The Divine: A Play for Sarah Bernhardt Nicholas Gonzalez

A review on how theatre and "The Divine" relate to my pursuit of the good life.

The Spacial Experience

A photo of myself enjoying the artwork that fills the lobby of the Constans Theatre.

As I entered the theatre, I felt quite genteel surrounded by well dressed students and a lobby filled with modern artwork. Walking down into the actual theatre once my I.D. was scanned I smiled as I saw how the stage connected through to the walkways between the aisle of seats, excited for the encapsulating performance that lied ahead since my seat was in the aisle that was directly connected to the walkways of the stage. As the play drew closer to starting and the lights dimmed I noticed the back drop of the stage that was a beautiful stained glass wall. Thoughts began rushing into my head trying to figure out where the first scene would take place, I could not wait for the performance to start. Looking around, I saw an audience filled just about completely, most of them all yearning for the same entertainment I was. This made me feel very cultured as if I was seeking the same type of entertainment as many adults had before myself, dramatic and sophisticated entertainment. In the "Good Life" the theatre definitely plays a significant role in providing an escape from all the adversity we all face throughout our everyday lives. This form of enjoyment is that of no other and I was able to feel that before the performance even started due to the theatre's transcendent atmosphere. This is what I believe we look for when finding places of comfort in our good life, those of which are captivating and provide us an escape.

The Social Experience

My Roommate and I take a quick photo during intermission, captivating our discussion as to how we think the play will end. (Written consent was received from the above Kindle Anderson)

I attended the performance with my good friends Paul and Kindle. Previous to going to the theatre we all changed into collared shirts and nice pants in order to fit in in the theatre environment. We then went to dinner and had conservation that consisted of speculating what the play was about and what the theme could possibly be. This led to all of us becoming even more excited to see the performance. Attending the play with two very close friends definitely enhanced my experience by providing intimate conversation about it before and after the play. Upon leaving the theatre, the three of us engaged in conversation about the performance for the following hour, discussing what we loved as well as how intense and shocking the climax of the performance was. I firmly believe that the best experiences are shared and are one of the most important aspects of the "Good Life". I mean, what is life good for if you have no one to share your best moments with?

The Cultural and Intellectual Experience

Appreciating the modern art within the theatre during the intermission

The central issue addressed in the play was the constant fight, and often very difficult one, between holding your tongue about wrong doing being done or that has been done to you, or speaking up and facing the consequences as well as personal relief. We saw this with the protagonist and his inability to deal with his sexual abuser and come forward to the authorities about it as well as the child labor that consumed his family. During the early 1900s, I had known about the the issues with child labor but had not had any knowledge about abuse within the church. The performance altered my views on the above subjects by bringing to light that sexual abuse is an age old problem that has always needed to be dealt with. This made me realize how sad it is we have not as a society come up with a solution to end this. I was also relieved that child labor is no longer allowed, after seeing the grueling conditions represented during the play. I am fortunate and have never been affected by either of these things in my own life.

The Emotional Experience

My friends Paul, Kindle, and I take a quick photo while leaving the theatre. (Written consent was received from both individuals pictured)

Death, hardship, and despair were all common themes within "The Divine". This performance allowed us viewers to purge ourselves of emotional tension by watching these tragedies unfold. This is an extremely important part of theatre because it allows us to escape from our everyday routines and "come clean" with ourselves by observing and enjoying others hardships and triumphs within the theatrical performance. Personally, while watching the performance, I felt relieved of all my burdens and was completely immersed within what was occurring on stage. All in all, this performance has given me what other types of entertainment could not do and I look forward to the next performance I get to see.

Created By
Nicholas Gonzalez


Created with images by abdallahh - "Basilique Notre-Dame de Montréal"

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