Experiencing The Divine: A Play for Sarah Bernhardt By: Corey Sprusansky

The Spatial Experience:

The night was dark and full of terrors when I entered the auditorium. It wasn't my first play but it could have been my last. Seated towards the front of the stage on the right-hand side. I was positioned right in front of an exit in which Sarah Bernhardt can out of for a scene. My location therefore gave me a spectacular opportunity to immerse myself within the plot of the play.

The dimming of the lights and quieting of the crowd cleared my mind of all distractions that could arise from lighting and noise. I was able to delve into the play and keep focused on it for its entirety. The size of the auditorium wasn't a factor for me since my seating location was towards the front.

2014 J. Ellwood

Location or placing of an activity or event is not important at all. Whether born as a prince or a peasant all have different purists of happiness. Therefore role of place in ones seeking of the Good Life is entirely up to them. A man can be happy with nothing while one can be displeased with all.

The Social Experience:

I went to the play without friends only with strangers. The mentality behind this choice is due to the fact that having friends around will most likely hinder your experience from the play. You would find yourself paying more attention chatting and joking with friends then getting immersed within the play.

The role of shared experiences have a time and place for the pursuit of the Good Life. In some instances some experiences are best to be taken alone, while others are to be with others. As a lone wolf, experiencing events by yourself deepens your passion and understanding for things that can be easily overlooked in groups.

The Cultural and Intellectual Experience:

This play hits the core of rights workers and the poor, while also focusing on freedom of speech and expression. From the scenes in the shoe factory we are shown the poor condition in which Mrs. Talbot and Leo have to work in order to pay expenses. In the time period in which the play takes place it was known how poor working conditions were in factories with morality rates high. We are also shown that owners influenced by the actions to improve egos and greed lead to the poor treatment of workers. This can be shown by the shoe owners desire to make Bernhardt's shoes at no costs, even for the workers safety.


Within the play we also come across the fight for freedom of speech and expression between the Church and Sarah Bernhardt. The early 1900's marked the last rule of the Catholic Church on governments. They controlled what the public heard and saw. This is apparent within the play as the Archdiocese of Quebec did not want Bernhardt to perform plays in which the Church saw as pagan worshiping. Despite the great power the Church had in those days, Bernhardt strove to perfom no matter the consequence. This battle in the play helps to remind us that if the ruling body becomes unjust we the people have the right to protect our freedoms to perfom lawful actions embodied to every human.

The Emotional Experience:

This play allows us an experience for katharsis as it portrays the reality behind products that are made to be cheap and to sell. As it was explained the by shoe factory owner during the play, there will always be places abusing labor to make the greatest profits as buyers don't care where or how the product came but how cheap and affordable it is. This conclusion has been true since the beginning of currency and trade. Today we get many of our products from overseas factories that exploit their workers in order to maximize production and increase profits. We as consumers rarely think about the workers who made the product and the conditions they face. In some places, like China, factories have nets around them to catch workers that attempt to commit suicide.

Thomas Lee

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Corey Sprusansky

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