My experience at the Constans Theatre the DIvine: A play for sarah bernhardt

It was truly delightful to see this play, i enjoyed the performance as well as the captivating experience created by the actors. Not only was the play really well done, but it was awesome to see a production put on by students at my school! It was awesome to know that they are students just like myself and the others attending the play. This play was not only for my own personal enjoyment is also helped to widen my perspective on the god life with some early 20th century commentary from the eyes of a young soon-to-be priest and his kid brother that works in a factory. It elucidates the audience to the underlying problems in a growing industrial society and even the sad truth about some men of the clergy.

I was filled with excitement and joy when i waltzed through the double doors of the Constans Theater. At first i didn't know the theater was in the Reitz and seeing it there surprised me. I arrived later than expected and my friends i was meeting there had already gotten their seats, so i resorted to sitting by myself. I sat about 10 rows back towards the right side of the theater. This was one of the smaller theaters i have been in and every seat was a good one. I was close enough to hear the actors clearly and see everything happening on stage which was awesome. After about 15 minutes the lights finally dimmed and I was hooked, finally showtime! The auditorium was on the smaller side and contributed to a more captivating experience. This play was great and shows that the good life can be obtained even in the worst of circumstances. You can make the best of your situation if you are dedicated and want to put the work in.

I had planned to attend the play with two friends. However one of my other friends was supposed to give me a ride home from dinner. His car ended up breaking down and i had to run home and change, then head cross the street to the Reitz. I showed up 10 minutes late and my friends were already inside. So for the first half of the performance i was out on a figurative island. I didn't get to know the people around me as they were absorbed into their own conversations. However after intermission i was able to meet up with my friends and the second half was a lot better in the company of them. Sharing experiences is a fundamental building block of the good life. Sharing something special with others give you something to talk about and a memory you can cherish forever.

The story instantly drew me in, the characters were likeable and easy to relate to. Together they worked to show the injustices of industrial North America as well as the clergy. The play illuminated the imperfections within a growing nation and brought life to a part of society that gets little exposure. Set in the early 20th century, the play looks at two major issues: the use of child labor in unsafe conditions, and the secret manipulation of young boys within the clergy. Both of these issues i knew existed but this performance really opened my eyes to the harsh realities of life for some people. Its one thing to read something like that and a whole other for someone to act it out in front of your eyes. Following the performance my stance on the issues is the same but the way i think people should deal with them has changed. They really showed that no matter what your circumstances are you should do the right thing for the people you care about.

The play shows that no matter what you've done wrong, its never to late to 'come-clean' and acknowledge your wrong-doings. The characters in the play face some tough decisions especially Brother Casgrain and Talbot. Its hard to see men of such high stature in society have such troubled pasts and still have an internal conflict of whether to address their abuse in the past or silence it forever. As a member of the audience you almost have to look into yourself and make that decision with them. And its not just whats happening in the play, the same morals can apply my everyday life. We all have our own unique pasts and experiences that shape us to who are are today and its not always a pretty tale. A lot of people have shady pasts and don't feel comfortable sharing the details of that with anyone and possibly for a few people this can give them the courage to come clean and share their story with someone. And ultimately sharing your story with someone can either get you the help you need or help you to bury the hatchet and finally take that weight off your shoulders. Because none should have to go through life alone carrying the burdens of someone else's actions like Talbot did, and no one should be able to get off Scot free(until Talbot beat him to smithereens) after doing what the priest did to all those little boys. And afterwards with he talk back with the actors we were able to tackle some big issues. Several questions asked about how theater can be used to bring up social issues and increase awareness. The actors agreed and vouched that theater is a great outlet to let the people know about social injustices and bring them to light in a manner that isn't too forward like national news. The said they plays main purpose was to captivate the audience and outline the Talbot time at the school but that it also is meant to be the voice for the children in the factories and be the voice for the people who are abused by the church because they don't always speak up and let other people know that bad things are going on.

Bibliography:

Karas, James. "THE DIVINE: A PLAY FOR SARAH BERNHARDT – REVIEW OF SHAW FESTIVAL PRODUCTION." THE DIVINE: A PLAY FOR SARAH BERNHARDT – REVIEW OF SHAW FESTIVAL PRODUCTION. N.p., 11 Oct. 2015. Web. 05 Feb. 2017.

Young, Toby. "The day I stopped believing in the friendship myth." The Spectator. The Spectator, 03 June 2016. Web. 06 Feb. 2017.

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Troy Timmons
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