The Divine: A Play for Sarah Bernhardt Madeline borcyk

A photo of The Divine Study Guide

The Spatial Experience

  • Upon entering the auditorium, I was surprised by the immensity and depth of the room. I had never been in the Constans Theatre and I didn't even realize such a large room existed in the Reitz
  • Emma and I sat close to the front of the stage and seeing the actors so close to us was certainly the best way to watch the play
  • I appreciated how the actors used all parts of the stage including walking up the sides and through the middle of the chairs, I wish we had sat near the walkway just for that experience
  • When the lights dimmed and the snow began to fall behind the church windows, I felt anticipation for the play to start and certainly didn't expect it to start with Sarah parading around the room followed by the noisy journalists
  • The size of the auditorium helped me focus on the play itself, it made me feel as if I was there as a part of their world in the play
  • In the Good Life, place is extremely important since it is where memories happen
  • Place can also affect the quality of life, whether you live in the Land of the Free or in a 3rd world country that is struggling to rise out of poverty
  • However, I am a firm believer that the activity or the area does not matter as long as you are enjoying spending time with the people around you
A photo of the chairs in the Constans Theatre

The Social Experience

  • I attended the performance with Emma Rudman
  • Before the performance, Emma and I ate dinner at Chick-fil-A so that we would not get hungry during the play and we dropped off our bags in my dorm since they were prohibited in the auditorium
  • Attending the play with Emma helped me to gather another perspective and reaction at the events that were occurring, for example, we shared the same shock at the death of Leo
  • Emma and I also commented on the elaborate costumes that the actors wore
  • Watching the play with strangers encouraged small talk during the intermission about our predictions on the outcome of the play
  • Like I said in The Spatial Experience, memories are more valuable when you make them with friends and loved ones
  • Companionship and shared experiences are extremely important for the Good Life in order to meet the person to spend the rest of your life with as well as creating lifelong friends and enjoying the little time we have on this earth with our families
A "selfie" of Emma and I in front of the Constans Theatre before the performance

The Cultural and Intellectual Experience

  • The central issues of the performance were the rape of Talbot and the injustice of the working conditions in the factory that Lee and Mrs. Talbot worked in
  • I knew near to nothing of the subject matter before attending. I read the brief plot description before the play started in The Divine Study Guide and that was all. The only thing I knew was that there would be surprising events that would catch me off guard, courtesy of my sister who attended the play before me
  • The performance did not change my views on child labor or on rape, it just revived my anger towards the occurence
  • I recently did a presentation on child labor for another class but it does not really affect me personally. Child labor laws affected me when I was a minor and while I am grateful for the regulations, the required half hour breaks were tedious
  • Rape, thankfully, is not personal to me either, yet I know girls who have been raped and as a small female college student, I am afraid that I could become a victim. My mother even sent my sister and I to school with small tasers disguised as flashlights in order to protect ourselves. 20-25% of women get raped while in college, I would not like to be a part of that statistic
Emma and I imitating the statues in the lobby of the Constans Theatre

The Emotional Experience

  • The Divine: A Play for Sarah Bernhardt allows an opportunity for katharsis in the topic of rape culture and in the way that humans turn a blind eye towards injustice
  • The play highlighted the evils of child labor which still exists today. Many consumers don't realize or care about the origins of their products. The play could offer a kartharsis for some in order for people to have a renewed passion against the practice
  • The play also displayed a terrible story of rape that is all too common in the world today. The play could offer a katharsis for those who are ignorant to the horrors of rape and to help people realize that rape is not only affecting women
An image online of Sarah Bernhardt sitting on top of the secret door that is hiding the dying Lee (Karas, James. "JAMES KARAS - REVIEWS AND VIEWS: THE DIVINE: A PLAY FOR SARAH BERNHARDT – REVIEW OF SHAW FESTIVAL PRODUCTION." JAMES KARAS - REVIEWS AND VIEWS, 1 Aug. 2015, jameskarasreviews.blogspot.com/2015/08/the-divine-play-for-sarah-bernhardt.html. Accessed 3 Feb. 2017.)

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