The following is an interview with writer/director Denise Barrett regarding the upcoming launch of the production, Yellow Wallpaper, at the 2018 Hollywood Fringe Festival. In this interview, Fanbase Press Editor-in-Chief Barbra Dillon chats with Barrett about the inspiration behind the production, the cast and crew’s creative process in preparing for the show, what she hopes that audiences will take away from the show, how you can purchase tickets, and more!
Barbra Dillon, Fanbase Press Editor-in-Chief: The production, Yellow Wallpaper, will soon be appearing as part of the Hollywood Fringe Festival. For those who may be unfamiliar, what can you tell us about its premise?
Denise Barrett: Yellow Wallpaper is an adaptation of the Victorian short story by Charlotte Perkins Gilman. It chronicles a depressed woman’s summer, where her husband has taken her to a remote mansion for “the rest cure.” Unsurprisingly, she slowly starts to go crazy and sees a woman taunting her in the wallpaper.
BD: As the writer and director of the production, what was the inspiration for adapting Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s short story to the stage?
DB: I have wanted to do something with this story for a while, and it seemed like a fun idea to try it on the stage! I read this story in high school, and it just really resonates with me. As someone who has suffered depression, my creativity was often an outlet to help me get a foot back into a “normal” state of mind. The main character, Jane is denied any outlet for her feelings, which is tragic. I think it’s important to remind people to listen as well as help.
BD: You have a tremendous cast and crew involved with the production! What can you share with us about the creative process in bringing the show to life?
DB: Yes! We have a cast of 7 incredible actors! They have all been wonderful in bringing their own ideas about character, blocking, and tone, in addition to what I had in mind.
The crew consists of my talented and valued friends I graduated with at Montana State University. They have all helped me along the way – from feedback on my script, to creating and editing the animations, making the scenery, and producing. Creating the animation was especially a challenge, and I just let the animators have at it. I gave them a few suggestions along the way, but their interpretation is what really made the “Wallpaper Woman” and her environment come to fruition.
BD: What do you hope that audiences will take away from the show?
DB: Mostly, I just want everyone to have FUN watching the show! There are many themes that could be interpreted, but an important one for our current climate is that we need to remember to not put people in boxes – we need to let everyone be themselves, do what they love, feel what they feel, and listen to them when they are trying to relate or connect.
BD: What makes the Hollywood Fringe Festival an ideal venue for Yellow Wallpaper?
DB: The Fringe community is very open and supportive which is the kind of environment I personally needed to have the confidence in putting on a show. Everyone has been very helpful with advice and patient when we needed help.
BD: The show will be appearing at studio/stage from June 2-23, 2018. Are there any future plans to perform the show at other venues?
DB: No plans as of now, but who knows what the future holds! I would love to keep sharing this story as much as possible.
BD: Lastly, what would you like to tell readers who want to learn more about and purchase tickets for Yellow Wallpaper?