Based on the life of “Berlin’s favorite transvestite” Charlotte von Mahlsdorf, “I Am My Own Wife” is first and foremost a survival story.
Doug Wright wrote the script after lengthy conversations he had with Mahlsdorf, then 65, in the early 1990s. “I Am My Own Wife” premiered in Chicago in 2002 and, after the Broadway production in 2004, earned Wright a Pulitzer Prize. Wright is also known for the American-British-German period film “Quills” and Disney’s “The Little Mermaid” on Broadway.
“She was a living history lesson, this woman,” said Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma Artistic Director Michael Baron, who is directing the Tulsa show. “There’s not many people that survived the Nazis and the East Germans and came out of the other side of the [Berlin] Wall intact.”
Matthew Alvin Brown, Tulsa Project Theatre’s artistic director, stars in the role of Mahlsdorf. He also plays 30 other characters, including SS officers, Mahlsdorf’s lesbian aunt, and even the playwright—all with the perfect amount of comic relief for a true story about a transwoman dodging the Gestapo and Stasi.
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