Experiencing the good life The Divine: A Play for Sarah Bernhardt

The Spatial Experience: As my friends and I walked into the Constans Theatre, I was met by a serene feeling. We were ushered to our seats which were located in the middle of the theatre. They were at about ground level with the stage so the view could not have gotten much better. The theatre was not as full as I had expected, which seemed a little weird. Any other play or musical I attended in the past was crammed with people. When the lights dimmed and the audience quieted, a rush of excitement hit me because I knew the play was about to start. As we seek the good life, I think it is important to remember the valuable role our surroundings have. If we surround ourselves with things we dislike or places we do not want to be in, it will be much harder to try and find what the good life means to you. On the other hand, if you constantly surround yourself with caring people and places you love to go to, seeking the good life will become much easier.

A picture of me outside Constans Theatre

The Social Experience: Before the play started, I decided to wear clothing that I don’t usually wear around (a t-shirt and basketball shorts weren’t going to cut it). Once I put on my polo and khaki pants I met up with a few friends who were also going to see the play that night. After we sat down, I found myself sitting next to a few of my good friends as we were immersed in other strangers. For a few minutes a stranger and I talked about what we thought the play was going to be like. Sharing experiences like this with friends and complete strangers was very unique. It brings relationships closer and may even be the start of lifelong friendships. As an out of state student. Its events like this that really build upon the new found friendship I have found here in Florida.

Group of friends leaving the play (Consent was given by both shown)

The Cultural and Intellectual Experience: The theatre helps create and understand new ways of thinking about our own culture. One of these ideas is classes and the way society is split up. In The Divine: A Play for Sarah Bernhardt one of the reoccurring themes had to deal with the upper and lower classes of society. The upper class would live luxuriously while the poor were working themselves to death at jobs that pay next to nothing. Coming into the play I could recognize this struggle in my everyday life but didn’t think much of it. After the play, I have become more open to the idea and realize it is a bigger problem than I once thought. Although this problem doesn’t directly affect me, there are millions of people around the world who are being affected. It is amazing to see how a performance can mold and change one’s idea without that person consciously realizing it.

Cover of The Divine: A Play for Sarah Bernhardt

The Emotional Experience: The play presented many topics that were socially uncomfortable or culturally radical. These difficult ideas offered many chances to “come clean” or seek katharsis. After the play, my friends and I discussed some of these themes and shared what they meant to us. Through communication and new ideas, we can “come clean” and try to understand how other people view things differently. This concept is one of my important takeaways from the night. If we can learn to see things the way others see, we can all improve our own lives and others around us which in turn will help us seek the good life.

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