A Divine Experience A trip to the Theatre

INtroduction

Standing in front of the Constans Theatre and eating some 'froyo' before the show

Going to see The Divine on a Thursday night was a much better experience than I ever could have hoped. Not only were the actors and set amazing, but the play really opened my eyes to many social issues.

Top: abstract, hanging artwork outside the theatre, Bottom Left: paneling on the sides of the auditorium, Bottom Right: the entrance to Constans Theatre.

The spatial experience

As I entered the building, I immediately noticed how pleasing the architecture and decorations of the Constans Theatre were. The entrance to the theatre was framed with beautiful woodwork and had a wood paneled ceiling over the area. I found this very aesthetically pleasing. When I entered the auditorium and sat down in my seat, I felt excited for the play to begin. I was lucky and got seated in the perfect area; not too high up or too close to the stage, and perfectly centered. This allowed me a great view of the entire stage. The size of the auditorium was also perfect. It wasn't too big or small, so every seat in the auditorium had a good view of the stage. When the lights dimmed and the audience became silent, my excitement grew exponentially, setting the mood for the play. I believe that setting can have a great affect on the Good Life. Depending on where you are, your experience is greatly altered. Different people may view difference places as better or worse and this can affect whether they feel they have achieved the Good Life or not. For example, if someone lives in a country that they hate or feel oppressed by, this my hinder their ability to achieve the Good Life. I think the theatre the play was shown in greatly enhanced my experience of the play, helping me to become that much closer to the Good Life.

the social experience

Ready for the show to begin with my friends Matt and Sarah

By attending the show with friends, the play became a social gathering. Matt, Sarah, and I got together and had dinner and frozen yogurt before it, making it a fun experience to share with friends. It was also cool to be surrounded by strangers in the auditorium, because you could hear the reactions of many different types of people as we all experienced the same thing. I believe having my friends with me enhanced my experience, because I was able to feed off of their reactions and discuss things in the play afterwards. By listening to their interpretations and opinions, I gained a better understanding of the issues discussed in the play. Shared experiences are extremely important in obtaining the Good Life. One of the most beautiful things on this earth is the joy we feel from enjoying things together. By participating in mutual activities, we become closer to other individuals. Feeling close and connected to other humans is essential in achieving the Good Life. By attending the play with Matt and Sarah, I feel as though I have become closer to them and I feel more connected to other humans in general.

the cultural & intellectual experience

Playbill for "The Divine: a Play for Sarah Bernhardt

This play helped me develop a new way of seeing and understanding our culture, by offering a different perspective through a different time period and country. Although this play took place in Canada, a lot of the issues discussed are applicable to our country as well. There were several central issues discussed in the play including child labor, inhumane working conditions, and an unmoving and strict church. I have learned about the issues described in the performance in school, but I never truly understood the emotional effect these issues can have on people. The play helped illustrate the issues in real life scenarios while showing the heartbreaking effects it had on the characters in the play. The performance changed my opinion on the issues, helping me to recognize their severity. I can relate to the issue of the unmoving nature of the church. I know many people who are against religion because of the history of the church and how strict it was. Because of this, many people will never come to know God, which is a tragedy. This is an issue I hold very close to my heart and hope to be able to change.

the emotional experience

Left: my view as I walked out of the door of the theatre, Right: Sarah and I as we left Constans theatre

I think that this play was definitely a form of catharsis as well as a wakeup call to issues in society. Although this play took place many years ago, the issues discussed are still prevalent today. They may present themselves in a different way than before, but we still have these issues. This play definitely allowed me to look in on society with a critical eye. I think that by watching this play together with my friends and strangers, we were all able to unite as a whole and accept what it means to be a human. Catharsis is defined as a form of emotional release. I feel as though this play definitely helped me achieve this. I felt emotional for the people in the play and what they were going through. I left the play feeling as though I had achieved relief from repressed emotions I had about issues in society. Overall, the play was an emotionally healing experience for me.

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