I have been in the Reitz Union many times and have never known the Constans Theater existed, nor have I ever noticed it walking by. I was pretty intrigued; I thought it was really cool how on the side of the Reitz Union there was a large, beautiful theater. The entrance was deceiving; from the outside it doesn't look like much, but immediately upon entering is an elaborate theater. I got there early and was in the bottom section closest to the stage, which made the stage look even more impressive. I went to an art school so we had a nice theater, but this one was even nicer. I was immediately captivated when the lights dimmed. I liked the size of the theater; it was big enough to fill my view and absorb me into the play but not so big as to make the story feel isolated from the experience as a whole. In my opinion, place plays a huge role in the good life. Location was one major influence for why I chose to come to UF. I love all the natural landscapes within a 2 hour range from Gainesville and knew I would be happiest in a place like this.
Artwork in the lobby area added to the grandeur of the theater
The Social Experience
I attended the play with my friend Heather. Heather also went to my high school, so she is one of my closest friends and has also seen the incredible, award winning plays our high school, a nationally ranked audition based arts school, has put on. We both got ready by dressing nicely and getting a good filling dinner beforehand. I was happy she was with me dressed nicely, because almost nobody was! I'm glad I went with Heather because it was fun talking about the play before, in the middle of, and after the performance. I am a firm believer that being in good company enhances any experience and can make anything enjoyable, and for that I believe that shared experiences is a key component to the good life.
The Cultural and Intellectual Experience
The play's settings, themes, and characters were not really relatable to my own life, but it did make me very grateful for my life and culture. Two prominent themes were poverty and the power/corruption of the church. As an athiest who has fortunately never had to face poverty, these themes did not relate to my life directly but made me feel fortunate to have never had to face these issues. I had read a lot about the issues of old factories and their conditions and the problems within the church in my classes, and the play depicted them as I had read about them. It just added a more personal aspect to what I had read about in textbooks. It did not, however, relate to anything in my life.
The Emotional Experience
Many of the characters in the play say and/or do less-than-noble things. The mother takes her problems out on a fellow worker who helped send her son to the seminary, Sara Bernhardt is often ungrateful and self absorbed, etc. Watching their dishonorable tendencies allows us as the viewers to reflect on our own words and actions. We face our worst sides, and "come clean" by reflecting on them and initiating change.
Me outside of the Constans Theater after the performance