Divine: A Play for Sarah Bernhardt By: Alexandra MIller

Spatial Experience


I put a picture of space because this is what everyone shares on Earth. When we look up at night, this is what we see. The same thing can be applied to this play. Every person that watched this play saw the same thing. We watched the same action and heard the same lines. Whether we interpreted the play the same, that is whole new ball park. Walking into the theatre, I was really impressed with how nice it was. It fit a decent amount of people and was a comfortable environment. I was lucky enough to get a seat in the center of the theatre allowing me to get a good view of the show. I will never forget the moment the lights dimmmed. The voices around me slowly faded and everyone's eyes were on the actors in front. It was the moment everyone focused on the same thing. The fact that we were in the same place watching the same thing made the experience that much better. "Places" enrich life and allow us to turn experiences into memories. They represent something that allows us connect us to one another. Earlier, I mentioned that my friends and I talked about Broadway shows. Even though we all saw different Broadway shows, we could all relate because we watched them the same place (a theatre). I cannot begin to explain how many times I have related to someone because we have been to the same place. Places give us the ability to differentiate from one building to another. Each place can offer us a whole new experience which is why these places are so important to the good life. Without them, life would not be as interesting. What I mean here is that having the ability to assign every location to a place is beautiful. It helps others understand where we were and what we may have seen when describing an experience. For example, someone could say I went to New York City and I would be able to picture where they traveled. For these reasons, I find so much beauty in the six letter word.

Social Experience

I got ready for the play on my own, but met up with three friends on the way. It was funny because none of my friends knew each other before that very moment. Each of them were from different classes of mine last semester. However, they all had so much in common. On the walk over, they all introduced themselves and we all bonded on the topic of Broadway shows. Once we arrived at the theatre, we took some pictures out front. It was cool watching my friends interact with each other because about ten minutes prior, none of them knew each other. Now they were taking photos of each and sharing their favorite plays they had seen. I was thankful to have shared this experience with three of my friends. I can't imagine how different my experience would have been without them. Going to the play with friends gave me people to talk to before the play and during intermission. It definitely made my experience better. In relation to the good life, shared experiences allow people to relate. They connect people together and allow them to share their experience with one another. This idea relates to the very moment my friends met. If I am not mistaken, my friends interacted with each other instantly because they all could relate. All of us were in the same class and at that very moment, we were all heading to watch the same play I believe that the ability to relate to others and experience the same things is something that allows us to live a good life. These shared experiences bring us comfort in the sense that we are not alone in this world. We have millions of people around us that are experiencing life too and that is what makes life so good.

The Cultural and Intellectual Experience


Before seeing the play, I had little understanding of factory life or the daily struggle of those in poverty. Hearing the actors speak about their roles after the play offered me a unique experience. I never knew how much work actors and actresses put in learning their roles. Little did I know, there is more to acting than memorizing lines and acting out the role. Prior to performance, the actors performing the "Divine: A play for Sarah Bernhart" worked to grasp a better understanding of the roles they would play. They spent many hours researching their roles and learning about the time period in which the play took place. After watching the performance, I had a greater appreciation for the efforts the actors put into learning their role. Their responses to the questions my peers asked really helped me grasp the daily struggle that people in poverty face. Learning about the struggle of poverty taught me to be thankful for my life today. I cannot imagine how strenuous and exhausting a life in poverty would be. Yet day by day, people work two, three, or even four jobs to support their families today and those in the play worked extra long shifts in the factory to barely get by. Seeing the struggle of the play and elsewhere allowed me to grow intellectually. I definitely think the deep exposure to poverty will make me think differently about struggles in my own life and look at life's challenges in a new way. I have learned that you should appreciate everything in life because other's would be grateful to life the good life you live. With that being said, I aim to live happy and appreciate all that I have in life.

Emotional Experience

I am smiling in this picture, but I was not smiling the entire play. The play took a toll on my emotions. I felt that for the duration of the play my emotions were on a roller coaster. At one moment, I was happy because of the hype for Sarah Bernhart in the play, but the next moment I was sad because Michaud had quit writing his play. The most memorable emotion, however, was one wrapped up in the conflict of the play. I related to Michaud's confusion when he could not relate to Talbot's life story anymore. Michaud was inspired to write a play in his life and he had found the perfect story. Talbot was a boy who lived a life of poverty, something that intrigued to a man of wealth. Writing about a boy who faced poverty was feasible to Michaud up to the moment he learned that Talbot was sexually assaulted growing up. Michaud did not understand how he would include this in a play and so he decided to quit. But Sarah Bernhart did not like this and so she decided to teach Michaud about the art of play writing. She showed him that writing a play is like seeing life through a new pair eyes, you cannot master it until you understand how to relate to the uncomfortable. Once Michaud learned how to see life through Talbot's eyes, he understood how to pursue his dream. Despite the emotional ride, I could place myself in Michaud's shoes and relate to his biggest challenge. Although life is full of challenges, it is also full of lessons of how to overcome them. In this case, Michaud needed to grasp the beauty of life from many angles. Once he understood the importance of seeing life from multiple angles, he understood how to write his play. That is the beauty of challenges in correspondence with emotions. Emotions can be placed with every challenge, making life that much better.

Pictures Cited:

1: "Image+of+space - Google Search." Image+of+space - Google Search. N.p., n.d. Web. 05 Feb. 2017.

2: "Factory+from+the+1900s - Google Search." Factory+from+the+1900s - Google Search. N.p., n.d. Web. 05 Feb. 2017.

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