The Cultural & Intellectual Experience
My favorite part about the play was the fact that it confronted a lot of issues. The play addressed issues in a different time era, yet also issues that still haven't been resolved today. One of the major issues was the indecency of child labor. The play showed us the unfortunate truth about child labor in the past. Although it was wrong, some families felt it was necessary considering their financial circumstances. Then after the youngest brother dies, we are shown how devastating child labor truly could be, for a child dying at work wasn't an uncommon occurrence. The play educates us about the history during industrial time periods. In general, we also learn about the world of the laborer. Although in our society we no longer have issues with child labor or terrible working conditions, other nations still face these issues. The performance highlighted labor and capitalism in our history and culture. In conjunction, it talked about the Catholic Church and how historically, they were able to blanket crimes against young boys. Talbot was raped by a pastor, and we were showed harsh reality since the Catholic Church made an active effort to cover up the truth. The Catholic Church is notorious for these allegations. Although people don't want to know what happens in real life if it isn't pleasant, we are shown what actually happens and how frequently it happens. The central issue in the play is whether or not someone can reveal another man's story in the name of justice. Does someone have the authority to act for morality and justice if it involves another man's life and reputation? Bouchard, knowing Talbot was a victim of rape, attempts to convince Talbot to confess he was raped. Talbot chooses to stay silent. Regardless, Bouchard acted otherwise and notified the police. I learned that people make decisions subjectively, and that is okay. The Good Life is incredibly subjective. With cultural and intellectual awareness we can understand perspective. An open-minded person can appreciate perspective and the sharing of ideas. To me, the Good Life is only achieved if we are pliable enough to incoming knowledge and experience.
The Emotional Experience
The Divine was a play about a play. At first, I couldn't grasp the concept that this play was about itself. After watching the performance, I realized this concept was what made it so perfect. For 3 hours, I had the opportunity to experience the past, present, and future; it was really interesting to me. In the performance, they mention how theatre is an art that plays a major role in revealing social injustices. The theatre can be a reflection of reality. Reality is not always great; art emphasizes this. In the show, the actress, Sarah Bernhardt, refused to stop performing, for she thought the theatre addressed issues in society that were controversial yet still occurring. Its human proclivity to ignore problems when they are seemingly to burdensome to deal with. Its human proclivity to push away hardships. The theatre acts as a mirror. It confronts you with truth and forces you to listen. At the end of the day, avoiding a situation does not make it go away. Art shows us that things that are politically polarizing, socially discomforting, or disgustingly controversial exist. No matter how hard we try, these issues cannot go away simply by disregarding their very existence. We need to solve problems, but the first step is to accept that there may be problems that need to be solved. During the talk afterwards, the actors said that we live in a society filled with problems, yet fortunately, we live in a world where we can reflect on our actions and act accordingly. Thereafter, they mentioned how protesting or expressing your opinion in a peaceful way shows how activist we can be. Change is good and admirable and as people with conviction, passion, and purpose, the theatre and our actions speak volumes about our values. We come clean with art because it surfaces issues we need to overcome.