Discovering the Good Life (The Divine Addition) by jessica lien

The Spatial Experience

Google image of Constans Theatre

Upon entering the auditorium, I was surprised at how many students were enrolled in the Good Life class. My friend Marina and I arrived early to ensure that we got "good" seat for the play, but the theatre filled up quickly. In reference to the picture, I was seated in the black section up close to the left (facing the stage). Since my seat was next to the extension of the stage in the audience, I was able to see the actors and set with more detail than viewers seated further back. When the lights dimmed and the audience quieted I got excited to see the actors and begin the story that was being told. With a smaller theatre, there was a more intimate tone overall between the actors and audience. In the Good Life, the role of place is important because in order for a person to prosper, they need an environment they feel comfortable in. Without this safe space, an individual will not reach their full potential.

The Social Experience

Taken inside Constans Theatre

I attended the performance with my friend Marina. Prior to the play, I did not research it so I would watch it with an open mind. The only preparation I had was reading the playbill while the theatre was filling up. Attending the performance with my friend gave me another point of view of the values and topics they addressed. A person is the sum of their experiences. Without sharing these experiences with others, you miss out on other perspectives and never question yourself. In the Good Life, shared experiences is important because you need to question yourself every now and again in order to grow.

The Cultural and Intellectual Experience

Picture from

Considering the time and place of the play, the central issue addressed was oppression. Prior to the performance, I was aware of the harsh working conditions involved in child labor back in the 20th century, and the power of the church, but I had only a little understanding of the pressure to censor the arts. The performance added the difficult position the parents of the child workers were in to my understanding. In addition, the constant presence of the press in Sarah's dressing room demonstrated the relationship between the arts and society as a whole. The play does not relate to anything happening in my life.

The Emotional Experience

Photo taken before entering the theatre

The Divine: A Play for Sarah Bernhardt provides us with an opportunity for katharsis by demonstrating others attaining this. With each introduction of wrong-doings throughout the play, the audience is constantly sorting the morals and values followed or dismissed by the characters. The audience is presented with both sides of every situation and reflects on what they would do if they were in that scenario. Katharsis is easier to obtain after seeing other situations that make you think about how you really acting towards others.

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