The Divine: A play for sarah bernhardt at Constans Theatre By Guilherme Vita

As hard as it is to believe I had never noticed the Constans Theatre before. Although it is located in the Reitz Union, probably the largest, most famous building in UF and the one I am most familiar with, I had never stopped by and taken notice of the beautiful theater that the university has. For this and other reasons I decided to go alone in order to take a moment and appreciate the magic of the play by myself. I believe in all sorts of experiences, and as amazing as it may be to watch it with all your friends, I opted for an unusual experience, enjoy the presence of my own company, make my own conclusions and simply value who I am as I spectate.

The Entrance
Last few people arriving

I was probably the last person to arrive, therefore the entrance was empty which was not what I expected, at all, however, as soon as swiped my Gator 1 and stepped in the theater I realized everyone was already seated anxiously waiting for the play to start, the light was dimming and the curtains were about to open, so I quickly grabbed a vacant seat at the back of the theater and got ready to appreciate the play. While I didn’t get to choose my seat I realized that by sitting at the back I had an ampler view of the stage and because of how the stage is set and the seats arranged connect to the play’s appealing and touching moments. As soon as the play started I noticed the lights dimming on top of the audience and brightening the stage, focusing on what everyone should be paying attention on. Lighting is crucial, I would even say that it may be one of the essences of the play. It leads the audience throughout the changes in scenery, highlights what the director wants us to focus on and also helps us distinguish time. Ultimately, I believe the environment played a key role on my experience and certainly does help to achieve the good life.


One of the perks of going by yourself is that the chances of meeting someone new increases, and that was exactly what happened. During the break I met Jake and Gabriela, we discussed what we had watched so far. All of us had different points of view about what we had witnessed, so it ended up being quite an interesting conversation, in which I acquired a broader knowledge of what the play attempted to express so far. As soon as the second half began I went my own way and continued to watch it by myself. On end of the play I joined a group of people that were commenting on the characteristics, aspects, techniques and topics the play presented (picture below). We also discussed the what was said on the Q & A, especially how each question was answered. Personally I noticed the actors reluctance to elaborate their answers. The shared experiences have a role of increasing the knowledge and enhance ourselves, making every experience much more valuable and undoubtedly contributing to the Good Life.

Post play discussion

The performance most likely directly affected my way of seeing the world, my decision making skills and my raw knowledge of how the world used to operate several years ago, although many issues are still relevant to society nowadays. Set in 1905 in Quebec City, the Canadian play raises a few polemic themes. Two of themes that most intrigued me and that are also present in the booklet are “Moral and Ethical obligations” and “Social oppression versus privilege”. Both themes are based on the moral and cultural values of the time, what was intriguing to notice was the way in which those were expressed by the actors, through a series of accurate and well-rehearsed techniques. I clearly remember how vivid and intense the acting was, with no exceptions.

Throughout the play the characters constantly struggle to make sane decisions, regarding important issues. For example, when the boss decides to disguise the poor working conditions in order to protect his industry or when Michaud hinders his love for theatre to protect his place in the church. Some of those cases even made me reflect about the political situation in my home country, where the powerful and wealthy politicians constantly make immature decisions that usually do not comply with their moral and ethical obligations. Additionally, this play made me more aware of the importance of change, acceptance of new ideas and most importantly the significance of art (all forms) in modern society.

The Devine: A play for Sarah Bernhardt Pamphlet

The Devine: A play for Sarah Bernhardt caused introspection in the audience’s part by subjecting them to emotional tales of hardship and strive. It made me take a moment to reflect and think more about my life, on how fortunate and ask myself how I can improve the society that I live in. The play taught us many lessons, rose awareness on important topics and therefore should always be taken seriously, however, it also contains slightly humorous moments making sure the audience is always comfortable and relaxed. Similarly, the Q & A was very helpful in clarifying a few doubts regarding the main themes of the play and humorous at times, when the actors would make jokes or simply do something funny to relax the audience and encourage more questions. Ultimately, I would also add that this play can be an opportunity for catharsis, especially if the audience is willing to take a moment and reflect in the deeper meanings of what is being presented.


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