The Divine: A Play for Sarah Bernhardt A review By Gianna Drayer

A photo taken with Taylor Girtman and Theresa Roberts before the show. This photo is used with their written permission.

Spatial Experience:

I walked into the lobby of the Constans Theatre with hundreds of eager good life students patiently waiting for the play to begin. As I walked in, the space was cool and dark, my eyes darted to the stage to see if I could pick up any clues about the setting of the play. We sat in the second section from the from the front in the 2nd row and I could see the entire stage. The size of the theatre was perfect as I did not get lost in its massiveness or feel as though I was directly noticed in the crowd. When the audience quieted and the lights grew even darker, I sat in anticipation as I waited to be immersed in The Divine's storyline. In our row, we sat at the very left and experienced first hand the entrance of the cast. Sarah Bernhardt played by Christie Robinson whisked through the crowd as everyone cheered and I truly felt I was part of the show and, in that moment, part of the opening scene. I believe that place is an important aspect to finding the good life. Each person has their own comfortable space and venturing out of that space can truly help you find a new perspective and look on your good life. Contrary to that, being comfortable in the space ca help you focus further on what is in front of you want its meaning. Space plays an important role in how you see situations and how you relay the worth of the moment back in your life.

This image was obtained from the Foresight Construction Group and portrays the seating area of Constans Theatre

Social Experience:

I attended The Divine with my roommate Taylor Girtman and her close friend Theresa Roberts. We all sat next to each other in the theatre and said hi to the familiar faces that passed. I enjoyed going with them because they helped me feel more comfortable in the space I was in and helped me not worry about being lost in the play. I felt confident with them by my side and it did not matter that I was in an unfamiliar place. Besides them, I sat in a room full of strangers and I saw a lot of the people in my good life lecture, familiar faces from campus, and members of my preview group. The boy who sat behind me, however, sat behind me and kicked my seat the majority of the show. I found myself at times focusing on that as my attention drifted from the show. I connected this to the good life. We may run into obstacles, but the people we surround ourselves with will always have our back on our journey. Shared experiences play and important role in the journey towards the good life. They allow groups of people to be sympathetic and uplifting in hard times or encouraging and supportive in times of success. The people around us are the catalysts in our good life and can affect greatly you perception on life.

The Cultural Experience:

When I went to the play, I had no idea about the premise of the storyline. I did not know that that the play was going to address some key themes i our culture today like rebellion, innocence, and poverty. However, I grew up in a Catholic household and attended a Catholic high school and fully understood the details about the seminary and how the church worked during that time period. I had learned about the Roman Catholic Church intensively in the past and understood all of the layman's terms in reference to the church and is hierarchy of power. In my opinion, there were many central ideas addressed such as the harsh working conditions and the cover for the sexual molestation. These parts of the play made me uncomfortable in the sense that I had not fully realized the blessings I had been given. Seeing my own culture in a much earlier time period helped me appreciated how much our culture has changed and adapted from its mistakes, even though there is still much more we can improve on. I saw that we have really gained a lot of knowledge over the years, and it is our job to take this knowledge and use it to better ourselves and educate the people around us. The subject matters made me address that this is a part of my religion's history and my nation's history. I do not think that this subject matter relates to my life, but I can see aspects of myself in Michaud. He is persistent and dedicated himself to the things that he loves and will not stop until he finds what he wants.

Emotional Experience:

As I said in the above paragraph, The Divine really made me realize the blessings I have in life, but it also made me realize the history my culture has been a part of. I completely agree with Dr. Pagan, I think that theatre is a means of communication for society to actually see from an outside perspective the consequences their actions have. The Divine really dives into the history of some priests being child molesters with the character Talbot and the safety of the work place in the death of Talbot's brother, Leo. It also, on a more positive note, encourages the promotion of the arts and shows the importance of arts. It allows katharsis by showing us some of the true evils humans have done. For example, they covered up the molestation by claiming he stole silver and then thought the material item would take everything away. This showed the audience what the event really did behind the scenes and gave us a perspective on the event we would not usually see. The same thing goes for the death of Leo, it allows us to see what we have done wrong in the past and improve upon it. Child Labor Laws are an example of this improvement.

This is a photo of myself after the play.
This is the written permission for the photos of Taylor Girtman and Theresa Roberts. All of the photos above were mine except the photo of Constans theatre which was courtesy of Foresight Construction Groups website.

Credits:

Created with images by Nachrichten_muc - "stage curtain curtain stage"

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