The Divine Or the Repine Created By Isabella Shanle

The social experience

A quick selfie snapped a few moments before showtime.

A swarm of Good Life students bustled out in front of the Constans Theatre on Friday night, January 20th. Needless to say, showing up date-less lead the pairs and trios attending to pin me as the official group photographer - something I have already become accustomed to in my tourist-y hometown.

Before the curtain rose I showered after a brief run at the stadium, as I still am attempting to hold on to my New Years Resolutions. I looked forward to a quiet evening of theatre, yet as everyone was being seated a bustle of murmurs broke out among the audience as word spread we were going to be locked in for around three hours. Once the curtain rose everyone was respectful and quieted down.

After intermission, ten percent of the starting audience disappeared. By the time to start the talk back only thirty of the original audience remained. I am still surprised some students act as though they are still in high school and the world revolves around their social lives.

Attending the play alone gave me a chance to fully digest the material, with out immediate comments swaying my decision. The role of shared experiences in the Good Life is everyone perceives these experiences differently. Although many of my peers evidently could not comprehend the the social issues in the time period of the play, I very much enjoyed the message brought forth.

The Spacial Experience

I have watched several shows at the Constans Theatre prior to The Divine as I was in a Theatre Appreciation class. The lobby is small and awkwardly shaped, especially with an influx of people entering. I sat in the center of the theatre towards stage left, and therefore did not get the up close view of the actors as they waltzed through the front aisles. I am always very excited when the lights dim. I used to perform myself so the familiar events as put butterflies in my stomach.

Waiting in line to swipe my ID and get a seat.

The role of the place in the Good Life dictates what experiences and opportunities you encounter. For example, since the play was set in the early 1900s, when child labor was out lawed but there were no worker safety laws we see a lot of avoidable death occur.

The Cultural and Intellectual Experience

A quick snap of the program once in the theatre.

The play gave an outlook back into the past. Many people did not realize the harsh realities of absent laws and worker safety. In the beginning of the play we learn of two young girls who fall into machinery, only 11 and 13 years old, and no social justice comes of their deaths.

The central issue addressed in the play is the fact that richer upper class contain all the power in the early 1990s, and can get away with cruel, gruesome crimes. Before attending the play I new in the early 1900s there was an influx of immigrants coming and and working for little to no pay, which only drove matters of labor rights and safety further down. I was also aware of the foul actions in Seminaries and how the church would cover up such evil.

Lucky enough for me I have never encountered such behavior and unfair treatment, because if I had I would not know what I would have done.

The Emotional Experience

Through out the first half of the play there is a build up leading to secrets and unknown events, after intermission the secrets are spilled and how the characters deal with the newfound information represents a different reaction in each, showing the human fault and how the possible reactions are presented. Michaud in the story represents the innocent perception of doing what is right, no matter what. Each other character has their own ideas and excuses for reasons to cover up each event.

Michaud's own authored play in the end is the chance for the Katharsis, and despite the choice of everyone to cover up the truth Michaud informs the police and each cope with what has happened in their own way: the most profound being Brother Casgrain's suicide.

A blurry selfie of the exit! Bravo to all the performers.

Credits:

Created with images by RC_Fotos - "Basilique Notre-Dame de Montréal [IMG_0049-5]"

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