Good Life Performance By Shannon Rieger


When I entered the building of the auditorium, I was pleasantly surprised. I did not realize an actual stage with theater seating was in the Reitz Union, and I really enjoyed the atmosphere of the place. I grew up going to see plays, so being in a theater reminded me of favorable childhood memories and made me feel somewhat at home. My seat for viewing the play was very up close in the first section of seating in the fourth row. This close proximity to the stage made seeing the play more personal and enabled me to pay better attention and see and hear everything more clearly. When the lights dimmed and the audience quieted, I got of feeling of excitement and anticipation as I waited for the players to come out and the setting to come to life. The fact that the auditorium was relatively small made the play more enjoyable for me because I felt that the performance was more personal and that it made it easier for people to see and hear the players. The role of place in the Good Life is that being in a place where you are comfortable or feel happy can really help determine how a person views a certain situation. If I were in an auditorium or place that felt cold or gross, I would be much more likely to have a poor experience.


I went to the performance with seven of my close friends,but we were dispersed throughout the theater. Specifically, I sat next to my good friends Kyle and Brendan. To get ready for the play the large group of us met up in a common area and talked about our expectations of the play before we all walked to the auditorium together. Attending the performance with my good friends made the experience more enjoyable because I was able to share the same experience with them and then discuss specific happenings during the play with them. We all also laughed at the same parts and I was able to get their opinions about certain scenes just by looking at their face during the performance or speaking to them at intermission, which also made me enjoy the play more than I would have without them. Shared experiences are vital in the Good Life because they enable people to recognize that they are not alone in life. Also they enable people to better connect with one another and have important topics they can discuss. Without shared experiences it would be difficult for friendships to form and empathy to exist. Therefore, shared experiences are important in helping people create a Good Life where they have true friends that bring them happiness.


The play took place during the Industrial Revolution in Canada, a time period and place that I was not very familiar with. The main issue addressed in the play was child labor and abuse. My knowledge on child labor was not extensive, however I knew that often times children were forced to work in unfavorable conditions and long hours for not much pay in an attempt to help support their families. Additionally, I knew that child abuse occurred in the church, but I was not aware of the extent of it and how it affected and hurt so many people. The play reinforced my thoughts about child labor and abuse. It only heightened my belief that neither of these things should ever occur and that more should have been done to protect children in poverty during the Industrial Revolution. However, the play did make me realize the complexities of child labor and how some families would not be able to survive if the children did not contribute an income. Rather than force kids to work in dangerous conditions though, there should have either been safe places where children could legally work or the wages paid to parents should have been raised. I could not personally relate to the issues occurring in the play, but as someone who attends church it made me realize corruption can be found anywhere. Also, the play made me more grateful for the blessed I have lived where I was never forced to work at a young age.

Emotional Experience

The play provided me with an opportunity for katharsis by showing me a sad and uncomfortable story and allowing me to relate it back to my life. Not only did the play make me realize that everyone has things happening in their life that may make life more difficult or sad which could account for certain behaviors, but also it made me realize that it is perfectly alright to not be perfect and have my own issues. Additionally, the play made me realize that keeping secrets often only makes life more difficult and can ultimately hurt a lot of people, including oneself. Seeing this play enabled me to reflect on my own life and troubles and realize how minor some of them actually are in the grand scheme of things as well as showed me that I can make it through anything and handle my problems in a mature and rational way.


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