The Divine Life An experience at constans theatre


Upon entering the theatre, you view colorful sculptures as you approach the ticket scanner. When I entered the auditorium, I could feel the overall anxiety and excitement from the audience that complements the moments leading up to any performance. I sat towards stage right in the middle of the theatre, and I felt as if I could see all aspects of the show incredibly well. Once the lights dimmed, the audience quieted, and the actors came out into the crowd, all of the viewers immediately became entranced with the action. Even for a Tuesday night, the auditorium felt incredibly filled with eager students. Being in the theatre surely intensified the overall experience; it seems as if I could truly gage my reaction different pieces of the play based on how others felt.


I attended The Divine: A Play for Sarah Bernhardt with some of closest friends from my sorority and some of our male friends. Before the performance began, we all studied the “review guide” handed to us prior to entering the auditorium in order to attain an understanding of the plot and background of the play. Attending the performance with friends definitely heightened the experience since during intermission and at the end we could all relay our different views on what we had just witnessed. Shared experiences definitely enhance the best aspects of life because, through others, we are able to learn and grow in ways that differ from our own. (Photographed with Danielle Riley, Callee Sandberg, Isabel Matt, Amy Cook and Emily Miller. Used with explicit permission.)


The setting of the story is the early twentieth century in Quebec City. The Central issue addressed in the performance concerned the archbishop’s wish to forbid the most popular actress of the time Sarah Bernhardt from performing in their city. Before attending the performance, I knew little about the subject matter; however, growing up and continuing to practice Catholicism, I am knowledgeable in some of the ways and norms of the Church and her authorities. The performance enhanced my awareness on the dangers of censorship and the importance of the arts.


The Divine: A Play for Sarah Bernhardt provides us an opportunity for kartharsis in several instances. It allows us examine what we truly value in our lives as Talbot resists his family’s wishes for him to become a priest. We can take note of our human tendency for gossip and over-interest – that may at times be considered inappropriate - in the personal lives of others as Michaud pursues Talbot in order to write a proper storyline for Sarah Bernhardt. The performance suitably calls into attention the importance of freedom of expression especially within the arts, regardless of the conflicting views that may arise.

Created By
Ruby Knopik

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