The Divine: A Play for Sarah Bernhardt Delaney raymond - Iuf1000 Hodge 04g1

I really enjoyed this play and appreciated the thought-provoking controversial issues that were addressed throughout the production. The actresses and actors relayed the messages with precision and I look forward to viewing more performances at the Constans Theatre in the near future.

Before the performance

The Spacial Experience

When I entered the auditorium, I was excited for the production to start. Although I have been to many plays in my past, I still get butterflies waiting for them to begin. I was seated in the fourth row, almost exactly in the center of the stage. I think that my seat position allowed me to enhance my experience because I did not have any trouble hearing or seeing any of the actors and actresses. When the lights dimmed and the voices hushed, I felt a wave of giddy nervousness wash over me. I was excited yet anxious for the play to begin. The auditorium was quite large and filled to capacity by the time the play began. This made the experience more enjoyable due to so much excited energy and clapping at the end. The role of place in the Good Life is that an experience or experiences can be enhanced and lead to happiness if the event is in the right time and place. The quality of the theater makes the viewers experience more enjoyable.

The Social Experience

I went to the play with my roommate, Vanessa, which was very enjoyable because she is one of my closest friends. To get ready for the performance, I dressed in nice casual clothes and arrived at least twenty minutes early to ensure that I wouldn't get a poor seat. Going with my close friend made the show more enjoyable just because of the essence of familiarity. I feel that if I did not go with anyone that I knew, I wouldn't be as comfortable due to the fact that I would sit alone and I would not have anyone to talk to during intermission. It is human nature to want to have a partner, and I appreciated my roommate being there with me during this play. The role that shared experiences has on the Good Life is that when multiple people experience the same thing at the same time, it makes the event more special. A shared experience allows for the happiness to be jointly shared, contributing to laughter and possibly in the long term, bliss.

The Cultural and Intellectual Experience

The story took place in Quebec City, staged to be in the early 20th century. The setting and place was much different from the environment that surrounds me now. The central issue that was addressed in the play was the abuse of power and how it corrupts people who have the power. This is represented by the Priests, the owner of the shoe factory, and the actresses in the play. Before attending the play, I was aware of the abuse of power by those that have obtained it. I also had a general idea about the types of people that abused power, such as politicians or even in the simplest of cases, teachers. However, this play made me realize how corrupt one's thoughts are and how others are affected by such abuse. The play also opened my eyes to the different arrays of people that could possibly abuse their power. For example, even in a poverty stricken town, there is still a hierarchy of power in, for example, the shoe factory or the ministry. The play changed my perceptive on this central issue, making me realize that the people that hold the most power have the ability to cause change to those that follow them. No only this, but I also realized how the ripple effect of someone's actions, no matter how much power they have, can lead to change. This is seen by the bold actions of Michaud, who wants to speak out about poverty and makes the step to confront the Priest that sexually abused Talbot and Brother Casgrain. The subject matter has relevance to me, which I see in my friend group. There always seems to be a friend with "higher status" than the rest of us, which contributes to our decisions and ways of thinking.

The Emotional Experience

This play provides the audience with an opportunity forĀ katharsis due to the simple nature of the play. "Coming clean" is a reoccurring theme in the play, as evidence by Brother Casgrain wanting Talbot to come clean about the silverware to the police, Leo expressing his feelings about why him and his mother are hoping for Talbot's education, and Sarah Bernhardt addressing the controversial topics that were previously left unsaid. This play opens up our minds to speaking out about the controversies of society such as poverty contrasted with capitalism, freedom as opposed to servitude, and the role that theater and the arts has on society. Sarah Bernhardt makes us realize how relieving coming clean about certain things can make the person happier and fulfill an overall sense of living. Humans disagree on things and we each have our own problems, which are things that we should not keep purely inside ourselves.

After the performance

*All photos were taken by me at the Constans Theatre*

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