Experience of The Divine: A Play for Sarah Bernhardt Maddy Schmidt

The Spatial Experience

Before the Play || Photo Taken by Tayla Regenbaum

When I entered the building, the first thing I saw was all the anxious good life students waiting for the play. My seat was in the dead center of the theatre, which was relatively small compared to other theaters I have been to. This was a new experience for me because it gave me the chance to see the play from a new perspective, a more personal approach as I could see all the details on stage. About 10 minutes before the play began, snow started to fall on stage which quickly quieted everyone in the audience and caused much anticipation. Then when the lights actually dimmed, my excitement grew. "Place" itself plays a big role in the good life since it directly alters any experience. An experience can have a completely different effect on your life depending on the physical location where it took place. The atmosphere of a "place" gives off vibes that contribute to the positivity (or negativity) in any experience, such as the positive energy that began to flow through the theater when snow began to fall.

The Social Experience

After the Play || Photo Taken by Fellow Good Life Student

I attended the performance with my roommate Tayla. Before the play, we chose semi-formal outfits, grabbed some dinner together, and prepared for the hike to the Reitz Union. I was excited to go see the play because it was a new experience and having someone to share that with made it that much better. To me, the good life is not a life lived alone. We need others in our lives to share and discuss experiences with. I believe sharing experiences with others can lead to better memories made. Yes, the good life can be found, for example, through one's personal connection with nature; however, it is the sharing of these experiences with others that allow you to truly appreciate the effect it has on your life.

The Cultural and Intellectual Experience

Play Program || Photo Taken by Me

The central issue addressed in the performance was the clash between the church and the theatre, set in the early 1900s. I am not the type of person who looks into works of art to find the deeper meaning, so before attending the play, I had not thought about this subject matter at all. I also do not attend plays often nor study them, so I was oblivious to this clash beforehand, and, therefore, the performance did not change my views about the issue. I did, however, find the search for truth and justice to be very interesting. I think this subject relates to my life currently because as a new college student with newfound freedom, I find myself searching for the truth in many things because this is the first time in my life that I have had to think and make decisions for myself without someone looking over my shoulder.

The Emotional Experience

Actress playing Sarah Bernhardt shows emotion || Photo Taken by David Cooper for The Toronto Star (1)

The Divine: A Play for Sarah Bernhardt provides us an opportunity for katharsis, to "come clean". This play truly made me question the motives behind some decisions I have made after seeing Mrs. Talbot's grief when her son Leo, who she put to work, was killed because of the horrible conditions and after Talbot lied about the abuse he went through to ensure he could become a priest and rise up out of poverty to gain financial and political status. Parts like these made the play relatable and caused me to truly question the reason I am studying engineering here, whether that is actually what I want to do or if it is just because it is in my comfort zone and pays well.

The End

Picture Credits- (1)https://www.thestar.com/entertainment/stage/2015/07/25/the-divine-a-play-for-sarah-bernhardt-holds-harrowing-moments-but-doesnt-quite-jell-review.html

Credits:

Created with images by kaykaybarrie - "Factory Theatre"

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