Sarah Bernhardt comes to Gainesville Eila Espada


Out of the three common activities this activity was the one I disliked the most. I enjoy going to performances and whatnot, but on my own time. And they are usually musicals. It was pretty cool that the University of Florida produced the first performance of The Divine: A Play for Sarah Bernhardt in the United States. "Go Gators, Woo". I actually read the synopsis the day before the performance and I was still surprised at certain parts. I remember reading a part about priests on trials, but I did not make any assumptions on why they would be on trial. I do have to say the actors and actresses seemed to be totally invested the world of performing. Overall, I would say watching the performance was an enlightening experience.

Spatial Experience

When I first entered the Constans Theatre I would have to say I was a little impressed. I never knew there was theater part of the Reitz Union. That building seems to be a mouse maze, there are many rooms and a plethora of ways to get lost. I understand that since it was opening night, we had to be seated, but I honestly feel that it was not necessary to sit everyone in the auditorium. I was seated near stage left and was also near an entrance/exit for the actors. I believe that whenever lights start to dim down is when the performance is going to happen. The normal response for the audience is to sit back, become silent, and watch. I feel the auditorium was just the right size it made the performance more intimate than a performance at an opera house. I believe where your place is in the world affects the possibility to live the good life. Where you grow up and live later in life can be an obstacle in attaining the good life.

Social Experience

From left to right: Kyra Ozment, Krista Wisemen, Eila Espada, Madeleine Bennett

I attended the performance with a couple of acquaintances from my discussion group. I chose to go with people i knew because I can get carried away with my unnecessary commentary during performances. I got ready for the performance by taking a shower and making sure I looked presentable enough to take pictures for this assignment. Going with friends helped me not have an ounce of being uncomfortable. Sharing experiences is part of the good life by establishing beneficial relationships. The old saying "sharing is caring" has been said for so many years because it is true.

Cultural and Intellectual Experience

There were many social issues addressed in the play. To name a few: religion and government, female sexuality, sexual abuse, child labor, and the power of media. I think today there are some policies that were put into place because of religious beliefs. I feel that there still is some forms of governments intertwined with religion. The cardinal had the power to banish Sarah Bernhardt from the town, even though she completely disregarded the formal notice. I feel female sexuality was mentioned and shunned upon through Sarah's reputation. People should not be judged on their past but what they are doing in the present. I felt that Talbot approached the topic of rape in the similar fashion people who have been sexually abused. Michaud immediately felt the need to let the authorities know and would end serving justice.

Emotional Experience

ClipartFest Image

The Divine: A Play for Sarah Bernhardt provides an opportunity for a catharsis by evoking many emotions from the audience. Merriam-Webster defines Catharsis as the act or process of releasing a strong emotion (such as pity or fear) especially by expressing it in an art form. I believe I felt pity for Talbot for being a rape victim who felt the need to keep it a secret for the reputation of his family. I think I just felt pity for Talbot throughout the whole play because he just had a rough upbringing. The only way he could he could forget the bad memories was with the help of female company. In my mind I pictured the play to be more merry.

Created By
Eila Espada


Photos taken in or near the Constans theatre in Gainesville, Florida. My fellow classmates have given their consent to be photographed. The last photo was found with Google Images. Hope you enjoyed the Spark Story.

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