Stage Premiere of THE YELLOW WALLPAPER Up Next at Central Works, 5/16-6/21

Stage Premiere of THE YELLOW WALLPAPER Up Next at Central Works, 5/16-6/21

Central Works continues its 25th season with Gary Grave's haunting stage adaptation, Charlotte Perkins Gilman's THE YELLOW WALLPAPER, opening with a press night May 16 (previews May 14 &15), and running through June 21 at the historic Berkeley City Club. Adapted from a classic of early American feminist literature, Gilman's chilling short story follows a Victorian woman's descent into madness. Confined in the attic of an old, dilapidated mansion, as part of a "rest cure" prescribed by her husband, "Jane" begins to see strange forms creeping around behind the torn and ragged yellow wallpaper in the room. First published in 1892, Gilman explained that the idea for the story originated in her own experience as a patient: "the real purpose of the story was to reach [her doctor], and convince him of the error of his ways." Oxford professor Alan Ryan describes the story as "one of the finest, and strongest, tales of horror ever written. It may be a ghost story. Worse yet, it may not." Graves' adaptation stays true to the words and spirit of the original.

THE YELLOW WALLPAPER is Central Works World Premiere #47, and will be directed by company co-director Jan Zvaifler. It features Elena Wright (member AEA) and Cybèle D'Ambrosio (member AFM) with stage management by Vanessa Ramos, costumes by Tammy Berlin, sound by Gregory Scharpen, and props by Debbie Shelley. Ms. D'Ambrosio will also be arranging and playing classical and original musical compositions for the piece.

The script was created using the Central Works Method of collaborative play development. In a supportive workshop environment, group research and collective brainstorming contribute to the development of the script. The play emerges as a rich mix of group research, dramaturgical analysis and shared imagination. "The creative simmering that takes place gives a Central Works production a different brand from other more conventionally created productions...a unique style of theater not to be missed"-San Jose Mercury News.

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