This past week, I had the amazing opportunity to attend the University of Florida's production of The Divine, A Play for Sarah Bernhardt. The play was written by Michel Marc Bouchard and translated by Linda Gaboriau. The Divine, A Play for Sarah Bernhardt tells the story of two young seminarians, Michaud and Talbot, and their mission to deliver a message to the infamous theater actress, Sarah Bernhardt. Being able to experience the show live was absolutely incredible. Overall, I really enjoyed the play.
This is a picture of me before the show started
The Spatial Experience
Photograph taken from floridatheatre.wordpress.com
Photograph taken from foresightcgi.com
When I walked into the Constans Theater, I was completely overwhelmed by the atmosphere. The large amount of people that were crowding the theater lobby was incredible, created more hype and anticipation for the show. I was shocked to see how large the auditorium was when I entered the theater. Noticing the vast size of the theater created more excitement for me. The set design on the stage also intrigued me as I was walking down the aisle towards my seat. The stage resembled a seminary; there were a total of ten beds lined along the sides of the stage (five on each side) and a giant piece of stained glass in the center of the wall. I was not very fond of my seat location. Although there were plenty of other open seats around me, I decided to stay where the usher led me. I was sitting all the way at the end of the aisle next to the wall on the right side of the auditorium. From my point of view, I could see the left side of the stage clearly, but the right side was cut off. Place can play a major role in obtaining the good life. Often times, our mood is reflected on our location; if we enjoy our surroundings, then our mood will become brighter. If one is content with their location, then it'll be easier for them to achieve the good life.
The Social Experience
This is a picture of me after the performance
I attended the show with two of my friends, Regine and Hannah. Before going to the performance, we ate dinner at Tijuana Flats, planned out the pictures we needed to take, and read the synopsis of the play. I always enjoy spending time with good company, so going to the play with them was enjoyable. I was glad to have people to hang out with before, during, and after the show. I was also happy to be able to share and relate my experience of the play with two other people. Shared experiences really help enhance the good life. It is good to be able to look back and reminisce on good memories with people you love. Maintaining good relationships with people is one way one can achieve the good life.
The Cultural and Intellectual Experience
Photographed by David Cooper
Someone once said, "The earth without art is just 'eh'". Watching The Divine, A Play for Sarah Bernhardt helped me truly understand the importance of art in our lives. In the play, two priests-soon-to-be were ordered to send a message to the "Divine Sarah". They were told to tell her to step down from her "controversial" performance because it interfered with the church's social teachings. The arts are used as a way for one to express him/herself through entertainment. They can also be used to tell stories, retell history, or teach lessons. It is easy to underestimate the power of art because it is not a basic necessity in life. It is important not to repress the arts because it makes our world more lively and colorful. I truly understand this issue because I grew up being heavily influenced by the arts. At a young age, my mother introduced me to the fine arts: drawing, painting, and art appreciation. We used to always go on museum tours and sketch. Also, as a family tradition, my family and I watch musicals every time we go to New York City. Growing up, I was also heavily involved in dance. I started dancing when I was eight years old, and I'm still doing it today. Although I already had a great appreciation for the arts, The Divine, A Play for Sarah Bernhardt strengthened it.
The Emotional Experience
Photographed by David Cooper
The Divine, A Play for Sarah Bernhardt provides us an opportunity of Katharsis because it makes us reevaluate our appreciation of art in our lives. I feel like art is very underestimated nowadays. Not only can art be a form of entertainment, but it can break down social barriers for different cultures, provide ways for self-expression, and builds empathy. The power that art has can strongly influence us to achieve the good life.