The Divine: A Play for Sarah Bernhardt Good Life Performance - Jessica Giessman

The Spatial Experience

The setting of the theatre was very exciting and full of anticipation. Everyone entering the theatre was chattering about what they think the play will be like and if we will enjoy it. When I entered the theatre I was very happy because it brought back memories of when I was in theatre classes in high school. My seat location affected the experience because I was in the first row and was able to see every facial expression and hear the characters' lines very clearly. When the lights dimmed and the audience quieted, there was a moment of calm from the anticipation previously felt, since it was finally beginning. Place plays a role in good life because it can act as a reflection of one's current situation in life and be a source of new learning experiences.

Me (left) and my friend Shelby before entering the Constans Theatre

The Social Experience

Attending the play with friends made the experience even better than attending alone. I attended with my friends, Shelby and Taylor. To get ready for the performance, we all read the playbill to learn the background about the show. The best part about attending the play with friends was being able to discuss theories about what will happen before the show and during intermission. The role of shared experiences in the good life is to find guidance from others or provide guidance to others. Sharing experiences provides educational moments to learn from others.

Me, Shelby, and Taylor leaving the theatre

The Cultural and Intellectual Experience

"The Divine is a play inspired by two shocking statements the famous actress made during her sojourn in Quebec City: one about the intellectual and artistic backwardness of our country and the other about the important of art in society." - Michel Marc Bouchard

This performance helps me see my culture in a new way because it showed be how we treat sexual assault and people in power. Even though the time period is different than today, there were remarkable similarities about how sensitive issues are treated and how people that are powerful can get away with terrible acts. The central issue in the play was the stratification between rich and poor, and the coverup of a sexual crime against a child. The previous knowledge I have about this subject is what I have seen in the news about priests abusing children in real life. The performance changed my views because it made it even more painful since I could see the direct effect it has on characters and people close to them.

Me with the playbill

The Emotional Experience

The play, The Divine: A Play for Sarah Bernhardt provides an opportunity for catharsis because it discusses sensitive and controversial issues that many have dealt with, but may not discuss. The topics like stratification between social classes, sexual assault, child labor, and absent parents can be felt by many during this time period. Watching others have similar experiences can be cathartic and give a sense of bonding between people.

This photo was provided by Adobe Spark

Credits:

Created with images by annca - "popcorn cinema ticket" • garryknight - "Theatreland Masks" • All other photos are mine • Shelby and Taylor agreed to be in these photos

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