The Divine A Play for Sarah Bernhart

The spatial experience of watching a play, and life, is an overlooked detail that plays an important role in the overall experience of the play and life. The set up of the theater can really add to, or subtract from, the quality of the experience. Lucky for me, when I walked in, I could see the set on stage which made me excited to watch the play. In addition, I was seated in the middle of a row that was a comfortable distance away from the stage. Since the auditorium was rather small, my seating arrangement was perfect which made me happy and able to enjoy the play. The size of the auditorium made for a more intimate feel while watching the play, as did the dimmed lights. Setting/place plays an important role in the "good life" because if someone is not happy with their physical surroundings, it is difficult for them to pay attention to other things in life.

This is the entrance of the theater.
I had a big smile on my face walking into the theater because the setting/ walking into the theater made me excited to watch the play!
Unfortunately, I had a hard time locating the theater and its entrance. Therefore, I ended up taking a photo with the wrong sign at first.
Simple piece of art even added to the feel and anticipation of watch The Divine.

Another detail that is important when it comes to plays, is the social experience. After all, attending a play is typically a social experience shared by friends and other theater-enthusiasts. Unfortunately, I was unable to attend the play with a friend due to scheduling issues. However, I still had a good time watching it by myself. It was relaxing being able to watch the play alone because I was fully submersed in the play instead of paying attention to a friend. In addition to with whom one attended a play with, the social experience also involves elements like dress. To get ready to watch The Divine, I put on a nice blouse, dressy jeans, and a fancy pair of boots. I dressed up because it is appropriate to look nice and dress nicely when attending a theatrical performance.

As one can see, I wore a strand of pearls and a nice blouse to attend this play. Also, I attended alone, hence the 'selfie" with nobody else in it.

Additionally, the cultural and intellectual experience of a play is crucial since theater plays an important role culturally. While The Divine was based in Canada in the early twentieth century, the concepts were still relatable to today's time. For example, in the play, theater is condemned by the church and looked down upon. While that is not the case today, it can be related to new, unorthodox ideas emerging today, as well as major events like the protesting and marching that is currently taking place. In addition, issues with child labor in factories was a main problem in the play and the "progressive thinkers" ( Sarah Bernhardt, Michaud, and the women working in the factory) tried to create a movement to stop child labor. This can correlate to issues and movements taking place today such as Black Lives Matter and women's marches and movements which are fighting against injustices. This play made me remember that there are two sides to every story/movement, especially with the child labor and rape issues. This allowed me to start to see our own culture differently, with a more compassionate eye, because I witnessed the struggle and sacrifices that occurred in the play and realized that real people deal with those same issues every single day, which is truly heartbreaking. We never truly know what is going on behind closed doors as seen with the raping that went on at the seminary involving Talbot and the priest.

This is a boot factory similar to the one Talbot's little brother and mother worked in. (Image found at https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/originals/db/8c/f4/db8cf46027f3e5e3c404010a9f3fb2a6.jpg )

Last, but not least, the emotional experience of a play is a key part of the whole experience. Theatrical productions are made to tap into one's emotions. The Divine was intended to make the viewers feel uncomfortable by displaying horrible tragedies that occur in real life. This discomfort is meant to get the audience's gears grinding in hopes that the audience is inspired to make a difference in the world. Katharsis, the Greek word for "coming Clean," is triggered by The Divine due to its deep topics that hit the hearts of its audience very hard. This discomfort created by this play allows for an opportunity of katharsis because it is easiest to come clean and see the issues in this world if there is a very high level of discomfort present, since discomfort sparks change.

In this picture, I am leaving the Constans Theater after watching The Divine.

Credits:

I, Stephanie Dahm, took all the photos except the photo of the children working in a sweat shop which was found on pinterest. 

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