The Divine: A Play for Sarah Bernhardt By Reed Espy

Spatial Experience

The Divine: A Play for Sarah Bernhardt was a wonderful performance filled with drama, comedy, sorrow, and some fantastic acting. The Constans Theatre where the play was performed was a quaint theatre located inside the Reitz Union. The stage was very intricately designed with large wooden arches and three huge stain glass windows topped with a ornate circular window with a cross in the middle. The theatre was packed, but as soon as the lights dimmed, there was not a peep out of anyone. Place plays a major role in the good life because the setting of a place can play a significant factor in the audience's overall experience.

Social Experience

I attended the performance with my friend David, and we sat next to two other girls we had never met. We chatted before the play started about what we had read before attending the play and then waited in anticipation as the lights dimmed and the play started. It was very cool to watch the performance with David because we could ask each other what happened when we didn't understand a certain part. This allowed me to get the most out of the play and overall enhanced my experience in the theatre.

Cultural and Intellectual Experience

The Divine took place between the late 1800's and the early 1900's when the church was much less "modernized" and could get away with bribing or covering up horrific acts that happen behind the scenes. In today's society, people have become much more aware of the culture we live in, and are much more inclined to speak out when they disagree with something. Going into the play, I knew very little about the turn of the 20th century, and I did not realize the effect the church had on the community. Now a days, the role of the church back then seems to have been replaced by the government now. Regardless, society today has gone to great lengths to voice their opinion of their rights.

Emotional Experience

The Divine provides us with a sense of katharsis all throughout the play. The biggest form of catharsis seen in the play came from when Talbot was cooped up by the church and forced to keep his situation quiet. Talbot was a victim of sexual assault and instead was blamed for a life of crime and theft. In a sense, Talbot was able to come clean to Michaud since Michaud was keeping tabs on Talbot's whole life for his play. Additionally, when Michaud went to Sarah Bernhardt and laid out his whole life's ambitions for the theatre, he was able to mentally leave his role of a seminarian for a few brief moments and truly feel like he was truly acting. During the talk back after the performance, the idea of katharsis was discussed because of the stories in the play that nobody in the real world is willing to talk about. This is why The Divine was such a good play because the audience could relate to internal struggles they face while facing the dilemma to voice their opinion out loud.


Reed Espy in cooperation with David Misroch is responsible for taking all these photos

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