Going into the play, I had no idea what to expect or what it would be about. I had an open mind to enjoying the play to the best of my ability but I figured it would probably be only mildly entertaining at best. However, from the minute I walked into the auditorium, the play took my breath away. I had never seen such a beautifully crafted set so closely before. I began to get very excited as I finished reading the playbook and the lights went down. It's amazing how new and exciting experiences can make you feel like you're living the good life in ways you never expected.
Photo of the playbook by E. Kolody 1/21/17
I went to the play completely alone and I didn't know how that was going to be. However, I'm actually glad I was alone because I was able to enjoy every detail of it with only my own thoughts influencing my experience. I even got up the courage to go talk to the actors on my own afterward, which was an amazing experience. I still had the interaction with others members of the audience, as well, from going through this incredibly intense shared experience for the same reason. It was cool to think about how everyone else, despite being there for the same reason, was experiencing the play in their own way. I think the role of shared experiences in the good life is to gain an appreciation of others' unique views, which was definitely something I got from attending this play.
Selfie by me in the auditorium waiting for the play to start on 9/21/17.
Cultural and Intellectual Experience
This play was incredibly relatable to our culture in today's world, despite the fact that it was set in a completely different century. I am already highly aware of how messed up things in our world are, but going to this play and seeing other people so passionate about these issues was very inspiring. I think it's very important to pay attention to such issues and take note of the fact that these social ills have existed for a very long time and that we should be trying to fix them. I was very pleasantly surprised by the way this play took on society's problem instead of being just another play without much depth where everything is mostly happy all the time. The play had a very profound effect on me and really lifted my spirits in that some people do still care about changing the world for the better.
Picture found on https://www.thestar.com/entertainment/stage/2015/07/25/the-divine-a-play-for-sarah-bernhardt-holds-harrowing-moments-but-doesnt-quite-jell-review.html
This play is definitely a major avenue for us to feel catharsis for our society. I was incredibly impressed with how strategically and adeptly it ripped into the nastier sides of our society. I really appreciated how honest the play was and even though I was already aware of such societal problems, it still moved me to tears at some points and I hope it had an effect on some of the other audience members around me who may not have been so aware of these problems. However, the most emotional part for me was hearing the actors talk after the show about how they cared about these issues in their daily lives and how much the play meant to them. That extra experience really drove the sincerity of the play created by these fake characters into reality as the actors who portrayed them confirmed that they really did care about these issues. I'm positive this night at the theater will go down as one of my favorite memories of attending UF.
Selfie in front of the theater on 1/21/17.