Entering the Constans Theatre
For this assignment, I watched a performance of The Divine: A Play for Sarah Bernhardt. The performance was very enlightening. At first, I did not want to be in the theatre. The first half of the play was not very entertaining, in my opinion. However, the second half of the play was a complete switch. It was such a big turnaround that my friends were getting excited in our chairs, gasping, and keeping ourselves engaged. I learned several things from the play, including how child labor was still used during the play's time setting, the corruption that was in the Catholic Church, and how the theatre played an important role in society.
The Spatial Experience
When I walked into the theatre, I was disappointed because I did not want to be there. My seat location was amazing. It was near one of the side doors, so I was able to see the actors walk by during some of their scenes. Also, my seat was a good distance from the stage. I was able to easily hear and see everything that was going on. When the lights dimmed and the audience quieted, I was surprisingly filled with anticipation. The auditorium was large but my seat made it seem smaller because I could only see a couple of rows of seats in front of me. Place is extremely important to the Good Life. If you do not want to be in a place, then I do not think you can have the Good Life. I think a person needs to enjoy his or her setting.
The Social Experience
I sat with my friends during the performance so I did not feel weird. I dressed up nicely and read the playbill to prepare myself. We would quietly look at each other and act hyped when something interesting happened during the play. Being with friends definitely made the play more fun. Humans are social beings. I think that sharing other people's company is essential to the Good Life. Being with friends and people you enjoy definitely aids in achieving the Good Life.
Playbill from The Divine: A Play for Sarah Bernhardt
The Cultural and Intellectual Experience
The performance helped me realize that we take our culture for granted and that it used to be worse in the past. The Divine: A Play for Sarah Bernhardt, which is set in Quebec City in 1905, brought up several issues, including Child labor, corruption in the church, and the importance of the theatre. I knew a little bit about the issues of child labor from prior lessons in my history classes. I did not know that the church was so dominant and that the theatre clashed with the church. My views about child labor stayed the same because I think that child labor is wrong. As a catholic, my views about the church were greatly changed. I realized that the church was not always perfect, and it probably still is not perfect. This led me to further realize the importance of the separation of church and state because the church has its own agenda. I also found a new regard for the theatre and how it is important for saying what normally cannot be said. In the theatre, topics that are normally taboo can be expressed.
The Emotional Experience
Katharsis can be found in The Divine: A Play for Sarah Bernhardt. The entire play was used to show the dangers of child labor and the corruption of the church. With the little girl's death and Leo's death, we see the full extent of the dangers of child labor. By learning about how a priest abused Talbot and other members of the clergy, we realize that the church was not even close to perfect. These are two examples of katharsis in The Divine: A Play for Sarah Bernhardt.
Leaving the Constans Theatre