The Divine: A Play for Sarah Bernhardt By: Sabrina Ochoa

Introduction

On Tuesday January 24th, I was having "one of those days". I was tired, stressed, and ready to give up for the day; however, as soon as I stepped foot inside Constans Theatre the natural excitement one gets before seeing a show took over me. "The Divine" stage set-up was breath-taking upon entry and one could not help to get excited by the social drama being performed shortly after being seated. Overall, I took in the experience and left the theatre relieved and relaxed after unwinding throughout a show that caused me to ponder the realities of our society.

The Spatial Experience

Photos taken of lobby

As I walked in to the lobby of Constans Theatre, I was extremely confused by the masses of people standing around and waiting to enter. Upon finding the backpack check-in, I dropped off my bag and waited in line to enter the theatre. The area contained a variety of artworks that served as a good use of space, seeing as it is clever to give attendees something to ponder as they stand-by for access to their seats. I had never before been inside Constans Theatre and having been to many plays and Broadway shows in the past, I was pleasantly surprised with the quality of theatre provided to students. My anticipation built up just by being in the lobby. I was taken aback when I entered the theatre and saw the stage set-up with brilliant lights shimmering everywhere. My seating was excellent, two rows away from the stage with a great view of all the events taking place on stage. Then, as the lights dimmed, my heart beat quickened and the adventure of "The Divine" began. The amount of people in the auditorium, allowed me to feel the importance of the event taking place. We were all seated, waiting, watching each event unfold. Place may be the most important part about living the good life. It is extremely important to be aware of the place you are in, to live in the moment as one attempts to lead the best life possible.

The Social Experience

Photo taken outside of Constans Theatre entrance

I attended the performance of The Divine with my two friends Mughil and Kassidy. Mughil and Kassidy had met each other only once before, so as we prepared for the show it was exciting to re-introduce them and experience the performance together. In my opinion, experiences bond people through memories and laughter, and the Divine did just that. To prepare for the performance, we dressed up for the occasion and ate dinner before entering the theatre.

The Cultural and Intellectual Experience

Photo by: Kassidy Klein

The performance had multiple overlapping themes that remained prevalent through the entirety of the show. Characters represented issues varying from poverty to importance of the arts to religion and corruption. Prior to the performance, I feel that I had an adequate understanding of the material discussed in the play, but after leaving Constans Theatre there was no doubt that I had learned from the play. The performance pushed me to look into differing perspectives and question my own beliefs, which of course is what the theatre is meant to do- provoke thoughts and actions out of the audience. The struggle of the Talbot family struck me in a particular way, simply because I want so much out of my life and plan for it accordingly that seeing a family, stuck in poverty, attempting to move on and lead better lives, inspired me.

The Emotional Experience

Photo by: Kassidy Klein

As previously mentioned, I was having a "bad day" before going to see the play. Once there, many uncomfortable topics were thrust to light as sexual abuse, child endangerment, and religious turmoil were brought to the stage. Emotionally, the performance grabs the audience and confuses them just enough that they are able to feel the kind of confusion that comes with life when it hangs in the balance. That being said, the performance also did an excellent job expressing and solving the issues at hand, which complicated the play. Though, upon finishing the play, the audience was able to come to terms with the emotional rollercoaster that had just taken place and leave me, and my friends, feeling "clean" and whole in a sense. "The Divine: A Play for Sarah Bernhardt" impacted me in more ways than any play I'd seen before.

All photos were taken with full disclosure and consent. I apologize for the repeated photos.

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