The Spatial Experience: Entering the building was very different from the actual theatre of the building. The lobby is like a regular hallway but as soon as you enter the theatre, it's very welcoming. The theatre is very small which means everyone gets the opportunity to be closer to the stage. My seat was about four rows from the stage and in the center of the row. As soon as the lights dimmed and the play started, I was a little surprised because I didn't expect the actors to be so close. This immediately caught my attention because instead of just watching, it felt as if I was actually part of the story. The place in the good life affects how you react and feel in the situation. If I was in the back of the theatre, I would not have been as empathetic with the characters. In real life situations it's the same. If you constantly hide in the back, there will never be a chance to use your full potential.
The Social Experience: I attended the performance with my friend. Going with a friend really enhanced my experience because it gave me an initiative to want to go and see the play. Before the play started, I read The Divine study guide, which gave you a detailed background about the characters and the setting. The setting was really important in understanding the importance of religion and theatre and why the characters act the way they do. Doing things with friends and sharing the experience pushes us to explore more than what we would be terrified to do alone.
The Cultural and Intellectual Experience: Before attending the performance, I was not familiar with the play. It was actually my first time hearing about Sarah Bernhardt. I did look her up briefly and saw that she was known as the "most famous actress the world has ever known". Trying to familiar myself more with story of the play, I read through the study guide. The story takes place in 1905. During this time period, there was not really a separation of the Church and the State. The Church in Quebec City held most of the power. The story reveals the abuse of power by the church, from blocking the press to bribing Talbot to save the reputation of the church. It also discusses the issues on poverty and shows the reality of the lower class people. After watching the performance, I understood that not everything is as it appears to be. The lower class are not the stereotypical ignorant people and even the holiest of people can be corrupt. This relates especially to current times as religion is controversially tied with the government.
The Divine: A Play for Sarah Bernhardt provide us an opportunity for katharsis because it shows us that the truth cannot be suppressed. The characters all struggle with hardships in order to keep the peace in their lives. Casgrain tries to cover up the sins of the Church to protect the Church and Michaud has to keep his desires, other than for the church, hidden. Despite their attempts, the truth always comes out. Not even money or the Church can stop the truth from being revealed, finally allowing everyone to come clean. The story of the play is so applicable to our lives that every situation can guide us to our ultimate katharsis.