Loneliness, by choice or not, takes a toll on the mind and the body. A dance-theatre exploration of solace explores the inner world when lines are blurred, fact and fiction collide, and there's no distinction between today, tomorrow, and the next.
THE CREATION PROCESS
Alex read Charlotte Perkins Gilman's The Yellow Wallpaper in the 2015 Gothic Literature course at Brevard College with English professor John Padgett. The piece remained her favorite of the semester and lingered in the back of her mind for years. Once she was working on her graduate thesis, Contemporizing Female Roles in Golden Age Musical Theatre, she came across the work again. Re-reading it in the early days of February 2020, Alex was not prepared for the relevancy of the piece in its discussion of isolation, simulated reality, and women's issues. COVID-19 hit less than a month after she revisited the piece. Not long after, Alex accepted a residency with the Charles Adams Studio Project in Lubbock, TX. She was working on different pieces and after hitting wall after wall, she remembered Perkin's work. Alex began working on a sound project that captured the aural life of the character's experience. She then began exploring the life of the woman in the room. Stuck day after day in the loop of unending nonsense.
What does a day look like? What happens when you don't know the beginnings and endings of days? This woman would be punished for certain activities like working too hard, doing something unapproved, or not following strict directions. What were the consequences of these actions? In the text, the woman was being given drugs. How did they affect her physically and mentally? How did the drugs along with the emotional/mental abuse alter her reality? How did she cope with that? Was she able to investigate and remember what was happening each day?
These questions led to the creation of a narrative in which a woman, isolated and drugged, is experiencing days and weeks of no contact with the world outside. All she has is what is in her room: herself, her few hobbies, and the consequences if she doesn't adhere to the senseless yet strict protocols placed on her by her husband. The woman needs to know if she is really and truly alone or if there is someone there with her in the room. And if it is there: What is it trying to tell her?
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
BC ALUM PERFORMS ORIGINAL WORK AT ASHEVILLE FRINGE ARTS FESTIVAL
Brevard, NC - Brevard College alumna C. Alex Webster will be performing her original show YELLOW at the Asheville Fringe Arts Festival. The festival will take place from March 23rd through March 27th, 2023, in Asheville, NC.
C. Alex Webster graduated from Brevard College in 2017 with a Bachelor of Arts in Theater. During her time at Brevard College, she was an active member of the theater department and participated in several production including Elephant’s Graveyard, Medea, and Some Enchanted Evening.
Webster’s YELLOW explores themes of womanhood, isolation, and memory through a mix of music, movement, and art. The piece has roots in Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s The Yellow Wallpaper. Webster read Gilman’s writing in BC English professor John Padgett’s Gothic Literature course in 2015.
Alex was inspired again five years later when she re-read the work in context of her graduate thesis project Contemporizing Female Roles in Golden Age Musical Theatre at Texas Tech University. She began an Artist In Residence program in June 2020 at Charles Adams Studio Project where she had the space, resources, and time to develop new works including YELLOW.
The Asheville Fringe Arts Festival is an annual event that showcases innovative and boundary-pushing performances from artists across the country. The festival provides a platform for emerging and established artists to present their work to a diverse and engaged audience.
Alex Webster's show, "YELLOW," will be performed on March 23th and March 25th, 2023, at the BeBe Theatre in Asheville. More information, full festival schedule, and tickets can be purchased through the Asheville Fringe Arts Festival website.
For more information about Alex Webster and her work, please visit her website at www.calexwebster.com.
C. Alex Webster