After the Berlin Wall crumbles, American playwright Doug Wright sets out for East Germany; here, he begins his first of many interviews with Charlotte von Mahlsdorf, a charming, elderly, antiquarian transvestite living alone in her Grender zeit museum as both collector and curator. Set designer, Drew Hill and lighting designer, Angie Merwin, have created an atmosphere never be fore realized on the stage of The Dorset Playhouse. Charlotte's museum holds secrets rivaling those of her own life.
Doug Wright takes the audience on Charlotte's journey with the help of more than thirty characters, all played masterfully by one actor, Tom Ferguson.
Tom studied acting at Boston University School for the Arts and spent many years in New York City before settling in Vermont. In September 2013, director Sherry Krat zer got rehearsals underway in an old red schoolhouse in Arlington. After more than six months spent with his script and German coach, Elizabeth Karet, Ferguson is ready to share Charlotte's singular story of unlikely survival.
Doug quickly becomes enamored of Charlotte's ability to survive as a cross-dresser through two of history's most repressive regimes, the Nazis and then the Communists. During Wright's almost-reverent research, he realizes that he should have been asking, "How?" all along. "How did she survive?" With this "how" comes the onslaught of unanswered questions.
Wright leaves the audience to decide what is true, to define truth itself, by way of his art. Today, Charlotte von Mahlsdorf is dead; fact or fiction, her account of history will be seen and heard in every performance of "I Am My Own Wife."
Just like the sign Wright encountered as he drove past the rubble of the fallen Berlin Wall, this show sings, "Art Survives."
"I Am My Own Wife" will be playing at The Dorset Playhouse in Dor set, Vermont on March 7, 8, 14 and 15 at 7:30 p.m. and on March 9 and 16 at 2 p.m.
A reception will follow the opening night performance with food and drink provided by Thyme Savor Foods, the sponsor of this production. Reserve or buy tickets online at dorsetplayers.org, or call 802-867-5777, starting Feb. 28.