The Good Life Play Alexander Aliabadi

The Spatial Experience

Photo of me in the lobby at the Constance Theater

The setting of the lobby had a intricate art piece as the focal point as you can see in my photo. The lobby was open and big, and I felt comfortable waiting until the theater doors opened. It was already dim when I entered the auditorium. I sat in the second row to the front on the left side. This placement really helped me feel like I was a part of the play. Since the characters often come in and out through the side doors, it allowed me to be close to the actors during the performance. This helped me hear clearly and focus to what was happening in the play. When the play began the auditorium went pitch black. The made me feel like a dramatic entrance was going to be made. It was setting the tone for the play. The auditorium was small compared to the theaters I have been to. This did not really affect me because in my seating, I was not cramped nor was I way in the back. The role of place in the good life allows us to feel comfortable in our life. If we are uncomfortable or unsafe in our placement then the good life has not yet been achieved.

The Social Experience

A photo of Lexi and I at the play. (consent was given to use this photo)

I attended the play with Lexi and some of her friends. We arrived early and upon our arrival, we met a stranger who hung out with us until the play began. It was a nice opportunity to talk to someone who I might not have met without the play. Due to attending the play with all girls, I did not have any male interaction the whole night. This could have affected my experience at the play. To get ready for the play, I went to dinner. I knew the play would be long and run through dinner, so I went to eat with Lexi. We discussed what we thought the play would be like and how good the message would be executed. Attending the play with friends enhanced my experience because we all had to see the play, so in turn going together made it more worthwhile. Sharing experience helps achieve comfort in the good life. It makes tough times easier if you have a friend who went through it with you to confide in. Shared experiences bring friends, people, and strangers closer together because they all went through the same things. The makes it easier to share the burdens or good times, and that is what makes it easier to achieve the good life.

The Cultural and Intellectual Experience

A photo of the play bill.

There were a few issues addressed in the play which include the following things: child labor, sexual abuse, unfit work conditions, and the rule of church over state. Child labor was seen when the main character's family worked so they could send him to a new school. Child labor usually is not spoken about and the play did a good job of showing all the down sides to it such as death, exhaustion, and long hours. Sexual abuse is a serious topic that most people who are victimized do not want to speak out. This play showed that the victim can win a victory in their case instead of a loss... that not everyone is going to look down at them or not believe them for what happened. Unfit work conditions were seen when the boss made the workers clean up for Sarah Bernhart so that she did not think the workers were treated badly. Church and state was hit on during the play by the priest telling Sarah that the play will not perform in his town. It showed how in the time, religion subtly ruled many aspects of daily life. These topics that the play hit on did not have any significant relevance to my life, but it made for a good play. The performance of these issue enlightened me to the fact that victims are marginalized most of the time and that is why they do not speak out against their abuser.

The Emotional Experience

Reactions post play. (Lexis Fisher gave consent to use this picture)

Katharsis was seen when the molester of Talbot and Brother Casgrain confessed to his wrongdoing against many boys. The play also lets us come clean to our acts of rebellion. As seen in the play, Michaud rebells against the church to become a play write for his most favored actress. The play overall made me feel sad and pity for the characters. All of the death and mistreatment that the play proposed put the audience in a state of despair. I did not expect the play to take a dark turn for the worst; it really impacted my view on the play all together. I did not think that they would kill of the little brother Leo or Brother Casgrain. I also did not expect all of the sexual abuse. It really left me astounded and lost for words. I would go see this play again just to analyze it more to see if I missed something. It left me emotionally distraught. It is also ironic that katharsis means coming clean and the play contains priests who are supposed to confess their sin, and yet we see that it is a struggle throughout the play.

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