The Divine: A Play for Sarah Bernhardt Darianna Samson, Chesney mcomber, Professor ryan duffy

The Spatial Experience: Before I even entered The Constans Theater, I noticed how small it was. I've been in The Reitz countless times without even noticing the theater. However, once I walked into the Theater, I noticed that it was quite large. I sat in the middle left side of the seating. My perspective of the play might be greatly different from that of someone sitting closer to the front. I heard everything the actors were saying and could see them changing the stage between the scenes. Someone sitting closer may have been able to see aspects of the actors' wardrobes that I couldn't since they probably saw everything on the stage as much larger and brighter than I did. They may have also had a greater or lesser appreciation for the props as they probably saw the transitions better than I did. When the lights dimmed, I noticed how quiet the theater became and was better able to focus on the play. The theater was huge which kept making me compare the audience in which I was sitting to that which would have originally wanted to view Sarah Bernhardt. Placement plays a very key role in The Good Life. When a person considers the quality and meaning of their life, they often consider major events. Those major events might have had very different meaning to people who were in a difference place with respect to them. For example, maybe the best moment in a woman's life was when she bore her child. The doctor who was in a different place (both literally and figuratively) in that occurrence probably places value on that birth as it being just another birth.
The Social Experience: The above piece is from Pictify by Alice Vieira. Throughout the play, it becomes obvious that Sarah Bernhardt was fabulous-- too fabulous for her day. She was hated by The Catholic Church as she went against their traditional values. Her attitude is displayed in the above photo and it accurately represents my feelings toward the people who sat near me. I did not go to the play with any friends, so I was seated by strangers. As soon as I sat down, the guy sitting next to me used much profanity to portray the message that he would be leaving the play early. To be more exact he said "we" would be leaving early due to a family emergency. This made me assume he was related the the guy sitting next to him, so I asked them how they knew each other and the guy sitting next to him told me that they didn't know each other. He looked just as irritated as I felt about the rude guy sitting between us. I then asked the person I sat by why he said "we" were leaving. At this he attempted to inform me that all three of us would be leaving early. At intermission, he stood up to leave and was super mad that we wouldn't go with him. I made friends with the guy who was sitting by him after he left as we bonded over a mutual annoyance and began discussing Siddhartha. Unfortunately another annoying guy showed up near the end of the play wearing a tank top and loudly complained about the performance during it. To get ready for the play I went through my normal shower routine and dressed nicely. It was disappointing to see that the guy who joined had done neither of those things. Shared experience plays a major role in The Good Life. It creates relationships which are vital to living meaningful lives. I made friends with the nice guy that I met there and that increased the overall quality of my experience of the play.
The Cultural and Intellectual Experience: The performance was quite eye-opening. Of course I had done some research on who Sarah Bernhardt was before going to the performance, but none of my research made the cultural contrast so apparent. My family is from Montreal, so I have heard various stories about my step-dad going to catholic school and having to recite the ten commandments in order to avoid being spanked by the nuns. I have heard that Quebec culture used to be very traditional with little acceptance for children misbehaving and that the poor were very poor and the rich very rich. I wasn't aware that the Catholic church ruled the province, however. In the performance, they sent a messenger to relay to Ms. Bernhardt that she was banned from performing in their city. That's something that would not happen today. Today, Montreal is increasingly diverse with acceptance for different forms of expressions. Last time I was there, there were multiple people approaching a microphone in the street to openly state their opinions on different topics. The city views their cathedrals as art works and no longer revers them as higher than the government.
The Emotional Experience: The above photo is by Felix Nadar in 1864. It represents the emotion present in the performance. Dr. Pagan was right when she said that theater displays some "topics that are socially uncomfortable". In fact, I was wondering how a play involving child molestation is mandatory for a course at UF. Being forced to think about such topics can have great mental health consequences for victims of such crimes. Beyond providing an example of how priests used to rape young boys, the performance digs into the issue of ignorance. It shows people blindly following a force that they consider powerful (The Catholic Church), cruel conditions of poverty (children worked to death in the factory), and rich people being inconsiderate (the actress still wanting to buy boots after she found out the poor conditions in which they were produced). This performance offers a chance at katharsis in that all of these things are still relevant today. People still blindly follow their respective political parties. Rich people still take advantage of the poor. People purchase Nikes that they know were made by child slaves. Seeing these things provides us the opportunity to cleanse our actions.

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