The Divine: A Play For Sarah Bernhardt Ashleigh Maher

The Spatial Experience

I had never been to the Constans Theatre before, so this was a new experience for me. I had no idea there even was a theatre in the Reitz Union, but now I know. It was a very nice theatre and our seats were a little far from the stage, but it did not affect my view too much. The auditorium was a good size, and the play told a part of the life of Sarah Bernhardt, a famous actress. She lived how she wanted to, and did not let anyone stop her from doing what she thought was "divine".

Entering the Theatre

The Social Experience

I attended the performance with my friend and roommate Kristen. She kept saying how this was "nothing like Broadway" and I believe her. The couple sitting to the right of me made out during the first half of the show which was not fun for me. Then, they then left during the intermission was rude. Attending the play with my friend made it much more enjoyable, I believe the Good Life is better experienced with friends.

In the lobby of the Constans Theatre

The Cultural and Intellectual Experience

The play opened my eyes about how harsh society was during the time it was set in. Awful working conditions, hidden child labor, and extreme poverty were some of the things discussed in this play. The central issue was the moral standings on Sarah Bernhardt's play coming to the small town of Quebec City. I did not know who Bernhardt was before this play, and now I know she was as eccentric as they described her. Her "antics" brought on a new light on theatre and she helped progress to bring it to where it is today.

Playbook Cover

The Emotional Experience

This play definitely presented something "culturally radical" at the time, because it strongly questioned the morals of a small town. "Katharsis" was most definitely achieved in the presentation, because at the end, everyone found who they wanted to be. The characters realized that their standings were incorrect and that there must be a change to go on with life. Even Bernhardt "came clean" by realizing how her play affected people. This play showed the profound change in society during the Industrial Revolution, aided by theatre.

Talk Back

At the Talk Back section, the actors and actresses who played the characters talked more extensively about their roles. They discussed the cultural context of the United States when the play was made and the individual and deeper struggles of the people they portrayed. Many of the actors were students working on projects for their degrees. They discussed who wrote the play, Michel Marc Bouchard, who was Canadian and famous for many other works.

Kristen and I leaving

Leaving the Theatre

This picture is of Kristen and I leaving the play from the Reitz Union. It was a very rainy and cold day. We did not realize how long the play was, so we were starving. We ended up going to Chipotle and it was delicious.

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