The Spatial Experience
Upon entering the theater, I was very excited by all that was around me. Where my seat was, was right in front of the side wing extensions, so I felt like I was going to be able to truly experience what was before me on the stage. I was most interested in what the atmosphere of the performance would be like--how serious or not it would turn out to be. Simply taking a look at the set answered my curiosities. It was very professional looking, so I knew that I would in for a treat. And once the lights dimmed, the feeling of being at a serious production really set in. All of the elements around me were working together to provide me an experience that I would not be able to forget, and hopefully assist me in my search for the good life.
The Social Experience
I attended the performance on my own, with no one that personally knew. I do wish I had taken a friend with me, but I do believe I was able to get something more out of the experience with being alone. Often when you are with your peers, you may play down your reactions to what is happening in front of you, in order to seem cool. Since I was alone, there was no pressure in me agreeing with my peers about the quality of my performance, and I could like or dislike it, however I chose. But it is important to note, that I did not feel alone while watching the performance. Yes, I did not personally know the individuals sitting beside me, but leaving that performance, I was able to have a shared experience with people I may not have had the opportunity to otherwise. Shared experiences with all kinds of people is crucial to one's search for the good life, since experience is a fundamental.
The Cultural and Intellectual Experience
There were many parallels between what was being performed on stage and what still exists in current reality. Many of the issues presented on that stage are still relevant to today, even with they play being set in the very early 1900s. Child exploitation is still a current problem we face throughout the world. America may have tried to rid of it, but it still may be prevalent, and it is most certainly prevalent in lesser developed areas of the world. The issue I found most alarming in the play was the one concerning the corruption in the church. Back then, the church had a lot of power over the individual's life, just as our government does today. Corruption at the church level then and corruption at the government level now, has many parallels.
The Emotional Experience
If anything, this play's purpose could be summed up into achieving catharsis. In the play itself, it follows a character just trying to come clean about that he has learned and the injustices involved. But sitting as an audience member, the production allows you to realize and begin to confront the issues that need to be confronted. Theater allows one to bring issues to light that often go unnoticed. It is then the audience's responsibility to try and make something out of what was learned, and maybe make a difference, or at least try to reach this cathartic feeling.