Good Life Performance of The Divine: A Play for Sarah Bernhardt By: Kevin Naughton

The Spatial Experience: When I entered the Constans Theater, I was surprised at how such a large room could be hiding from me. I go through the Reitz Union daily and have never seen the inside of the Theater. I walked down the steps to then be professionally seated by a attendant. The quality of the theater and service was very encouraging as I thought I would not enjoy watching a play. While I sat in the middle near the back the of theater, the elevated seat I had allowed me have an almost widescreen view of the stage, enhancing my experience. When the lights dimmed and all the cell phones were turned off, I could clearly see the performers begin and was excited for the play. The day I attended, the theater was not filled, but the large audience revealed to me that the feelings and thoughts I was having was shared across the room.
The Social Experience: I went with my close friends Matthew Mellies (right) and Alex Cohn (picture taker) to see The Divine: A Play for Sarah Bernhardt. Having two of my closest friends come with me to see the good life class play colossally improved my experience. Before the play, we got ready by dressing in more "proper" clothing and drove to the Reitz Union. Spending my Sunday afternoon with the people I enjoy allowed what I considered an non-enjoyable event to be like watching my favorite movie together. Staying for the talk-back allowed me to speak to the actors and learn more in depth the actions the actors must take. Accompanying friends on our individual journeys to the good life are extremely needed to achieve it.
The Cultural and Intellectual Experience: The play started to bring up many things I have learned in school and on my own. The child labor in the twentieth century I was taught was actively being portrayed to me in a form on entertainment. I believe that the issue of greed and ignorance was the most important part of the play. The amount of money the boss wanted to make by allowing the child laborers to die allowed others to find out that he was enslaving children. The amount of money the manager of Sarah wanted to make and how he would only care about getting more tickets sold by the media shows his greedy intentions. I was able to learn more by actively listening to the script of the play; instead of dosing off like many students around me, paying attention brought more depth to each act of the play. I felt my wisdom growing on the subjects portrayed by the performances. Being slightly upper class, I do not having the personal experience of the lower class factory workers. The scenes with the factor allowed me to side with the poor and feel hatred towards the upper class managers. I was able to see more in depth how many others feel when growing up in an unfortunate condition.
The Emotional Experience: The Divine: A Play for Sarah Bernhardt, made me feel sadness and anger for the unjust actions that occurred in the play. I felt sad during the scene of a favorite characters death, and then immediately anger for the stupidity of the characters responsible for such a preventable death. Watching the play allowed my emotions to be released as I may have needed to in daily life. I was able to discuss the play afterwords with the actors during the talk back and my friends after the performance. This period allowed me to reflect on my own thoughts towards the many issues in the play and to help me decide what I want. The portrayed messages allowed me to open new viewpoints on all of humanity.
Created By
Kevin Naughton

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