The Divine: A Play for Sarah Bernhardt Rachael Neary

The Spatial Experience

Upon entering the auditorium I felt very comfortable in the large, high-roofed space. My seat enhanced my experience because i was sat in the middle of the back row of the audience. I had a full view of the stage and the rest of the theater and i wasn't surrounded on all sides by people, making it easier to focus on the play rather than what was happened around me. I felt excited for the play when the audience quieted and the lights dimmed. The size of the auditorium was nice and it had good acoustics making it easy to hear what was going on. The role of place in the Good Life is an important one. It's important to be comfortable in one's surroundings, if one is not it will be much more difficult to be happy and achieve the Good Life.

The Social Experience

I attended the play with a friend of mine who lives on my floor. We got ready to go and walked to the Constans Theater together (honestly we were pretty concerned about being late). Attending the play with a friend was nice because I had someone to talk to and share opinions with about the play as well as share our emotions when important things happened. It made the experience much more enjoyable for the both of us. Shared experiences are often more special than experience you have alone (at least special in a different way) because you get to deepen your relationship with someone and shared the emotions and effects brought on by the experience with someone.

The Cultural and Intellectual Experience

The play takes place in Canada around the industrial revolution and touches upon issues like poverty, social oppression, and the church. I went into the play with no idea what it was about, when it took place, anything, which in a way was kind of nice because I didn't know what to expect or any prior conceived ideas about the play. The play made me consider more the issues addressed. For example, while I had always thought child labor was a terrible part of the industrial revolution, this play gave me an opportunity to more consider how much bad it really was for the families and children who had to be a part of it. The story of Talbot's younger brother and his death show display the terrible conditions of the factories, the oppression by their superiors, and how lethal it can be to work there. His brother wasn't even the only one to die, one of the workers had a niece who had lost her head in the factory.

The Emotional Experience

This play had a lot of moments that allowed us to reflect on the injustice that a lot of people faced during this era as well as nowadays. The inhumane conditions of the factories that can result in the deaths of children are one example. Another example is the sexual abuse faced by Talbot and the way that the church covered it up and tried to punish Talbot for defending himself rather than really addressing the problem, as well as how Talbot himself didn't want anyone knowing because of the way society treats victims of sexual crimes.. These types of situations still happen today, which is incredibly unfair to the victims. Plays allow us to feel and see experiences like these without actually having to experience them. Plays also offer an opportunity to spark discussion about problems in society and look for a way to improve ourselves as a society.

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