The Divine: A Play for Sarah Bernhardt A play i went to by brandan birsic


When I first walked into the Constans Theatre, I was shocked. I had no idea that such a state-of-the-art theatre existed on our campus, let alone in the Reitz Union. Kendall and I sat pretty much in the middle. The seats gave me a very direct view of the stage, allowing me to see everything. As soon as the lights dimmed, everyone stopped talking and looked around frantically wondering when the actors were going to come out. It was very entertaining to see the actors walk through the crowd, making such a large theatre seem even smaller. Place plays a large factor in the Good Life. Environment is everything - we all have our happy places. I've always found theaters to be a happy place, distracting me from the world around me.

our view

So Social

I attended the performance with my friend Kendall. I know Kendall through mutual friends and through being in the Freshman Leadership Council; we also have the same Good Life discussion class. When getting ready for the performance, Kendall told she was on her to come pick me up while I was still in the shower. I aptly replied, "Okay I'm almost ready." After getting ready in approximately 2 minutes and 45 second, we were off. When we walked into the theatre we were, of course, seated next to each other. It's an interesting experience sitting with a friend amongst strangers. I love listening to everyone's conversations when they think that no one is listening. That in and and of itself its own form of entertainment. Shared experiences are an important of the Good Life; if we don't bring people along with us on our journeys then we will be lonely. Ultimately, however, we must learn to achieve the good life on our own.

Me entering the theatre featuring Kendall's head (notice the wet hair)

Culture and Intellect

Period pieces like the Divine always amuse me in a weird way. I think, despite their obviously serious overtones, that period pieces have humorous undertones. The Divine to me is funny in how archaic the values are. The central issue was whether or not Sarah Bernhardt should be allowed to portray such "irreverent" values on stage. To be it's an outrageous debate; art should be pure and uncensored. The performance didn't change my views on this nor does it currently have any correlation to anything going on in my own life.


The Divine allowed for katharsis in its ability to let us examine the misdeeds of the Catholic Church little over a century ago. Through reflective examination, the play made us think: should any institution be allowed to stifle freedom of speech? Growing up Catholic, it was very a secret that sometimes their rhetoric, deeds, and doctrines could seem oppressive. It was interesting for me to watch the Divine with a sort of inside perspective. I couldn't help but be fascinated in how the Catholic church tried to stop Sarah Bernhardt from living her life and performing. No matter how radical, art is art; expression should never be stifled.

Kendall and myself leaving the Divine (featuring some random person)

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