The Divine: A Play for Sarah Bernhardt Yael Levy

Cooper, David. “The Divine: A Play for Sarah Bernhardt holds harrowing moments but doesn’t quite jell: review.” Toronto Star, 25 July 2015, https://www.thestar.com/entertainment/stage/2015/07/25/the-divine-a-play-for-sarah-bernhardt-holds-harrowing-moments-but-doesnt-quite-jell-review.html

The Spatial Experience-As I entered the building, I felt I was entering a sophisticated and intelligent environment. It felt like a very formal and serious place. My seat, practically on the stage, made me have a close-up, almost one-on-one experience with the actors. I even felt that they were looking into my eyes at some points. Being so close to the stage, the play felt more realistic to me. When the lights dimmed, I experienced a feeling of excitement and curiosity, wondering what was to come and not exactly sure what to expect. The auditorium felt big but not too large where you felt minuscule.
The Social Experience: I attended the performance with my roommate. At the theater, I ran into 3 other friends. I did not do much to get ready for the experience besides make sure I had my gator ID with me. By experiencing the play with my friends by my side, we were able to reflect on it and comment on what we enjoyed and what we disliked. By having others with me, it made the performance more enjoyable and fun. In the Good Life it is very important to share experiences with others because you experience things that you would’ve never been able to do solely on your own.
The Cultural and Intellectual Experience: The play took place in the early 1900s in Quebec City, I do not have much knowledge over this period. The central issue that was addressed was consumerism and how the majority of people do not give a second thought to how or where the products that they buy come from. It focused on revealing the different socio-economic levels of society and the ignorance that came with it. The performance made me look at things in a different light. Afterwards, I gave more thought to what I buy and use, and where it possibly could’ve came from. I do not personally feel I am being affected by the same socio-economic problems the characters faced but I do believe it still affects a large part of the world.
The Emotional Experience: In the play, each character displays some sort of katharsis that gives us a raw uncomfortable look into reality. Society typically likes to turn a head to the bad things occurring in life and pretend they are not happening. Specifically, Sarah Bernhardt explains to the audience how theater is so important because it has the ability to show the ugly truth and emphasize the issues going on in every day life. In the play horrific events were being kept a secret including child labor, rape, murder, horrible labor conditions,lying, stealing, etc. Katharsis was exhibited in the play as the truth was slowly revealed through interventions between the characters and the acting in the final play.

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