Introduction: I thoroughly enjoyed attending this play. The Divine: A Play for Sarah Bernhardt was an emotional roller coaster that provided a viewpoint that much of the audience had not experienced. It took place during a time of intense child labor and poor pay. Many of the characters had to make sacrifices for each other that placed a lot of expectations on each other. The actors did an excellent job of portraying these complex emotions and forcing the audience to empathize.
Upon entering the theatre, one is hit with the beauty of the theatre. The comfortable seating only makes seeing the play that much more enjoyable. Constructing a theatre that can add to a play just by its beauty is important. There is a reason why theatres do not only do the bare minimum during construction. The elegance of a theatre adds legitimacy to a play. Another aspect of the theatre was the size. It was bigger than the audience, meaning there were many empty seats towards the back. This gave me the impression that this theatre was also for much bigger performances. I was assigned to a seat that that was very close to the front, and had no obstructions to see the play. In the beginning when the actors went through the audience, some actors went right in front of me and even shook my friend's hand next to me. I was able to be so close it was easier to immerse myself into the story and be enthralled in the acting. When the lights dimmed and it was time for the play to start, my stomach was full of anxiety, as I had been anticipating the play. the research I had done before watching the play made the wait that much more difficult to bare. For actors and play enthusiasts, the theatre is a haven of happiness. This the role place has in the Good Life. Being where someone is able to feel comfortable with expressing one's inner self is how the theatre can contribute to the Good Life for actors. When a football player is on the football field, he is at his most happy place in the world, comparable to an actor on the stage.
The Social Experience
I went to the play with some of my friends who live at the same dorm that I do. Going with friends made it much easier to enjoy the play. We were able to discuss during intermission and then after the play on the ride home, what we thought and how the play made us feel. Talking to strangers about the play would come off awkward, as talking to new people is not as easy as talking to friends one is comfortable with. Before the play, we did the pre-requisites together for attending the play. This made us much more excited to see the play. This social experience acted as a microcosm for achieving the Good Life. I feel that social interaction is imperative to achieving maximum happiness. When it comes to enjoying things or dealign with obstacles, there is no replacement for a confidant to help aid in the process. In more serious situations, friends can be the only way to deal with things. Going to the play with friends made the play much more profound.
The Cultural and Intellectual Experience: This play takes place back when manual labor was especially difficult, and laborers were taken advantage of. Before labor unions helped aid workers gain more benefits. This is evident in the mother's struggles in the factory, and the younger son being forced to work so that the older son could attend priest school. As a person who grew up with the only responsibilities being to attend school and participate in extracurriculars, I found the struggles of these characters inspiring. They worked so hard for things that really made them happy. I never had to sacrifice for others the way that these characters had to. The pickle that that the aspiring priest is in when it comes to the "stolen" silverware made me empathetic. He had to deal with such a traumatic experience that had a profound impact on his character. His inability to come clean about the situation only added to the tension in the air. These situations are still present in the world, but not in my realm of the world. In areas of the world with low income, people have to deal with the same struggles and sacrifices as the characters. This play has allowed me to experience what this different part of the world is like, the emotions that these people feel on a regular basis. I will never fully understand what it feels like, unless I were to actually be a part of it. However, I feel that I have a better understanding of what it is like.
The Emotional Experience:
Many times, people like watch things that only make them happy and are skewed perception of reality. Many TV shows show the world in its most basic, positive light. Sitcoms have issues that characters have to deal with, but in comparison to theatre are weak. The theatre provides a mirror to society where we get to see what the world is actually like, no matter how uncomfortable it may be. This play deals with the corruption within the church when it came to molestation. Many people like to forget about it and completely shut it out of society. The danger with this is people will not fight these issues. When society can come together and have a real, productive conversation on what is actually happening in the world, then real progress can be achieved. This religiously irreverent situation actually happened and people need to understand no matter how uncomfortable it makes society. The katharsis of this play comes from the display of uncomfortable topics of society. The struggles of the lower class and the taking advantage of young aspiring priests provide people with a new perspective of what the world is like. In college especially, it is easy to forget the struggles that people endure on a daily basis. I went through an emotional emotional roller coaster through the movie because of the emotional acting the thespians presented.