July 8th, 2016

The Yellow Wallpaper: Invited Dress

"There are things in that paper that nobody knows but me, or ever will."
-- The Yellow Wallpaper

So, last night I went to the invited dress rehearsal for The Yellow Wallpaper at the Physick house. This is the show after tec where the lights have been figured out, the props and the costumes, and they run everything. It's possible in a dress that things will stop and back up and that happened about 2 minutes into this performance when a lighting cue was amended -- but then the show went flawlessly from top to bottom and everybody was spooked and horrified -- in different ways.

Clickenzee to get this big enough to be your computer wallpaper.


The Yellow Wallpaper is the story of a woman imprisoned by her husband while suffering what at the time was called "hysteria". She's locked away in a horrid room in a beautiful house and kept from books and people and writing. When she begs her husband to end the "treatment" he takes her in her arms and calls her a "blessed little goose". At every corner she is ignored and diminished and stripped of any autonomy.

While this is happening, things begin to manifest themselves in the room in which she's been kept, and strange things unfold.

Looked at in one way each breadth stands alone, the bloated curves and flourishes--a kind of "debased Romanesque" with delirium tremens--go waddling up and down in isolated columns of fatuity. -- But, on the other hand, they connect diagonally, and the sprawling outlines run off in great slanting waves of optic horror, like a lot of wallowing seaweeds in full chase. -- The whole thing goes horizontally, too, at least it seems so, and I exhaust myself in trying to distinguish the order of its going in that direction.
Clickenzee to Embiggen!

The Yellow Wallpaper was written in 1892, but it's not any less important today. It's one of the early handclaps that lead to women's suffrage. I was happy to see such a glorious production in such a great space. The show opens Sunday July 10 and runs until the 15th. There aren't a lot of seats, so most of the shows will probably sell out so, getting your tickets ($10-15) in advance is a good idea.

After the performance, discussing lighting cues with Stage Manager Sam Wend.
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