Good Life Performance: The Divine By: melanie Veramendi

The Constans Theatre

The lobby is a little packed which, raises my anticipation for the play. There is art and sculptures everywhere, which makes me hopeful that the theater will be nice as well. Entering the theater I am amazed at how beautiful it looks, the set is breathtaking and you can tell the sheer amount of work that was put into it. I fall in love with the window panels that look like stain glass, and I still continue to wonder if it was real or not. The actual theater is surprisingly big, and makes me even more excited to see the actual play. The room is wide and there are so many lights on the ceiling, I fear I will be distracted by them. The lights are low and there is some low talking from everyone, that increases my sense of anticipation. Looking for a seat my friend and I decide, to find something closer to the stage so that we can better see the play. I like the seat because its proximity makes me feel more closer to the "action" and reassures me that I wont miss anything because of bad eyesight. When the lights finally dim and the small bells that signal the commencement of the play, I am amazed by how hushed the room becomes. How a place that houses so many people, can be changed by such small things. Place is very important in the good life, as it can affect anything from the experiences you have to how you feel about them. If the room had been smaller, the play would have a more intimate feeling, and if I was seated farther away I wouldn't have felt as connected to the play. It is in this way that places can affect our encounters in daily life.

My friend and I posing for a picture outside before the play

I am outside of the lobby, standing alone 5 minutes before the play. My friend is a little late which raises for anxiety for it. I am excited to enter the Constans theater for the first time, and am wondering how big it will be, how it will look. When my friend finally gets there I am relieved we wont be late and happy that we will share the experience. Watching a play is great but, being able to discuss it later on and share an experience with someone else, makes it all the better. We enter together and are both surprised that we have to check our book bags in the lobby. Looking for a seat, we both talk about how beautiful the theater and set is. Watching a play with someone is interesting because of the many opinions that can come from it. You never no if a person will love it like you love it, or hate it with all their heart. During intermission we discuss the play, and we both remark that we love that they were able to create fake snow in the beginning. Like many things, this showcases the impact of shared experiences and how many things in life is enhanced when you have someone who you can talk to, and share your experiences with. It is one of the reasons I believe that for you to achieve the good life you need to allow people to be a part of that journey.

The Divine Playbill

The Divine takes place in 1901 in Canada during a time that in many ways seems very different from our own. The central issue of the play concerned religion as we followed a young mans struggle with deciding to join the church or risk his family entering extreme poverty. Alongside that there is a very meta play within a play, that helps provide context and commentary about the subject matter. Though I know on a theoretical level, about the poverty and the corruption that occurred during this time period, this play helped widen my eyes to the trials that these people faced. Working in a factory and having to suffer breathing in toxic chemicals, and risk of decapitation because of the dangerous machinery, is not something that I thought of too closely before this. The play helped highlight the realities of the working class and how badly they were treated. Coming from a family that has a strong working class background, I was truly horrified that this could have been their reality before working standards were put into place. Another important theme dealt with religion, and the corruption that exists within it. As a Catholic, I believe that this is an important discussion to have especially when concerning the sexual abuse of children. It is crucial to recognize the Church's past with sexual abuse, and to open a dialogue for survivors and attempts to reform the problems within the system. One of the main characters, problem is that the higher ups in the church possess the power to destroy him and hinder his ability to tell the truth. These are occurrences that have happened before, and cannot continue to occur if any progress is to be made.

My friend and I posing for a picture after the play

The ending for The Divine in many ways does and does not provide Katharsis. In many ways the events of the play before hand affect this inability as so many issues occur that causes many feelings of anguish and sadness. The death of Talbot's brother, is one of the most tragic in the play and reminds one of the blind cruelty that life sometimes offers us. However, perhaps one of the most conflicting moments for me personally, was Talbots choice to continue in the church. After revealing that he was sexually abused by a Priest he trusted, and his growing hatred of the church when they refused to hear his pleas, one truly develops a need for vengance. I wanted Talbot to go to the police and reveal the truth to them, for justice to be achieved, and for him to move on with his life. His decision to not reveal the truth and stay with the church, is to me the most heart wrenching and confusing. It pains me on a fundamental level, as parts of me will always hope for a fairer world. I achieved the katharsis however, while watching the scene with Talbot and Michaud getting ready. The scene is entirely silent and somber. Yet there is a sense of unity between them, one that speaks of solidarity and strength. It does not erase the past events or even try to temper them, but it is a quiet reminder that life goes on. And in that I achieve the closest level of peace I can with this play.

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