"The Divine: A Play for Sarah Bernhardt" By: Stephanie Cruz

Introduction: Before entering the theatre, I was awaiting the experience of watching this play because I had only been to three other plays in a theatre before and I believe it contributes to ones sense of intellectual culture. I wish I had more opportunities to attend live plays like this, so I am glad the Good Life gives us this chance.

Before Entering the Constans Theatre

The Spatial Experience: As I entered the theatre I felt like I was entering a place where creativity was showcased. The myriad rows and dim lighting made me feel as if I were about to watch a live movie. I sat in the middle of the theatre and this affected my experience because the actors walked around in the beginning, in front of my seat, and greeted us personally. When the audience quieted down, I was immediately alert in suspense of what would happen next. The role of place in the Good Life is important because setting can have positive/negative contributions to ones experiences in terms of feelings. A dim lit theatre heightens your feelings of anxiousness/ suspense to see what is next to come.

While inside the theatre (written permission by Ariana Figueroa to use this picture)

The Social Experience: The enjoyment I experienced by watching the play with two of my closest friends was greater than that of if I had gone by myself. To get ready for the play, I made sure to read the synopsis so I would have an idea of the plot. When certain comical parts of the play came about, we laughed together and I feel like it wouldn't have been the same experience had I not had someone there to laugh with. We bonded over parts of the play we found comical and discussed parts of the play we found surprising, such as the death of Leo and Talbot's affair. These experiences resemble the "good life" in general because when activities and experiences are shared with loved ones, the experiences are treasured more than if experienced by oneself. Doing things you enjoy with people you like to spend time with strengthens bonds and leads to a truly "good, [happy] life".

As I awaited the beginning of the play

The Cultural and Intellectual Experience: The performance provided insight on the ideals upheld by the Catholic Church during the 1900's and the work factories and child labor laws existent during this time period. Certain themes communicated throughout the performance include the idea of all of us being "bound to become impure". The performance touched on ideas of what it would be like to "live life without art" and how "theatre reveals turpitude and opens our minds, touches our hearts, and seeks the truth". Before attending the play, I already knew being in a seminary and engaging in affairs was frowned upon and considered a sin. As well as the fact that the Church played a large role in shaping society during this time period. I also knew that many people were subjected to working in inhumane conditions because of their low-class status such as Talbot's mother and Leo.

The stage setup for the play

The Emotional Experience: The Greek play, "The Divine", allows us an opportunity for katharsis because it allows us to view the situations that arose during the play in a different light. For example, the struggle Talbot's mother went through to provide for her children. We saw the working conditions she was exposed to and the difficulties she faced to give her children the best possible life. This is relevant in that today many mothers struggle to provide the best life for their family as they want us to have everything they didn't. Certain people may sometimes feel like they are alone when dealing with difficult situations, but the storyline showcased in the performance allows you to see you are not the only one going through hardships. It allows us to relate to the message on a personal level and in turn realize everyone tries to search for the "good life" in different ways.

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