Theater & Performing Arts

The Yellow Wallpaper

When: Thursdays-Sundays. Continues through June 21 2015

When Charlotte Perkins Gilman wrote The Yellow Wallpaper in 1890, “the rest cure” was an in-vogue treatment method for combating “hysteria,” “nervous disorders,” and “insolent behavior” – all diagnoses frequently given to women who did not conform to societal expectations. Her semi-autobiographical short story, based on her own experiences with the arcane cure, has since become a classic piece of feminist literature that is honored for its ability to reveal the infantilizing attitudes towards women’s health. The Yellow Wallpaper has also become the subject of multiple plays, including playwright Gary Graves’ latest adaptation for East Bay theater company Central Works, which is currently being performed at the Berkeley City Club (2315 Durant Ave.). Like Gilman’s original writing, Graves’ play is told through the diary entries of a woman named Jane (played by Elena Wright), who descends into madness when she is sequestered to an attic bedroom as part of her treatment. Wright gives a stirring solo performance that can resonate with audiences long after the end of the play, and although the venue mutes some of the more dramatic scenes, this version of the classic still makes for a visceral production worth seeing.

Gillian Edevane

Price: $15-$28

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