Good Life Performance By: Philip smith

Walking into Constans Theatre could only be described as foreshadowing. I had never been in the lobby of the theater before, and I expected some grand entrance to the event, but I was met with a painfully dreary entryway. I went with a group of friends, and we were seated in the front row. This was great, as it gave me an opportunity to fully see the expressions of the actors, and left me with less distractions, such as other play-goers, than I would have had in any other row. As a former actor, I saw the stage as a blank canvas, waiting for the story to be painted. I also hold this view about settings in regards to the "Good Life". The setting of your life story does not determine the content or the quality of your life, but it can accentuate certain themes and open opportunities for you.

I attended the show with a group of friends, and this enhanced my experience by allowing me to feel comfortable in a large theater, and because I was comfortable, I could absorb the story more readily. This is another comparison I can make between my experience in the play, and my experience in life. I believe that friends and loved ones can enhance someone's life, and I think they are important additions to a "Good Life", but I do not believe they are necessary.

The play itself was quite well-done, which was unfortunately wasted on this play in particular. The Divine disjointedly focused on many issues, including homosexuality in the Catholic church, the purpose and importance of theater, and the suffering of workers in the early 20th century. There was no new information presented to me, and the only idea that was analyzed further than a criticism was the importance of theater. There were many arguments presented in favor, and against the importance of theater. This led me to reconsider my thoughts on the subject, and ultimately led to my new understanding that theater is fraught with futility. This is a change of pace for me, as I have always thought theater was an important method of communication, but after The Divine, I have had a change of heart.

The idea that a play can help someone "come clean" with their own life, thoughts, and humanity is, in my opinion, present in most theatrical works, but no such idea was found in The Divine. I was presented with many situations regarding poverty, sexual abuse, and irreverence, but I felt led to a singular conclusion by the play. There were no redeeming qualities to either The Boss or the abusive priest, they weren't given any personality, they were just tools to push the story along. There was no way to see yourself in the caricatures of immorality that were The Boss and that priest, and without being able to relate to the evil characters, you cannot question yourself, your motive, or methods, and that is the purpose of a play.

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