I Am My Own Wife: A Play

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I Am My Own Wife: A Play

by Doug Wright

Faber & Faber | February 9, 2004 | Trade Paperback

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I Am My Own Wife is the winner of the 2004 Pulitzer Prize for Drama.

From the Obie Award-winning author of Quills comes this acclaimed one-man show, which explores the astonishing true story of Charlotte von Mahlsdorf. A transvestite and celebrated antiques dealer who successfully navigated the two most oppressive regimes of the past century-the Nazis and the Communists--while openly gay and defiantly in drag, von Mahlsdorf was both hailed as a cultural hero and accused of colluding with the Stasi. In an attempt to discern the truth about Charlotte, Doug Wright has written "at once a vivid portrait of Germany in the second half of the twentieth century, a morally complex tale about what it can take to be a survivor, and an intriguing meditation on everything from the obsession with collecting to the passage of time" (Hedy Weiss, Chicago Sun-Times).

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 112 pages, 3.19 × 2.17 × 0.12 in

Published: February 9, 2004

Publisher: Faber & Faber

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0571211747

ISBN - 13: 9780571211746

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– More About This Product –

I Am My Own Wife: A Play

by Doug Wright

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 112 pages, 3.19 × 2.17 × 0.12 in

Published: February 9, 2004

Publisher: Faber & Faber

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0571211747

ISBN - 13: 9780571211746

About the Book

Winner of the 2004 Pulitzer Prize for Drama
From the Obie Award-winning author of "Quills comes this acclaimed one-man show, which explores the astonishing true story of Charlotte von Mahlsdorf. A transvestite and celebrated antiques dealer who successfully navigated the two most oppressive regimes of the past century-the Nazis and the Communists--while openly gay and defiantly in drag, von Mahlsdorf was both hailed as a cultural hero and accused of colluding with the Stasi. In an attempt to discern the truth about Charlotte, Doug Wright has written "at once a vivid portrait of Germany in the second half of the twentieth century, a morally complex tale about what it can take to be a survivor, and an intriguing meditation on everything from the obsession with collecting to the passage of time" (Hedy Weiss, "Chicago Sun-Times).

Read from the Book

I Am My Own Wife ACT ONE (The French doors at the rear of the room open, and standing before us is CHARLOTTE VON MAHLSDORF.   She is, in fact, a man, roughly sixty-five years old. CHARLOTTE wears a simple black housedress with peasant stitching, a kerchief on her head, and an elegant strand of pearls.   She gazes at the audience for a moment; the tiniest flicker of a smile dances on her lips. Then, surprisingly, she closes the doors as quickly as she appeared, and is gone.   A pause. The stage is empty again.   In a moment, the doors reopen. CHARLOTTE reappears. Cradled in her arms is a huge antique Edison phonograph, complete with an enormous horn in the shape of a flower. She grins, satisfied, and sets the phonograph on a small plinth.   She steps back for a moment to admire the music machine. When she speaks, it''s in broken English, but thecadences of her voice are delicate; there''s a musical lilt to her inflection. She has a German accent.) A LECTURE ON THE PHONOGRAPH CHARLOTTE: Thomas Alva Edison was the inventor of the first talking machine of the world, in July of 1877. And, you see, the record is not ein Plattenspieler; nein . It is a cylinder made of wax. And this record is working with a hundred and sixty revolutions per minute, and is playing four minutes long. And the record is made by the National Phonograph Company in Orange, New Jersey. At one time, I had over fünfzehntausend cylinders.   ( CHARLOTTE indicates a painting of
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From the Publisher

I Am My Own Wife is the winner of the 2004 Pulitzer Prize for Drama.

From the Obie Award-winning author of Quills comes this acclaimed one-man show, which explores the astonishing true story of Charlotte von Mahlsdorf. A transvestite and celebrated antiques dealer who successfully navigated the two most oppressive regimes of the past century-the Nazis and the Communists--while openly gay and defiantly in drag, von Mahlsdorf was both hailed as a cultural hero and accused of colluding with the Stasi. In an attempt to discern the truth about Charlotte, Doug Wright has written "at once a vivid portrait of Germany in the second half of the twentieth century, a morally complex tale about what it can take to be a survivor, and an intriguing meditation on everything from the obsession with collecting to the passage of time" (Hedy Weiss, Chicago Sun-Times).

About the Author

Doug Wright''s Quills received the 1995 Kesselring Prize for Best New American Play from the National Arts Club and a 1995 Village Voice Obie Award for Outstanding Achievement in Playwriting. Wright also wrote the screenplay adaptation of Quills, making his motion picture debut. The film was named Best Picture by the National Board of Review and was also nominated for three Oscars. Some of Wright''s other plays include Interrogating the Nude, Watbanaland, The Stonewater Rapture, Dinosaurs, and a musical, Buzzsaw Berkeley, which features songs by Michael John LaChiusa. Wright has a bachelor''s degree from Yale University and an M.F.A. from NYU. A member of the Dramatists Guild and the New York Theatre Workshop, he has taught playwriting at NYU and Princeton University.
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