The Social Experience
I attended the performance with six of my good friends. We all went to dinner together and then drove to the play. Experiencing theatre with my closest friends was awesome! I have always wanted to travel to New York and see a couple of Broadway shows, and this was a cool way to get a small taste of that. I think having shared experiences with people that you love is one of the biggest components to finding the good life. I am happiest when I am around my family and friends and I know my life would be so much different, and not as "good", if I didn't surround myself with the people I do.
The Spatial Experience
The Constants Theatre was a beautiful place for the play to be held- I had always passed by it when walking through the Reitz Union, but never stopped to really look at it. The artwork inside is incredible and I loved the aesthetic. My friends and I were seated in the middle-back of the auditorium, but because it was stadium seating, it didn't really affect my view of the stage. As soon as the lights dimmed and the audience quieted, the mood shifted. It became almost mysterious and the wonder in the air was tangible. I believe the role of the place is important in The Good Life. Sometimes being surrounded by nature, or art, or water has a huge affect on the moments you experience there. However, I think people play a much bigger role in this. Most of the time, it's not about where you are, but who you are with.
The Cultural and Intellectual Experience
This story took place in 1905 in Quebec City. The Catholic Church plays a large part in the play, which makes sense because the Church held the power in shaping the society of Quebec in the beginning of the 20th century. There were a couple central issues in the play, including moral and ethical obligations and social oppression versus privilege. The play is filled with sacrifice and differences in social class. I was not aware of the plot or themes of the performance before I saw it, but I really enjoyed it! I thought that the issues it brought up are still very relevant today- everyone experiences dissonance between their personal morals and ethics, and social oppression is ever present, even in our own community. I also really enjoyed the subplot of gender oppression- all the factory workers are women, which mirrors how women were treated in those days. Even today, women are not paid nearly as much as men and has become a huge issue in society.
The Emotional Experience
Theatre is such an incredible platform to discuss controversial issues because it allows passionate people to voice their opinions and talk openly about their beliefs without putting anyone on the spot. Many feel uncomfortable talking about the issues many plays, including The Divine: A Play for Sarah Bernhardt, bring up. But with theatre and acting, it is technically fictional, while still allowing those watching to really think and ponder over what is being discussed in a safe environment. The Devine provides us an opportunity to experience Katharsis, or "coming clean" because we can view the discussion of controversial topics from afar. Taking a step back is sometimes exactly what we need to develop a strong stance on a subject.