I Am My Own Wife at Olney Theatre

Arnie Burton as Charlotte von Mahlsdorf. Photo by Stan Barouh.

I Am My Own Wife won the 2004 Pulitzer Prize for drama—and now it's playing in town at the Olney Theatre Center. Thinking about going to check it out? Read William O'Sullivan's review first:

"Charlotte von Mahlsdorf, a male transvestite who adopted a female name and identified herself as a woman, lived most of her life in Germany, surviving the Third Reich and the Cold War. Her primary claim to fame was a museum she founded, in what was then East Berlin, devoted to German furnishings from the late-19th-century period called the Gründerzeit. She later recreated, in the basement, an East German gay bar that had been closed by Communist authorities. For her preservation work, she was awarded a medal of honor from the reunified Germany. She also endured persecution, including by neo-Nazis—and, it turned out, was an informant for the East German Stasi.

Clearly, she was a person of contradictions—and one whose life story (which she recounted in an autobiography) may well have been bolstered by fabrications. That possibility is one of the challenges that faced playwright Doug Wright, and which he incorporated into the text."

For the full review, click here, and as always, check out our full archive of reviews of current plays here.


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