The Divine: A Play for Sarah Bernhardt by: alyssa Marques

The Spatial Experience

When I first walked into the theater, the set up and the props on the stage made me anxious for the play to start and see how the setting was going to be used throughout the play. I was seated right in the middle, a few rows from the front and I felt this seat was the perfect location to get the full effect of the play and see everything. When the lights dimmed and it got quiet, I was excited and got chills because I knew the play was about to begin and I knew it was going to be a great show. The auditorium was the perfect size, not too big and not too small. I felt like everyone in the room was on the same emotional journey the play took us through and the size made it so no detail on the stage would go missed. It truly made it so the actors and the props on stage were the main focus of the audience. In the Good Life, placing is crucial because where you experience something and the point in life you are in when you experience it could be life altering. For example, experiencing something as a victim would be different than the experience of a witness and that difference is crucial in how the rest of their life will play out. The place you are in your life when something happens can either lead you to continuing down that path or deciding to choose a completely different lifestyle from there on out. Placing allows for everyone to have different experiences of the same event and that can make all the difference in how their life continues in the future.

The Social Experience

I truly felt as if I had the best experience possible for seeing the play. I saw the play with my boyfriend and to get ready for the performance we talked to our friends who already seen it to see how they liked it, watched the video about the theater, and read the "study guide" to give us some idea as to what we were about to watch. Attending the play with someone I am extremely close to greatly enhanced my viewing experience. It enhanced the experience because it allowed me to have someone I am comfortable with go through the same emotions I was going through and gave me the opportunity to express my thoughts on the play to someone who would understand exactly what I meant. We are very similar and tend to think alike so it was nice to have someone to agree with me and affirm my belief that I am not the only one that feels the way I felt. In the Good Life, shared experiences are important because going through certain situations with people can bring them closer together or tear them apart. Sharing experiences allows for people to have more things in common and that builds a more sturdy bond. However, the relationship can be tested depending on the reaction to the situation. Being close to someone can impact your future either negatively or positively, depending on how the relationship pans out, and this will determine if the relationship is a lesson learned that changes your life or it could further help you find your definition of a good life. Having shared experiences gives you someone to relate to and that could allow for you to have a wake up call and learn something from them that'll change your life or it could inspire you to keep things the same to see what happens.

The Cultural and Intellectual Experience

The story of the play takes place in Quebec City during the year 1905. The play addressed many issues such as the disparity between rich and poor, morality, child labor, and sacrifices for those we love. However, I would have to say the biggest issue addressed in the performance was hypocrisy in religion. People of the Catholic faith, especially priests, are thought to be role models and leaders who have good morals because they never sin or do any wrong and always want the truth and justice. This play showed that in a lot of cases, that cannot be further from the truth. Before the performance, I knew that sadly this type of situation where a priest uses his authority and good name against innocent children is common and that a lot of people don't believe victims or want to help them due to the good name of their abuser. I also knew that even the people that seem to have it all could really not be the best people. The play made me realize how sometimes people are more concerned with the reputation of someone around them than getting justice for an innocent victim and how even people who go through horrible situations feel like they still have to protect their abuser. It also showed me to not judge people off what you hear because although Talbot seemed like a trouble maker for fighting a priest, it turns out he was really just defending himself from further being abused. This matter does not resonate with an issue in my life but given that I hope to be a lawyer one day, I genuinely hope truth always prevails and people get the justice they deserve and nobody is forced to live a lie to protect other people.

The Emotional Experience

I think by the end of the play, most of the lies were revealed and even though some unwillingly came out, most people ended up coming out clean. Talbot and Brother Casgrain's abuse ended up coming to light and being exposed by Michaud even though they didn't want it to be, the boss of the factory tried to hide his wrongdoings best he could but he still got exposed for his illegal child labor and the cause of the deaths of the two young girls, and the priest was rightfully exposed for his sexual abuse on countless innocent children. Throughout the play, these things were constantly being covered up by the people involved and nobody wanted to be the one to talk about it. Michaud teaches us that sometimes you need to be a voice for those without one and that seeking the truth and justice for the truth is okay. Coming clean can be scary, but in order to get through situations and live a life of truth or start new, it is necessary. Coming clean is important because it allows you to face your issues and struggles and move on with them. Hiding something or bottling it up isn't good or healthy because you will always dwell on it but once it is brought to light, you are forced to deal with this and this could aid in the process of moving on and figuring out what you want for your life. The play teaches us that lies always have a way of coming out eventually and dealing with them and admitting them right away is the best way to limit the chaos.

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