Introduction: Today I went to the Constans theatre in the Reitz Union at UF in order to watch the play The Devine: A Play for Sarah Bernhardt. I have never actually gone to see a performance before and I was very excited to see my first one. I was not disappointed at all due to the high quality of the actors, intricacies of the visual effects, and complex dimensions of the theme that the play would comment on.
This is a picture I took of myself as I arrived at the theatre, ready and excited to watch the performance.
The Spatial Experience: The darkness of the theatre and the comfort of the chairs made me as a member of the audience able to really immerse myself in the performance and enjoy the actors and actresses. I was surprised at the amount of people that the auditorium actually held, and I also found it mildly interesting that everyone in attendance was so respectful for the rules of the theatre and everyone that went seemed to watch the performance with a high level of attentiveness. Place of location in the good life serves as a reminder that much of our enjoyment or our ability to be in a place we would call "a good life" comes from the sense of security in location and general joy gained from our senses in observing the world around us.
A picture of the Globe Theatre, a theatre I think especially exemplifies the social aspect of theatre-going.
The Social Experience: I went to the theatre with my brother Michael and my friend Julie. We all sat together on the front row of the right hand side of the stage. We all had gotten something to eat before the play together where we all expressed how excited we were to watch the performance. I think going to see the performance with my brother and friend helped because during intermission and after the play ended, we all had the opportunity to discuss the play and what we saw, what we liked and what we didn't like. I rather enjoyed the social commentary on the struggles between social classes and the greed of the industrial revolution that would lead to suffering, and my brother and his friend were partial to the intricacies of the idea of a play being written within a play.
The comedy and tragedy masks I feel are a wonderful representation of the cultural aspect of the theatre.
The Cultural and Intellectual Experience: I thought that the performance made interesting social commentary on the disparities in qualities of life between the upper and lower economic classes. It is easy to understand wage differences and realize that life is harder when you make less money as a family and certain privileges and opportunities are not possible, however the play did an excellent job creating empathy in the viewer as they watched the main characters struggle and labor in their situations.
As I left the theatre, I felt a sensation of satisfaction after watching the whole play.
The Emotional Experience: As I stated above, I feel like the actors in the play did a fantastic job in arousing the empathy of the audience in their on stage plights and hardships, and because of this it allowed us as members of the audience to examine the plot and look at the theme of social disparities in economics in a more humanistic impactful way. At the end of the performance following the death of the young boy in the factory, we are able to see the pain in the mother and are reminded that because this was not an uncommon occurrence we understand that this suffering was extended across most of the entire lower social class, something that the in play Sarah Bernhardt even seemed to understand to at least some degree.
Knight, Garry. "Theatreland Masks." Flickr. Yahoo!, 17 Sept. 2012. Web. 23 Jan. 2017. <https://www.flickr.com/photos/8176740@N05/7996124566>.
Raoof, Adam. "The Globe Theatre(1)." Flickr. Yahoo!, 25 June 2005. Web. 23 Jan. 2017. <https://www.flickr.com/photos/39298920@N00/21504618>.