The Divine: A Play for Sarah Bernhardt Hannah Sweatland

The Spatial Experience

The Constans Theatre was a place I walked past often on my way to class or when I went to the Reitz Union for lunch, but I had never been in it or even seen it on the night of a performance. One of the things I noticed when I walked up was the blue lights that shined down on the walkway leading to the theater. When I got inside, I was a little surprised to see how big it was and how nicely the set was decorated. I was seated in a seat in the center of the theater that gave me a nice view of everything that happened on the stage. If I had been seated further back or on either of the sides of the auditorium, I feel like my experience would not have been as good and I would have had difficulty seeing some parts of the show.

The Social Experience

I attended this performance with my roommate and a friend from class. My roommate and I got ready to go to the play in our room, and then we met my friend at the Reitz. It was nice to be able to sit next to people I knew instead of strangers. Going with people I knew definitely helped me enjoy the experience more. Without them, I don't think I would have been able to focus on the play and enjoy it as much as I did. Sharing the experience with my friends added to my experience like it usually does in other aspects of life.

The Cultural and Intellectual Experience

Before the performance, I didn't know very much about problems with factory workers, the church, or the arts in Canada in the early 20th century. There were several major cultural issues brought up in the play. The play talked about corruption in the church, problems with working conditions in factories, and most importantly attempts to censor the arts. This play brought to my attention how important it is for people to be able to see art and performances like this play without censorship. Life would be boring without the arts, and often times they bring many problems with society to light. In the "talk back" after the play, the actors linked the topics in this play to some of the things currently going on in the news and how it is important for everyone to express their feelings about what is going on in our country.

The Emotional Experience

This play gave an excellent opportunity for katharsis. It brought up problems in society that probably wouldn't have been openly talked about in that time period. For example, the issue with poor factory conditions that caused Leo and other young children to die in the play would have never been talked about back then because the owners of the factory wanted a source for cheap labor, and the children who worked needed money despite the dangers of their jobs. This led the audience to think more about how the same issues could come into play today. People often don't think about the likelihood that their clothing is being made by children in other countries, but this play explored that possibility. It brought forth the fact that our happy lives may come from the sacrifice of others.

Made with Adobe Slate

Make your words and images move.

Get Slate

Report Abuse

If you feel that this video content violates the Adobe Terms of Use, you may report this content by filling out this quick form.

To report a Copyright Violation, please follow Section 17 in the Terms of Use.