Good Life Performance The Divine: A Play for Sarah Berhardt By Andrew An

The Spatial Experience: Entering the theatre felt similar to entering a cinema to me, but instead of watching previews, seeing the stage before the actors performed served to fill me with anticipation. The lights were dim, and the set was dark, with a few beds surrounding a ladder in the center. My seat was near the front of the stage and slightly below it, so I had a pretty good view of the entire play. When the lights dimmed and the audience quieted, it was like entering a completely new experience; if I had to compare it to anything, sitting in the theatre was like sitting at the apex of a roller-coaster, and the start of the play was like when the roller-coaster finally began its rapid descent down. The play was a ride that stimulated the senses. The size of the auditorium was large enough to the point in which space was not a distraction. The role of place in the Good Life serves to give one perspective, it makes me wonder how my view of the play would change if I was sitting further back.

Standing in front of the Constans Theatre

The Social Experience : I went to see this play with two of my friends, one of them being my roommate. We got ready separately, but we met each other at the front of the theatre and took pictures for each other. Attending with friends enhanced the experience by giving me people to discuss the play with and react with. Several times during the progression of the play during emotional scenes, I would check my friend sitting next to me to see how they were reacting. The role of shared experiences in the Good Life serves to help us connect with each other and grow different perspectives by sharing and modifying views with each other.

Photo taken from http://nyff.net/mint/sotd/html/1whoweare/mcguire/constans.htm, showing what the inside of the Constans Theatre

The Cultural and Intellectual Experience : The central issues addressed by the play were those concerning truth, circumstance, and censorship. The main characters are entangled with a molestation scandal and poor working conditions in factories that shed light on the injustices of the twentieth century and deep rooted issues with the church and American business. I will admit I did not know much about the material prior to attending the play, besides the the abysmal working conditions the average American was forced to endure in the factory setting. I would not say my views were changed at the end of the production, but they were expanded after witnessing the injustices each character faced that forced them into their emotional conflicts. The subject matter inspires me to be more true to myself and others, the truth really does set you free.

Posing in front of a sculpture in during the intermission of the play.

The Emotional Experience : The play gives us an opportunity for catharsis by revealing the dark history that contributes to the shaping of American society. We must come clean about how desire and greed can destroy lives, and how giving into selfish wants in sacrifice for telling the truth can lead to a less-fulfilling life. It is my belief that every human has desire, but it is regulating and, in some cases, using this desire that shows us who we are as human beings, and how we can live our lives.

A picture in front of the theatre after the play has concluded

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