"The Divine" a play for sarah bernhardt at the constans theatre

Outside The Theater Before the Show (Permission granted for photos).

The Spatial Experience

When I first entered the theater I was really impressed with the artwork and portraits in the lobby. I was not expecting much from the small entrance in the Reitz Union, but I was really surprised with how big it was inside. My friends and I sat in one of the front rows during the play! It really enhanced the experience, and I felt like I understood the play more than if I sat in the back row. When the lights dimmed and the show began in the full theater it was a really unique and fun experience. I think the role of place is very important to the good life. I am from Melbourne Florida and I find myself enjoying nice outdoor spaces, especially the nice calming and soothing sounds of the beach. I think it is essential for everyone to find a favorite spot to achieve the good life.

My friends Luis, Oliver, and Juli all pose before the play starts. (Permission was granted for pictures).

The Social Experience

I attended the play with my friends Oliver and Luis. We decided to eat Chic-Fil-A before the play, and the food was great. It was even better that I got to talk to Oliver and Luis. Luis lives across the hall from me, and we usually do not talk as much, but since we both are in good life, we thought it would be fun to go to the play together, and getting to know more about Luis was really fun, and now we are actually good friends. I think attending the play with friends makes the whole experience a lot better for everyone. It was great hanging out and getting to know each other more. It was even better to meet new strangers at the play. Oliver introduced me to one of his friends named Juli, and she actually ended up sitting with us at the play and even got ice cream with us afterwards. Meeting new people is crucial to the good life, and I feel like through this play I made more friends and met new people that I would probably would not even talk to if I was not in this class.

Here I am posing in front of the box office sign in the lobby.

The Cultural and Intellectual Experience

The play takes place during the turn of the 20th century. The play's central issue is how each character must wrestle their morals and ethics with every tough decision they make and ultimately have to live with. Just to name a few examples, Michaud must hide his true love of the theatre to protect his role in the church, and Casgrain is forced to hide his past to protect the church. I did not know anything about the subject matter before the play and was impressed on how it also dealt with social issues of the time. The play makes some social commentaries about the horrible working conditions of factories, and the social oppression of women and workers as the plot progresses. Even though this era is a century old, it made me realize how the cloths on my back were probably made in the same awful factory conditions, and made me wonder how far we as a society will go to force people to be in horrible situations as we reap the benefits.

The Playbill

The Emotional Experience

Katharsis is the processing of "coming clean" or "purifying" yourself. I feel like this play provides an opportunity for katharsis by admitting the hard truth that as humans began to become smarter and build better faster machines during the industrial revolution, we began to lose our humanity. I feel like this play gives society a tough pill to swallow, as the audience as to watch so many people profit off of others hard work and sacrifice. The only symbol of innocence is Leo, and he ends up dead due to the horrible working conditions just trying to support his brother and mother. The play also reveals how the church controls and dominates most aspects of the city, and other controversial issues of that era. Yet, I feel like the play tries to make peace for past sins, by exposing them to the audience, so we can learn from the mistakes of history, and hopefully work towards and build a better tomorrow.

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