The Divine: A Play for Sarah Bernhardt Brenna Masgai

Introduction:The Divine: A Play for Sarah Bernhardt is a Canadian show that deals with topics such as child labor and abuse. I had to opportunity of going to see a showing on January 24, 2016 at the Constans Theatre. I really enjoyed this play, and I'm glad I got to see such a good performance of it. Scroll below to see me experiencing this production and insights to what I thought while watching it.

The Spatial Experience: The main feeling that I experienced when I entered the building was awe. Everything was so nicely and professionally set up even before we entered the theatre space. When we entered the performance space, I was so impressed by the quality of the set and the set up of the theatre. My seat was located in the center middle right above an aisle where actors would later walk through. My seat location was perfect in regards of it's distance from the stage and from the action going on in front of us with the actors moving through the seating space. The theatre was set up so the seats elevated the farther towards the back of the theatre you moved, so I had no problems with people blocking my view. I felt very excited when the lights dimmed and the audience got quiet. I love going to live theatre performances, and listening to that part before the beginning of the show reminded me of what it was like to be on stage before a show began when I did theatre. The size of the theatre was nice because it wasn't too big, but still allowed space for the actors to move through the aisles. The role of place in the Good Life is an area for people to be able to be themselves and discover who they are. Space affects a person and depending on the space, a person can change. In this situation, the theatre was the space allowed for the play to unfold and happen. It was the place that allowed different characters to take place and for magic to happen. Space and place are both very important roles in the Good Life.

Social Experience: I went to see this performance with my roommate and a group of girls from my dorm hall. We all got ready together and helped each other pick out our outfits before. Attending this show with my friends helped to enhance my experience by allowing me to discuss different aspects of the show with them. Our differing interpretations of this show helped to open my eyes to the different ways this play could have been received. The role of shared experiences in the Good Life is important. Shared experiences help you to branch out and see things with an open mind. Looking through all of those differing opinions helps you to decide what your Good Life is and what you believe. A differing opinion helps us to expand our Good Life, which makes it an important part when trying to find yours.

Cultural and Intellectual Experience: The performance helped me to develop a new way of seeing our own culture when it comes to business and exploiting the truth. For some reason it made me think of our own culture's fake news dilemma, and how some reporters have misleading headlines or aren't paying attention to the real issues in our society. The central issue addressed in this performance was abuse and child labor. I knew a bit about both, but learned so much more about the child labor issues that happened. The subject matter had a connection to my own life because I am of the Catholic religion, so the issues with abuse in the play are issues that I've seen being dealt with at churches I've been to. Those kinds of issues connect to my life in that way, so the play helped me to learn more about them. This performance was an interesting cultural experience for me, and I think it made me think more than I thought it was going to.

Emotional Experience: The show The Divine: A Play for Sarah Bernhardt provides us an opportunity for katharsis because it had so much emotion and allows us to be purged of those emotions. The intense emotions displayed in scenes such as the reveal of abuse and Leo's death give us such a build up of strong feelings throughout the show. At the end of the play, this release of emotions happens because we know the letter has been sent and the priest will be convicted of abuse. At the end we are able to come clean with all of our emotions and the truth presented in the show. This extreme emotion and a somewhat satisfying ending gives us that feeling of katharsis and release. This theatre show really dealt with socially uncomfortable and distressing topics very well, and I am happy I was able to go see it.

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