The Divine: A Play for Sarah Bernhardt Alli gosser

The Spacial Experience

The Constans Theatre is an engaging environment for a play to take place in because it has a lot of open room for the actors to move around throughout the theatre.

I was surprised when I entered the performance area because I did not know that there was a full scale theatre inside of the Reitz Union. The set for the show looked well designed and definitely prompted interest in the show that was about to take place. My seat was on the left side of the theatre and was in a good location for viewing; however, it appeared that all seats would have been a good location. The size of the theatre was also impressive and helped give the performance a professional style feel.

Regarding the Good Life, I think that place is important in terms of circumstances because a place affects your interactions and experiences that you have. In the case of the Constans Theatre, when the lights lowered and the audience began to settle in for the performance, the environment impacted the experience because it allowed the play to be performed in a way that would allow the message regarding the Good Life to be carried out. At the start of the show, I felt ready to see it and learn what would happen. Though I had read a brief description of the play, I did not really know what to expect so I was interested to see it performed.

The Social Experience

I attended the play with a friend that I made last semester in one of my classes, as well as one of her friends. We met up with each other at the Reitz Union and waited outside until we were allowed to go in the theatre. It was nice to go with friends because we could catch up before the performance, but also, during the intermission and after the play, we could talk about what we thought about the play and what exactly was going on in it. It is always interesting to hear other people's differing interpretations of the same subject matter.

Shared experiences are a crucial element to the Good Life because the interactions we have with others are necessary to personal growth and forming individualized ideas. I personally think that I can learn a lot from speaking with others and sharing the same experiences with them.

The Cultural and Intellectual Experience

The Divine: A Play for Sarah Bernhardt was essentially a story about two men studying to become priests and their relationship with the famous French actress, Sarah Bernhardt. One of the main issues focused on in the play was obedience, in terms of if the seminarians would follow their orders and if Sarah Bernhardt would obey her orders and not perform. Besides this, aspects of the play focused on child labor, where obedience also came into play because the children workers had to violate what was the law to work. Before attending the play, I did not know much about any of these issues--the seminary, child labor, or theatre at this point in time. Nothing discussed in the play is applicable to my life circumstances; however, after viewing the play I feel that my stance on obedience was changed because it showed that orders should not always be followed. For instance, at the point in the story when the child was told to hide in the basement to avoid being caught performing child labor, he should not have obeyed his boss because the matter should have been exposed and he would have avoided dying from being trapped in the basement.

The Emotional Experience

Throughout this play, there were many opportunities for katharsis. Theatre presents an interesting opportunity for this because a lot of times the topics discussed in plays are relevant to audience members' lives. Moreover, throughout this particular play, katharsis is achieved through the development of the plot. At the beginning of the play, it is hard to tell what exactly is going on, and a lot of the dialogue seems covered with lies. However, upon entering the second act, more information becomes clear, and the characters seem to let their guards down. An example of this is one of the seminarians revealing the truths about an elder priest's history of raping.

It is in these moments in the play that the audience experiences the want for katharsis, and wants to come clean and reveal anything they have been hiding, too. Overall, the characters inspire the audience to follow their example and come clean.

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