The Divine Emily Dunson

"Divine_1615_EC." Found, Michael Gianfrancesco Photo Gallery, 2 February 2017, http://michaelgianfrancesco.squarespace.com/the-divine-a-play-for-sarah-bernhardt/b9gqozca4xp9ij0gpkvkw34yjuu1i2.

Upon entering the building, I felt a refreshing sense of excitement to see the show. Coming from a high school for the arts, dressing up to see a theatrical performance took me out of Gainesville for a few hours.

Sethoscope. "Red Stage Curtains." Found, Flickr, 2 February 2017, https://www.flickr.com/photos/sethoscope/2884743046.

Entering the theater behind many of my peers and other spectators, I felt the cool auditorium spark a familiar curiosity: what is behind the curtain? I was seated in the middle of the right section of the theater. The slope of the auditorium eliminated the issue of the side-to-side swing of finding the stage behind the person's head in front of me. The overall size of the auditorium was perfect, not too big to which the back of the theater is a strenuous climb and not too small to which seating is a struggle. When the lights dimmed and the audience quieted, nerves came over me: who would open the show? will it shock me? will I be eased into the narrative?

"Place" plays many roles in the good life. It is both a physical and emotional concept. Every person has a different place that allows them to feel content and to thrive. Some find their place under the spotlight, looking into the dark abyss of an audience before them. Others find their place in the middle of nature, surrounded by a quiet society and a loud earth. Each of these "places" takes one into a mental and emotional "place." In acquiring and living the good life, a challenge arises of finding both the emotion and physical place that meets one's needs and of having the ability to adjust and share new places.

Excitement before the show! **permission to use given by Lindsay Asher**

I attended the show with my friend, Lindsay. To get ready for the performance, I picked out an outfit: nice jeans, flats, and a sheer, light blue top (not seen under my jacket). Going with another person made the experience much more enjoyable in that when something unusual happened on stage, I could look next to me and feel the shared surprise. During intermission, we were able to compare opinions and interpretations of the performance so far: what plot points we liked and disliked, the characters that irritated us and the ones we loves.

Shared experiences plays a large role in the good life. Having the ability to relate to or disagree with someone else expands the mind. It allows people to grow empathy and sympathy. It introduces thoughts that may not have been previously developed. But while sharing does take one out of his or her comfort zone of individuality, it also provides a sense of comfort in knowing that someone else is present, someone else knows.

"The Divine: A Play for Sarah Bernhardt." Found, Amazon, 2 February 2017, https://www.amazon.com/Divine-Play-Sarah-Bernhardt/dp/0889229589.

The Divine is a play that explores the theme of destruction of innocence in the unfortunate circumstance of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church. Before seeing The Divine, I read Doubt: A Parable by John Patrick Shanley and I saw Spotlight. Both of these works exploit the sexual abuse that is evident in some priesthood. The performance differed from these works in that it showed sexual misconduct from priest to seminarian, while in these other works, priest were found abusing young children outside of religious studies. Although this subject matter does not have direct relation to my life, I think it is important that this issue of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church should continue to be investigated and address to prevent further harm.

Nader, Felix. "Portrait of Sarah Bernhardt, 1864." Found, Life Magazine, 2 February 2017, http://theredlist.com/wiki-2-24-525-770-953-view-1890s-profile-sarah-bernhardt.html.

This show displays an opportunity for catharsis because it reveals the methods in which theater is used to display the various emotions that swirl within the walls of society: grief, embarrassment, shame, courage, hypocrisy. It shows the ability of one to transform another. It reveals the ability to rise up over rejection and tragedy through passion.

Leaving with good reviews. **permission to use given by Lindsay Asher**

I left The Divine slightly shocked at a plot line I was not expecting, but impressed by the performance and ability of the theater to exploit societies downfalls.

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