SALT LAKE CITY — Wallpaper, produced by Prufrock Productions at the Great Salt Lake Fringe Festival, was an entertaining horror story (with a script by Miranda E. Martinez, based on a story by Charlotte Perkins Gilman) about a woman trapped in a room with yellow wallpaper. As her husband tries to help her madness heal, she sinks deeper and hides it better than ever before.
I loved the way director Viviane Turman made the walls out of cloth and strips of yellow different textured cloths that allowed for characters to “move the wall” or come through the walls. I also liked how the production had fans blowing on the walls to make them see constantly in turmoil. The bed was a simple mattress on box spring on the floor which made it seem even more dilapidated. In the first scene before sheets were added, the bed had a huge blood stain that foretold creepiness to come.
I liked the themes of the play, namely a need for individual control over one’s life and how for so long society has adopted the toxic treatment of people suffering trauma. Though Wallpaper was a scary ending, it was also satisfying to see some justice for the protagonist, Florence, played by Kallie Filanda. She had to show anxiety and fear throughout, but it was nice to see her character arc and change from nervous helplessness to confidence.
Carlie Young was excellent as the other woman, moving her body in an eerie, creepy way. She could roll her head and eyes at the same time that was perfect for her ghostlike character.
Alec Kalled played John, Florence’s husband and doctor. His cheery singing of “Good morning!” every time he entered the room was priceless, and always made me laugh. I appreciated how he was able to say the lines with just the right amount of empathy (which was nearly none) for his spouse. It fit his character and the play so well, and made the situation seem even more desperate for Florence.
I enjoyed Wallpaper, and with the horror aspects it did a great job of making me jump. I recommend it if for anyone who likes scary shows.