GOOD LIFE PERFORMANCE "The Divine: A Play for Sarah Bernhardt" BY: Milena Aimi

THE SPATIAL EXPERIENCE: I was taken aback by the Constans theatre; partly because I didn’t even know there was a theatre at the Reitz. It’s very beautiful and intimate. I loved the art used to the decorate the lobby area because it was all very vibrant. I also really enjoyed the inside of the theatre, the auditorium. The stage and stage set was very well done; the setting for the story was very fittingly described which made my understanding of the play more entertaining. I also think the performance was very well produced and directed. I sat in the front left of the auditorium so I had a very good view of the stage and the performers. I think this appealing environment attributed to my enhanced enjoyment of the performance.
THE SOCIAL EXPERIENCE: I went to the performance with my friend from high school, Marlana. We sit together during lecture so it was interesting to sit next to each other during the performance because we’re very comfortable discussing the topics and themes covered in class so we discussed the themes of the play during intermission and at the end of the performance. We mutually benefitted from the sharing of each other’s perspective. I think attending the show with a friend enhanced my experience considerably. The role of shared experiences is important in learning from those around us and creating memories that will lead us closer to the Good Life.
THE CULTURAL & INTELLECTUAL EXPERIENCE: The performance helped me develop a new way of seeing and understanding my own culture because it describes both extremes of social class, the upper class and lower class. I consider myself to be in the middle class so it was interesting to see different classes, and essentially different cultures, depicted through the actor's’ performance. The talk-back also added to my understanding of the theme because the actors answered many interesting questions and discussed the conflict behind industrialization and humanity. The story centered around the struggle of poverty versus the privilege of wealth. The young seminarians, Michaud and Talbot, both contradicted and complicated each other. The craftswoman at the shoe factory and their boss, the factory owner, and Sarah Bernhardt all also contradicted and complimented each other. It was interesting to have two extremes visualized in the story through the depiction and performance of the actors. The subject matter does not have a relationship to something happening in my own life; however, when my dad lost his job a couple years ago I went from one extreme to the other which took some adjustment.
THE EMOTIONAL EXPERIENCE: The performance of The Divine: A play for Sarah Bernhardt depicts shameful and sometimes indecent behavior which lead to self-reflection from the characters and from the audience. The representation of this concept provides an opportunity for katharsis, Greek word for the process of “coming clean”. One must sometimes come clean with oneself and realize their actions are in need of change. The play provided me with a representation of some of the characters coming clean which made me reflect on certain aspects of my life. It evoked emotion and left me with a meaningful message.

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