When I first entered the theater I had no expectations of what a play was supposed to be like and I thought it was going to be boring compared to other forms of entertainment I usually sustain myself with. The physical setting of the theater took place in a dimly-lit mini auditorium that had a stage which wrapped around the room, allowing actors to traverse around the audience. Thankfully, I was sitting towards the front of the auditorium, which in the end allowed me to observe more accurately the details and overall performance of the actors. As the lights dimmed and the audience quieted I just braced myself for the performance with nothing to expect or look forward to. The audience was quite large although I never really felt as if they were there, as everyone was respectful and with dark lights I could only ever notice the presence of the people in front and alongside me. I believe that the role of place has to do with circumstance in which there is a right time and a right place for everything. Place is the environment which you transition throughout the Good Life and find yourself in, whether it improves/changes the way you view life depends on the attitude you carry throughout it.
My friend Ulric Ast and I after the play (*consent given by Ulric Ast)
I attended the performance with two of my close friends and before the performance we had only prepared via reading the preview of the show. We had a rendezvous point in front of Reitz in which we proceeded to get food once we met up, of course this all happened a bit of time before the actual play started. Going with friends enhanced the experience in the sense that after the play I could discuss my views and critiques of the show with them. Also going to attend any event with others feels more enjoyable than going alone in my opinion as there is a sense of communal fun. Shared experiences in the Good Life contributes a large amount to developing memories and relations with others. This development ensures that one fulfills a role in the society that they live in by validating their position of communal thought. It hearkens to the old phrase "the more the merrier".
Cultural and Intellectual Experience
Considering the time and place of the theater, some of the main concepts that were illustrated in the play were class struggle, censorship, and circumstance. I think that the central issue of the play was that of circumstance and what I mean by circumstance is that the major events of the play occurred by the fate of plot. Talbot and Michaud are men that want to assume the role of seminarians, but come from two different backgrounds in which case Talbot wants to achieve his dreams of becoming a playwright and Talbot wishes to live in prosperity with his family through studying the works of a priest. At first they get off on the wrong foot, but it isn't until Sarah Bernhardt coincidentally arrives to Quebec city where the paths of the two seminarians cross and their relationship is developed to be a brotherly one. The issues of the play derived from circumstances leading to the misunderstandings between the main characters, the death of Talbot's brother, and the exposure to the poor of Quebec. In terms of circumstance, I never really viewed it as an issue that would be prevalent in works of literature or for the most part plays, until the cast mentioned it at the talk back. The other main concepts I was familiar with of course through high school literature of coming of age/revolutionary works. The performance did not necessarily change my views of what I was exposed to besides that of circumstance, as the play did well in demonstrating the class struggle with the juxtaposition of Talbot's family and that of Sarah Bernhardt, along with the censorship of the church encouraged by the preservation of the religion's reputation. In terms of relating to the theater I can't say that I have experienced any of Michaud or Talbot's difficulties, but rather I lie somewhere in between them being that I am not too rich, too poor, but also striving to achieve whatever the Good Life is.
I believe that the play allows us for the opportunity of katharsis by exposing us to the beauty of companionship/brotherhood through the relationship between Michaud and Talbot. With the dark past of Talbot, Michaud is somewhat able to guide Talbot to some sense of reflection and reckoning by helping him understand that ignoring the past is harder than coming to terms with it. By exposing the false exposition of the church represented by Brother Casgrain, Michaud helps Talbot come clean with his own past so that he can end his suffering and move on to attaining his future. In terms of having an opportunity for katharsis, the play indirectly tells all of us to reflect upon the difficulties of our lives knowing that there is a better tomorrow and that harm comes from neglecting the past regardless if it was great or not.