The Divine: A Play for Sarah Bernhardt By Mitchell Regis

Watching the The Divine: A Play for Sarah Bernhardt at the Constans Theatre was somewhat of a new experience for me. Since this production was the first professional production I ever seen in my life, I have a new understanding and appreciation for this type of art. The play was a wonderful depiction of events that occurred in Quebec City, with an actress and The Church. This production not only gave me an appreciation for theater but gave me a new perspective of what happen many years ago.

Entrance to Constans Theatre

The Spatial Experience

When I first entered the theatre it seem like I was going to the movies. Since this is my first view of professional theater I didn't know what to expect. I enjoyed everything about the setup of the auditorium from the seating to the overall structure of the building. When the lights dimmed it got really tense and serious, everyone there stopped talking hoping to give the actors the respect they deserve. Me personally, really enjoyed the dimming as it signal the play was about to begin. i think the theaters play a huge role in the good life, everyone in the audience was in the same situation. During the play we went from me by myself to us together depicted by the dimming of the lights, this made everything personal in the sense that the audience was one body and the actors were another.

The Social Experience

I attended the play with two of my friends from high school. The play was honestly a lot better with them by my side because we were able to exchange opinions after. Before attending the play I wanted to make sure I came dressed in a semi-formal attire to give the actor some respect, this made me feel like I was going to a formal event, like a wedding for example. There wasn't many people there me and my friends were sitting with me which made it seem like the play was only for us. The role of shared experience in the Good Life is to promote unity and remove mental differences from different individuals.

The Cultural and Intellectual Experience

The production gave me a new appreciation for theater and the arts in general. It allowed me to have a better understanding of what the finished product of the combination of history, costumes, dialogue and stage looks like. The performance was a depiction of actress Sarah Bernhardt is booked to perform in Quebec City, but her performance is banned by the Catholic Church. The play opened up my eyes to the way life was at the time for celebrities and the control The Church had on something.

The Emotional Experience

I think when Dr. Pagan said that theatre presents “topics that are socially uncomfortable, politically contentious, religiously irreverent, or culturally radical” she was correct because this performance I feel like it was a mix of comedy and serious themes. The production provided an opportunity of katharsis as we saw those who hurt people try to avoid coming clean. As we see this, knowing it's wrong we get angry/annoyed with the characters, but this is beneficial to our own lives by helping us recognize the many times we fail to realize that we too are guilty of avoiding katharsis.

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