LOS ANGELES -- Jill Remez stars in The Yellow Wallpaper, a play she adapted with Kerry Noonan from the controversial short story by Charlotte Perkins Gilman. It will be revived Oct. 15 at The Fremont Centre Theatre for a run through Nov. 5. Noonan directs.
Gilman (1865-1935) was an influential feminist and social critic. She founded and edited the journal "The Forerunner," in which she published her short fiction, essays and the serialization of her novel. Written in 1890, "The Yellow Wallpaper" was an attack on a certain "rest cure" of the age consisting of complete isolation, with no reading, writing, work, human contact or stimuli of any kind. The treatment was aimed at curing the neurasthenia caused by over-stimulation, "especially the over-stimulation of the brain in women." Gilman's novel was met with both raves and sneers upon publication. But her real purpose in writing it was to reach Dr. S. Weir Mitchell, a doctor to whom she had gone seeking a cure for her own nervous prostration, and to convince him of the error of his ways. Years later, Gilman was told that Mitchell had indeed changed his theories after reading her book. "If that is a fact," wrote Gilman, "I have not lived in vain." Gilman moved to Pasadena in 1888 where she lived until her death in 1935.
When Remez first performed The Yellow Wallpaper in Los Angeles, the Times praised her for having "vividly evoked the historical tragedy of creative women stifled by social convention."
Remez was seen recently at the Coast Playhouse in The Philadelphia Story and at the Laguna Playhouse in Picasso at the Lapin Agile. She received a Drama-Logue Award for her acting in The Yellow Wallpaper.
Fremont Theatre Center is located at 1000 Fremont Ave. in South Pasadena. For tickets and information call (626) 441-5977. -- By Willard Manus
Southern California Correspondent