The Yellow Wallpaper is a short story by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, adapted for the stage by Aziza Afzal. It is directed, performed, and designed by Welcome Homesick (Aziza Afzal, Emma Bergman, Sophie Cameron, Meg Lebow, and Clare Lefebure). Movement direction by Alayna Baron with sound compositions by Sam Dembling.
The show was hosted at The Peale Center July 26-27 & August 2-3, 2019. Following each performance, audience members were invited to participate in a group discussion, writing/drawing on wallpaper scraps pinned to the back wall. Click here to explore the audience reflections.
Published in 1892, Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s short story The Yellow Wallpaper provides an intimate look at one woman’s harrowing experience with psychosis, as the unnamed protagonist is placed on “the rest-cure” by her husband and physician. The rest cure, a 19th-century treatment pioneered by doctor Silas Weir-Mitchell, was mainly prescribed to women who suffered from depression, postpartum psychosis, and hysteria (a frequent diagnosis thought to be caused by the uterus becoming dislodged and traveling around a woman’s body). Gilman herself was a patient of Weir-Mitchell and was inspired to write The Yellow Wallpaper after a postpartum mental breakdown caused by the rest cure, which prohibited writing, drawing, and all creative self-expression. She hoped that her story would convince Weir-Mitchell of the adverse effects of his treatment, and even sent him a copy in the mail, but never received a reply. — W.H.
Images by Eden Chinn (35mm) and Regis Lefebure (digital).
Welcome Homesick is an independent theater company with five coequal directors. We are interested in plays about women and queer folks, hauntings, ritual, demons, and history. As Maryland natives creating work in our home state, we seek to engage local communities and provide access to real world supports around the topics of our theatrical fictions.
Get in touch with Welcome Homesick at email@example.com.