Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Drama and Tony Award for Best Play, Black Swan State Theatre Company presents the WA premiere of Doug Wright’s I Am My Own Wife, currently playing at the State Theatre Centre of WA – Studio Underground until 29 October 2017.
An examination of the life of German antiquarian Charlotte von Mahlsdorf, born Lothar Berfelde, she killed her father when she was 12 years old, was sentenced to four years in juvenile prison, and survived the Nazi and Communist regimes in plain sight as a transvestite.
As an adult she lived just as provocatively, running a museum of furniture and everyday objects sourced from destroyed and abandoned houses in Berlin. A museum that became well known as a hangout for the local LGBTI community, with a secret Weimar cabaret dive bar in the basement.
Not long after the fall of the Berlin Wall, playwright Doug Wright (Quills, Grey Gardens) began a conversation with the elegant and eccentric 65-year-old German transvestite. After hundreds of hours of interviews, he emerged with this fascinating and breathtaking story of survival and identity.
Wright skilfully uses more than 30 characters, himself included, to masterfully tell – through interviews, recollections of selective encounters, letters and song – the struggle and triumph of von Mahlsdorf’s extraordinary life. A truly engaging and dynamic Broadway biography that will disarm and fascinate!
Directed by Joe Lui, I Am My Own Wife stars Brendan Hanson (Clinton The Musical, Next to Normal) in this one-man tour de force that pieces together von Mahlsdorf’s life.
Doug Wright is an award-winning American playwright, librettist, and screenwriter. Besides I Am My Own Wife, his other works include: Quills (also film), Dinosaurs, The Stonewater Rapture, War Paint, Interrogating the Nude and Unwrap Your Candy, along with musicals The Little Mermaid, Grey Gardens (Tony Nomination), Buzzsaw Berkeley, and Hands on a Hardbody.
Director / Sound Designer / Composer: Joe Lui Featuring: Brendan Hanson Set & Costume Designer: Cherish Marrington Lighting Designer: Chris Donnelly
I Am My Own Wife
Studio Underground – State Theatre Centre of Western Australia, William Street, Perth
Season continues to 29 October 2017
Information and Bookings: www.bsstc.com.au
Image: Brendan Hanson stars as Charlotte von Mahlsdorf – photo by Daniel James Grant