The Divine: A play for Sarah Bernhardt Grant Harrison

The Spatial Experience

The room was painted dark colors and, with the lights off it distorted my spatial senses. It made the theater feel more open and at the same time limited my perception to what was happening on stage. The theater was a little smoky, which I believe was to further distort my sense of depth and focus my eyes on what was happening on stage. My friend and I were sitting to the right, just above the aisle that ran parallel to the stage. We had great seats and we could see everything happening on the stage with ease. Everything happened before our eyes.

The Social Experience

I attended with my friend Jon who also has Good Life this semester. It was an enjoyable experience. I enjoyed making small little comments about the play to him and pointing out certain aspects that I noticed either about the script or about the actors themselves. Honestly I lost track of time before the performance and I kind of stumbled out of the dorm with some nice clothes that I threw on haphazardly. Seeing the play with Jon made it fun-er and I believed that it made me appreciate the performance to a greater extent than if I had seen it alone.

The Cultural and Intellectual Experience

The performance took place in early nineteenth century Quebec City. This was the beginning of the industrial age. An age where factory owners were looking for the quick buck and didn’t care about the working conditions of their workers. A few mortalities were no skin off of their nose. They went about their days as usual. They hired young children to work all day in their factories and paid them little to nothing. This play was speaking against poverty and the effects that it had on the lower class. The effort they had to go to to make ends meet. This was news to the theater-going upper class who, like Michaud, was totally sheltered from the struggle of the poor. Women’s rights, especially working women’s rights, were also featured on stage. They showed the lives of the working class women and what they had to go through so their families could eat.

The Emotional Experience

The play spoke out heavily against the Catholic Church and their tight, unchallenged reign. It portrayed the church in a very negative and controlling light, which (while holding some merit) kind of offends me that they trivialize and made generalizations of an entire religion. The somewhat flippant way they depicted Christianity and turned it into the antagonist of the play made me uncomfortable. The many factory scenes made me question where some of the clothes and consumer products that I wear and use (without a thought) came from. Who made them? Were they treated with respect? Are their working conditions hazardous? The play made me question it and really made me take a step back from my life and start thinking about others’ struggles and experiences.

Works Cited

19th Century England. Alamy, www.alamy.com/stock-photo/19th-century-factory-england.html. Accessed 2 Feb. 2017.

Constans Theater. Foresight Construction Group, foresightcgi.com/project/university-of-t2-replacement/. Accessed 2 Feb. 2017.

Old Picture of Play Book. Virginia Tech, www.performingarts.vt.edu/events/view/divine.

Picture of a Church. Amanohashidate, www.amanohashidate.jp/lang/en/spots/miyazu-catholic-church/. Accessed 2 Feb. 2017.

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