The Social Experience
Before heading out to the show, I redid my makeup and put on a modest, beige dress. Since I love creating outfits, I also threw on a cardigan and some funky jewelry that really brought the outfit together. Once I arrived at the theatre, I met up with my roommate. She is the sweetest soul I've ever met and we always have a great time together. I think going to see the play with her really added to my experience. Being able to talk to someone before the play started made me more enthusiastic to be there. It was also nice having someone to talk to about the play during intermission and after the show ended. It helped me better understand the plot and overall message of the play. Shared experiences is an important element of the good life because it can make memories so much more enjoyable than if you were to do something on your own. If the people you are sharing your experience with have the same attitude as you, you guys feed off of each other and increase that energy. Hopefully that energy is positive instead of negative.
Before the Performance with Samantha Mangione (Consent Confirmed)
The Cultural and Intellectual experience
There were many issues that were referenced throughout the play. One of the main issues was the sexual abuse of Talbot by an elder priest. Sexual abuse and violence is a very touchy subject in this day in age. Victims are afraid to talk about it for a variety of reasons: fear of the attacker, fear of being blamed, etc. Others are hesitant on bringing it up because they don't want to give an incorrect response. The play gave the perspective of Talbot and gave the audience somewhat of an understanding of how victims can feel. Another issue referenced is censorship. In the 20th century and earlier, the church has a strong hold on the state. They financed hospitals, schools, and a variety of other institutions. This gave them a lot of power of what went on in the cities. The audience sees this in action when the two priests go to stop Sarah Bernhardt's play from being performed. When Sarah tells the priests that it had been tried in the past by other churches, it made me understand just how bad censorship can get. The fact that is was a typical thing for her to receive letters from the church forbidding her to perform made me realize how those kinds of actions are still happening today. In censorship heavy countries like China and North Korea, people don't have the chance to interact with certain art. This is idea is hard for me to wrap my head around since it is so easy to access most kinds of media in the United States. Now, of course censorship in schools and mainstream media is still an issue in our country and I believe it should continue being protested against.
tHE Emotional Experience
The Divine: A Play for Sarah Bernhardt provided me with a chance of catharsis through its presentation of socially-uncomfortable issues. I see the theatre as a safe space for any topic to be brought up. When directors and playwrights decide to present the audience with these kinds of topics, they are presented in a way that allows the audience to reflect on what is going on and to form their own opinions. Additionally, it allows the audience to possibly understand a different dimension of the problem that they haven't understood in the past or simply hadn't even thought about. The Divine: A Play for Sarah Bernhardt helped me to form stronger opinions on sexual abuse and violence. Since I have never personally experienced it before, I never had strong connection to the issue. I was simply opposed to it. After seeing Talbot's distress, I felt a deeper understanding and connection for sexual abuse victims.
After the Performance with Samantha Mangione (Consent Confirmed)