Welcome to my page! Allow me to take you on a journey of my experiences while watching The Divine: A Play for Sarah Bernhardt. Enjoy!
The Spacial Experience
When I first entered the auditorium, I was surprised to find it to be a very inviting space. The lights hit the stage at just the right angle and no matter where you sit, you have a perfect view of the stage. During the first half of the play I sat on the fourth row. It was strange at first, being so close to the actors. As the play progressed however, I was so engaged in the show that I was pleased to have been seated in that spot. After intermission, I was not able to obtain the same seat so I opted for a seat all the way to the far left corner. The experience was just as thrilling. The audience chatted away before the show started but I was quite surprised to find the voices simmer down as the show began. I think location is very important in any situation because it sets the tone for how the event will play out. If you are not comfortable, you will not have a good experience.
The Social Experience
I attended the play by myself. I chose to not go with friends because I wanted to pay attention and allow myself to become immersed in the play without the distraction of friends. I was very pleased with my decision because I was able to focus solely on the play itself and not those around me. I watched as groups of people laughed and joked throughout the play, not paying attention to the message of the show. I felt relieved to be able to just enjoy it by myself. It is interesting to notice how members of an audience can be so different from each other. Some gather hidden messages in a performance while others only see the superficial aspects of it. It just goes to show that not everyone interprets things in the same way others do.
The Cultural and Intellectual Experience
The play is set in 1905 in Quebec City. Although it is not a time period I could personally relate to, the message was clear. One of the main issues in the story was being able to stand up for your beliefs and show the world the truth- even if it is ugly. I really enjoyed the message because it was delivered in a way that I have never seen before. During the play, Sarah Bernhardt urges Michaud to speak up for himself and show the audience the truth that he has uncovered. He is very hesitant to reveal this because of the possible repercussions and because he fears people do not want to know about that subject, since it is wrong. Sarah disagrees and tells him that people want to see the truth, no matter how ugly, because the truth is real. I realized that this can be applied to every day life. Individuals crave the truth because it is not fabricated for his/her personal enjoyment. For example, I am more likely to watch a movie that is "based on a true story" because I believe it really happened and this makes me feel closer to the story.
The Emotional Experience
There are many topics that can make individuals feel uncomfortable because it is not what society deems as "normal". However, these topics must be addressed because they can be occurring all over the world. The Divine provides an opportunity for katharsis by bringing a very sensitive subject to the table. Rape or sexual assault is not a subject to be joked with and while people understand that, others do not know how real it is. Many are not informed in the matter and I believe that plays like The Divine allow for audiences to gain an insight in the matter and become better informed it these socially taboo topics. It also provides an incentive for those who are tied to these topics to be able to speak up or seek help.