Constans Theatre The Divine: A play for sarah bernhardt

Spatial Experience

When I first entered the building I was amazed by the visual art which led the audience to the auditorium. The bright silver letters that read, “Constans Theatre,” located on the outside of the auditorium, made my participation and experience feel exciting. I liked how the building represented creativity of the fine arts, for example it showcased a colorful chandelier-like display and modern sculptures. When I walked inside the of auditorium, it seemed smaller than I imagined. The smallness of the theatre made me feel that I was also a part of the show. Besides its overall shape, I enjoyed the simple yet simplistic colors and lines of the auditorium. The maroon and gold accents of the theatre allowed for a more real sensation of the performance. I also liked the layout and structure of the seating in the theatre. There was a lot of space and room to maneuver within the building, the open space between seats operated as a secondary stage for the actors of the play. I sat in the direct middle, a couple rows back from the front. The location of my seat allowed me to see all angles of the performance on stage, although it also made it difficult to see the actors when they performed off stage. As the lights dimmed and the audience quieted, signaling that the show was about to begin, I was anxious to see what was going to happen next. I closed my eyes for a brief second, and opened them to a black surrounding and one single spotlight in the corner of my eye. The lighting positively enforced the maturity and level of professionalism of this play. I believe my place in the theatre allowed me to see and hear everything clearly. The role of place in the good life represents not only your physical location but your mental state of being within your life. Just like I had been content with my seat location, I was also in a state of mind to learn and be curious about the performance. This role is led by the following: Where you stand in society, in the lives of others, and most importantly within your own life; all of which portray your true place in your good life. A person in pursuit of their good life understands all of these explanations according to their inner self.

Social Experience

I attended the performance with a friend of mine. Prior to the performance, we both had read and discussed the study guide and overall summary of what the performance was going to be about. Also, we dove deeper and examined possible representations of objects, characters, and events summarized within the play. We had no prior knowledge of this performance, other than the study guide resource we were given for class. After the first half of the performance had ended, I waited to see the reaction of my friend. She and I had similar views about how we felt the performance had gone, but different views about the representations within the story line. It was interesting to compare and contrast our opinions of the play, even though we had experienced the same performance at the same time. Because of this, attending the play with a friend had enhanced my experience. We communicated our thoughts and opinions to each other, which gave me a bigger sense of belonging and purpose for my participation in this play. Other people in your life play a big part in your success of achieving your good life. For example, attending the performance with a friend gave me different insights about possible representations of the play. It was fun to share this experience with someone else. I believe the role of shared experiences in a good life relates to the necessity of people’s comforts and pleasures. As humans, feel comfortable when we experience things with familiar faces, it provides us temporary happiness. Learning about our comforts and pleasures allows us to pursue our good life.

Cultural and Intellectual Experience

This performance included many references to historical past events relative to the early 1990’s. These events had prompted society into changing our culture and attitudes about human life. For example, the play’s representation of the cruel and harsh labor environments of women and children in factories in the early 1990’s, before labor laws were put into effect, caused me to think about how society’s attitudes of labor and work have changed over time. Because of this, the performance helped me develop a new way of seeing and understanding my own culture. The disturbing and intense scenes of the play made me question whether my culture had aspects of such relative conflicts. I had questioned the ethical and unethical stances of decisions made by my culture over time. For example, I asked myself, “How has the role of government in today’s modern day encouraged and assisted employment for all workers?” The central issue focused on in the play was the misdemeanors made my individuals and groups of hierarchy during the early 1900’s; they included the mistreatment of women and children in factories and other institutions, in this case wrongs done by people associated with the church. Another important issue of the performance dealt with the importance of plays and acting in the lives of all men, women, and children. Plays tell the truth, which is what Sarah Bernhardt had emphasized in her role of the performance. This was important yet not the central theme of this time in history, portrayed by the play. Because of previous knowledge on the subject, I was familiar with the time and subject matter illustrated in the play. I understood how society had changed and revolutionized to a more industrialized society. Workers and farmers had moved to urban areas and worked in factories. The number of child laborers working in mine and glass factories, as peddlers, and as newsboys and messengers had peaked an all-time high. The performance, which had represented these events, had altered my views about the past in some way. Many people create happy visuals of what life was life back then, but in a lot of situations life was hard for many people. After witnessing what felt like a real situation of cruel mistreatment, the play had increased my sympathy for all of the mistreated people during this period of time. In my life and in today’s society, there continues to be issues of discrimination, mistreatment of labor workers, poverty, etc. The fact of the matter is that there will always be important problems facing many individuals all over the world. A specific example of something happening in my life, though not represented to the degree of this subject matter, is how I face the inability to personally change how feminine rights are seen among others. I face the challenge to change specific legislation about how I think women should be represented in America.

Emotional Experience

The Divine: A Play for Sarah Bernhardt provides the opportunity for catharsis through its representation of human oppression among people of different cultures and backgrounds, during the 1900’s. Sarah Bernhardt encourages honesty through theatre. She acts as the wedge between the wrong doings and judgement of our human nature, and our moral and ethical choices. In this play, many people are confronted with issues related to gender mistreatment within the labor force, economic differences, and of course the “clash between religion and theatre” (Hamilton). Because this play plainly illustrates these problematic situations and events in history, it shows that theatre goes beyond the surface meaning of things. It provides us the opportunity to see the truth and reality, through all of the false rumors and lies of others. Also, it allows us to recognize the differing opinions and arguments among different people within different cultures and lifestyles at that time. Through this, the process of catharsis become present. Personally, I was able to have a positive emotional experience because I was provided the opportunity to see all angles of the situations and problems represented in the play.

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