The Divine: A Play for Sarah Bernhardt and how it Relates to the Good Life By jenna toler

Image Source: Foresight Construction Group

The Spatial Experience: As I entered the building, a cool rush of air collided with my body. As I descended the stairs, my eyes began to adjust to the dark maroon color of the theatre. I was excited to see the play, and while I waited for the show to begin, I thumbed through the playbill; enjoying the crisp smell of freshly printed paper. I was seated towards the end of the second row closest to the stage. From there, I could see the stage from all sides. As the lights dimmed, a hush fell over the audience and this moment lingered as the footsteps of the actors echoed through the pitch black theatre. The auditorium is of medium size. This amount of space allowed for the echoes of the actors to ricochet through the room. From the moment Meyer's voice boomed through the auditorium, I knew that the play would be special. Place plays a role in the Good Life, because it provides a foundation. Just like the setting of a book, a place provides an area for you to explore the Good Life.

The Social Experience: I attended the performance on my own. But while waiting for the play to begin and during intermission, I introduced myself to the two people sitting next to me, and one in front. To get ready for the performance, I picked out an outfit according to the guidelines for what to wear to a play. I chose to wear black dress pants, low healed shoes, and a nice shirt. I also braided my hair out of my face and did my makeup. I believe that attending the show alone, instead of with friends, enhanced the experience for me. I was able to step outside of my comfort zone and make new acquaintances. This is an important aspect of my personal growth, because I used to find comfort in going with places with people I know, so that I did not have to talk to new people. Now, I go most places alone and have learned that I love to meet new people. Shared experiences allow for us to experience emotion through human connection. I believe that human emotion is an important aspect to the Good Life, it helps us grow as people.

The Cultural and Intellectual Experience: A performance such as this, shows you many perspectives of the human mind. It gave me the ability to see how different statuses affect a person's upbringing. I also saw various sides to how our culture is viewed. Set in Quebec City during the 1900's, the play shed light on poverty conditions, hypocrisy within the catholic church, and, possibly most importantly, the mistreatment of children. Before attending the performance, I knew the terrible poverty conditions of the 1900's, as well as the illegal use of children to work in factories, but I knew very little about the wrongdoings within the Catholic Church. I have had no change in views from attending this performance. Instead, my views have become more deeply rooted. The exploitation of children, while still holding so many people at poverty level, is disgraceful. The subject does not have any relationship to my own life, but it speaks to me strongly, because I believe everyone should be treated respectfully and I wish we could rid of the hypocrisy that ruins all the good.

The Emotional Experience: The play targeted a lot of negative parts of society. It was socially uncomfortable to discuss the raping's of young boys within the Catholic Church. Politically contentious views can be seen when the actor's have a dispute with the religious, political leaders about being allowed to perform subject matter that can be found offensive to the church. On the other hand, religious irreverent's can be seen in the actors disregard for religious views. Finally, for this time, the actors display of a "pleasurable" life over a "holy" life, shows a culturally radical aspect. In whole, this play highlights issues as listed above, and provides the different perspectives of a "correct" life, while exposing the downfalls of each quality of life. The wealthy actors were blinded to the poverty stricken world below, the poorer class was blinded by the fruitful offerings of a corrupt religious center, and the religious center blindly allowed for their own religion, that they preached, to destroy other's lives.

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