Good Life Performance: The Divine: A Play for Sarah Bernhardt By: Emily Adams


When attending this play I was pretty excited, it has been a long time since I've been to the theatre and I was looking forward to the experience, especially since it was my first play since being at UF. I love live performances so I was interested to see it. When entering the building I was not sure what I expected the theatre to look like. I enjoyed the art pieces in the lobby as theatre is art as well it was preparing me for the live art I was about to witness. When we entered the theatre we were led to the very front section in about the fourth row close to the center. These seats were perfect because we were close enough to actually witness the actors expressions and see the details of the set but not to close so that we were able to see the entire stage from a good viewpoint. When the lights dimmed and you knew the play was beginning I was pleased of the respect my classmates had and immediately everyone quieted down to watch the start of the play. The size of the auditorium itself was not too large which I felt contributed to the intimate experience of this play. Also with most viewers being Good Life students I felt we were all connected to each other and the play in some way. I think the role of place in the good life is important. Location is very important and the environment in which you experience things and live your life has a big impact in the search for the good life.


I was happy to know that my best friend from home was also taking Good Life this semester so we were happy to be able to attend the play together. She is also a fan of live performances so I was glad to be going with someone who did not just view this as a homework assignment. To get ready for the performance I picked out a sensible outfit for the theatre, showered and did my makeup to look presentable for this type of event and to show respect for the students who worked so hard to put on this production. It enhanced my experience to attend this play with a good friend because we got to witness this together and share our thoughts about it afterwards. I like hearing others opinions and having the opportunity to share my own with someone I am comfortable with. I think the role of sharing experiences is a big factor in the good life, especially in the social aspect. I think that doing things together and having common interests and experiences is what brings people together and helps further build connections and relationships wit others.


There were many central issues addressed in this performance, especially considering the timeframe of Quebec in the early 1900's. One theme that particularly stood out during the duration of the performance was the idea of moral and ethical obligations and how social oppression and privilege affect these obligations specifically during this time period. The storyline of Talbot is followed and controls the play as we discover what is happening to him and how it is affecting his life and the other character's actions. Before attending the performance I knew very little about the subject matter, only being informed that it was about a famous actress at the time period and somehow related to priests, but other than that did not know anything. The performance definitely made me think about things, how abuse was prevalent and the measures people would go to escape poverty. In Talbot's case it was covering up his past to possibly save his family from poverty or mothers having to risk the lives of their young children in child labor in order to make ends meet. In my own life it makes me think how blessed I am to live in a time period where these issues do not affect me. Although I am not wealthy like Michaud, I am not impoverished either. However I know that my own handwork can take me places and I do not need cover-ups and lies to present my life in a certain way.


In the play each character has a secret or a downfall that eventually is brought out as they come clean. I believe this play really makes you think harder about life and makes you reassess what you have and how you live. It makes me want to live life honestly but also in a way that doesn't present me with any moral or ethical dilemmas. Although it is impossible to live a perfect life and we do all have our downfalls it is better to be open about our shortcomings and allow others to help us in a way that doesn't cross their moral boundaries as well. I am realizing how blessed I am to have a supportive family and live a life without any major worry. This performance opened my eyes to show me the good life I am already living and on my way to discovering.


Created with images by kaykaybarrie - "Factory Theatre"

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