The Divine: A Play For Sarah Bernhardt Daniel Lai

Before I even walked into the auditorium, the mood of the setting was already in place. At first I didn't know what I was getting myself into, but as soon as I saw many of my classmates dressed up in formal and casual clothing as I walked into the auditorium wearing flip flops and a jacket, I was already intimidated. The very low level of noise and light created a sense of eeriness in the building, especially since the light on the stage was very low as I first walked into the auditorium. Luckily, I was able to sit in the middle of the auditorium, giving me a very central view of the stage. This made it easier to zone in onto the performance as a whole which made it easier for me to concentrate on the play. Although the light and noise were very minimal to begin with, as soon as the lights became more dim and the noise level went down even more, the setting of the play became even more ominous, giving the play a sense of darkness even before it started. Since the auditorium was not that large, the voices of the actors and actresses were easily heard, making it easier and more enjoyable to experience. Another benefit of the small auditorium was that the talk-back after the play seemed less individual and more collective. I felt as though I connected with those who were asking questions during the talk-back which made easier to learn from this experience. Any setting, such as an auditorium or a quiet spot in nature, is important to the good life because people perceive places differently; one can achieve the Good Life when one finds the one place where he/she can find peace with oneself.
At first I was going to attend the performance alone, but the day before the play, my friend Konnor asked me if I wanted to watch the play with him so I gladly accepted. Before going to the play, Konnor and I read the brief summary on the performance so we were able to have a general idea of what we were about to experience. Since we did not know of any dress code, we just put on some warm clothes and walked to the Constans Theatre. Attending this play with a friend helped me understand the play dramatically; we were able to compare our different perceptions on the play which gave both of us a better understanding of what we witnessed. It also made the play more enjoyable since I had someone to talk to during the intermission. The idea of shared experiences is important to the Good Life because this idea introduces different perspectives of similar things into peoples lives, ultimately contributing heavily to the Good Life.
Considering that this play is set in the early 1900's, one of the main issues addressed in this play is the problem of censorship. Before attending the play, I didn't know a single thing about what I was going to watch, but based on the time period in which the play took place and the fact that Sarah Bernhardt was center of the play, I knew the performance had something to do with the role of women in that time period along with conformity and deceit. After seeing the play with my own eyes, I realized that censorship really does more harm than good. It usually ends up provoking those who are being censored to do the one thing that they are trying to be told not to do, creating a more catastrophic situation. Censorship is takes a huge toll on my life, especially because I always want to speak my mind, so everyday I have to watch what I say and do, which makes me feel empty from time to time.
This play gives every viewer an opportunity for katharsis because it brings out the true humanity in everybody. After watching the performance, it is easy to recognize that not everyone has the same view and perspectives on everything; everyone is different in some way. This makes perfection impossible to achieve. This play helps people realize that humans are really only as perfect as they believe they are. The imperfections of humans are only as imperfect as the person who perceives them in that way. Since censorship is such a main theme in the performance, it is easier to understand humanity and the beauty in its imperfections, especially since nobody can achieve perfection when there is no such thing as true perfection within the human race.

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