What's it about
A one actor show based on the life of Charlotte von Mahlsdorf and her experiences, as she lived through WWII and the Cold War in East Berlin as a trans woman. In this show, her life is mapped out through a series of interviews conducted by the playwright, Doug Wright and we see the fierce and courageous woman who was ahead of her time.
An accurate representation of me on the way to the theatre:
Mother Nature, if you thought a little rain was gonna stop me, think again, boo.
Fast forward to the play...
I was first introduced to I Am My Own Wife in my senior year of high school as a part of a unit on LGBT theatre. When the opportunity presented itself to finally see this play, I couldn't pass it up. Let me first say, when I arrived to the theatre, I was in awe of the fact that the space was so intimate. I have never been in such a cozy space before. That said, it was so rad to see what they were able to do with this production.
Charlotte von Mahlsdorf steps on stage, and she is dressed like the grandma in My Big Fat Greek Wedding (Re: ICONIC).
For two hours, I am on a trip. What astounded me the most was the fact that all of the characters in the play were played by one person. Each so distinct from the rest. Even though the actor was dressed in the same attire for majority of the show, when he portrayed someone like a German solider, the garments didn't distract me from believing who he was. Acting™
There were so many moments when I was an emotional wreck, but one in particular was when Charlotte recounts the story of when she came out. She said she would dress up in women's clothes when she was a young boy, and one day, her aunt, who is a butch lesbian walked in on her, her reaction was not judgement. Instead, she said to her, "you're like me." CUE AN AVALANCHE OF TEARS:
This whole play was an ode to Charlotte von Mahlsdorf. I am so thankful that this piece of art exists, because it serves as a reminder of how far we have come and how much more work there is left to do until the glass ceiling is shattered. Charlotte was ahead of her time. Also, she was clever AF - running a museum in her home, which doubled as a safe space for LGBT people to meet. This was especially badass, considering homosexuality was considered a crime in Eastern Berlin until 1968 (and even after that, the regime was homophobic AF). Yet, she managed to do this for over three decades, under the nose of the Stasi. Can you say BADASS?!
WHAT A QUEEN. WHAT A BADASS. WHAT A WOMAN™.
Charlotte, sweet angel in heaven, I love you. Thank you for sharing your story. Thank you for your bravery. And I know you are reunited with your dearest at last.
Tell us about your experience.
In the comments below.