Harlequin Productions will bring Doug Wright’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play I Am My Own Wife to Olympia for their first play of 2018. It is the true life story of Charlotte von Mahlsdorf, an eccentric and elegant German transvestite who hid from the Nazis in plain sight by presenting as a woman.
It won not only a Pulitzer in 2004 but a Tony Award for Best Play.
Aaron Lamb, who most recently directed August: Osage County and who had leading roles in Harlequin’s The 39 Steps and To Kill a Mockingbird, will direct I Am My Own Wife.
“It’s a tour-de-force one-man show for an actor who must not only play the transperson lead, but an additional 30 plus characters as well,” says Harlequin’s Linda Whitney.
Seattle-based actor and director Corey D. McDaniel has been cast in the lead role. He is the founder and producing artistic director of Theatre22 in Seattle. As an actor, he has worked throughout the US and internationally with credits ranging from stage to television to the big screen. His most recent director credits include Treasure Island with Book-It Repertory Theatre, Sister Act the Musical, Bonnie and Clyde, and Naomi Izuka’s Good Kids at Cornish College of the Arts, The Pride, Wizzer Pizzer, and The Hours of Life for Theatre22, Julius Caesar with Island Shakespeare Festival, and The Wild Party for Sound Theatre Company, which received a Gregory Award and a Gypsy Rose Lee Award.
I Am My Own Wife is a profound portrait of an individual who managed to survive both the Nazis and the Communists who followed. Doug Wright has written a work that is an exploration of the ambiguities of World War II Germany as well as the moral complexities of the second half of the 20th century.
The play is based on a number of interviews the playwright had in the 1990s with the real and extraordinary Charlotte von Mahlsdorf. Openly gay and in drag, von Mahlsdorf was a celebrated and obsessed collector of Wihelm II antiques. Yet controversy hounded her final post-war years in the form of accusations of complicity with the German Stasi.
“Was she a hero of queer history or a Judas in a black dress and pearls?” Whitney asks. “I Am My Own Wife is a play about what it can take to be a survivor in a place and time intent upon the obliteration of your kind.”
WHAT I Am My Own Wife
WHERE Harlequin Productions, 202 4th Ave. E, Olympia
WHEN 8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 18 to Feb. 10
HOW MUCH $20-$34
MORE INFO (360) 786-0151 – Harlequin Productions