A Visit to the Theater: The Devine Created by: jennifer Rafalovich

The Spatial Experience

The setting of the play when I first entered the theater was a church-like background with beds lined up. At first I was surprised because I was not expecting to see that kind of setting. The people working at the play directed me to the next seat which was in the middle of the row towards the center of the theater. My spot actually gave a very nice and clear view of the stage, only enhancing my experience. The anticipation for the start only grew as "snow" randomly started falling onto the stage. The snow stopped and the lights finally dimmed, signaling the beginning of the show. The audience quickly quieted and the anticipation grew even more! The start was so near, when were the actors going to finally come out? The auditorium was big but not too big, it felt cozy. The size made the show feel more special that only so many people could see it at a time. The role of place in the Good Life is a very important one. Where one is located can affect so many things from the people you are surrounded but to the food you eat and the experience you obtain.

The Social Experience

My roommate and I booked the tickets together so that we could attend the play at the same time. Although I did not go with a large group of people, I did not mind being surround by strangers because I knew most of us were there to see the play for the Good Life class. Before the play started I was able to talk to the people sitting next to me and find out how they thought the play was going to be. To get ready for the performance I picked out a business casual outfit and made myself look somewhat more formal than my normal daily attire. My roommate and I set out twenty minutes early from our dorm to give ourselves enough time to walk, take pictures, and find our seats. Attending the play with my friend(s), and even strangers that I familiarized myself with, enhanced my experience by allowing me to see different perspectives. For example, a scene from the play that I may have interpreted one way my friend could have interpreted it another. By going to the play with others I get to be exposed to new views. Sharing ones experiences with others allows you to be more openminded. It can broaden ones perspectives and open doors to many new experiences that one alone may never have discovered.

Admiring the art of the Constans Theatre

Image citation: Rafalovich, Jennifer. Constans Lobby. 2017. jpg

The Cultural and Intellectual Experience

The play targeted an many issues that could relate back to todays time period, they are issues that always appears in society in some way, shape, or form. One of the issues addressed was that the town disliked what Sarah Bernhardt did and stood for. She was a controversial actress that took on taboo roles and went against social standards. The women of the town would gossip about her and say mean things. Even the pope sent a letter to her trying to ban her from performing. In every time period and society there is always someone that stands for things that are considered taboo in a particular society, an example in today's society would be Miley Cyrus in her crazy phase. Another issue addressed in the play was the gap between rich and poor. Michaud portrays a sheltered, stereotypical rich kid that is obsessed with the idea of creating a play and meeting his idol, Sarah. He is hit with many truths and change him by the end of the play. Talbot, on the other hand, comes from an extremely poor family that must do demoralizing things just for money. The play opened my eyes to the gap between how children of different social standards are raised. They have different values and standards. Today I am surrounded by many social standards that society sets. Everyone is always conscious of these standards and they affect the way many people act, sometimes including me.

The Emotional Experience

The play brings in issues that are avoided and not discussed in everyday life or are looked down upon in society. The theatre gives us an excuse to enjoy the things that are considered wrong and not feel guilty about it. "Katharsis" is a good word for the feeling that overcomes one as you watch a play that talks about things considered taboo in a very nonchalant way. We get to laugh at the fact that many believe Sarah is inappropriate and does whatever she pleases. However in reality, everyone deep down wants to live freely and carelessly as she does. Also we have the chance to see how Talbot goes against his supposed beliefs as he is becoming a priest and has intimate relations despite this. His mother expects him to become devoted to his school and the career path he has chosen because they are so poor she wants him to be successful, however the audience sees Talbot's side and how he is not devoted. In reality, the topics and the situations that occur in the play are ones that would not be taken so lightly, however, because of the atmosphere of the theatre, it gives the audience a chance to enjoy the, somewhat, ridiculous situations and feel true catharsis.

Outside of the Theatre

Image citation: Rafalovich, Jennifer. Constans Art. 2017. jpg

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