The Divine: A Play for Sarah Bernhardt Reanne Mathai


Me in front a sign at the Constans Theater. Photo taken by Christopher Wallack

I had a great time watching the play "The Divine: A Play for Sarah Bernhardt!" The play had so many plot twists that I definitely not expect. The acting was exceptional and the play itself pointed out a lot of corruption in the Catholic church. All in all, this experience made me want to go to more plays and learn more about the world around me through the theater.

The Spatial Experience

A sculpture outside of the theater entrance. Photo taken by Christopher Wallack

When I entered the auditorium, I was awestruck. It was so beautiful. The stained glass imitation in the background made the stage seem increasingly majestic. The size of the room was exactly what it should have been. It was big enough to where it was given an important feel, but small enough to where it was not overwhelming. My seat, additionally, was in perfect view of the stage. My seat was almost in the exact middle of the room. No one blocked my view, but I was also far enough away from the stage that I could see everything that was going on at once. I feel like this position enhanced my experience. If I had a bad seat and could not see the play as well as I did, I probably would not have enjoyed it as much as I did. I think the role of place in life has this same effect. If you are not in the right place, or end up in a bad one, you probably will not enjoy life as much as someone who is in a good position. However, the best thing about place is that you can always move to a better one if you choose to, enhancing your life in the process. When the lights finally dimmed and the audience quieted, I felt so excited. It felt as though I was about to see something that was going to change my life forever.

The Social Experience

Chris and I in front of the entrance to the theater. Photo taken by Christopher Wallack

I attended the play with my boyfriend, Chris. To get ready for the performance, I tried to do some research on what the play would be about. Chris and I also had to coordinate what day we were going, what times worked for both of us, and that we both reserved tickets. Going with someone else changed the experience because I was able to talk to have someone to discuss it with afterwards. We talked about what we liked, disliked, and would have changed about it for a long time while we were at dinner. Going with someone else also made the experience less awkward. If I had to go into the theater all by myself, I would have felt uncomfortable, especially since I would have had to sit right next to strangers on either side. Shared experiences are important to the good life because they help foster relationships. Without close relationships, people often feel alone and unloved by others. Because I have close relationships in my life, I am able to feel happy, loved, and supported on a daily basis.

The Cultural and Intellectual Experience

Me in front of the entrance to the theater. Photo taken by Christopher Wallack

This play was really significant for me. All of my family has grown up in the Catholic church and grown up believing that it has always been good. I learned a lot about the church's corruption when I took history classes in high school. However, reading or hearing about something is much different than seeing it personally. Although I know the acts occurring in this play were not real, they captivated my attention and felt as if they were. A lot of the times, people see the Catholic church, a religious institution, in solely a positive light. However, it is important to keep in mind that the church has done wrong as well. Although I still believe in my faith, I do more thoroughly understand the corruption that took place as a part of the institution's past. I also appreciate the work that has been done to correct the wrongdoings of the church in the present day. I believe that in the future I will continue to keep this in mind and educate others about it.

The Emotional Experience

Me in front a sign at the Constans Theater. Photo taken by Christopher Wallack

The play provides us with an opportunity for "katharsis" by allowing us to understand that even a religious institution that has been around for hundreds of years can still make mistakes. The play exposes acts of corruption the church was involved in during its earlier years. Rape, the destruction of innocence, and the secrets of the Catholic church are not something that is usually able to be brought up in a conversation that follows cultural norms. However, the play enables us to bring this topic to the table and thoroughly discuss it. It allows us to understand that an institution that had, and arguably still has, a lot of power in the government and people's lives is capable of doing wrong. The play points out these flaws in a way that most people never would have dared and gives us an opportunity to gain knowledge, take a stand, and change our society for the better.

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