The Divine: A Play for Sarah Bernardt Krista Wisemen

Introduction: The show was set for 7:15pm. I had agreed to meet with a few acquaintances that shared a Good Life class with me. The line for Constans Theatre was abundant with freshmen in the same boat. The theatre entrance was buzzing with voices, talking about taking pictures in front of the Constans Theatre sign as a requirement for the assignment. As soon as I took a picture with the bright white letters, it was time to enter the doors. First, we had to scan our Gator1 IDs, as proof of attendance I'm guessing. Then, we took our seats in anticipation of the show. This show would be a surprise for me, because I had never even heard the name Sarah Bernhardt.

The beginning of the experience: Picture in front of the Constans Theatre with Kyra (with her permission)

The Spatial Experience: The auditorium was pretty full, but not too packed. The size of the auditorium was large, but we were still comfortable among a group of our peers. We sat along the side of the auditorium, although I wish we sat closer to the center so I could be closer to the performers. As soon as the lights dimmed, I was excited for the show to finally begin. The role of place in the Good life involves how comfortable and content you are in a certain location, and how able you are to grow as a person in that area.

The Spatial experience: Constans theatre (found on Google)

The Social Experience: To get ready for the performance, I made sure to eat and drink coffee beforehand, so the performance wouldn't be disturbed by hunger or fatigue. I read a little bit of the pamphlet that we were given in the beginning. I also attended the performance with a group of acquaintances. Attending the performance with familiar faces made me feel more comfortable in the theatre. The role of shared experiences in the Good Life is sharing emotions and thoughts that accompany these experiences.

The Social experience: Although we couldn't take pictures while inside the theatre, this scene is what it looked like from our perspectives as viewers.

The Cultural and Intellectual Experience: The play takes place during the late 1800's in Quebec. It describes the contrast between living a life of privilege versus a life of poverty and hardship. I wasn't really aware of the subject matter before watching the performance. The performance did inform me of the oppression and poverty that occurred during this time and the overwhelming influence that the Catholic church had over the public. Relating to my life, I grew up in a religious home, so the church is a major source of authority. Although I lean more toward privileged, it isn't hard to empathize with the hardships that those in poverty faced during the time of the play.

The Cultural experience: Talbot argues with the Brother Casgrain about actions involving the priest. Symbolically, Talbot symbolizes poverty while the Brother Casgrain symbolizes the church and its authority.

The Emotional Experience: "Katharsis" is encouraged within the play. Sarah Bernhardt teaches Michaud about how rebellion fosters personal expression. Bernhardt's form of rebellion in the play was a rebellion against the authority of the church. She speaks of how the theatre seeks to accurately portray the truth, which was Bernhardt's personal catharsis.

A major theme of the play was being able to use expression as a personal catharsis of emotion, which Sarah Bernhardt accomplished by acting out the truth on stage.
Created By
Krista Wisemen
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Created with images by funnytools - "theatre seats screen"

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