¨The Divine: A Play for Sarah Bernhardt¨ By: Elsbeth Waskom



My experience at the theater was quite memorable. Albeit, I was seated toward the back of the theater. Once the lights went dim in the large theater and the actors walked through the aisle, I became excited with curiosity about what was about to happen. The theater was filled with colors and a stage that felt as if it were right in front of me. I became captivated just by the opening of the curtain. The hush of the audience made it seem as if the strangers surrounding me were not even there.


I arrived at the play about thirty minutes early but spent half of the time trying to find a parking spot. Once I finally found a spot in a parking garage that was a good distance away, I walked towards the Reitz praying I was headed in the right direction. I arrived at an almost empty hall where I saw two girls taking a selfie in front of the theater next to a check in desk. The sight of the selfies gave me reassurance that I must be in the right place. I entered into a packed theater full of strangers. Going without friends is the way I enjoy doing things that are school related. It made me feel as if my attention was with the play. I also did not like the fact that I knew I was surrounded by many students who lack an appreciation for the theater.


The play encompassed a plethora of issues. One issue was regarding the lack of policies that factories held pertaining safety for women and children. I am in an American History class and at the time we were studying the subject matter of anti-sweatshop legislation. It was amazing to me how pertinent the play was for both classes. The central matter was regarding a boy being raped and continuously punished for another mans sins. He suffered for his family and in the end chose quality of life over justice. The play made me empathize for just about all of the characters. It made me think about how stories can be multi-dimensional and that having an open perspective is important. In my own life it has made me consider that I do not know what others have been through and I should be less judgmental.


The play gave an honest story where the ending is not always a happy one. I found myself contemplating about if I had been in the situations that some of the characters were in, would I make the noble decision? Like many of the characters, I probably would not have. The play touched on uncomfortable and heartbreaking circumstances that most people avoid discussing. The play also hit on religious irrelevancy where a shadow was cast onto the integrity of a religion. I found it honest and refreshing yet sad and shocking.

Leaving the Theater with teary eyes

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