The Divine: A Play for Sarah Bernhardt By: Charles Harris

Harris, Charles. “In front of box office in Constans Theater.” 2017. JPEG.

Spatial Experience: Entering the theater created a calm and relaxing sensation. It is a calm quiet warm place before the play begins. My seat was located about half way up on the far right side of the theater. Once the lights dimmed I felt excited about the play having enjoyed my previous experiences in the theater but in this case I noticed a lot of grumbling as many people had little to no interest in the play. The smaller size of the theater contributed to me noticing a lot more of the set then I would if it was bigger. Overall this type of atmosphere is soothing which illustrates the idea that certain places make you feel more happy then others.

Harris, Charles. “Projector in Constans theater” 2017. JPEG.

Cultural and Intellectual Experience:The play took place in the early 20th century during the industrial revolution and the rise of big business. The central idea of the play explored the influence of certain figures in people’s lives. These figures include priests, employers, and artists. All three contribute to our actions and thoughts on a daily basis. Before the performance I had a basic understanding of the time period gained through high school American history but it lacked any depth into the personal lives of the average person. Personally I do not feel that the performance influenced or altered any of my views on the issue addressed. Yes I agree that all three figures have a great deal of influence on people in general but I do not believe that theater has as much influence as the play lets on.

Harris, Charles. “Artwork inside Constans theater” 2017. JPEG.

The Social Experience: I attended the performance with two of my closest friends and then coincidentally ran into three to four other friends. I feel that being surrounded by my friends drastically enhanced the performance since it made the trip to the theater overall more enjoyable. It meant that the trip was more of an experience and I did not have to awkwardly sit alone before the play and during intermission. By having people around you it allows you to enjoy multiple aspects of experiences that cannot be experienced alone. In fact for some people including myself I feel that shared experiences drastically enhance most things since it allows you to better share memories.

The Emotional Experience: The play allows us to explore a less seen side of the industrial revolution. In textbooks the period is portrayed as a glorious revolution that at times had negative effects on the workers. However the play illustrates the reality that business and even the church had over the common people. These workers had little to no choices and suffered increasingly terrible conditions. For example, in the factory some workers lose their lives in rather gruesome ways. Two girls are decapitated by the machine while many children die from exposure to chemicals while hiding. Another example of the common people’s oppression is the frequent rape within the church. The victims had no outlet to seek help and so the acts simply continued. All of these examples are much better depicted in a visual format such as a play since it had a more shocking effect.

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