above cover photo by UF college of the arts: http://arts.ufl.edu/in-the-loop/events/the-divine-a-play-for-sarah-bernhardt/
I was excited to see the play as I would be seeing my 3rd performance at the University of Florida, but the 1st at the Constans Theatre. My friends and I sat near the stage on the very right side (facing the stage), so when the actors came up and down the aisles, I was pretty close to them. I think this provided a beneficial affect in seeing the characters up close and immersing myself in the play. I liked that the theatre was a little smaller (at least smaller than the Phillip's center) in that it created a more intimate atmosphere. When the lights finally dimmed signaling the start of the play, I was so excited!
photo taken by Robert Burwell
I think the most fun part of the whole experience was getting to enjoy the play with my friends! I went with a few of my close friends that live on my floor in my dorm. My roommate and I got ready together and then we all walked to the theater together! It was enjoyable to sit with people I knew and be able to discuss the intriguing aspects of the play during intermission and afterwards. My friends are so important to my mental health and my Good Life™. I would not be able to keep my sanity during tough school days if it weren't for them.
photo from The Star - https://www.thestar.com/entertainment/stage/2015/07/25/the-divine-a-play-for-sarah-bernhardt-holds-harrowing-moments-but-doesnt-quite-jell-review.html
I was not at all aware of the subject matter of the play before I read the study guide before the show. I was surprised by the relevance of the play in a modern context. The plot, which juxtaposed the upper class in Sarah and Michaud and the very lower class in Talbot and the rest of his family/colleagues. The play's main point was to emphasize that making poverty the topic of discussion does not actually do anything to help the impoverished. Often the rich are so high up that even though they may believe they know what it would be like to be poor, they cannot even imagine the struggle. Such a message is something I try to keep in mind in my daily life.
photo taken by Emily Cooper from NY Theatre Guide - http://nytheatreguide.com/2015/07/theatre-review-the-devine-a-play-for-sarah-bernhardt-at-the-shaw-festival/
I think more than anything, the play was very cathartic for me. It was nice to know that my feelings of guilt were acknowledged and shared; that I feel bad for being born into more well-off circumstances but can't do anything about it. I think the play just urges people to be aware of their own privilege and dedicate at least a portion of their lives to helping those beneath them.
Me with this cool artwork outside the theatre