The Divine: A Play for Sarah Bernhardt Emily miller

The Spatial Experience: The venue of a certain event plays a big role on the feeling and performance of a play. When I first entered the building, I was confused at first because it felt just like the Reitz Union. However, when I walked up to the actual auditorium, my mood was suddenly shifted. I begin to feel a part of the show. Especially for me, I have grown up in the theatre and auditorium scene because I have danced my whole life. Walking into the auditorium I gained a sense of comfort and belonging. I was excited to be on the other side of the stage and encourage the performers with supporting them. When the lights begin to dim and the audience silenced, my body shut down and was covered in chills. It was amazing to me how sudden the audience could respond to a change of atmosphere without even realizing it. The size of the auditorium was a perfect size for an event like this. The auditorium was not too big, and not too small. I feel if the auditorium was bigger, then the audience would not be as involved in the play.

The Social Experience: I was able to attend the performance with a group of my best friends. We all decided to go together to enjoy it and use it as an excuse to hangout. All of my friends are taking this class, but not all of them are in my same lecture. To get ready for the performance we all went to dinner together and rode together. Also, we contacted some of our other friends that went to the showing before us. We asked these friends what to expect and how to prepare for the show. Everyone was excited to be able to go together and experience the same thing. Attending this performance with friends made my experience greater. We all were able to react to certain things together and relate to some of the events. It was a way to go out together and do something different than what we were used to. Experiencing new things together helps to build our friendship. This is very important in the Good Life. Being open to new experiences and keeping a positive outlook on the experiences helps one appreciate other things more.

The Cultural and Intellectual Experience: The culture that was expressed in the performance was vastly different from the culture that we experience. Society was different back then and so was the life values of the people. The characters in the play cared greatly and respected every commandment and ruling of the Catholic community. Of course today people still greatly respect and follow the Catholic community, but only to a certain extent. The community wanted Sarah to no longer perform her plays in the area and commanded her to stop. However, today art is much more greatly appreciated. Before attending the performance, I was aware that back then and in those times the Catholic community was very demanding in how and who followed them. It was a time of difference and where figuring out faith was a major component of how one lived. My views on this issue were not very changed throughout the play. I have a solid foundation of belief on the matter of we are able to make decisions and choose our own pathway. I do not agree with shooting down the will and talent to portray yourself and life through art, because art is a beautiful thing that should be appreciated.

The Emotional Experience: Katharsis is a Greek word for "coming clean." The performance I watched is a perfect representation of this word because the whole performance focuses on coming clean. This performance goes against the power of the superior and aims for the people to express themselves and do what they love. Coming clean can have different views and different meanings to certain people. However, I believe that coming clean deals with letting go of all that holds one back and allowing one to be his or her complete self. The play does this because the Archbishop is demanding Sarah to no longer perform. Sarah lives for the theatre and performing, and so do her fans. Sarah goes through much drama and struggle, but eventually she "comes clean" to allow herself to be expressed freely through the arts. The play not only provides katharsis for Sarah, but it also provides katharsis for us. It does this because it gives the audience hope and faith that we can accomplish anything we set our mind to as long as we stay true to ourselves.

*All photos were taken by me, and I gained permission from each person to use them in my pictures.

Created By
Emily Miller
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Photos were all taken by me, and I gained permission from each person in the photos to use.

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