The Spatial Experience
Upon entering the lobby of Constans Theatre, I was entranced by the colorful and decorative fixtures strung up from the ceiling. It was such an artistic setting, contrary to the brick walls that make up the outside of the theatre. I walked inside and sat in the center of the room, observing the setting of the stage. I have always enjoyed attending plays, performances, and musicals, so this was not necessarily a chore for me. When the lights dimmed, I sighed and knew that for the next few hours, I would be able to witness what the actors' and stage crew's countless hours of hard work and detmirination have created.
The Social Experience
In order to prepare for the play, I freshened up in my room before walking over to the Constans Theatre. I attended the performance alone, which I actually rather enjoyed. Although being with friends is always nice, I was able to focus more so on the performance and actors than I would have been able to if I had gone with others. In a sense, the shared experience that I had throughout the play was among the actors and myself. I was able to block out everyone else and the static noise around me and solely focus on what they were presenting to the audience. I believe being entirely present in social situations allows us to fully grasp the concept of being in the company of others and forces us to not exist so much in our heads.
The Cultural and Intellectual Experience
The play really focused on the inequity and disparities among the wealthy and the working class. It is about exposing the truth of reality, and how some, much like Mrs. Talbot, are forced to work themselves nearly to death just to stay afloat. Her son also poses as a key character that represents the importance of child labor laws. Although there is a substantial foundation of labor laws that ensure children's safety now, the working conditions of some in America are quite harsh. The unjustifiable acts of the Factory Owner, who verbally and physically threatens the women that work for him, represent the inequality of people still to this day. It is so incredibly difficult to get out of the chain of poverty, and this is a perfect example. There is a stereotype of poor people, that they are illiterate and uneducated, and while this may be the case sometimes, it is not always.
The Emotional Experience
I truly believe one of the cathartic moments in The Divine was when young Leo Talbot was trapped under the shoe factory, ultimately causing him to perish. In a sense his death, along with the aforementioned girls that passed in the factory, represent a severe necessity for change regarding labor laws. Furthermore, Sarah Bernhardt's character's daring and bold personality challenges the conservative time period and group of people living in Quebec. She dared to say everything that should be left unsaid, and by doing so, she teaches Michaud to explore the wonders of his mind and desires. She wishes to enlighten her audience by bringing the upper class in touch with the realistic working conditions of the lower class, and in doing so she sheds light on such a sensitive subject.
Link for title page photo: http://ufdcimages.uflib.ufl.edu/UF/00/03/33/56/00001/UF00033356.jpg