Good Life Performance By: Joseph Mathews

The spatial experience of the theatre itself was interesting. For one I had absolutely no idea that there even was a theatre in the Reitz so that was a new discovery. The theatre's entrance was two huge glass doors that led into a nice lobby where my friends and I waited for the theatre to open. Once in the actual theatre we walked down and were seated in the front row where we could see the stage very well and how it wrapped around the audience. The location of our seats made the experience nice since I felt immersed in the play as during certain scenes the play was almost orbiting around us on all sides since we were in the middle of it all. As far as pertaining to the good life I feel like the location of your seats can help one appreciate the play more so I was happy with sitting in the front row. It also helped me stay focused since I knew I couldn't check my phone or get distracted by other things.

From my phone after the play

For the social aspect of the experience I went with a few friends I play beach volleyball with. It made the wait for good seats more enjoyable and the intermission itself more enjoyable but as far as enjoying the play itself it made little impact. I always feel guilty if I go to a performance where they spent a lot of time into preparation and end up talking through it since it just feels disrespectful to me. So even though I went with friends I tried to pay as much attention to the play itself which I felt helpedĀ me enjoy the play much more. Sharing the experience with friends was cool though as we discussed the play afterwards and it was a nice bonding time to just do something together outside of volleyball. Being able to share experiences with friends helps enhance the good life as it creates deeper friendships.

From my phone in the wait area

Seeing this play helped me understand culture more through helping me see how the past has led to where we are at. One of the main focal points of the play was the issue with child labor and how it took a family of 4 to work just to send one kid to college. I now see why the funding of scholarships and the implication of minimum wage are important aspects of society that need to be maintained. The death of Leo added to the emotional impact the play had on it's viewers and dug in the importance that the changes that have been made to prevent things like that from happening are. Also another aspect of the play that was focused on was the actions of the priest that led to the abuse of many young boys. I think the importance of that was to show that religion is not inertly evil or good and while a person can choose to follow whatever rules they wish to follow that their position in the church or society as a whole does not define their personal characteristics. For example the mother was just a simple factory worker but her actions were much more noble than the priest who abused her son. When it comes down to it a person's actions are much more important than their position in the world.

From my phone in front of the theatre

The Divine: A Play for Sarah Bernhardt provided the audience a chance for katharsis as it brought up the very uncomfortable topic of sexual abuse of children. In my opinion that is one of the worst crimes that can be committed, right up there with murder, but is by far the most uncomfortable of crimes for anyone to talk about. The play gave an inside looks at how even when given the chance to show the world the truth about what happened to the victim of such heinous crimes, he might still choose to decline just from how horrible the situation is. It showed the audience how such acts aren't as cut and dry as people might think. For example, one might think that a victim would pounce at any opportunity to put their assaulter behind bars but the truth is there is a weight that will forever haunt the victim. The emotional effects of such crimes are hard for someone to understand who hasn't gone through it themselves but the play gave the audience an inside look at what it is like and I think that helped the audience come clean in the sense that they now know more about the topic. While it may have just been a play and not a personal experience it is enough to make the audience more comfortable and understanding towards it which I feel will make it easier to confront the problem and help prevent future occurrences.

Credits:

Created with images by kaykaybarrie - "Factory Theatre" Photos from Joey's iPhone

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