Judgement at Nuremberg Chessna Valley, Fall 2016

The Spatial Experience

The theater itself was not as large or as steep as I expected it to be; however, this smaller stage and closer seating gave the audience a more intimate experience with the performance. I sat off towards the side in the middle of the first level... I felt this limited my view of the play in comparison to someone sitting in the middle with full view of every part of the play. After I viewed the theater's structure for sometime, the lights began to dim. This made me feel anxious and excited for what I was about to see. It also closed out all the distractions around me and forced me to focus upon the stage. Place has the ability to contribute largely to one's experience of the good life. With place comes culture, religion, customs, family history... and more. Each of these aspects that come with place greatly influences one's life and determines how one will find and experience the good life.

The Social Experience

I attended the play on my own. This did in fact alter my experience than if I had attended with friends. This meant many things in that I wouldn't be asking my friends of what they thought, instead I would only be relying on my perspective of the play. Furthermore, it allowed me to focus more of what was happening in the performance instead of socializing with those around me. To prepare my self for The Judgement at Nuremberg, I read about the context of the play and about the real life scenario that was to be reenacted. I also began to think about WWII and the different mentalities countries had at that time. Shared experiences encourages and aids individuals and societies to understand one another and unify. It can break down barriers and misconceptions as people can acknowledge each other's reasoning for their actions.

The Cultural and Intellectual Experience

The play and actual event took place a little after the world suffered the many tragedies of WWII. The focus of the play was on the prosecution of former Nazi members and the morality and legitimacy of their actions, It also included how the sentencing of these former Nazis would affect their families and Germany as a whole. I only had knowledge on the happenings of WWII while the war was taking place, not on the aftermath. Never was I concerned or have any idea about the immense amount of work and emotional burden that came with the prosecution of former Nazi members. My perspective on how the world views America became clearer after viewing the performance. I now could better acknowledge how many countries were angered or even frightened by the United State's power and stubbornness. The closest example related to the play that I can come up within my life is perhaps when police officers are being held in court and are questioned for whether the acts of violence they took to subdue a civilian was justified or not.

The Emotional Experience

The Judgement at Nuremberg gave its American audience a chance at Katharsis in that we were able to see the actions of a fellow Americans in prosecuting those who were not of our own country. It came to me that I could now understand how other countries view America as extremely powerful and even arrogant. I could now fathom how others could be fearful of the USA and even hate us for involving ourselves in foreign affairs to the point of punishing their own citizens. However, I also saw that the decisions Americans make to be involved do not come easily, but also take a toll on their own morality and mentality.

Photos taken by Chessna Valley

Credit for all content in photos to Phillips Center of Gainesville, Florida

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