play touched on. I am gay, but I have to keep it a secret from my father because he is a traditional Filipino Catholic. I am happy with who I am, but keeping this secret does very much hurt the potential relationship I could have developed with my father.

Bernardini, Dominique. "Church." Flickr. Yahoo!, 26 Apr. 2013. Web. 06 Feb. 2017.

the emotional experience

The Divine encouraged the audience to "come clean" and take a moment to be introspective. The production had a lot of dramatic irony, especially with Talbot and his family, which made me realize that I have to be more aware with other perspectives other than my own. Talbot has a very hard exterior to support his family due to a traumatizing past. His family thinks he does not care and steals, when really he does neither of those things. He cannot have his own katharsis because it would inhibit a better life for his mom and brother. It is unjust. Brother Casgrain's opportunity for katharsis with Michaud leads him to commit suicide. These scenes and the entire play force the viewer to broaden their mind. It makes us think of any secrets or experiences that need to be shared or let go. Shared experiences can partially be attributed to this as a mode of coming clean. Not repressing emotions, but allowing them to be felt and shared with others is very cleansing to the psyche. The Divine provides us the first step in the process of coming clean. It makes us more aware of ourselves and whatever issues or drama we need to address in order to come clean. Theatre is supposed to make us uncomfortable, and we are so accustomed to repressing and avoiding whatever makes us uncomfortable. This particular makes us uncomfortable by bringing up illegal and immoral topics and also addressing the issues of hiding the truth about one's self. I am more self aware now.

Mbiance. "La Divine Illusion- The Divine." Michel Marc Bouchard - Pices - La Divine Illusion- The Divine. N.p., n.d. Web. 06 Feb. 2017.


Created with images by cote - "Theatre" • dominique Bernardini - "church"

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