Divine Theatre Alex Wright

The space and the rush

The Rush

As one who has always loved the theater and acting, walking into the house was like coming home. Because I was early to the show, I had time to reminisce in the feelings of anticipation that come with every show. Being early also allowed me to get a seat in the orchestra pit and as I entered the fairly small theater I felt joy that the performance would be more personal. I could see everything and the stage was within my reach. As the lights dimmed, I was placed backstage where the rest of the actors waited. I felt the rush of confidence come over me that comes with becoming a new person. Unlike the normal rush of excitement to see a new story, this being my first show since I left for college, It was like the entire atmosphere was welcoming me back. These feelings produced by the space also influenced my experience at The Divine. The space and environment that one is raised in effects the way one views the Good Life. The culture and values that one is raised with affects the way that one views the Good Life. Thus, different places and environments are a key factor in ones perspective of the Good Life.

The Social

I attended the performance alone because I was on a time constraint before work. Still, it is common courtesy for one to dress up for a performance, therefore, I dressed as if I was going to a business function. Still, as an actor going to the theater, everyone is your family. Every person on and behind that show is someone who can relate to how you feel and will welcome you with open arms. No one is ever alone. For most, the Good Life and the best experiences are those that are shared with the ones you love. In example, a couple stereotypical moments of achievement are ones wedding day and buying your first home. Thus, it may be concluded that the Good Life is a shared experience.

The Culture

The Culture

Set in turn of the 20th century Canada, The Divine: a Play for Sarah Bernhardt, was in time and place torn between stepping into the world of change and holding true to their religious roots. The Divine address's two hot button issues of the time; the abuse in the catholic church as well as arising child labor laws. Going into the show I knew nothing of who Sarah Bernhardt was or what she stood for. Still I knew that in the turn of the century many of the Catholic Church priests were accused of molesting many of their charges. I also knew that the working conditions in the factories at the time were awful. Many of the children who did not die of the perils of the machinery often perished from the diseases that came from the harsh chemicals used in the factories.

As the performance progressed and the plot unfurled I found that my views on these issues became more personal. Never before had either of these issues effected my views on life and religion. However, this changed as these issues combined to show the incompetency of people to own up to their mistakes. This applies to every day life because evils and wrongs happen in the dark everyday. Whether it be abuse, stealing, or some other crime, these things are not always reported. Rather, they are known of and let to happen because society is afraid to speak up. Thus, while I have never experienced this sort of event in my life, the cultural relation to society allows for a clear understanding to all.

The Emotion

The beauty of theater is that society can talk about issues that are not acceptable for social environments. This is why theater both embraces a play writes Katharsis, but also persecutes them for their honesty. All play writes embrace the realities of life and make beauty of them, thus allowing the audience to empathize through the actors portrayal of the story. By accepting the faults in society and realizing that they come with the Good Life, theater makes the audience wiser and more open to new ideas. Therefore, by experiencing theater and allowing it to reach you at an emotional level, you enable yourself to step closer to the Good Life


Theater masks. Digital image. N.p., n.d. Web.



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