Common Activity: "The Divine: A Play for Sarah Bernhardt" Rachael Lyberg

I had my roommate take this picture of me right before we entered the theater to see the play.

Spatial Experience: Before entering the theater, I was pleasantly surprised to see the displays of artwork because they were very unique and whimsical. As I entered the theater, it was wonderful to see the opening backdrop set up with stained glass windows and I was excited to see where I would be sitting. I really enjoy plays and I was glad I had the opportunity to sit in the front on the theater. I loved my seat for the performance because it gave me the perspective of being in the play since the stage wrapped around the area. Being in this position made my experience better by allowing me to feel like I was engaging in and immersed in the play as the performance unfolded around me. While the size of the auditorium was not overwhelming, having a seat so close to the stage made the performance feel like it was only being given to the small amount of people around me. Both my initial experience and experience throughout the play were positively influenced because of where I was seated in the auditorium. While some people might not have enjoyed being so close to the stage, I found it comforting and interesting. Being comforted and interested in a location helps one to develop a good life. When we are in places that are familiar and engaging, we tend to develop and thrive, enabling us to better achieve our "good life." Even though this is true, we also have the ability to gain new experiences and opinions when we expose ourselves to different locations and situations by providing a learning opportunity.

This was some of the artwork displayed outside the theater.

Cultural and Intellectual Experience: The play really helped open my eyes up to the prevalence of manipulation of power. We see this most often in the media where all the things that are messed up or negative in our world are hidden. As a result, we are provided with a misinterpretation of our world; we think things are better than they actually are. It really got me questioning about what is happening in the world that I or anyone else does not know about. For example, my roommate is from Palestine and it is so interesting and scary to hear all the things that are going on that I was never aware were occurring. There are some pretty terrible things and I could not imagine living in situations like she has described. It makes me sad to think that certain things are happening in the world and people would be willing to help, but because of the censorship, we are oblivious to these events. The play also developed an increased awareness in me that we all have moral and ethical obligations. While we may not want to to admit or accept our personal morals and ethics, we must sacrifice our needs and wants in order to follow our personal beliefs which often might hinder our idea of the "good life." As we saw in the play, the truth always reveals itself in some way. Depending on how these actions play out, we may have to suffer the consequences because of the choices we made. The performance did not really change my perceptions on these issues; however, they did increase my awareness and importance of these aspects to my life.

After the performance, my roommate, her friend and I got a picture in front of one of the pieces of art outside the theater.

Social Experience: I attended the play with my roommate and another friend. My roommate and I walked over together and then I met my other friend in the theater. I enjoyed attending the performance with both of them because I was able to talk to them before and after about the play and they both had interesting viewpoints/opinions about the performance. We each had something different we got out of watching the performance and it was great to be able to share. Prior to attending the performance, I did a little research about Sarah Bernhardt because I was unfamiliar with her. I discovered that she was a highly regarded stage and film actress and appeared in some of the earliest motion pictures. In addition to researching before the performance, I read through most of the playbill to get a better understanding about what the play was about and what to expect, allowing me to better follow the performance. Sharing experiences are always better and I feel that they are integral to achieving the "good life." All the best experiences I have had in my life are with my family or friends. All the interactions we have with others, either positive or negative, influence our opinions and beliefs allowing us to develop and shape ourselves to help obtain our "good life."

This was taken outside the theater once the play was over.

Emotional Experience: The Divine: A Play for Sarah Bernhardt really exemplifies the idea of katharsis. In the play, both the characters and audience realize that things are much more than they appear to be. People place this facade around themselves in an effort to make themselves look better. While there is this manipulation established by certain characters, we soon realize that the truth is always revealed no matter how hard we try to conceal the true identity. The play resonated the idea that there is really no purpose to conceal the true identity of a situation because there are always repercussions that follow. Throughout the play, we see the characters grapple with their personal morals and ethics, such as the boss trying to disguise the working conditions in order to maintain the image of the factory, and in the end they each come clean and must deal with the consequences. It does not really make sense that our personal and moral ethics should be compromised in order to achieve a particular image. If this is the case, then is it morally right to go about achieving our perceived "good life" in this manner? Having the opportunity to come clean allows us to continue to pursue the good life without having to carry the burden of maintaining a facade. Michaud exemplifies this well when he finally "comes clean" and pursues his passion for the theater despite his fear of not being able to protect his place in the church. While we may not always like the consequences or expect them, they provide us with learning experiences that enable us a better chance to improve and obtain a "good life."

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