The Social Experience
Funny story: I had originally planned a big outing with friends so we could all see the show together, but I mistook the location of the play (thinking it was neat the museums) and we ended up having to reschedule all on different dates, so I went to see it alone. However, I prefer to watch performances alone due to the fact that I think I can appreciate it more and interpret in my own way. I do not feel pressure to make comments here or try to joke there, where if I was in a social setting I would feel obligated to be interactive with my friends. I think that although it is important to be able to have a social life, I think it is more important to be able to enjoy your own company with confidence and not feel self-concious about it.
Cultural and Intellectual Experience
The Divine is a fictional story about a chance encounter between a brilliant actress and a young seminiarian starting to become hardened though the challenges of the early 1900s in Quebec City. The play has a central theme of religion vs theatre, for in this play theatre represents adultery and sin, where the main character (a seminarian) must try to end the spread of this temptation. The playbook gives great detail regarding the historical background of the play; the play is set at the turn of the twentieth century, when Realism had heavy influence to the creation of plays. This style is focused on allowing the audience to watch scenes unfold though an imaginary fourth wall- like watching television. It lead to an industrial revolution of sorts, allowing theatre to gain technical advances that further the possibility for more realistic productions. I was aware of heavy Catholic influence on Canada during that time period due to Canada's history and connections with France, especially in Quebec, but I was not aware of how much power and influence the Church held. As I am a person who was born and raised Catholic, I have had my own time to question my faith and my Church; I realize that Catholicism is one of the wealthiest and most influential religions in the world, and it has had a powerful role in the shaping of history (seen in Rome, the Tudor Dynasty, Ethiopia, etc).I have also watched movies where it makes Catholic priests out to be one where they only have their self-interest in mind; this play supports that theory in many ways, particularly through the pride in the Talbot family. Regardless, I still am a follower of my religion and I enjoy watching how others portray it. I believe it helps strengthen my faith, when I see it being challenged or ridiculed.
The Emotional Experience
Due to the fact that this is a play set up with the audience observing through the fourth wall, no interaction is presented for the audience. So when the show starts, there is no stopping it and the audience must sit through every scene and every detail regardless if they feel comfortable or not. This play touches on controversial themes like religion, faith, and social oppression. The juxtaposition of class is established immediately and is re-visted throughout. The theme that I related to the most, though, was the theme of religion. It did make me uncomfortable to watch as my faith of Catholicism is painted in such a bad and greedy light, but I had to sit and observe and could do nothing about it but reflect on it. Religion still continues to divide nations even to this day, and greedy material lusts shape the modern way of living more than ever. Although this place is set more than 100 years ago, those themes are still prevalent to this day. Theatre provides a way to share this realization though an entertaining lens, and allows audience's to have their minds open even without realizing it until later.