This is a clip art picture of a theatre
The Spatial Experience:
I have never been to Constans Theatre before seeing The Devine. I didnt know what to expect...
After entering the building, I first noticed the art that was displayed and was hanging around the room. I have always appreciated art, as an art major, and I love taking pictures with and of the art.
A piece of art at the Constans Theatre (and my hand).
I found this one appealing because of the use of just black and white, it was eye catching because of the heavy contrast the artist used.
In the theater, I liked how spacious it was, I didn't realize the University of Florida had such a large space for performances. I liked the open space and how close the seats got to the stage. It made my experience of the performance more personal, as I felt that I was in a comfortable room, close to the performance.
My seat was only a few rows back and it was the perfect location. I was able to hear the actors and actresses very loudly and see their facial expressions, makeup, and costumes in full detail.
When the lights dimmed and the audience was quiet, I began to get excited. As a child, I used to go to many plays with my family and the initial darkening of the room was a sign that "the magic was about to happen".
After it started, I began to forget that I was an audience member and I felt as though I was part of the story that was being told. It was a crazy feeling because when the lights came back on, I forgot that I was just an audience member, but thank goodness it was only intermission!
To me, the good life encompasses your surroundings. If you feel comfortable with where you are, without being threatened or irritated, then you are in a good "place". Being close up to such a beautiful stage and performance, I realized I was in a good place, thus my experience and my conception of the good life was the best it could've been at the show.
The Social Experience:
This is me before the performance, when I first entered the theatre.
Attending the performance this night was a good relief from my stressful day. I was very busy this Wednesday and the play was the last thing to do on my schedule. At the beginning, I was apprehensive about wanting to go, but I realized that the play could be good and it could be a good ending to my stressful day.
I went with a girl that I had recently meet and I met another friend there. We all sat near each other and watched the entirety of the play. There were strangers sitting next to me, whom at the beginning seemed like someone I would never know, then at the end they became a larger part of my group. I became friends for the night with the other few people who were sitting around us, and that made the play more enjoyable.
Before the performance, I put on some warm clothes, because the night was cold and I had a bit of a walk. I ate some food with my friends before the show and we all finished some homework as well.
Going with a few familiar faces made the experience more comfortable to begin with and we were able to talk about the show after it had ended. Meeting the strangers that I meet made the play more fun as we all bonded about being in the same class and having to pay attention in order to write the assignment that followed. It was good to share some laughs with people and it was fun to all forget we were sitting next to one another in a theatre, but rather we felt emerged in the story of it all.
To me, shared experiences contribute to the good life. If more than one person is there to relate to an event, you are able to communicate about it, write about it, and when there is nothing to do, you can all reminisce about it. Creating a shared experience allows you to feel closer to someone on a certain level, and this will create a good memory for you both. Someone's good life should be filled with good memories and experiences that bring happiness. Shared experiences help tie together the memories that encompass one's good life.
The Cultural and Intellectual Experience:
This is a video I took of the theatre's lobby after the play had finished.
Seeing the performance changed the way I perceive different cultures. Because of the time the story took place and the place certain scenes occurred, I have a different mentality of the term "hard work".
The main part of the play took place in cold, factory conditions where little children had to work long hours with hazardous materials. To escape this poverty, the main protagonist tried to become a priest and ultimately succeeded after overcoming a lot of life struggles. Throughout the factory scenes, there were many deaths of young kids because of the unsafe chemicals and machinery. The story continued to reflect back on these harsh working conditions, where the main charcter's mother continued to work until the end of the play.
These working conditions, that made "20 cents a day" were unfair and unsafe. When college students complain about having to much homework, it now seems incomparable to the conditions the actors and actresses portrayed in the play.
There were a few issues addressed in the performance, some were just to add mystery to the scene and some were issues characters had with one another. The issue of poverty seemed like a reoccurring theme throughout the play. The main character was raised in poverty and his "friend" at school was treating poverty as if it were a spectacle and a "lesson" that he wanted to be taught. To the protagonist's family, poverty isn't a thing to joke about and it made for some tension in the play.
Before attending the performance, I read the short synopsis about the plot of the story, but I didn't know much to begin with. The synopsis sounded like a mix between mystery, religion, and poverty, which seemed all so different to begin with. I was excited for what was to come, because I never heard of the play before this night.
The performers made the play very alive and captivating. All of the actors and actresses were amazing performers and were able to tell the story of The Devine very well. Their energy and facial expressions made the play more engaging and easy to follow. They captured many different personalities and helped me see the differences in status levels between people of the same city or small area.
The subject matter did not have a direct correlation to an event that happened in my life, but I can somehow relate working long hours at a job thats not too fun. Although I made more than 20 cents a day and worked for less than 12 hours a day, I can relate on a small level. This play definitely opened my scope on hard work.
The Emotional Experience:
This is a piece of art I found interesting in Constans Theatre lobby
As Dr.Pagán explains how katharsis is a Greek word for "coming clean", I felt a sense of katharsis after watching The Devine. Since the play was not entirely relatable to the society in which I grew up in, I felt a little uncomfortable knowing that there are some things we take for granted in which the people in the performance would take for a luxury. The deaths of three young children in the factory were gruesome and hard to think about. If that happened to someone that I know and love, I would be unable to work or do anything related to the factory again.
The characters in the play are very brave and they go through tough situations in order to better themselves and the people that they love. The main character has been raped in order to give silverware to his mother. This is an act which is too disturbing and sad to think about. This is more than just an act of bravery. Some may say this is selflessness.
After seeing and watching different performers act out these scenes of graphic death and emotional torture, I felt as though I needed to come clean about the little things that I complain about, because big picture, my issues are incomparable to the bigger issues around the world.
The Divine provides an opportunity for katharsis and coming clean about the issues you think are significant, because in a worldly view, they're not as bad as you may perceive. Most of us in college have food, clothing, and shelter. If we have friends and family, it is a wonderful bonus. The necessities are enough to make you reach the good life. The accessories you don't own and the "one test you failed" isn't going to change your whole life plan, you are still going to be happy in your own way.