On the the 21st of January, I ventured to the Constans Theater to watch The Divine: A Play For the Sarah Bernhardt. Initially, I had no idea what to expect at the play, let alone I was not expecting to feel anything at the play. But once I watched the play, I felt as if the play changed the way in which I see live performances and the overall experience. My spatial, social, culture, intellectual and emotional experiences were impacted from this play. Overall, I gained much enjoyment from a play that I had no expectations of.
THE SPATIAL EXPERIENCE
Going to watch The Divine: A Play For Sarah Bernhardt was the first in a while for me for watching a play. Because of this, I didn't come with many expectations except to enjoy myself while watching the play. As I walked into the theater, I became more anxious about the play as I saw many people talk about it as I walked towards my seat. My seating location was near the top and center of the stage. From my position, I had a perfect view of the whole entire stage. When the lights dimmed and the audience quieted down, I felt a sense of peace and harmony. Since the lights were only lit at the stage, I knew to only focus my attention towards the play and nothing else. The theater was also nearly completely quiet as no one was talking, which made me feel really at ease in the situation. As I saw the actors start to play their roles, I became more interested and engaged into the play. The size of the theater allowed the sound to travel around the area, giving the actors a more booming sound and engaging dialogue. This place holds a special part in the good life. A place where one can feel at peace and harmony is when they can fully enjoy the good life. The theater made me feel at ease at the current situation, allowing me to completely feel the good life and not be distracted with other life obstacles.
About to enter the Constans Theatre for the play.
The Social Experience
To prepare for the play, I dressed in business casual attire so that I can truly feel the complete experience of watching a real play. Going to the play, I was planing on watching it with a friend. However due to poor communication, we ended up sitting at different spots during the play. I ended up watching the play with strangers but it was not all that bad. I listened to the strangers talk around me and it is interesting to hear their diverse feelings about the play. Some were extremely excited to watch the play while others were there just because it was forced. Whatever the case was, it enhanced my experience of the play as I got to listen in about other people's perspective going into the play. This gave me a broader view on enjoying the play rather than having a narrow minded view and not open to other possibilities about the play. But at the end of the play, I met up with my friend and discussed what went on in the play. Sharing these experiences will no doubt enhance the good life. Seeing other people's view points and listening to their opinions gives us a more diverse perspective on life. We now have a more open and broader mindset, open to new possibilities which help contribute to the good life. Only by interacting by others is this possible.
Walking around the theater and talking to some people along the way.
THE CULTURAL AND INTELLECTUAL EXPERIENCE
Going into the play, I did not know what to expect from story. I heard from students that this play was darker compared to the previous play but I was still anxious to see what awaits in the play. The play took place during the beginning of the 20th century in Canada where two young seminarians named Talbot and Michaud were tasked with delivering a letter to Sarah Bernhardt to not perform the play that "sings the praises of adulterous love and ridicules a man of the cloth." This raised the main theme of religion vs theatre and moral vs ethical obligations. Talbot and Michaud were tasked to deliver their letter which explains to Bernhardt not to perform because she sings sins. However, Michaud and Talbot still struggled with internal conflicts which hindered their task. Michaud has had a love for theater which he can not show as it would ruin his place in the church. Talbot too had to come to terms with the humiliation of victimization in order to preserve his family and himself. This opens my eyes and makes me realize that I must make careful decisions into what my actions may cause. There are times where my actions may benefit me but may not be morally or ethically right. For example, there are times where I would be tempted to shortcut my way in assignments in order for me to get a better grade but it is not the morally right thing to do. This play opened my senses to realize that I must carefully think about my actions in order to make right choices that will greatly benefit the good life of myself and others.
The theater contained abstract artwork which may contain complex cultural meaning.
THE EMOTIONAL EXPERIENCE
Watching this play allowed me to see the true meaning of Katharsis or coming clean. In the play, many characters had to battle the struggle of moral and ethical obligations such as Michaud with his love for theater, Talbot living with his shame and even Bernhardt faking herself in order to maintain her high status. Many of these characters had endure the pain of concealing the truth within themselves. This provided me the opportunity of Katharsis as I realized how the characters were struggling to live the good life while battling their own personal conflicts. I believe that coming clean and being true to yourself is the only way to live the good life. If you are not going to come clean and forever hide your true feelings and emotions, then you are not going to live the good life. You will forever live with the pain of concealing and living in a masked life. Only in Kartharsis where you come clean about yourself is when you truly see what you ambition in life which would meet the good life. Overall, I enjoyed this play as I gained more appreciation for plays and learned how these experiences can connect to the good life.