Gettysburg Stage Presents I AM MY OWN WIFE, 6/22-30


Gettysburg State will present, I Am My Own Wife, the Pulitzer Prize-winning true story of Charlotte von Mahlsdorf, a German transvestite who survived the horrors of Nazi Germany and Communist East Germany. Written by Doug Wright, directed by Rebecca O'Leary, and starring Eric Jones, I Am My Own Wife is a vivid portrait of a unique person that is at once intellectual, funny and poignant.

Based on a true story, and inspired by interviews conducted by the playwright over several years, I Am My Own Wife tells the fascinating tale of Charlotte von Mahlsdorf. Born in Berlin as a biological male named Lothar Berfelde, Charlotte corrected what she considered to be a mistake of nature at the age of 15 and adopted female dress and deportment. Despite the risks involved, she openly flouted rigid gender norms by dressing as a woman under two of the most repressive totalitarian regimes in history: Nazi Germany and the Communist East Germany.

"In an age where politicians still routinely decry homosexuality on the evening news," says playwright Doug Wright, "and "fag" remains the most stinging of all playground epithets, Charlotte's dogged insistence on her own sexuality could prove downright curative, an antidote for a community too often besieged by public condemnation and internalized self-loathing."

Director Rebecca O'Leary describes the play as, "an exquisitely written and intensely personal story of survival, and the search for self." As a one-man show, "it demands a great deal of its actor, and Gettysburg Stage is lucky to have an actor of Eric Jones caliber to make this story come to life."

Portraying over 35 roles, Eric Jones returns to Gettysburg Stage having appeared in last year's production of The Triangle Factory Fire Project. Mr. Jones most recently appeared in Rooms: A Rock Romance with the Kensington Arts Theatre in Kensington, MD.

Performances of I Am My Own Wife are at the GAR Building at 53 E Middle St, Gettysburg at 8pm on Fridays and Saturdays, June 22 through June 30. To request reservations, or for group bookings of ten or more, please email or phone (717) 638-8799. General Admission is $15, and $12 for students, seniors and military personnel. Performances will be followed by a discussion about the themes raised within the play with the actor and director.

Gettysburg Stage is a volunteer-based, non-profit theatre company that seeks to offer innovative theatrical experiences for regional audiences, actors and directors.

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