The Divine A Good Life Performance

The spatial experience

I had always imagined the theater as a place of fine arts, where character and history shined through in detail, from the many paintings it should have and the red velvet carpet. This perception was guided by the many tales and stories I learned about in school about acting in ancient times such as Shakespearean plays. Drama was a big theme in those times and the personification of that in its setting was a reflection of how over time theaters and attending plays were a lavish and grandiose event.

"Shakespearean Theater"

Much to my surprise I was going to see a play in our student union center, the Reitz. Before that very day I could have never imagined that such a place existed, I have walked countless times through this very establishment unaware of its very existence. Its entrance camouflaged within the building, gave me a new sense understanding. I knew now that this was what a modern theater could look like.

However once stepping into the theater I began to see the red velvet carpet and the paintings on the wall. As me and my friend stepped in to find our seats, the stage was exposed and the setting was in place. The different elements, such as the lighting and myriad of colors brought the stage to life. As the lights dimmed and the crowd settled, it reminded me of something very familiar. At that very moment I could not pin point what it was, but just now I remembered. It was the very feeling when you go to the movies, its the cue that lets every one know that the movie is about to start and in this case a live show. The size and structure of the auditorium made it feel grand and sort of like a place for the arts.

"Hidden art"

The Social Experience

Me and my friend Michelle just before entering the theater!

At first I was hesitant of attending the play alone, I had only one other experience at the theater and that was when I was back in elementary school. So instead I coordinated with my friend to go on the same day, it was a sense of comfort to have her there. I got to share my opinions and thoughts about what was going on around us and in the play with someone I was familiar with. She was particularly someone I had known for a long time so I felt more free to express my genuine feelings. We made sure to look up its location before hand to know how to get there and not be late.

The role of shared experiences is huge when encompassing the Good Life. I strongly believe that life without family and friends to share it with is often times dull and eventful, humans are a very social species. We love working together and coexisting as best we can, sharing these types of experiences are vital what we perceive as the Good Life.

Being social is in our nature!

The Cultural and Intellectual Experience

Realism, its the truth of real life issues, this theme was evident through the play. Although the play took place about 100 year ago, at a time where things were very different, there still are similarities within the problems taking place at Quebec City. The central issue was art vs the Church. This central message has been shown through history, and even now. The work of art that Sarah Bernhardt expressed was very controversial, to the point where she was banned from performing.

However such plays were a medium of translating real life drama through an imaginary screen. Much of this happens now as well through either movies, or even smaller low income productions. The topic of church vs. art is less evident in the United States but there are signs of this conflict in things such as politics and the rights of many people. The constant battle between conservationists and liberals. Coming from a culturally different family whose morals are very Roman Catholic, since I was born in Colombia, my family has always upheld such views while however being in the United States for a long time, my views have been shaped and I have opened my eyes to different ideas and beliefs through just being educated and through different forms of art.

Just me by the entrance of Constans Theater

The Emotional Experience

As the play ended, I noticed very clear themes that shine through. A very obvious distinction was the Church vs. Art and the power that art has in our lives. Theater does have to power to bring to live many controversial topics that are often times uncomfortable, and culturally radical. Many times people don't get a chance to first hand look at problems in the real world, they hear about it in the news or through mouth. Sitting down and listening to a story in the theater can even open your eyes to things you might have no really thought about, things you try not to think about because they aren't in your daily life although it surrounds you. Somethings whats best for you isn't what you expected or what you wanted. "Coming clean" was a big theme in The Divine, of how arts have an important role in shaping the lives of many people and how sometimes the only way to get controversial points across to a big audience is this. Changing the world through the arts.

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