Good Life Performance Sara Riley Drussell

Spatial Experience

When I entered into the auditorium, there was a cozy feel to it because Constans Theatre is not extremely large. It is a comfortable size. The stage itself was dim, but I was able to see the set, which was beautifully crafted. I wanted to take a picture but was unable to. There was a lot of detail on the set from the rows of beds to the stained glass windows in the background. With the house lights still on, there was a friendly vibe, many people were talking and it was nice. My seat was to the far left of the auditorium, which was not my preferred spot, as I like sitting in the center, but it was not a bad spot. I was right next to the door from which the actors entered at the beginning of the play, so it felt really cool being so up close and personal with the play.

Social Experience

This was a photo taken when I first entered into the Constans Theatre Lobby. I attended the show by myself.

I attended this performance by myself, which was odd for me because I normally do things like this alongside my friends. I was already wearing decent clothing on the day I went, so to get ready I just had to put on my jacket because I expected it to be chilly in the theatre (I was right). Since I was by myself, I had time to observe those around me and it was humorous to me that when I first got there, everyone was taking selfies. Everyone was trying to fit in front of the door labeled "Constans Theatre" in order to get their picture, so it was noticeable that everyone was there for Good Life. I sat next to strangers when I was inside, but none of them were there with friends either, so my side was pretty quiet, but you could hear the chatter from everyone else, everyone seemed pretty excited about the show.

Cultural and Intellectual Experience

A picture that I snapped of the pamphlet for the show. It is full of information about the show and its relevance to the Good Life.

This play, The Divine: A Play for Sarah Bernhardt, was really interesting to me because it focused on a couple different issues. There was the issue of the theatre vs. the cloth, as well as corruption within the church, both of which I find really interesting. I was an active participant in theatre arts for a large portion of my life and I have studied the history of theatre, so I am familiar with many religions banning acting because it is seen as a sin. The dynamic of that shown is this play is focused on Quebec being behind on religion being okay with acting and how acting benefits society. I feel like this is still relevant today because many people are trying to decrease art funding, or eliminate the arts from the schools, which is wrong because, as the play mentions, theatre discusses society and issues that go on in the world around us. It brings light to issues in an artistic manner that many people can understand and comprehend. The concept of religion being corrupt, which is displayed through a priest molesting boys, is also something that is not foreign to today's society, as we still hear of incidents of higher religious figures taking advantage of young children. This also shows a larger theme of the conflict that many people, including myself, have with religion.

Emotional Experience

The Divine: A Play for Sara Bernhardt gives several different moments where the audience has the opportunity for catharsis. I feel a play like this, which is very emotional, can lead people to see different aspects of themselves and allow for this self realization through art. For example, when Talbot comes clean about being molested, it allows an opportunity for self realization because Talbot carried a heacy burden on his shoulders with keeping his abuse a secret. Many people may have connected with the support and coping that he was able to have once he freed his secrets and made himself vulnerable, emotionally, to others. Another point for catharsis is when Sarah Bernhardt starts to justify and explain why theatre is important and why it is a societal coping tool for issues. She goes against the grain and defies the rules in order to speak out for what she believes in and that is something that I connect with and that hits me on a personal level and gets me to think and open up. I always feel the need to speak out for what is right and to allow my voice to be heard. I connected with this play in that aspect because I could relate to being open to the world about my opinions.

*All photos featured in this story are photos that I took personally.

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