Spark story of The Divine: A Play for Sarah Bernhardt By: Danielle Smith

Picture with art-work as I walked into theater.
The Spatial Experience: When I first walked into the auditorium I looked at the stage and the set up. There were six beds and a painted windows, I had not yet read anything about the play at that point and I was curious as to what the scene would be about. I went to the play with two other friends and we were seated in the middle of the room and I think they were perfect seats to see everything and everyone on the stage. I quite enjoy going to plays and the beginning when the lights dim and the audience gets quite is the best part because you never know how the play is going to start. When this happened there was the main character, Sarah, going through the actual aisles. It was great that the aisles as well as the stage were used. The auditorium was a smaller size but that made the performance more intimate and made the stage seem bigger to me since I was so close to it. The role of place is huge in the Good Life. For certain people being in a particular place is having the good life. The place that you start your journey can also have a role in what your good life is. I would say for the actors of the play their good life would be on stage, performing, and doing what they love.
A picture with the box office.
The Social Experience: Attending the performance was great, watching actors do what they love and performing well is always a great thing to watch. When I entered the auditorium I was very excited to be with friends and experience this play with them. I was excited to see how the play would go and what the characters would be like. I went to the performance with two of my friends who are also in the good life class. To get ready for the performance I read through the instructions on canvas of what we would have to do when we got to the building. I did not read anything on the play because I wanted to watch it first and let the performance given be my first interpretation of the play. Attending with friends enhanced the experience because we were able to talk to each other during the intermission and after the play about what our favorite parts were and what we thought about the overall play. Shared experiences can enhance ones good life. Being able to share an experience that means a lot to someone can cause them greater gratification for the experience itself. It allows people to talk about the shared experience and can make the experience and relationship of the two people greater.
I am holding the booklet given to us when we enter the auditorium.
The Cultural and Intellectual Experience: One central issue addressed in the performance is that the church does not want Sarah to perform in the play. The archbishop has forbidden her from performing. She says that she will respond to the letter on the stage during her performance. She is saying that she does not care if she is forbidden to perform by the church she is going to perform anyways. I did not read anything about the play before actually attending it because I wanted my first impression to come from watching the play itself. Another issue is what Talbot is hiding throughout the first half of the play. When we find out that Talbot was sexually abused, the reason for the way he has acted throughout the first half of the play is clear. His late arrival, bad attitude, and not wanting to be touched are explained in that moment. It also explained why he was getting special treatment from the church. Seeing Brother Casgrain pretty much blackmail Talbot, telling him he had to lie about what happened to him so that his family could get out of poverty is horrible. Before the performance my views on the church have always been good and that the people who worked for the church were trustful, honest people. After seeing this play it makes me think twice about the church. In recent years there have been many scandals with the Catholic Church and molestation, this play may have wanted to touch on that subject, and trying to hid what was happening from people.
Picture of the run time of the play.
ichThe Emotional Experience: The play provides us an opportunity for "katharsis" by allowing us to "come clean" about what we thought about the play as a whole, the characters and the storyline. There are many socially uncomfortable topics in the play like religious intervention. Why was it the archbishops place to tell Sarah she could not perform in the play? People in the city bought tickets to see her perform and then the church wants to put a stop to the play because of some of the content of the play. To me the people of the church do not have to see the play if they do not like the content of the play. But it is not the archbishops place to try to stop the play from going on because they do not like certain aspects of the play. In the play itself there is an opportunity for "katharsis" by Talbot telling his secret to Michaud. By him finally telling someone what happened to him he is able to come clean about this secret he has been keeping for so long. All his pent up emotions about what happened can be realized and released from him since he finally told the truth about the matter.
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danielle smith

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