The Divine: A Play for Sarah Bernhard Elizabeth Valdes

The Spatial Experience

As someone who grew up going to her older sister's theater performances, watching The Divine: A Play for Sarah Bernhard play live was not a new experience for me. As I entered the auditorium, my mind started racing with questions about the play. I wondered if the play was going to be a musical, what the play was really about and if I would enjoy the performance. I was sitting in the back of the auditorium so when the play started, I felt as though I was only watching the performance rather than apart play with the actors. When the lights dimmed, I was shocked by how dark the auditorium got. It created a sense of suspense. The lights added to my excitement. The auditorium was larger than the ones I was used to attending for my sister's plays but, since it was only half full, the size had no affect on my experience. The role of place in the Good Life is very important. Settings usually create a mood for an experience. I feel as though a good setting is the first step to having a good time.

The Social Experience

To get ready for the performance, I made sure to read the directions for what to do before attending the show. I left my backpack in my dorm room, grabbed my Gator ID and went to eat dinner at Reitz. Then I met up with my friend, Noah. I've known him since fifth grade, so it's cool to be able to experience our freshman Good Life play together. When I was randomly seated for the play, I ended up sitting next to my other friend, Gil, whom I had met through our UF freshman orientation. I would not have had as good a time if I had gone to the play by myself. Sharing experiences with friends not only provides a sense of comfort but it also strengthens relationships which I feel is a key role in living the Good Life.

The Cultural and Intellectual Experience

The story took place in the United States in the early twentieth century. The play was centered around poverty and sacrifice. Sometimes you have to do things that you don't want to do for people you love. An example of this is how Talbot only wanted to become a priest so that him and his family could escape their lives of poverty. I did not know much about this subject matter before attending the performance because I never took the time to think about it. The play made me question the life that I live. I wondered if I always had the best intentions and if I let minimal problems get me down. The characters in the play suffered very hard lives. This play made me appreciate how fortunate I am.

The Emotional Experience

The Divine: A Play for Sarah Bernhardt provides us audience members with the opportunity for katharsis by exposing corruption and suffering in the form of entertainment. When plays, shows, movies, and books create stories centered around social, political, religious, and cultural problems, it makes these problems easier to talk about and discuss. When discussing the problems in the form of plays, audience members can relate the material to their own lives. Plays are especially powerful being that they are live performances. There is something that is very real about seeing actors in person. The live performance also draws the audience's attention closer than a show or movie through a screen would giving us a greater opportunity for katharsis.

Created By
Elizabeth Valdes

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