The Divine: A Play for Sarah Bernhardt Breana Mendoza

The Spatial Experience

Kaykaybarrie. "Factory Theatre". 25 February 2013. https://www.flickr.com/photos/58121606@N03/8597567077. Accessed 2 February 2017.

While waiting for the performance to begin, I was waiting in the lobby with other people. There were conducting bag and ID checkings before the show. The ladies at the door swiped my ID and handed me a pamphlet to read before the show. As I was entering the auditorium, I did not know what to expect since it was my first time. It was dark and quiet as other students filled the empty space. I saw many seats down below, as well as, the tall, wide stage in the dimness. For example, the photo above is similar to the Constans Theatre. As I was being seated, my seat extremely affected my experience. I was one of the first few people to enter, so the usher told me to come all the way down and sit in the first row, seventh seat. I was happy I was seated there because I was worried I was going to be seated behind someone taller than me preventing me from seeing everything. However, I was able to see and hear every detail from the actors and actresses. It took about ten to fifteen minutes for the ushers to have everyone seated, with no gaps in between each person. Everyone was seated towards the front in order for a better experience. At around 7:20PM, there was fake snow falling from the ceiling behind the painted glass on stage. It was fascinating because since the stage was vast, it looked real and was very beautiful. As the lights began to dim and the audience quieted, it was surprising how everyone all became silent at the same time. Curiosity and excitement took over my body as the show was about to start. The size of the auditorium greatly contributed to my experience because since it was spacious, I could hear echoes as the actors and actresses spoke. There were various lights everywhere. The auditorium had enough space that the actors and actresses were able to walk between the audience to the other side of the stage before they exited through the door. As the lights turned off, completely darkening the entire auditorium, the performance began. The stage space was enough for the actors to lay, roll, jump, run, etc. which contributed to their acting and the play over all. Since it was my first time, I believe the role of the place in the Good Life is to experience new things. The place contributes to the experience by either making it a positive or negative one. In this case, the role of the place made it a positive experience. I tried something new on my own and greatly enjoyed it.

The Social Experience

Photo taken by me

Unfortunately I decided to attend the play by myself on February 1, 2017 in order to fully pay attention to the play and the details. I feel better and comfortable when I attend school events alone. Also, I reserved the ticket last minute since I work and my friends had already gone the week before. Additionally, since I went by myself, it was difficult finding the theatre since it was my first time. I was lost for five minutes because I was confused at first entering the dance building but then a stranger directed me to the right place. Before coming, in order to get ready for the performance, I made sure I was following theatre etiquette, such as dressing appropriate and formal. However, other people did not follow it since I saw many open-toed sandals and hats. In order to get there, I took the twelve bus from my apartment to the play which was convenient because it dropped me off right in front of the Reitz Union. During the play, I was quite confused and since I did not come with friends I was not able to ask. If I attended with friends, my experience would have greatly enhanced. Instead, after the play I wrote down questions to ask my friends the next day who also went to see it. Attending the play with strangers was also quite interesting because the lady next to me was reading another play before the performance started. This made me realize how popular theatre is since I do not have friends who are interested in theatre. Most of my friends are interested in the science field, so being exposed to this new atmosphere was eye opening. I believe the role of shared experiences in the Good Life is to have a great time and enjoy and cherish the shared experiences. Although I did not come with friends, coming alone still impacted me as well.

The Cultural and Intellectual Experience

Photo taken by me on the way to the theatre.

The play took place during the twentieth century in Quebec City, Canada. During this time period, religion was very important and taken extremely seriously as the Church played a vital role in society. Therefore, the central issue of the play was about religion and theatre. Sara Bernhardt arrived to Quebec City to perform her play but the Grand Seminary would not allow her to as it is about adulterous love. It is on an going battle between Sara and the Grand Seminary. However, Michaud, a seminary is stuck in the middle between the views the Grand Seminary imposes and his passion for theatre as he has to deliver the message to Sara . Before the play, I did not know much only that it dealt with religion and a famous actress. I would say the performance made me realize the different views of many people, such as, being bias or one sided. I do not think the performance changed my views on the issues within the play. I am not a very religious person so when the issue about Sara not being allowed to perform, I thought it was a bit too extreme. However, I understood the issue and the seriousness of it when taking into consideration the time period and the place. The performance, overall, helped me develop a new way of seeing and understanding our own culture. It made me realize that some people will never understand others' views unless they experience the same experience. For example, this subject matter currently does have meaning in my own life. My roommate and I have many different views, especially when it comes to politics. However, when situations like this comes about, there is always one person who will never understand the other person's views or beliefs. In this case, it is my roommate. This subject matter makes me realize that some people are extremely close-minded and base information only to their beliefs.

The Emotional Experience

Photo taken by me.

The Divine: A Play For Sarah Bernhardt provides us an opportunity for katharsis. The themes present in this performance, such as, social class, labor, politics, religion, etc. are hard topics to discuss, however, some people do discuss these issues. For example, in the beginning of the play, Talbot's brother argues with Talbot about how he and his mother have to live a hard life and work in a factory doing the same boring tasks. This is something many people are afraid to come clean or talk about as it is embarrassing. Also, the situation of Talbot and the silverware is another example of katharsis. Talbot did not want to tell about how he received the silverware to his family or how Brother Casgrain was so hung up on the fact that Talbot needed to confess that he committed theft.

Credits:

Created with images by kaykaybarrie - "Factory Theatre"

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