The Divine By Jessica Pearce

University box office sign inside the Constans Theatre lobby

Spatial Experience

When I entered the theater, I felt like I had traveled through time. I think theater has an old-time ambiance. I sat center stage in the front seats. This helped me focus on the play and not on my surroundings. When the lights went down, I felt like I was about to watch a movie and I got excited to see the play. The large size of the auditorium made the play feel like a very grand, extravagant event. The space enhanced the play's performance and made me enjoy the play even more. This enabled me to live the good life.

Wall art inside the Constans Theatre lobby

Social Experience

I attended the play with two of my friends. I asked my friends what time they were arriving at the theater so I could meet them before the show. I showered and got dressed. Unfortunately, I was in a rush and neglected to remember you are supposed to look nice when attending a play. I think how I dressed negatively impacted my experience because I felt self-conscious for not being dressed properly compared to everyone else. Attending the performance with my friends made the experience more enjoyable because we quietly interacted with each other during the play. For instance, I asked my friend Bethany what one of the actors said during a scene because I had not heard him correctly. We also laughed with one another at the light, humorous dialogue lines toward the beginning of the play. I think sharing this experience with my friends made our friendship stronger and the event more enjoyable. In my opinion, sharing experiences with other people makes you happier and lets you have a good life.

Object inside the Constans Theatre lobby

Cultural and Intellectual Experience

The performance highlighted the issue of lower class poverty during the Sarah Bernhardt Era. I had never heard of Sarah Bernhardt before attending this play, so I learned a lot about her and about the social strife in the village she visited. After seeing the performance, I felt compassion for the lower class individuals slaving away in factories. The play brought that problem to my attention and was not something I had thought about in depth prior to watching The Divine. The subject matter did not have a relationship to anything in my own life. If it would have, I think the play would have been more meaningful and profound.

Outside the Constans Theatre

Emotional Experience

The Divine: A Play for Sarah Bernhardt depicted many uncomfortable, harsh themes. The main character of the play was sexually abused by the priest and his younger brother died in the hands of the factory. Drugs and sex were involved as well. All of these elements contributed to displaying the sad condition of the lower class during this time. I was also reminded that poverty is still a problem in the world. The play made me look at my self and wonder what I was doing to help fix or alleviate the social strife in my own country. I experienced katharsis because I was able to be honest with myself or 'come clean' about my thoughts and actions toward the central issue. The actors experienced katharsis, too. In the talk-back, the actors explained how much research they put into their characters. They learned about the time period and its social problems. This allowed them to examine their own lives and to realize or 'come clean' about how fortunate they were compared to their characters.

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