The Divine: A Play for Sarah Bernhardt Madison Berardo

The Spatial Experience

Growing up, I used to be involved in acting, dancing and cheerleading. Performing all my life has lead to my great appreciation for plays, recitals and competitions. Throughout my life, I have had the opportunity to perform in many different theatres and convention halls; ranging from The Algonquin Theatre to Disney's Wide World of Sports. The Constans Theatre reminded me of the very first theater I've ever performed in. When I walked in, it reminded me of home. When watching any kind of performance, the seating plays a crucial role. I chose to sit in the middle and not too close to the front, but not too far back. I wanted to see the full effect, and appreciate the play as much as I could. From personal experience, I know how much hard work and dedication that goes into each performance, but we do it because we love it. When the lights dimmed, it brought back memories of how I used to feel before I performed. I was always anxious, excited and nervous. However, after the performance started, I was full of adrenaline. The role of place in the Good Life is unique to each person. Everyone is happiest at a different place. My happy place used to be the stage, now it's the beach.

The Social Experience

I attended the Good Life performance with my roommate, Kate. She is now one of my best friends, and she is also from New Jersey. Before the performance, we got ready, and put on nicer clothes. We also researched the play, so that way we were aware of the plot before we arrived. Watching the play with a friend enhanced my experience by a lot. If I misunderstood or was confused by a part of the play, I could ask her. Also, it was just better to have a friend by my side for 2 1/2 hours. Sharing experiences plays an important role in the Good Life. Doing what you love by yourself is one thing, but sharing that experience with a good friend is another. Once you find friends who have similar interests, sharing experiences comes natural.

The Cultural and Intellectual Experience

The central issue that was addressed in the performance was inequality. Inequality is still a very relevant issue, despite the fact that the play took place in the 1900s. The inequality was mainly portrayed through child labor and poverty. I remember learning a lot about child labor my junior year in high school. As showed in the play, children would work in factories for an absurd amount of time for very minimal pay. Seeing all of the young children die, reminded me of when I learned about the Triangle Shirt Waste Factory fire in 1911, which killed over 100 workers. This made me thankful for all of the labor laws that were put into place. Back in the 1900s, the gap between the upper and lower classes was extreme. Today, the gap is not as big, but it is growing larger. I have been fortunate enough to live a very financially stable life. My parents worked very hard to get where they are today and they motivate me to do the same.

The Emotional Experience

The Divine: A Play for Sarah Bernhardt provided us an opportunity of katharsis because the performance inspires people to stand up for what they believe in. The play emphasized the ideas of poverty and religion and the characters in the play encourage the audience to do what they can to better humanity. The play dealt with some topics that people could be sensitive to, but the theatre is a place where all opinions are taken into consideration and not judged. Every person has a different opinion and believes in something different. The performance encourages students to take their opinions and beliefs and use them to make the world a better place.

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