Spatial Experience- I have been in a few theaters before but I wasn't sure what to expect walking into the Constans Theatre because of its location. When I entered I found that it was very impressive and I had underestimated it's size. Luckily I got good seats because I got there early and sat right in the middle only about 4 rows from the stage. This spot really helped me see the actors emotions and even though it was easy to get focused on one, I made a point to look around at the other actors even if it wasn't during their lines. When the lights dimmed I was anxious for the play to start because it built suspense. They also had snow flurrying from behind the set to establish the tone for a winter day. Since the auditorium is so large, when it goes quiet it shows how intrigued everyone is in the play and has similar effects for me. The role of the Constans Theatre in the good life is to educate and entertain people in ways that are sometimes foreign to people to show another perspective.
Social Experience- I attended the play with two of my friends and we all got ready together. Once we realized we had to get dressed up, we all put on a nice outfit and walked to the theatre together, took our pictures, and got our seats in the front. Attending the play with my friends sometimes made me want to turn and comment on one of the scenes to see if they had the same reaction as me, but I realized I shouldn't interfere with their perceptions and waited until the play was over to discuss. Shared experiences can be very beneficial to obtaining the good life because friends often help you see things in a positive light and make a common task fun and enjoyable. However, the ultimate way to obtain the good life is through one's own perceptions so it is important to realize that although you may be experiencing something at the same time as your friends, they may have understood it in a different way.
Cultural and Intellectual Experience- This play criticizes social, political and cultural beliefs that are prevalent in Quebec City around 1905. By going against the norms of the time it allows the audience to consider the moral and ethical obligations that we face in our own societies. I read the synopsis before going to watch the play so I had a little knowledge of what to expect regarding the contrast between social oppression versus privilege. The performance didn't change my views about the topic but did give me a change to see both perspectives from Talbot's and Michaud's point of view. Social classes are prevalent in our society, even more so now with political issues our country faces, but we should work to limit the gap between the privileged and the impoverished.
Emotional Experience- "The Divine: A Play for Sarah Bernhardt" provides us with a means of catharsis by acknowledging topics that usually go unnoticed and criticizing them based on their own beliefs. If your beliefs happen to be similar to what the actor's lines are than it is very satisfying to hear someone say to a theater full of people the words that you may be too embarrassed to say allowed. Sometimes if their beliefs are contradictory it is nice to see why they feel that way and maybe if you let yourself have an open mind, it can mitigate your strong, one-sided beliefs. Even after seeing both sides sometimes you may still feel strongly about a topic and the scene just proves to you why, which can also be relieving. One scene that relates well to this cathartic process is when Talbot admits to being sexually assaulted by the priest at his old school and Brother Casgrain disregards that it ever happened. This scene enraged me at first because it is immoral, but once the scene played out and pointed out the hypocrisy of it, it proved to be cathartic that my point was getting across before my eyes.
Anderson, Alexandra. Constans Theatre, Gainesville, Florida.
Anderson, Alexandra. Constans Wall Art, Constans Theatre, Gainesville, Florida.
Anderson, Alexandra. The Divine: A Play for Sarah Bernhardt program, Constans Theatre, Gainesville, Florida.