The Divine: A Play for Sara Bernhardt Emily Thach

The Spatial Experience

UF Constans Theatre

As I entered the Reitz building, I felt a familiar admiration and excitement when gazed upon the white, simplistic Constans Theatre sign. I was no stranger to this theatre because last semester I took Theatre Appreciation, and it felt as though the theatre had welcomed me back like an old friend. I followed the crowd as I walked down the red steps and found my middle section seat. The view was lovely. With the playbill in my lap, I waited patiently for the lights to dim and for all of the nonsensical chatter of my peers to dissipate. When the lights dimmed, an automatic, nearly pavlovian response of silence was elicited from the large audience. The darkness and silence allowed my mind to enter the convention of the world of "The Divine" and I was eager to experience the story, the art unfold before my eyes. The large auditorium also added to my feeling of awe and insignificance; this place became a living exhibit of talent, hard work, and admiration. The place in the good life plays a huge role in the Good Life, because having a sense of place in a place in the world provides a sense of meaning, a sense of fulfillment. A place can alter one's definition of the good life because we are shaped by not only our own nature, but also our surroundings.

The Social Experience

"I decided to go to the play alone, but I ended up running into some friends."

I figured that since I was going to a play, I should get myself dressed up in a soft chiffon dress that effortlessly flowed with my movements. However, I decided to go to the play alone, but I ended up running into some friends. After the quick and fun photo op, I quickly left to grab a seat (because they were waiting for a friend that was running late). I wanted to go alone, because I wanted to experience being alone, surrounded by strangers, enjoying a play. Even though I went to the play alone, I didn't feel lonely. I felt like a part of something, each time something caused a laugh, or a gasp. We (strangers, friends, etc.) all became a part of something, because we all experienced this play together. Shared experiences allow people to become closer to attaining a Good Life, because although each experience is subject to our own interpretation, we all become united through being present at that event, at that moment. After the play, everyone who took Good Life this spring semester will share the experience of seeing "The Divine" and have a common bond. Shared experiences in life become a common bond that unites the humanity in individuals and illuminates the journey that the Good Life brings to us.

The Cultural and Intellectual Experience

The splendor of theatre lies in its ability to commentate and criticize the existence of its era.

The central issue address the struggle between man and his belief of what is right and just with the hypocrisies of the Church and the Factory. During this time period, there was a large power struggle between the Arts/Sciences and the Church in the western world, as well as the rampant abuse of workers (women and children) in factories as a result of the industrial revolution. I knew that the Church held a stubborn, conservative view of a world that was quickly changing and would do anything to preserve their image of righteousness and piety, even if that came to the expense of its own disciples. The Church held the power with hypocritical hands. Brother Casgrain would condemn Sarah Bernhardt and the factory owner, meanwhile overlooking heinous sexual abuse. On the other hand, the factory owners see their factories as a source of income and prosperity for the town, and if they don't do it, other factories will.

The play allowed me to see the failings of man when he refuses to acknowledge the other perspective, and remain constant in their beliefs that they are correct. With this stubbornness and hatred, the unnecessary death of Leo This play spoke to me, because we are undergoing a time of again, rapid change, especially change in government. Two divergent political parties refusing to acknowledge the other, even though they firmly believe in their own moral compasses, meanwhile the nation is collateral damage. "The Divine" illuminated the fact that humanity is not perfect, and will never be, but by seeing through each other's perspectives, humanity does have the ability to progress.

The Emotional Experience

Post-Play: Feelin' Satisfied

The play addresses several vices that humanity must overcome in order to succeed. The play was "karthardic" for me, because it manifested the hypocrisies of society and provided a tangible release through the actors portrayal of very real thematic elements that also correlate in our society today. I needed to see something that promotes awareness and criticism to conservation and to change. This play gave me hope through the bitter despair and truth that the characters provided. The death of Leo came unexpected to me, even if the foreshadowing was there, it shocked me. That shock resonated throughout my being because I realized that the unnecessary physical, emotional, and spiritual deaths are unfolding in today's society right before my eyes. This play inspired me to embrace and criticize the world we live in. As I got up to leave the theatre, my shoulders felt lighter, my mind opened, and my heart satisfied.

Works cited

University of Florida Constans Theater Air Handling Unit T2 Replacement. N.d. Gainesville,Fla. Foresight Construction Group. Web.

Created By
Emily Thach


Created with images by Dieter_G - "curtain stage theater" • ** RCB ** - "books" University of Florida Constans Theater Air Handling Unit T2 Replacement. N.d. Gainesville, Fla. Foresight Construction Group. Web.

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