The Divine: A Good Life Performance ~Ana Arnillas~

Entering the theater before the opening show.

The Spatial Experience

As I walked into the Reitz, the first thing I saw was the incredible line forming as the minutes inched closer to the start of the play. I was excited to find out what I was about to watch and the message it would relay. There were people directing us to our seats and we ended up on the left hand side of the theater towards the back. I'd say this gave me a little bit of a disadvantage over people in the front, since they got the experience right at their fingertips. Once the lights dimmed and the opening scene began, the sudden roar of noise successfully drew me in. Seeing so many students and the passion of the actors really added to the overall environment. The role of place in the Good Life, to me, is when everything in the environment mends together perfectly and creates no issues letting one relax and simply enjoy.

The Social experience

I met up with my friends-Chris, Jorge, Marge and Anne- for this performance. We planned to go together as a group,so that we could all discuss what we had seen later that night. Prior to attending "The Divine" , I had looked up the criteria for this assignment and looked into the play. I knew the overall gist of what to expect and this proved to be helpful in aiding my friends on what was happening in each scene. If I had not done this, I am sure some scenes would have left me a bit confused. By having my friends there it gave me comfort and that feeling of relaxation needed in an environment. I was able to joke around with them throughout the play, help them understand certain scenes, and most importantly have an experience with them. The role of shared experiences is important in the Good Life, it gives you a sense of belonging, knowing that people are right there by your side. Shared experiences build many friendships and relationships, this is why I typically enjoy going out with people and bonding.

The cultural and intellectual experience

After seeing "The Divine"

"The Divine" had a story line that is dismissed and ignored way too often. It talks about the hardships of growing up in a poor lifestyle unable to climb the ladder of success. It was eye-opening seeing how forward this play brings up this issue, comparing both sides while also tackling a more intense topic. The cover-up of misconduct from the Catholic Church on the grounds of sexual abuse was a big portion of the play and seeing it displayed took me by surprise. It showed me that while I have heard of this before and the severity of it, It still does not come close to what someone going through it must have dealt with. It was upsetting seeing issues like this talked about because it is painful to know people live in these topics and suffer through these scenes in real life. My family was never financially comfortable and seeing the struggles of Talbot's family, while not to that extreme, hit home. It is painful to see relatives sacrifice their time and put aside their own happiness in order to provide like Talbot's mother did.

The Emotional Experience

Marge and I after the play ended.

The Divine: A Play for Sarah Bernhardt is a good example of katharsis since the play lets Tobalt come clean with his inner struggle. Most people don't like to think about the unpleasant lives people endure and having it in a play like this, let's you come to terms with reality. There are obvious differences in social classes in today's society and by having an obvious example of poverty, Let's those that don't relate see the issues at hand. Eventually, plays like "The Divine" can lead to change in the world or at least enlighten those who live in ignorance. Tobalt deals with letting everyone think he stole the silver he gifts to his mother, but it is soon discovered that it was due to the Priest who harmed him. It is not till the end of the play, where he comes clean and admits the truth to himself and his family. You can also see that Michaud comes clean by finding and admitting his strengths lie in writing and seeking justice.

and Scene......

Thank you for reading.

Credits: curtain -- divine ending picture all other photos taken by Ana Arnillas

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