Good Life Performance: The Divine: A Play for Sarah Bernhardt By Shrey Patel

The Spatial Experience: My feelings entering the auditorium were calm. However, I felt a little excited because of the seats that my friends and I were able to have. We were on the side, next to the stage and the door in which the actors and actresses came running through at the start of the play. Because of the seats, I was very close to the action of the play, and this made the experience more enjoyable and exciting. When the lights dim and the audience is quieted, to me, that makes me feel that reality has become suspended and that the only thing that is reality is what is happening on stage. In a way, a play almost feels like a movie only because as an audience member, we ignore true reality and perceive what is going on stage as reality. This occurs because there is darkness and silence, and these environmental factors make this feeling possible. Place plays a huge role in living the good life. Determining on how close one can get to his or her experiences is a true determinant in how one can live life. Sharing a meaningful experience in living the good life can be determined by location. For instance, imagine your favorite team is playing in the Super Bowl. Would it not be a more meaningful experience if you were able to go to the game and watch your team win or if you watch it on TV? Sometimes location is everything and can sometimes be a huge determinant on how one perceives an experience in living the good life. Being in the right location like I was in this play can really enhance an experience.

The Social Experience: I attended the performance with four of my friends. Before the performance, we met in the lobby before heading into the auditorium and took a couple of pictures together. The only sort of preparation we undertook before the start of the play was reading through the brochure that they handed us while entering the auditorium. Attending the play with friends positively enhanced my experience of the play. In a way, we were able to share the same emotions and reactions, and knowing this made the experience more exciting. Being able to share an experience makes the experience one that can have always be remembered. In my opinion, people usually recall memories of experiences they have had that involved others. The reason for this is that we usually share memories with others. While one can have his or her own personal memories, it is more enjoyable to have memories that involve others and being able to recall those memories with those people. And by being able to do this, one can live a good life.

The Cultural and Intellectual Experience: The setting of this play was in Quebec City in 1905. The issues addressed in the play was the injustices that the working/poor class suffers because of capitalism and even religion. One injustice that was addressed was the exploitation of child workers and the unsafe working conditions that were a part of this era that was the Industrial Revolution. Because of this issue, the time period of this play reflected the Progressive movement that occurred to address the injustices that resulted from the Industrial Revolution. By learning this part of US History back in high school, this was an underlying foundation that helped learn about the subject matter of the play before attending it. I did not feel that this performance changed my views about this particular issue because of long ago it was. However, this play reminds of the current injustices that our society faces today in this day in age. One thing this play really said to me that I thought was important was being able to stand up and address the corruptness, the injustices, and the hypocrisy in society. And doing this can help one live a good life because striving for objective goals that benefit society as a whole, to me, is essential in living a meaningful life and therefore, a good life. I did not find that the actual subject matter could relate to my life personally, but what I took from the play was that there will be challenges in society that will hinder my journey to living the good life and as a societal member, I know I must contribute to making society better by trying to fight its injustices.

The Emotional Experience: This play provides a great opportunity for catharsis. As an audience member, a play is able to do this because of the environment that the audience watches the play. Because it is dark and silent with only the words and action coming from the stage, there is a lot of moments that an audience member has to reflect on their own lives and how it relates to this play. Watching how these injustices plague society in this play made me relate more to our issues in society today. I appreciated the courage that was reflected in the play for standing up to the issues in society. And it was this courage that reflect the catharsis in this play, which gave the audience member one of the meaningful messages this play was trying to send to its audience. This play wanted the audience to reflect on its own societal and take the courage to make a difference in correcting these issues.

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