On February 1st, I attended "The Divine" in the Constans Theatre. The play gave me an overall eye-opening experience that I has given me a better understanding of the good life and my own. I thoroughly enjoyed the play itself and the meaning behind it.
The Spatial Experience
This was my first time in the Constans Theatre. I didn't even know the Reitz Union had a theatre until going to this play. It was cool to walk into the theatre with no pre-conceived idea of what the seats, the set, or anything would look like. I don't usually go to plays but this was one of the coolest set designs I've seen. My seat was in the middle so I got a good view of the whole set. I thought it was really cool to see the fake snow falling before the show even started. The auditorium was smaller than the Phillips center but when the lights went down it made the place feel humble and more intimate. The actors didn't have microphones but because the theatre was pretty small they didn't need them.
The Social Experience
I attended the play with a few of my friends. We all walked to the theatre together, sat next to one another and left once the show was over together. I knew I couldn't go to the show in what I usually wear (sweatpants and a baseball hat), so I made sure to dress a little on the nicer side as seen in the picture above. Going with my friends allowed me to experience this eye-opening performance with those I spend my time with. Overall it was a very friendly environment and I had more fun than I thought I would.
The Cultural and Intellectual Experience
Going to this play opened my eyes in many ways. The recurring themes in the play such as class struggle, religious belief and duty to your family are very relatable to all the stuff I go through everyday. Everyday and and everywhere people struggle with money, religion and their families. It's a never-ending cycle of struggle that is brought to light in this play. It made me think about the sacrifices I've made and that my family have made in order for me to be where I am today. "The Divine" takes place in 1905 so the times and the opportunities young adults like me have are very different. I wasn't forced to work in a shoe factory as a child where people get killed in machinery and catch diseases from toxic chemicals. Listening to the talk-back, I learned that it was a struggle for the actors I'm luck to have been born in a country and in a time where I can appreciate the fact that I get to go to college and decide my own future. This play made me question my values. Do I value monetary gain over my own morals and beliefs? What am I willing to sacrifice in order to reach for my own dreams and goals?
The Emotional Experience
"The Divine" is the perfect example of katharsis, or coming clean. By the end of the play, or by the end of any play for that matter, the audience is given somewhat a clearer idea of what has been going on. Even if not spoken outright, the questions many have during a performance are given answers by the end of it. Plays, books and movies give people an outlet to address issues most would like to avoid in day-to-day conversations. It gives people a way to criticize our human behavior without offending people to their face.