The Divine: A Play for Sarah Bernhardt Jacob Hehn

I was surprised at first when I approached the Constans Theatre because it seemed hidden in the corner of the Reitz Union. I was used to attending either stand-alone theaters, outdoor plays, or open auditoriums in high school, and from its outward appearance I expected the Constans Theatre to be cramped. I was surprised again when I entered the theater because it was actually quite spacious yet still served as an intimate setting. This was a positive experience for me because even though I did not sit near the front I still felt like I was close to the action on stage. Place is an integral part of the Good Life because our satisfaction (or dissatisfaction) with where we are can influence our feelings about our lives. People often have goals to retire to a certain place, and their achievement of this goal can constitute the Good Life for them.
I attended the play with some of my friends from my residence hall. We all walked to the Reitz together and took seats next to each other. Watching the play with friends was beneficial because we were able to share our thoughts of the play and our interpretations of the events during the intermission and when we had left the theater. Shared experiences allow us to bond with others, and this is important for achieving the Good Life because it is often through fruitful relationships with others that we are able to reach the Good Life.
The lobby was very crowded and it was difficult to take good pictures, so this is the best representation of "culture" that I was able to capture. The play exposed me to a culture which I thought would be somewhat unfamiliar to me: that of turn-of-the-century Quebec City. However, the cultural aspects displayed in the play were actually quite relatable. The class conflicts portrayed are still relevant today, particularly the higher class's lack of understanding of the lower class's way of life and vice versa. Seeing Talbot choose to overlook the misdeeds of the priest in order to improve his family's socioeconomic status introduced me to a reasonable justification for covering up a crime. Before seeing the play I did not think there was a good reason for not pursuing justice in a situation like the one covered in the play, but now I understand that extenuating circumstances may influence the victim to deviate from traditional ethical norms.
"The Divine" provides us an opportunity for catharsis by forcing us to confront the gross economic inequality that existed in our society (and has only marginally improved since the time of the play) and the religious misdeeds that have been covered up throughout history. The play forces us to acknowledge that our established authority figures and idols do not always live up to expectations.

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