The Spatial Experience: I really enjoyed going to this play. I constantly keep myself busy, and amidst all the chaos of my week, taking a break to sit back for a couple hours and watch this play was very relaxing for me. I thought it was going to be a small room with not that many rows, but the auditorium was very large and very crowded. It was also much more official than I thought, I did not expect to see all the sophisticated ushers and people so dressed up for this play. I went in through the Reitz Union, so it was a surprise to walk through the door and see such a formal theater. I got there pretty early, so I got to sit right at the front which positively affected my experience. I was much more attentive than if I were in the back. When the lights dimmed and the audience quieted, I was really excited because I haven't been to a play in years and I was anxious to watch a live performance. The large size of the auditorium added to the formality of the play.
The Social Experience: I had a great social experience while going to the play. I went with my best friend Nicole, and we made a whole night out of it. We got dinner together together then headed over to the performance. It was fun being with a close friend because we got to share the experience together, but we also met people we sat next to and before and after the play. It was nice because we all shared a commonality, and it was easy to converse because we were all there for The Good Life. It was hard to silence ourselves mid-conversation when the play started, but we respected the actors and actresses and refrained from talking throughout the play.
The Cultural and Intellectual Experience: This play definitely helped me develop a new way I see and understand my own culture. My culture, the way I was raised, and the society that I grew up around are the only things I know; and sometimes it's easy to forget that not all cultures are exactly like mine, past or present. This play helped me see the characteristics of a "normal" culture generations ago. I had some background knowledge on the issues in the play, but seeing it acted out gave me a visual understanding of what life was really like. For example, the problem of the Church forbidding Sarah Bernhardt to act the play because it deemed inappropriate is a problem that we definitely don't have in today's society. Topics that may have seemed controversial in the past are portrayed in movies, TV shows and plays without a second thought in today's society.
The Emotional Experience: The Divine: A Play For Sarah Bernhardt definitely gives us an opportunity for katharsis. There were topics that were in fact socially uncomfortable and culturally radical that put life and our actions into perspective. Many emotional scenes throughout the play provided the chance for me to look within myself and to be reflective. The scene where his brother was found dead and when they were talking about how the two little girls died working were very emotional for me. Watching the sins of others acted out in front of me made me reflect on my actions and sins and how they can affect other people. This play displayed the perfect chance for the audience to "come clean" by showing us how one's actions affect those that surround them. I really did enjoy this play!