The Divine: A Play For Sarah Bernhardt P. Adrian Dodson

The Spatial Experience

The Divine Play

I really enjoyed the performance at The Constans Theatre. The theatre is very nice and newly constructed so it felt while sitting in the seats that I was at a theatre equivalent to the Straz Center for Performing Arts in Tampa, or even The Dr. Phillips Center in Orlando. I sat close to the stage, close enough that the actress playing Sarah Bernhardt greeted me with a smile and a hand shake as she walked through the audience. When the lights dimmed and everyone began to simmer down I was excited to see what the play was about for I had never heard of it before nor did I know very much about it.

The Social Experience

Selfie Outside The Constans Theatre

Unfortunately I did not attend the performance with any friends or classmates. However, the girl I sat next to I spoke with briefly and she was very kind and we had the same sense of humor when it came to the parts of the play that we thought were comical. To get ready for the performance I put on nice attire and completed the usual routine that I undergo when preparing to go to a nice dinner or go out with friends. If I would have attended the play with friends I do believe that I would have enjoyed the performance more so than attending alone. The role of sharing experiences in the good life play a part in looking back in the future and being able to talk about a certain memory or event and reminisce of what was so great, awful, or even comical about the experience. Personally what I enjoy most when sharing an experience with others rather than just by myself.

The Cultural and Intellectual Experience

Henry Phillip Constans, Founder of The Florida Players, and whom the Theatre is named after

I truly did enjoy the play. One aspect that I did take home with me was as a society in our culture we are so quick to judge others based upon their socio-economic classes. We also when given an opportunity can sometimes take it for granted or be ungrateful of the opportunity presented. In the case of the play the young boy was taken to a very good boarding school to become a priest. He in reality hated the idea of becoming a priest and was really only continuing in school because it was an opportunity to save his family from poverty. Especially his brother who was working underaged and illegally to assist the family in getting by. Before the play I knew quite a lot about poverty and how apparent it was especially in the 19th and 20th centuries. What I found very interesting was how there are actually people in the play (and in the real world) who think they what it is like to be in poverty, or to be poor but in reality they have absolutely no idea. We as a society just assume things because we've read something or know of someone in a particular situation. However, unless we have actually put ourselves in that persons shoes and been in their situation it is not right for one to assume "we know" because in reality our perception more often than not is either wrong or a misinterpretation.

The Emotional Experience

Brochure of the play The Divine

The Divine: A Play for Sarah Bernhardt gave the audience a good opportunity to reflect and find a quality about ourselves to come clean "Katharsis". At least for myself it allowed me to reflect on the fact that as much as I like to say that I don't judge others I subconsciously do and I find that to be an unfortunate quality that I carry. But I also realized that I am not alone and that unfortunately as a society we tend to assume and judge others thinking that we know or can figure out someone and their situation when at the end of the day we have no idea. I also took from the play that you should not be selfish or egotistical of yourself. I personally found Sarah Bernhardt to be a bit egotistical and overly confident with herself when it came to her acting. And as a result when everyone found out how small of a role she played (along with the church attempting to ban her from performing), they wanted a refund and/ or their money back. I found it very interesting how relaxed Sarah Bernhardt was and how determined she was to still continue with her performance even though she was banned from doing so.


Photos Taken by Paul Adrian Dodson

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