The Divine: A Play for Sarah Bernhardt My Experience

The Spatial Experience

Before the Play

The Constans Theatre is a really cool venue. I haven't seen many live performances, so this was a fairly new experience for me. After scanning my gatorID card, I was directed to my seat front and center of the stage. Being so close to the stage allowed me to feel as if I was part of the story; as if I was part of the cast. When the lights went dim and everybody grew quiet, the actors began their performance and I was immediately immersed into the plot. I loved the atmosphere of the theatre when Michaud would have a spastic bout or say a funny line. It was as if we were all in one some sort of inside joke that only the audience and cast could get. This made me realize the role of location in our "good life"-- when we are surrounded by good energy, it doesn't matter where we are. The play could have taken place in the fanciest theatre in Florida, but it wouldn't make a difference if the audience and atmosphere were not inviting.

The Social Experience

Photo by Parkwood Theatres

Before going to the play, I got ready by putting on some comfortable clothes and heading to the Reitz Union for dinner. This ensured I would have no distractions during the performance. I attended the play alone; another unique experience for me. However, it didn't matter that I didn't have a friend there with me. I was still able to talk to those around me during intermission about how crazy it was for Talbot to kiss that actress and how risky it was for Michaud to go behind Brother Casgrain's back. While I didn't share this experience with anybody I knew, it still formed a special memory I can think back on. After all, our "good life" is truly just a myriad of our favorite memories.

The Cultural and Intellectual Experience

Photo by The Island Packet

The central issue addressed in this play was battling the decision to pursue a life you want to live versus the life others want you to live. Michau loved the theatre and was gifted in play-writing, but that was unheard of for a priest. Talbot was only becoming a priest because he knew no other way to help his family escape poverty. Growing up, I attended Catholic schools where our priests and nuns were admired and looked up to by the students and faculty. Seeing this play made me curious about the nonreligious aspect of the lives of my parish's priests and nuns. What career would they have followed if not the priesthood or sisterhood? What truly motivated them to choose a life dedicated to God?

The Emotional Experience

Photo by Anna Keating

This play provides us an opportunity for katharsis because we don't often see priests as main characters in scandalous plays. When thinking of priesthood, I usually think of a person dedicating his life to God out of his own free will and desire. This play challenged that idea and questioned if these priests were truly happy and living the life they wanted. To be trapped in an undesirable life, particularly one so emotionally and socially demanding as the priesthood, would be torturous. We don't typically consider the notion that the priesthood would be forced upon a person, but The Divine asked us to consider this possibility.

After the Play

Photo Citations

Keating, Anna. Why Would a Millennial Become a Priest? Digital image. The Catholic Catologue. The Catholic Catologue, 16 Aug. 2013. Web.

Friends of the Hawth. Digital image. Parkwood Theatres. England and Wales Company, 12 Dec. 2015. Web.

Kids, Nuns, and Priests Run the Halls. Digital image. Island Packet. The Island Packet, 18 Apr. 2015. Web.

Created By
Kelly Clark


Created with images by AndyRobertsPhotos - "Theatre"

Made with Adobe Slate

Make your words and images move.

Get Slate

Report Abuse

If you feel that this video content violates the Adobe Terms of Use, you may report this content by filling out this quick form.

To report a Copyright Violation, please follow Section 17 in the Terms of Use.