PRE PERFORMANCE: THE SPATIAL EXPERIENCE
Entering the theatre, admittedly just making the required arrival time of 7:15, I was immediately struck at how professional the entire venue was, as well as the warmth from the heaters. Underestimating the alk to the Reitz and the rapidly dropping temperature, I found myself qith moderate hypothermia by the time I made it to the Constans Theatre.The combined area of the seats and stage were about the size that I had expected, but the dark colored walls, enormous velvet textured curtains and depth of the stage transported me back to the theatre in my home town of Tampa, The Straz Center for the Performing Arts. Flyers for The Devine Sarah have been everywhere around campus, however, I had not necessarily thought through tht the production would be so incredibly well executed. I was escorted to a seat on the left hemisphere of the room next to another student with whom I made friends and slight commentary concerning the play’s plot. Generally pleased with my seat, I enjoyed being close enough to the stage to absorb all of the action, but far enough away that I wasn’t tilting my head up from the very front row.
PRE-PERFORMANCE: THE SOCIAL EXPERIENCE
Walking to The Reitz on my way to attend the play, I contemplated possibly texting some of my small group discussion members to see if they had reserved tickets to the same showing. However, in order to not be late, I concentrated all of my energy on speed walking the mile from my apartment onto campus. Approaching the Reitz and passing a few dance groups rehearsing outside, I noticed another student who looked about my age using the same wide gated, rushed strides, dressed in business casual attire, and correctly assumed he was attending the play as well. Coincidentally, we ended up seated net to each other, and I started conversation with him shortly before the play began. I learned he was from Norway, and had gotten his high school diploma at an international school with close ties to UF. We clicked immediately, and after talking during the intermission and sharing our thoughts on the play, agreed to exchange numbers and further assist each other in future Good Life group assignments. Shared experiences, in my opinion, are an enormous part of The Good Life. Human beings are social creatures, and reflecting or conversing with others, sharing ideas and exposing ourselves to varying viewpoints expands our perspective of reality and opens our minds to acceptation of all people, regardless of their background. Acceptance is all that any human being seeks, and whether for Norway or Tampa, Florida, shared experiences offer opportunity for learning and growth when shared with others who may have different perspectives.
PLAY: THE CULTURAL AND INTELLECTUAL EXPERIENCE
The play particularly hit home with me because of its relevance to the history of the Catholic Church. A few years back, Vatican City and even areas in the US were the target of media sensationalism and previously silenced victims finally gaining the chance to seek justice. While in Boston on a school field trip, I witnessed a press interview with a victim. Boston was a particularly affected area, and because I have interest in eventually moving to Boston for my major (Nursing) it was shocking that the corruption had reached so far as the United States. I was baptized Catholic as a child, but my mother raised me while attending a Methodist perish. While a teenager, I began to seriously date a boy of my age who went to a Catholic, private school and placed immense value upon the Catholic principles and ideals. I began to accompany he and his family to church on Sunday mornings, and had to make peace with the conflicting messages of the medias view of the Catholic church, and my own experiences and peace with their practices.
POST PERFORMANCE: THE EMOTIONAL EXPERIENCE
The Devine Sarah offers a perfect example of the trials as well as rewards of “coming clean” and being honest about a situation, even when the subject matter is extremely sensitive and personal. I think the play does an incredible job of conveying the pain of an individual struggling with a personal secret, however, it eventually illustrates the pay-off of revealing the truth about a situation. Truthfulness is also a Catholic value, and one that I take very seriously. Although it contradicts directly with the Catholic characters in the paly, I do still retain faith in the principles of Catholicism, and believe the ideals stretch far beyond the mistakes of few who take advantage of power as well as ambiguity of verse in The Bible. The Greek word “Katharsis” plays a role in the admission of molestation, as well as the honesty with which some characters commit sin. Although it is still wrong, characters who make mistakes are open about their sins and are subsequently forgiven because of their honesty and request for forgiveness of God. This may not be the interpretation taken by many, but because of my faith, which I consider a large part in my endeavor to achieve "The Good Life," I have chosen to make peace with the issues addressed in the play in this manner. In order to maintain the integrity of my own beliefs,