THE SPATIAL EXPERIENCE
The Constans Theatre is located in the Reitz Union, which is a place I often go to study in between classes. However, before attending The Divine: A Play for Sarah Bernhardt, I had no reason to seek out the Constans Theatre and would instead walk by the entrance without knowing. Before the performance, there were many other students waiting outside the theater, taking selfies and photos of each other so I followed suit. I felt calm and normal because I have been to many theater performances before, such as The Lion King at Broadway, Cirque de Soleil in Las Vegas and Honolulu, and Annie at the Orpheum Theater in Omaha. I hadn’t read much about this play and the description was quite vague so I did not know what to expect, but was curious to see how it turned out. I sat towards the middle of the theater, and I could see pretty well for the majority of it. The scene that had been set for the opening act of the performance was simple, but the glass mosaic windows were pretty in color, and that drew my attention as I first looked at the stage. Place plays a role in the Good Life because one travels to many different places throughout their life, whether that be on a large or small scale, and each new place has different opportunities and experiences to offer.
Picture taken by me in the Reitz.
THE SOCIAL EXPERIENCE
I attended the performance with my friend. I had read on Canvas before attending to see where to go and how to check in. There was a backpack check in that I utilized for my bag. Attending with a friend provides a more comfortable environment than attending alone. Since I had never been in the Constans Theatre before, it was a new experience for me, and although it was also a new experience for my friend, we at least had each other to talk to and figure out exactly what to do when first getting there. We ran into another friend we both knew and she ended up sitting with us too. The performance itself started at 2:00 PM but we had arrived at around 1:40 PM, so there was a bit of waiting time and I spent that time talking to my friends. Shared experiences allow for bonding in relationships, as people can reflect on the same events together and think about how they felt. Dr. Duffy reiterated that happiness is strongly influenced by relationships, and relationships built by shared experiences are quite strong and lead to close friendship or even love.
Picture taken by me at my seat.
THE CULTURAL AND INTELLECTUAL EXPERIENCE
Being a college student, I am constantly surrounded by others who are in a similar situation as me: going to classes, eating, spending time with friends, studying and enjoying leisure time. It’s easy to get caught up in this little world we have on campus and realize that there is so much going on around us, nationally and globally. This performance was set in a different era, so the central issues were old-fashioned, yet still relevant to issues that arise today. I was surprised by how personal the storyline got. One of the issues was censorship, which is still in action today through public media. Although certain outlets can offer a broader set of guidelines, one cannot say that censorship does not exist. Unfortunately, child labor was also an issue in the performance and can still be found in certain regions of the world. The performance also included molestation and other ways of exploiting children. This is sadly still an issue today as well. The inclusion of these issues in the play did not change my views on anything, but rather enforced my previous views that many of these issues need to be better addressed and hopefully one day diminished completely.
Picture taken by me in the lobby.
THE EMOTIONAL EXPERIENCE
The Divine: A Play for Sarah Bernhardt provides an opportunity for catharsis by showing the struggle that one may face by not coming clean, no matter how uncomfortable, and that by “coming clean”, one can finally reach a peace of mind. Specifically, the character Talbot is haunted by his own personal demons of his past. By not opening up and coming clean, he continues to damage others in his life. He is unable to be truly happy because he is constantly lugging his past alongside him. Once the audience sees the catharsis that takes place when Talbot finally addresses his past, they can reflect on how they might feel if placed in this situation and go through a catharsis of their own.
Pat Keenan of Manitoulin Island Web Design. "What Travel Writers Say." What Travel Writers Say. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Jan. 2017.