Andrew Long Leads Alan Paul-Helmed I AM MY OWN WIFE Closes at Signature Theatre, 3/7

Andrew Long Leads Alan Paul-Helmed I AM MY OWN WIFE Closes at Signature Theatre, 3/7

Signature Theatre presents Doug Wright's I Am My Own Wife, winner of the 2004 Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award®, starring Helen Hayes Award-winner Andrew Long and directed by Alan Paul, January 12 through March 7, 2010 in the company's intimate ARK Theatre.  

I Am My Own Wife is the mesmerizing real-life story of Charlotte von Mahlsdorf, a German transvestite who managed to survive both Nazi rule and the repressive East German Communist regime. "The most singular, eccentric individual the Cold War ever birthed" (in the words of playwright Doug Wright), Charlotte is the proprietor of a museum of unappreciated German bric-a-brac who gives tours in her housedress and pearls. Fascinated by Charlotte, Wright interviews her about her life and is taken with the triumph of pluck over the evils of a brutal father, wartime violence, and government oppression, topped off by her generous protection of other "undesirables." Then the Communists' files open and Wright's admiration transforms into an exploration of the slippery nature of truth and the challenge of keeping one's moral compass in a world where survival means compromise. Wright's fixation on Charlotte's life became a play that in 2004 The New York Times called "the most stirring new work to appear on Broadway."

In a tour-de-force of acting Andrew Long plays all 33 characters in I Am My Own Wife, from Charlotte, her aunt and her father, SS commanders and Stasi officials, to international reporters and the playwright himself. One of the leading actors in the Washington, DC area, Long won a Helen Hayes Award for Best Actor in Frozen at Studio Theatre and recently played Mark Anthony in Julius Caesar and Antony and Cleopatra in repertory at the Shakespeare Theatre Company, a company where he has performed numerous roles. At Signature Theatre Long has played Henry Higgins in My Fair Lady and Asa Keyes in Saving Aimee.

At the age of 25, director Alan Paul is making his regional main stage directing debut at Signature Theatre. Paul is a native Washingtonian who has lived in the area all his life, outside of earning a degree in theatre at Northwestern University. He grew up seeing plays throughout the Washington region, and now is in his third year as Resident Assistant Director at Shakespeare. In Washington, Paul has been assistant director to Michael Kahn, Moisés Kaufman, Molly Smith, Rebecca Taichman, Gale Edwards, Mary Zimmerman, Jonathan Munby, and Maria Aitken.

Artistic Director Eric Schaeffer stated, "I Am My Own Wife is a play that I always felt belonged on the Signature stage. Washington favorite Andrew Long came to mind to take on this challenge after his wonderful work in My Fair Lady. In looking for the right director for the show, the very talented young director Alan Paul seemed exactly right, especially because Signature has always been about giving people opportunities to young artists. I'm thrilled that Alan will be collaborating with Andrew Long on this special show."

Joining Alan Paul on the creative team of I Am My Own Wife are scenic designer Wilson Chin, costume designer Kathleen Geldard, lighting designer Colin K. Bills, and sound designer Veronika Vorel.

Tickets for I Am My Own Wife range from $47 - $71 and are available by calling Ticketmaster at (703) 573-SEAT (7328) or visiting www.signature-theatre.org. Group discounts are available for parties of ten or more by contacting carlj@signature-theatre.org.

Performances of I Am My Own Wife run from January 12 through March 7, 2010. The press performance is Sunday, January 17 at 7:00 pm. Show times are Tuesday and Wednesday at 7:30 pm, Thursday and Friday at 8:00 pm, Saturday at 2:00 pm and 8:00 pm, and Sunday at 2:00 pm and 7:00 pm. There are no I Am My Own Wife performances January 16 at 2:00 pm and January 19 at 7:30 pm.

Andrew Long SIGNATURE: My Fair Lady (Henry Higgins), Saving Aimee (Asa Keyes). NEW YORK: Summer Play Festival: Swansong (Ben Jonson). DC AREA: Studio: Frozen (Helen Hayes Award, Best Actor); Shakespeare Theatre Company: As You Like It (Jacques), Julius Caesar, Antony and Cleopatra (Mark Antony), Lady Windermere's Fan (Lord Windermere), Henry IV Parts 1 and 2 (Hotspur/Pistol), Coriolanus (Coriolanus), Don Carlos (Posa), A Midsummer Night's Dream (Oberon), Hamlet (Claudius), King Lear (Edmund), The Merchant of Venice (Gratiano), Richard II (Bolingbroke), The Duchess of Malfi (Bosola), and many others; Arena Stage, Theater J, Olney, Folger. REGIONAL: The Denver Center: Richard the Third (Richard); Guthrie Theater; Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park; Repertory Theatre of St. Louis: Enrico IV (Enrico), Amadeus (Salieri), Copenhagen (Heisenberg); Pioneer Theatre; Chautauqua Theater; Oregon, Illinois, New Jersey, and Alabama Shakespeare Festivals. TRAINING: BFA, University of Nevada; MFA, Alabama Shakespeare Festival/University of Alabama.

Alan Paul (Director) Shakespeare Theatre Company: Resident Assistant Director (2008-present): directing credits include readings of Sir Patient Fancy, Britannicus, The Gamester, The Demi-Monde, The Dispute, The Bourgeois Gentleman, and Inherit the Wind (with the National Academy of Sciences); Assistant Directing credits include 11 shows for Michael Kahn, David Muse, Rebecca Taichman, Gale Edwards, Mary Zimmerman, Jonathan Munby, and Maria Aitken. DIRECTING: DC AREA: Source Festival: The Downtown Daylight Project, X-Ray Vision at the Motel 9. REGIONAL: Apex Theatre Company: Richard II; Northwestern University: Six Degrees of Separation. MUSIC DIRECTING: DC AREA: Woolly Mammoth: Dead Man's Cell Phone. REGIONAL: Northwestern University: The Dialogues of the Carmelites; Porchlight Music Theatre: Assassins; Theatre Building Chicago: Black, White and Gray. ASSISTANT DIRECTING: DC AREA: Arena Stage: Cabaret (dir. Molly Smith), 33 Variations Workshop (dir. Moisés Kaufman); Woolly Mammoth: Dead Man's Cell Phone (dir. Rebecca Taichman). TRAINING: B.S. in Theatre, Northwestern University.

Doug Wright (Playwright) BROADWAY: The Little Mermaid (Book), Grey Gardens (Book, Tony and Drama Desk nominations), I Am My Own Wife (Pulitzer Prize, Tony Award for Best Play, Drama Desk Award, GLAAD Media Award, Outer Critics Circle Award, Drama League Award, Lucille Lortel Award). PLAYS: Quills (Obie Award for outstanding achievement in playwriting, Kesselring Award for Best New American Play from the National Arts Club), The Stonewater Rapture, Interrogating The Nude, Watbanaland, Buzzsaw Berkeley, Unwrap Your Candy. FILM: Screenplay: Quills (Golden Globe nomination, Paul Selvin Award), Acting: Little Manhattan, Two Lovers. TV: "Tony Bennett: An American Classic" (dir. Rob Marshall). AWARDS: American Academy of Arts and Letters, Tolerance Prize from the KulturForum Europa. MEMBERSHIPS: Dramatists Guild, the Writer's Guild of America, East, the Screen Actor's Guild, Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers. DIRECTING: Kiki And Herb: Pardon Our Appearance in Washington DC, Philadelphia, London.

Recipient of the 2009 Regional Theatre Tony Award®, Signature Theatre is a non-profit professional theater company dedicated to producing contemporary musicals and plays, reinventing classic musicals, and developing new work. Under the leadership of co-founder and Artistic Director Eric Schaeffer and Managing Director Maggie Boland, Signature has presented 26 world premiere productions and is renowned for combining Broadway-quality productions with intimate playing spaces. In addition to the finest talent from the DC metropolitan area and New York, Signature has been a home to such theater luminaries as John Kander and Fred Ebb, Cameron Mackintosh, Terrence McNally, and the company's signature composer, Stephen Sondheim. Since its founding in 1989, Signature has been nominated for 276 Helen Hayes Awards for excellence in the professional theater and has been honored with 69 Helen Hayes Awards, including Outstanding Musical in 1992, 1993, 1995, 1997, 2000, 2005, 2006, 2008, and 2009, and Outstanding Play in 1999.

Signature is partially supported by a grant from the Virginia Commission for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts and by a gift from Arlington County through the Arlington Commission for the Arts and the Cultural Affairs Division of the Department of Parks, Recreation, and Cultural Resources.

 

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