Fix Your Gaze on The Yellow Wallpaper
All An Act adapts Charlotte Perkins Gilman's commentary on women's mental health
July 23 — Sept. 19
It is difficult to imagine how a piece of literature published in 1892 describing the systemic oppression of women, and the ongoing deliberate ignorance of women's mental health could feel relevant in 2021.
And yet, here we are.
All An Act theater, a gem in Erie's Little Italy neighborhood, is bringing an adaptation of Charlotte Perkins Gilman's short story The Yellow Wallpaper to the stage — and the screen, at least initially.
Starring Adele Crotty, a 15-year veteran of the Erie theater scene, a regular at A3, and the Erie Reader's Best of Erie winner for Best Actress in both 2019 and 2020 (she also happened to adapt the piece for these performances), as well as Marie Glaser and Roland Robbinson, the play is directed by J.D. Mizikowski.
Said Crotty, "Gilman was a revolutionary when it came to women's rights and women's health. She fought against the 'Rest Cure'…because it was something she herself was subjected to. And that is still so relevant today, men being in control of women's health."
The Yellow Wallpaper tells the story of a young woman, a new mother, who is suffering a "temporary nervous depression," and ordered to rest cure — staying abed for weeks at a time — by her husband. Confined both physically and mentally, her mental state completely misunderstood, she becomes obsessed with the yellow wallpaper: its color, its smell, its patterns, and eventually the woman she believes is trapped behind it.
The play has already begun its run in a digital format initially and throughout August; the show will switch to live, in-theater performances in September.
That format has had a surprising and insightful impact on its principle: "It's been fascinating to get the opportunity to watch something I've created with the people whose opinions I greatly respect," Crotty said, "and to get an authentic reaction in real-time."
She continued, "It truly has been one of the most rewarding and unique experiences in my life, as a writer, and as an actor."
Count on Crotty's adaptation of The Yellow Wallpaper to be a rewarding and unique experience for its audience as well, and an opportunity to reflect on how far women's rights have come in our society — as well as how far we have yet to go.
Fridays & Saturdays at 7:30 p.m., Sundays at 3 p.m. // Digital format only until September // $6 per viewer // For more info and to buy tickets: www.allanact.net/now-playing