Taking place entirely in one room, The Yellow Wallpaper is a chamber opera in one act based on the story of the same name by Charlotte Perkins Gilman (1860-1935). The story is centered on a nameless young woman’s descent into psychosis as her mental health issues, namely post-natal depression, are left misunderstood.
The woman and her physician husband, John, move into a spacious and airy mansion, which he believes will help her health to improve by undergoing the rest cure; a common treatment developed in the late 1800s for the handling of hysteria and other nervous illnesses. With nothing to stimulate her mind, the woman becomes growingly obsessed with the yellow, distressed wallpaper that covers the room and her imagination begins to run wild as she starts to believe it is moving and coming alive. As her fascination with the wallpaper spirals out of control, so does her quest to break free.
© Grace-Evangeline Mason, 2016