The Spatial Experience
The Constans Theater has a very modern entrance way. The lobby was thin and wide with modern art scattered about. Waiting in the lobby reminded me of waiting in a train station. It was surprisingly quiet, and as time went on the anticipation grew. There was no view of what the auditorium looked like from the lobby. This added emphasis to the importance of the actual theater, much like the train station made me anticipate my journey.
The theater itself was very dark. Sitting in the center of the auditorium framed the stage perfectly. Seeing the pink and blue lights of the stained glass windows on the stage and the snow falling behind them immediately made me think of church and religion. The stage seemed so important in the darkness of the room. It was lit up in vibrantly bright colors whilst everyone else was a dim silhouette in front of me.
The whole experience reminded me that setting is a wonderful way to tie emotions and experiences together. Elements of previous memories include scenery and smell as well as emotion. The settings on stage reminded me of times in my life associated with those images. the church windows reminded me of travelling, which helped me empathize with Talbot. Scenery plays a huge role in the good life since it has the capacity to remind people of where they have come from and where they want to go. The message of freedom delivered at the end of the play, where Talbot speaks of his journey to the opium den, is transmitted through scenery as much as it is through word. The dark room and the great white light behind him reminded me of death and how we only get one life to make "good." That part of the message was not delivered in words.
the Social Experience
This is what the entrance to the Constans Theater looks like when your friends make you arrive at nearly the last possible second.
I attended the play with a long time friend of mine. Sharing this experience with him meant that I did not have total control over when I would be able to arrive. Since so many other students were attending, parking was almost impossible to find. This was stressful, however it made the experience seem more important in a way. Sitting next to my friend made me feel less impolite about laughing or gasping loudly when the actions on stage demanded it.
Being in a room full of strangers normally makes one feel detached. However, after the lights dimmed, the featureless companions in front of me became part of the experience. We were one collective entity the actors were addressing. Sharing experiences like this is part of what makes a good life good. We are social creatures who crave connections and a sense of belonging. this is why we share. By putting everyone in that small dark space, the play can share the message more intimately.
The Cultural/Intellectual experience