My experience in the physical setting of the theatre was overall positive. When I entered the theatre, I was impressed by the look of the theatre; It was sophisticated while still being small and intimate. In addition, I enjoyed how some of the seats were integrated with the stage. I sat near the front and in the middle of the row, which was ideal seating. I had a great view of the stage and enjoyed being able to see things in such detail. I particularly enjoyed when the actors would come into the audience or use the wings of the stage when acting, it helped to make the play more intimate and interactive.
For this performance, I attended it with a group of friends I know from band. I am in a band fraternity, Kappa Kappa Psi, and was able to attend the performance with a group of my brothers. In addition, my band and Good Life professor, Dr. Archie Chip Birkner the IV, attended this performance. Going with friends and even knowing my teacher closely helped to vastly enhance my experience. I felt more comfortable going, and had friends to discuss the play with afterwards. After the play, we all talked about the performance and shared our different perspectives about our interpretations about it. Through this, I was able to gain a much deeper understanding of the play than I would've had without it.
The Cultural and Intellectual Experience:
The central issues surrounding the play were religion, views on the arts, and the struggles of the lower class. I was familiar with most of these topics in a historical context from my AP history class in high school. However, this play combined these separate aspects into a historical timepiece that worked to illustrate the struggles of people during this time. This play added to the issues of the abuse of power in religious positions that is known in the Catholic church. In addition, I liked that this play added a human perspective to this issues. It is one thing to read about statistics of child labor and the catholic church, but it is important to see a play that combines these elements and adds a human experience to these events.
The Emotional Experience:
This play presents a plethora of examples on the concept of katharsis. The most prevalent example of this is with the child abuse of the protagonist by the priest. Both Joseph Talbot and the priest that committed the abuse had moments to come clean. However, only the priest confessed his sins, whereas Talbot chose to not press charges against the priest. However, Talbot did come clean to his closest friend on the issue, so he did indeed represent an opportunity for katharsis. In addition, Bernhart utilized her play to discuss social issues and the event surrounding Talbot. Overall, this play is consumed with the object of katharsis. Whether it be on a personal level, or using the arts to shine the light onto society's wrongdoing, The Divine provided multiple examples of coming clean to wrongdoing.