The Divine: A Play for Sarah Bernhardt Andrew Shafer

The Spatial Experience

When I walked into the theatre, the first thing I noticed were the beds that were set up as props. Seeing the props before the beginning of the play led me to wonder what it would be about. I was seated on the side section of the theater. It gave a decent view of the play.

The Social Experience

I planned to go to the play with my friend Michael. However, we arrived at different times and were seated in different areas. We were able to sit next to each other for the question and answer with the actors after the show. Going with a friend gave me someone to talk about the play after it was over and see their perspective on the play. Before the play I talked to a stranger that was sitting next to me and we found out that we had a mutual friend.

The Cultural and Intellectual Experience

Watching the play gave me an insight to what it was like to be poor in the early 1900's. People had to work long hours in factories with dangerous conditions for very little pay. The only way out of poverty was to save up and go to a seminary even if being a priest wasn't right for you. The play addresses the issue of people with money or power having control over the lives of those in poverty. Before attending the performance I knew that people had to work in factories for low wages. However, I did not know that the conditions were so dangerous that a child could get beheaded.

The Emotional Experience

The play gives an emotional experience by including tragedies such as the woman's daughter being beheaded and Leo being suffocated. These tragedies show why child labor is wrong and factory owners should have regulation for how they are able to work and pay their employees. Also the fact that Talbot and Brother Casgrain were both abused as children by a priest exposes the issue of people in positions of power getting away with these crimes due to lack of oversight and people believing their word over someone with less power.

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