Good Life Performance By: Kyle Summersfield


For the Good Life, I was required to attend The Divine; A Play for Sarah Bernhardt at the Constans Theatre in the Reitz Union. I was then asked to make this Spark story discussing the spacial, social, emotional, cultural and intellectual experience overall. (Photo above is from the College of the Arts website at the University of Florida).

The Spacial Experience

The play was in the Constans Theatre, and I went to the play with a group of 7 friends. Walking into the play I wasn't overly excited as I had been working all day and had to stop my flow to go watch the play. This picture accurately depicts how I was feeling walking into the theatre. Once the lights dimmed and the play began, I was able to get involved and start watching it. I was sat in the very front of the theatre so I wasn't bothered by the size of the theatre, I had 2 rows in front of me to worry about and other than that, I could watch the play in peace. In the Good Life, place plays a large role, if one is not happy where they are, then they may lose focus on the pleasures and happy things in life because of the frustration they feel with where they are. If someone is happy where they are, they can focus on living and making other things just the way they'd like.

The Social Experience

I attended the performance with 7 of my good friends. We agreed to all go together however upon arrival we got split up so I ended up sitting with 2 of them. We didn't do much to prepare for the play besides dressing appropriately and getting there early so we could have good seats. Watching it with friends made it easier for me to enjoy it. I was able to talk with them quietly about parts I missed and to discuss parts that may pertain to the class. In the Good Life, sharing your experiences with someone or a group of someones is very important. Living a life alone can be demoralizing and depressing. People say "the best things in life aren't things" and that would relate to sharing experiences with others.

The Cultural and Intellectual Experience

According to the pamphlet handed out at the play, the main theme is Michaud becoming more aware of what was going on around him and it "shattering his innocence" (David Young). The saying "ignorance is bliss" relates to this theme because essentially, the less one knows of the hardships that occur around the world, the happier they are. I was relatively unaware of the subjects that were discussed and portrayed in the play. I don't feel the subject matter truly relates to me directly but I would imagine that some of my peers have experienced instances such as those that would relate to them. The topics discussed in the play were rape, child abuse, child labour, and poverty. I have not personally been affected by these awful occurrences but the play opened my eyes to how some people live their lives like that every day. (The photo above was taken by David Cooper of the Toronto Star).

The Emotional Experience

This is me after the play. I was quite tired and drained from the drama that ensued towards the end. The play was definitely full of topics most people would prefer to not think about. The main one's being rape, child labour, poverty, and child abuse. Watching these topics portrayed in front of us by real people in convincing fashion was eye opening. I was given insight into how depressing some people's lives are and it truly gave me an appreciation for everything I have. Katharsis is the Greek word for "coming-clean" and I feel I came clean in accepting how privileged my life is. The Good Life is subjective however, I feel almost everyone can agree that the life the play portrayed wouldn't be enjoyable for anyone.

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