The Divine: A Play for Sarah Bernhardt Spark Story by Jimmy Wang

Spatial Experience

Inside the auditorium before the show begins

Before going to see this play, I had no idea that the Reitz Union had a theatre inside. The Constans Theatre is a large auditorium that mirrors the size of my high school auditorium. As I walked in through the doors that encapsulated the theatre, I felt excitement as I discovered a new corner of the building I had never been to before. Despite being on the right side of the auditorium, as shown in the picture above, my seat location did not hinder my viewing experience at all. When the lights dimmed and the audience quieted, I could tell that the show was about to begin. It felt surreal to be sitting in the auditorium as the lights dimmed. The role of place in the Good Life is that locations are often associated with experiences in our memory. The next time I visit the Constans Theatre, I'll be able to recount my past experience of seeing this play and relive being in this beautiful setting.

The Social Experience

Picture of myself before entering the theatre taken by my friend Bryce

I attended this performance with my friend Bryce. Before the semester started, I knew that he was taking IUF1000 along with me. Despite having different instructors, I found out that we both needed to attend this play shortly before reservations opened. I communicated and coordinated with Bryce to decide a day that we would attend. We made our reservations shortly after and worked together to achieve a common goal. I believe that attending this play with a friend added to my experience greatly as I was able to share my immediate thoughts with him during the intermission and after the play and let him do the same to me. These shared experiences play the role of connecting with others in the Good Life. By sharing our experiences together, Bryce and I developed a stronger bond and I feel closer to him as a friend.

The Cultural and Intellectual Experience

Selfie before entering the auditorium

The Divine: A Play for Sarah Bernhardt takes place in early 1900's Quebec City. The central issue being addressed in this performance is the difference in class and gender. I have rough background knowledge of the subject matter but the play demonstrated these themes on a more personal level I never thought about before. I knew about the industrial revolution and the harsh labor conditions that were present before labor laws were established. However, I didn't know much about the role of theatre during this era and the role that Sarah Bernhardt played in all of this. This play addressed some issues that people usually don't think about. One thing that was said in the play resonated through me deeply and it was:

(paraphrased) "You don't think about who made the shoes on your feet or even consider the working conditions that they go through to make what you wear. You just care about the price tag. Well, have you ever thought about how we're able to produce these items at such a low price? This is how"

I believe that this can be applied to today's world very well because many of us don't think about who made our clothes or what kind of working conditions they go through. Many of us would only care about the price of an item because that is the only thing that immediately affects our lives. The living and working conditions of those that make our clothing do not affect our immediate lives. This pertains to the Good Life because it shows how we do not usually think about others but when brought up, we feel empathy and pity.

The emotional experience

Selfie after leaving the auditorium

The play contains many situations where characters must struggle with their personal morals and ethics with their actions. For example, Talbot tries to provide to his hardworking family by stealing and must defend his moral stance that he has by being associated with the Church. Michaud tries to indulge in his appreciation for theatre while being forbade to do with the Grand Seminary. The factory boss must try to hide the poor working conditions of the factory to keep up appearances. As the play progresses, it shows the internal strife that each of these characters go through and the consequences that they face when the truth catches up to them. As the characters face their consequences, they "come clean" for their wrongdoings.

References

"The Divine Sarah and Her Divine Doctor | Circulating Now." U.S. National Library of Medicine. National Institutes of Health, n.d. Web. 04 Feb. 2017.

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