Join me, as I analyze the assigned performance: The Divine: A Play for Sarah Bernhardt. Below you will find four factors that when taken into consideration intensifies my experience of watching a live performance.
The Spatial Experience
The Constans Theatre time traveled to a time before cell phones, a time before internet, a time distant to all; the set was transformed to a turn of the twentieth century seminary, boot company, and dressing room. Walking in and seeing the beautiful stain glass windows put me into the seminary made me feel like I was a priest in training. Seated in the upper center of the room I had a perfect view of everything in the auditorium. The stage was my own private screen. I had perfect view of the cast moving though the audience in the few times they did, in contrast to those sitting in the front few rows that would have to turn to look as Sarah Bernhardt would walk through the aisles. At the beginning when the sounds of the cast rose while that of the audience fell, and the lights dimmed was magical; it showed how the audience understood queues that were not just vocal. The auditorium was big enough to fit comfortably a considerable amount of people yet small enough that the audience connects with the characters and the play as a whole. One must be comfortable with the environment to experience a good life; if the surrounding is irritating or gloomy, for example, this will transcend to the overall effect of the environment.
The Social Experience
To watch The Divine: A Play for Sarah Bernhardt I went with the love of my life: myself. I believe that this experience alone was better for self interpretation; if my friends were to have gone with me their analysis, commentary and additional gestures would have influenced my overall experience with the play. Before the performance I read the booklets given out to get context of the story. Overall, I believe attending the performance alone resulted in a more honest and accurate interpretation of the play. This is an extremely important concept when put in context with good life; those around you can influence and subliminally decide and write what a good life is to you.
The Cultural and Intellectual Experience
The play further confirmed the concept of elitism-even though this was not the main point of the story it was an element that I picked up on and that stuck. Elitism is something extremely prevalent in modern American society as it was in the early 20th century in Quebec. Individuals who are richer and who have privilege get away with what would have sever penalties. This subject matter is seen everyday in modern society; for example, the ultra rich can avoid paying taxes and received thousands if not million of dollars in breaks while an individual in lower socioeconomic levels would be penalized with hefty fines, and also (as seen in the image above) rich lobbyist can persuade the decisions of political figures. In the performance, one of the priest attempts to persuade the other priest to not snitch on his mentor that he is an extremely important figure in the community; this confirmed that elitism was relavent in the olden days as it is now.