In the Loop
General News : Jan 25, 2017

The Divine: A Play for Sarah Bernhardt opens January 27

By Marissa Secades

The University of Florida School of Theatre + Dance is pleased to present The Divine: A Play for Sarah Bernhardt, directed by Dr. David Young. Written by acclaimed Canadian playwright Michel Marc Bouchard, this new play tells the story of Talbot and Michaud, two Quebec City seminarians from opposing social classes with conflicting ideas about life, religion and art. Their beliefs are upended by a visit from the legendary actress Sarah Bernhardt, who quickly turns Quebec City topsy-turvy with the prospect of her controversial performances.

Diego Zozaya (BFA Acting ‘18) plays Talbot, a young seminarian who has just been transferred to Quebec City’s Grand Seminary under mysterious circumstances. Although the play set in the early half of the twentieth century, Zozaya thinks its themes are still extremely relevant.

“This play does an incredible job of giving our audience a mirror to see how society can be so close-minded and how we must be open to accepting change and others people's truths and realities,” said Zozaya.

In his thesis role, Jake Lesh (MFA Acting ‘17) portrays Michaud, a privileged seminarian whose encounters with Sarah Bernhardt awaken his “sense of rebellion,” described Lesh. He believes the play’s message is especially relatable to students.

“Each individual has a voice and the power to influence others,” he said.

Having first seen this play in 2015 at the Shaw Festival in Ontario, Canada, Young was eager to bring this play to the University of Florida.

“The play talks a lot about honor, students being true to themselves, and a lot of things that I think are important to our students,” he said.

He also noted that this will mark the play’s debut in the United States.

The Divine: A Play for Sarah Bernhardt opens this Friday and will run January 27-29 and February 3-5 at Constans Theatre. For tickets, please call the University Box Office at (352) 392-1653.