Jane is a young mother living in the late-19th century America with her husband, John, who has rented out a large summer estate in hopes of helping Jane deal with her “temporary nervous depression” as he calls it. The cure: bed rest. Left alone with her own discordant thoughts, Jane is driven to insanity. Hallucination slowly emerges with reality, and in the attempt to distinguish between the two, how do we know what to believe when it is all a matter of perception?
The Yellow Wallpaper is a one-act adaptation of Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s 1892 short story of the same name, featuring six actors.
JANE 1 – The human Jane is a woman who has lost control of her treatment, which along with the inability to interact with her child causes her grief and innocence to result in her subsequent sadness. She is learning, and loses sight of, the line in which she is childishly gentle and blaming with herself because of her guilt and physical pain.
JANE 2 – Paranoia – As Jane’s voice of reason, the paranoiac JANE is protective and judgmental, doubting and unreasonable, and altogether has trouble distinguishing between the real and the true.
JANE 3 – Anxiety – Due to her fear of failure and loss of control, the anxious Jane acts out with anger and fear. This Jane considers every possible outcome and obsesses over their specialties. She is twitchy and cannot sit still.
JANE 4 – Mania – The maniac Jane is sparky and rapid and over-energized, a quality that resembles that of her former, productive, healthy self.
JANE 5 – Delusion – This Jane is childlike and also a fanatic. Though lost and attempting to discover reality, unbeknownst to her, she is often a victim of her own extremism.
JANE 6, THE CREEPING WOMAN – This woman is jerky and haunting, but yet still calm. She is frightening, yet displays the innocent qualities of Jane, though ominously.
The Yellow Wallpaper was first performed by students of Foundations for the Future Charter Academy High School on the night of April 28, 2015 for the AHSDFA ZONES competition.
Available through the CPO Website.
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