This is a photo I snagged from the internet so you could get a good idea of my viewing experience in the theater. As I entered the auditorium, I was reminded of many trips to the theater I had taken as a young boy. I was admittedly less excited to go to this performance as an assignment, but nonetheless ready to enjoy a good play. I decided to sit in the direct center of the theater, which provided for me the optimal viewing experience, and when the lights dimmed and the huge room became the equivalent of a toilet paper tube pointed at the moon, I was ready and excited to be entertained. Place in relation to the Good Life is a mixed bag; I think you need to go different places to experience different things and the more experiences you have the better life you'll have, but I also believe it is the places we find most comforting where we develop some of our most defining moments in life. It just...depends.
I actually did attend this play by myself, but I made sure to dress up in a nice polo shirt and cargo pants, brush my teeth, wear cologne, etc. because i wanted to treat this like the special viewing experience it was. Here is me about to get my Gator 1 Card swiped at constants theater. I honestly almost wish I had attended this play with others; I think one of the hallmarks of the Good Life is doing things with other people, just for the simple reason that we are biologically social creatures and with numbers we are brought into happiness more easily. That's just my opinion though.
The Cultural and Intellectual Experience
The most striking thing about this play is it's existence in the first place. In this play, Bouchard was exploring concepts pertaining the realism movement of his era. This battle between things like moral and ethical obligations, Social Oppression and Privilege were so impactful at the time, yet today they are but mere common tropes that occur in such a huge amount of media that it's almost absurd. This play made an impact on me by delivering to me the understanding that sometimes it's the process of getting the topics heard in the first place, let alone the complexities of the concepts themselves, that require the most effort. It makes me wonder what works, what pieces of media, what art will be cited hundreds of years from now as impactful, especially in an age where there are far more manners of social engagement than a play. I feel closer to the material within the play in this way; it is relatable to me because I aspire to create the impactful work of my generation, whether it is the same, similar, or completely different than the themes expressed by Bouchard. This Painting outside the theater reminded me of all this; what things could I possibly make to be put into a painting one day.
I included a picture of the flyer for this play here for a specific reason. As college students we can be very tempted to just see works like this as just another thing to do on campus via slyers like these; like movie night at the Reitz or a Dance Marathon. There nothing wrong with enjoying it as entertainment, but for reasons I explained in my last page, there is quite simply so much more to performances like this that completely transcend from a different time period. I did not personally connect to the meaning of the play itself, but rather the impact the play made as an entity to the audience it was originally made for. I believe the themes explored by this play that I mentioned in my previous page allowed the audience of that era face themselves and reflect upon society. I felt the historical context withing the play's script. Much in the way today's Hamilton performances are reflecting upon a larger issue in American culture, I believe this play did as well. It can provide the modern viewer with Katharsis by giving them insight into the larger goal of pieces like The Divine: to force the viewer to think outside of their own box.