Spatial Awareness and Performance
The lobby was plain aside from a few interesting statues. I could tell that the lobby was made to accommodate these "busy" pieces.
I felt a weird nervousness approaching the ushers who were to validate my ticket. It wasn't that I was worried that they wouldn't let me in. Rather, I had no idea what to expect once I walked in; This wasn't going to be a plain movie theater, as I presumed.
I entered, and in front of my was the elaborate setup that was to be the stage of the play. In the back, snow had already begun falling as a special effect for the beginning scene of the play.
The auditorium itself was warmly lit before the show and completely dark as it began. My seat was three rows from the front, right in the center; a perfect view for the play.
As soon as the lights dimmed and the voices hushed, I felt my being immerse itself on the only thing I could see, the stage. Around me, the beginning scene began and I felt suspended in some dark space, watching the characters scurry from left to right, my eyes following the only thing they could see.
Throughout the play, all I could feel from my spot was the world being portrayed around me; I had been successfully pulled into the play and the actors' lives became my own.
I reflected later on the feeling of having my spatial awareness being completely overcome by the performance, and I could see some parallels in how I live my own life. Should I be more immersed in the world around me, or should I worry about everything going on in my immediate vicinity? Surely, being aware of the world around me as a whole would help me understand my place in the world better. That aspect of the Good Life revealed itself to me as I watched the play, and I felt grateful to have been shown how to immerse myself in another world.
The Social Aspect
I attended the play with two of my friends. Surprisingly, neither of them were in "Good Life". Rather, they were simply play enthusiasts with enough time to spare for me. Entering the theater, I was warned that the stage may be an interesting sight for someone who doesn't frequent plays.
Sitting next to my friends as I watched the play was enjoyable. Being able to laugh together was beneficial to the experience. I also felt more at ease being thrust into the world of theater with some friends.
I must say that to achieve the Good Life without being around others is impossible. To be able to observe others in their own paths is part of the process. Being able to learn from others and satisfying that social aspect of our human selves is, I feel, crucial to attaining the Good Life. Even watching the play, I felt as if I would have missed some things had I not talked about it with my friends after we left. Having others truly is a necessity, lest you want to find the easiest way to disconnect yourself from the world.
Cultural and Intellectual Experience
Funny thing is that I did no research at all about the premise of the play before I saw it. I went in with no expectations whatsoever. So when I was thrown into the setting of the play, I felt shocked at first, but that made the transition even more efficient.
The play itself brought many different issues to the table: the contrast between rich and poor, freedom of expression, and even some elements of the aspect of narcissism.
Narcissism was touched up on with the actress, Ms. Bernhardt, and she was displayed as a character completely immersed within herself. This had her portrayed as a very firm, yet aloof type of character, always standing strong against threats to her image and yet floating around in her little ego bubble.
The contrast of rich and poor was evident between Michaud and Talbot, two polar opposite characters both ignorant of each others' plights. But to be frank, this was an issue which I cared less about than the last issue, free speech and religion.
Something that struck a chord with me or at the very least sparked some thought in my mind was the concept of religion banning the showing of a play, as was the case in The Divine. I have always thought that religion was a concept born out of fear of the unknown. I know it sounds harsh when I say it, but I believe that religion's existence is pitiful at least from my standpoint. I think one of the biggest challenges in attaining the Good Life is coming to terms with oneself and your place in the world. When religion is put into the equation, we begin shutting ourselves to some aspects of the world; oneness is made impossible. In the play, when the city of Quebec is threatened of being barred from seeing the performance coming to town, I felt disgusted at the church's actions towards stopping its showing. Should anyone be able to be at peace with themselves, they must at the very least accept that the world is diverse and that blocking yourself from any part of it is doing you no favor other than proving your own closed-mindedness. That is what I thought of after watching The Divine.
The Emotional Experience
As I sort of covered in my "Intellectual and Cultural Experiences," my great catharsis was that of the limitations of religion on the self. As I watched the play, I saw the colorful personality of Sarah Bernhardt, and I shuddered as I began to imagine that the city of Quebec would not see her performance. Such unusual things are part of the world, and by preventing ourselves from experiencing it as a whole, we make our path to "The Good Life" even harder than it should. Those are my thoughts on the subject.
The Divine was a truly enthralling experience. Though I can't tell you whether or not it is a relatively top play, given my lack of exposure to performance and the stage, I can tell you that I enjoyed every bit of the experience. I could truly tell that the actors poured their heart and soul into their performance, projecting the emotions of each character beautifully and keeping me immersed within the story. A fun performance that will definitely leave an impression on me for a long time!