My Experience at "The Divine: A Play for Sarah Bernhardt" Walter Tarr

The Spacial Experience

As I walked into the theater, there was dramatic lighting that I felt prepared me for the performance. Since I was one of the first people to get into the theater, I was able to get a seat in the first few rows. I felt that this allowed me to be more involved and engaged in the play. If I had sat in further rows in the back of the theater, I think that I would have had a very different experience and would not have been as engaged in the show. My overall experience involved me being part of the action simply because I was able to sit so close to the stage. When the lights dimmed and the play began, I felt anxious and apprehensive; not really knowing what to expect. This location really exemplified the "good life" because the structure of the theater was focused on one point: the stage. It allowed me to focus one issue in the humanities and gave me a better ability to evaluate various aspects of my own life.

Before "The Divine". Constans Theatre. January 2017

The Social Experience

I attended the performance with a number of my friends and was able to meet a number of new people along the way as well. The social experience before and after the play allowed me to talk about the play and communicate our thoughts with each other. Before the play we talked about what we expected the play to be and, afterwards, we talked about how we felt about the play. Attending the play with my friends, allowed me to gain a better appreciation for the play because I was able to discuss the play with them and understand their experiences. We all got something different out of the play and we were able to share that experience with each other.

The Cultural and Intellectual Experience

I am rather familiar with the Catholic church and have an understanding of its general history and scandals in the past few decades. This play had a number of themes and one dealt with moral and ethical obligations of each character. Michaud was very fascinated with theater yet was devoted to the Church. He reached an impasse in his life because he wanted to protect the church yet still show his love for theater. Talbot experiences molestation in his early life but must remain quiet to protect himself and his family. This issue of trying to protect a greater entity without regard to an individuals feelings and struggles is very apparent in this performance. This play made me realize that having something to hide was actually a detriment to myself and those around me. There should be an open dialogue with regards to pressing issues whether they be personal or largely societal.

The Emotional Experience

I felt katharis towards the end of this play because the play was focused on social issues and how the individual interacts with his society. It was emotional in the sense that it was very relevant and it make complete sense. The performance made me realize that these issues that might be considered taboo to talk about are actually very important underlying forces in our society. Without talking about them and expressing our opinion, they have the potential to fester for years and come to a point where they actually cause trouble and unrest. I now have a better understanding of certain social issues and strongly feel that I have become part of this play simply because having an active dialogue is important to working out society's issues.

In the Talk Back, the actors expressed how much work and effort they had put into the show. This was also a source of katharsis for myself and the audience simply because they were so devoted to conveying an accurate message of the play.

References:

  • http://foresightcgi.com/project/university-of-t2-replacement/
  • https://stlouisrcchurch.org/
  • All people in pictures have given written consent to use these pictures.

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