The Divine: A Play for Sarah Bernhardt Alexa giordano

The Spatial Experience

"UF Named Facilities." Nadine M. McGuire Theatre and Dance Pavilion - UF Named Facilities - University of Florida Foundation, Inc. University of Florida, n.d. Web. 07 Feb. 2017.

The physical location of a performance, to me, is almost as important as the performance itself. When I entered the auditorium, I felt as if I were at a Broadway play (okay not exactly that similar but not too far off.) The auditorium was large and spacey, each row long and containing many chairs. I was handed a pamphlet at the door containing information on the cast and play background, which made me feel as if I were at a famous play. I sat in a row approximately 10 rows up from the middle stage, and all the way to the left; my seats were exceptional to provide me with the optimal experience to see the details of the play. When the lights dimmed and the audience hushed, a rush of excitement came through me, and I was anxious to see what was ahead. I really enjoy watching plays and seeing the true emotions of the actors on stage. The size of the auditorium positively affected my experience, as I felt the big auditorium held a bigger audience and I somehow felt at ease knowing that a lot of people were experiencing the play as I was. The role of place in the Good Life is that the location you are at contributes to the emotional effect of the play; it is part of the surroundings, and as mentioned before, the auditorium is almost equivalent in importance to the play itself.

The Social Experience

Cristina Ferrante allows this

My experience of attending the performance with friends and strangers was a good one. I attended the performance with three friends: Kat, Cristina, and Alicia. To get ready for the performance, we met up in my dorm in Broward, got ready, made some popcorn prior to the play (ironic, right?) and then walked over to Constans Theater together. Attending with friends enhanced my experienced in that it allowed me to mix the positive emotions I received from the play with the positive emotions that my friends gave me with. It is like going to a movie; no one wants to go to the movie theaters alone; it is depressing! A friend or a couple friends is important in a mental way to experience a show with more positive emotions. The role of shared experiences in the Good Life is an emotional addition to the entirety of the experience; it is important to experience shows (or anything in life) with others, as it is crucial to have people you care about surround you.

The Cultural and Intellectual Experience


This performance opened my eyes and mind to in depth areas of our own culture in ways I did not think of before. The play takes place in the early 20th century, and several central themes relate to the horrors of child labor, sexual assault, and poverty life. Prior to seeing the play, I knew a few things here and there about poverty and these hidden secrets/dark realities in the past, as I have learned several things in history classes over the years. The performance changed my views about the issues described in the performance for several reasons; emotionally, the performance itself with the emotions of the characters showed the importance of the topic at hand, and intellectually, I realized how dark things truly were back then with the commonness of child labor and the secrets that surround it. Personally, the subject did not affect my life; however, I have friends who have been affected by sexual assault and the pressures of facing the truth.

Ric Reid, Darcy Gerhart, Fiona Reid, Andrew Bunker and Ben Sanders. Photo by David Cooper.

The Emotional Experience

The Divine: A Play for Sarah Bernhardt provides us with an opportunity for katharsis because as an audience, we can fully face the truth behind the occurrence of sexual assault within society, and the horrors of poverty that people face everyday. For humans who don't experience these things everyday, it is easy to turn heads and pretend these awful things are not happening, and sometimes it is not socially acceptable to speak of sexual assault during times in real life. However, during this play, it is completely acceptable, in fact encouraged, to think and express your thoughts on these topics as they are performed with so much emotion and heart in front of you. This specific performance conveys topics that are "socially uncomfortable" and "culturally radical" to society, with the sexual assault of the two young boys from the priest and life of poverty with child labor deaths as examples.


Alexa Giordano

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