The Devine: A Play for Sarah Bernhardt Kindle Anderson

A review of my experience of the viewing of "The Devine" at Constans Theater

Spatial Experience

Thoughtful yet beautiful artwork could be spotted around the entrance to the theater.

Upon entrance to the Constans Theater, I was definitely caught off guard by the interesting pieces of art, as well as the wonderful design of the theater itself. Before my visit, I had completely overlooked this section of the Reitz Union, but now I know how much the theater has to offer. When we entered the theater itself, I was shocked! The dark environment highlighted the large stage, and added to the importance of theater arts. The stage had large, beautiful stained glass windows towards the rear, and I began to imagine where the play would eventually take place- a Catholic church. When the play began, and the lights were completely dimmed, I was definitely very anxious for the following experience- much like the suspense for a long awaited movie. In finding the Good Life, theater arts can be very important, as they lead us to question life and push ourselves out of our comfort zone to find happiness.

Social Experience

My friend Nick and I thoroughly enjoyed the play!

I attended the play with my friends Nick and Paul. We all had little idea of what to expect, so the moments leading up to the play started were filled with mixed comments. I'm very glad I got to attend the play with two of my best friends because we turned something that could have been a "required assignment" into a real and fun experience. We were able to react during the play, and also talk and reflect on the walk back to our dorm. We all had slightly different take-aways from the play, but at the very least, we all took the meaning and messages within the play quite seriously. Because of our mutual respect for all parts of the play, we were able to reflect in very personal ways.

Cultural and Intellectual Experience

The messages found within the play were all very important, in my opinion. There was, without a doubt, controversy within the play, but overall, I took a lot away from the points made. At the very core, the play illustrated the dire importance of never accepting wrongs as just a part of life. In the time the play took place, workplace abuse and slave-like child labor was considered a prevalent part of society, and without Sarah Bernhardt's ability to see through the dominant figures at the time, times would likely never had changed. The play made very clear that if we don't challenge unfairness and wrongness in our life, we do just as much harm as the oppressor. It is up to us as individuals to go head to head with adversity in order to change our lives, our peer's lives, and the lives of generations to come.

Emotional Experience

After the play, I definitely thought about what I enjoyed versus what I didn't like or agree with. The play represents the need to question norms that may be hurting us as humans or taking away from our "God-given rights" as people. While I liked this point and agreed with the actions certain characters took to stand up for goodness, I also disliked a few aspects. For one, I thought their choice to use the Catholic church as corrupt was a very cliche setting, and is always taking punches from the media and entertainment. While I am not Catholic, I think the church gives many people a moral compass to live a happier life, and the constant criticism alienates people from one of the few good organizations left in 21st century society. For this reason, I definitely had an underlying disagreement with the forces within the play, but overall, I felt that I was able to see the important points, and grab those messages. The play certainly provided an opportunity for Katharsis because the environment was very neutral, and the actors were free of any outstanding bias. The place was written beautifully, and it gave the audience a great idea to think about.

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