The Divine: A Play for Sarah Bernhardt Nastassja Luna

The Spatial Experience

Entering the Constans Theatre

My experience when entering the auditorium for the first time mostly brought about feelings of apprehension, mostly because I did not know what to expect. There was a lady who directed people to their seats while simultaneously handing out programs. I had a decent seat at the end of a row, so my view of the play wasn't obstructed. After a few minutes of waiting and staring at an empty stage, the lights dimmed and everyone went quiet. The auditorium was large, but not too overwhelming. It still emitted the feeling of collectively watching a play with several of your peers. In reference to the Good Life, the idea of place plays a role in the Good Life by representing your environment and how it affects your ability to attain the "Good Life".

The Social Experience
Me on a solo journey

Before attending the performance, I was exhausted from biology lab that I had hours before and from working on assignments that would be due in the near future. Aside from this, I attended the performance alone and felt quite strange as I noticed that most people came accompanied by someone else. My experience could have been enhanced with friends, but instead I was left with a slightly different experience. Although I did not share an experience with anyone in specific, I did experience the play alongside peers. The role of shared experiences in the Good Life allows one to acknowledge the notion of being together among society.

The Cultural and Intellectual Experience
Entrance to the Constans Theatre

Before attending the performance, I was aware that there would be a story regarding the clash o f religion and theater. The central issue addressed in the performance was a criticism of theater and of art's role within society. As we see throughout the performance, the two main character's, Michaud and Talbot, view the arts differently based on their social class. Michaud is enjoys the theater because he is situated among the upper class, whereas Talbot does not care for the theater because he is relatively poor. This represents how social class can affect different aspects of our life and how we perceive the "Good Life". The subject matter can be deemed relevant when talking about the current status of the United States of America. Recently, it has felt as if our country has experienced more of a social divide among people of different social classes, races, and religions.

The Emotional Experience
Before entering the auditorium

In The Divine: A Play for Sarah Bernhardt, there are several opportunities that allow for katharsis. For instance, the audience watches the characters in the performance point out the flaws of their own society and this gives the audience a chance to ruminate about their actions and "come clean" with being human. At one point in the performance, they even criticize the audience for allowing labor laws to be ignored and using the products made under such illegal circumstances. The performance allows for the opportunity for katharsis by allowing the audience to be aware of their own mistakes in a subtle, but liberating manner. During the talk back, there was discussion about the religious aspect of the play. Religion can allow for katharsis by acknowledging how theater and religion often clash in disagreement, but by recognizing that both entities consist of their own values.

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Nastassja Luna

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