The Spatial Experience:
The Constans Theatre at the University of Florida
The walkway to the entrance of the theatre
This was my first time inside the Constans Theatre. Upon arriving, my only thought was "get inside!!!" because it started to rain as I was walking over. When I finally got under cover and inside the theatre, my mood was lifted with the sight of high ceilings and beautiful hanging pieces. I was one of the first to enter the theatre, but I was shocked at how quickly it had filled. With so many people in attendance, the theatre looked enormous. When the lights dimmed, I felt a sense of anxiety about how the play would be; I had to see it for a grade so it had better be good, right? I was in one of the front rows, and I felt like this position allowed me to connect with the actors. While acting may seem like "make believe", their faces showed true emotion, and the ability to see this enhanced my experience. Place plays a role in the good life, for everyone may be looking at the same thing, bur the view and the perspective is different for each person. That being said, maybe getting closer to the good life takes a change in perspective.
The Social Experience:
The picture above shows me waiting in the lobby to enter the theater. As you can see, I had my raincoat on, but it didn't stop me from getting wet as it started to rain. It didn't help that the theater was freezing inside!
I went to the play alone. I saw the play as an assignment rather than a social outing, so it didn't really pass my mind that I was by myself. By going alone, I was forced to get out of my comfort zone. I had to get pictures of myself to put in this story, so I had to ask a group of girls to take it for me. Approaching people and asking for help are two things I typically try to minimize because I prefer to keep to myself. However, shared experiences do have their place in the good life. Friends can help you make light of a bad situation or make good experiences better with their company.
The Cultural/Intellectual Experience:
The Boss being tended to by the women workers of his shoe factory
The play presents the idea of "we don't talk about that". Anything happening in society that is knowingly unacceptable is hidden from the public so to protect those involved from having their reputations ruined. The Boss hires children as cheap labor, and in placing them in the dangerous atmosphere of the factory, kills them. Talbot, who was sexually abused by a priest, is bribed with opportunities that would allow him to provide for his poor family in exchange for silence about the subject. This play opened my eyes to how society tries to pretend issues do not exist. When women are sexually abused on campus, the university attempts to hide the incident, so not to tarnish the reputation of their institution. I feel more now than ever that if one sees something, they should say something.
The Emotional Experience:
Sarah Bernhardt- the revolutionary actress willing to play any role and expose the flaws of society
Katharsis is the process of coming clean. This play provides the opportunity for katharsis in that it not only exposes the unspeakable events in society, but shows the audience how theatre can act as an outlet, and a means to express these events which no one has the courage to outrightly discuss. Sarah Bernhardt encourages Michaud to write a play about the sexual assault of his friend Talbot. By watching such a story be performed, the audience is forced to face the reality of what is happening daily as it is acted out in front of them. They must "come clean" about their ignorance toward the subject, and accept that by not freely talking about or reporting what has happened, they are part of the problem. The same concept applies today: we buy products that were "Made in China" without recognizing that China exploits child labor, and that we are facilitating the continuation of this action.
Mbiance. "La Divine Illusion- The Divine." Michel Marc Bouchard - Pices - La Divine Illusion- The Divine. N.p., n.d. Web. 04 Feb. 2017. <http://www.michelmarcbouchard.com/pieces-68.html>.
"The Divine: A Play for Sarah Bernhardt." DARTcritics. N.p., n.d. Web. 04 Feb. 2017. <http://dartcritics.com/tag/the-divine-a-play-for-sarah-bernhardt/>.