The Divine By Annie Warner

The Spatial Experience

When I entered the theatre I was overcome with a feeling of art. Walking through the doors of Constance Theater I felt like I was transported from Reitz Union to an upscale theatre somewhere in Miami or New York City. The art in the lobby was unique and beautiful. The architectural designs of the lobby were that of a professional theater rather than a state university's student union. Once I sat down and the lights dimmed I felt incredibly close to the performers. This lack of space and lack of division between the audience and the performers helped to engage me and capture my attention. I felt particularly close to the story and the characters when the actors walked through the audience and were only inches from where I was sitting. Place plays a vital role in the Good Life. In many instances location effects how you experience something. In addition, location and spatial experience can both help and hinder one's achievement of the good life. For me personally, physical location in terms of which state and country I am in are very important to me. Also, I enjoy being around others and prefer small settings rather than large crowds. These elements of spatial experience are essential in achieving my version of the Good Life.

The Social Experience

The social experience of attending the performance was very enjoyable. Prior to the play I went out to dinner with 6 of my friends at a restaurant across from campus. Afterwards we walked to the theater and attended the play. Attending the performance with friends enhanced my experience because afterwords we were able to reflect on it together and share our different interpretations. Sharing experiences is a part of the good life because even if you reach all of your goals they mean nothing if there is no one to share in the glory with you. It is important to have family and friends to go through life with because their company almost always enhances your experiences.

The Cultural and Intellectual Experience

The performance truly helped me to develop a new way of seeing and understanding my own culture. The story took place in the early 1900s in Quebec City at a time when labor laws were nearly nonexistent. Before attending the performance, I knew very little about that time. My knowledge was limited to what I had seen in movies and read in middle school history class about children working in factories and the large population of impoverished people of the time. Learning more about history and past culture will help me to achieve the good life. Through studying history we as a society are able to make improvements and learn from our past mistakes.

The Emotional Experience

The Divine: A Play for Sarah Bernhardt displays Katharsis through its use of following a young man on his way to finding the good life. The play includes many controversial social issues and addresses them from a unique perspective. These topics included sexual abuse in the church, child labor laws, poor working conditions, and much more. While watching the performance I was prompted to reflect on these moral issues and develop emotional responses.

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