Imagination Gone Wild

FringeJasmine and I returned to the Fringe Festival for a vividly engaging and thought-provoking experience. “The Yellow Wallpaper“, written by Charlotte Perkins Gilman was cleverly adapted and directed by McMaster’s own Kristi Boulton, with assistance from Matthew Bandura and Emiliano Bravin.

The play depicts Charlotte (Hannah Itner), a woman who has been prescribed with a “rest cure” to alleviate a supposed mental illness. Her physicians: her own husband, John (Michael Patricelli), and his brother Henry (Nick Kozij), banish her to bed-rest for months at a time in a secluded room with awful yellow wallpaper.

The play takes you on a journey through Charlotte’s mind- the only thing she has to entertain herself in this seclusion. As Charlotte rejects the social constructions of femininity and motherhood, John, Henry and eventually Rachel (Kristi Boulton) inundate her with medication and isolation. Charlotte develops the psychosis spurred by this “cure”, and finds a comforting world of logic with the graceful and cautious figments of the wallpaper (Sarah Granger).

So was Charlotte the only one who (literally) ran away with her imagination? Was John so completely blinded by the vision of a nuclear family and gender roles that he labelled Charlotte as ill? Does our society breed mental illness?

To me, this never ending trail of questions is one sign of an incredible show; one that I am sure to remember. I want to extend a sincere thank you to the cast and all those who support Fringe every year! This has got to be my favourite Hamilton event.

Until next summer (I’m counting down the days),