MONTREAL February 2007 - The Leanor and Alvin Segal Theatre, excited by the great buzz surrounding this upcoming production, is proud to present the 2004 Tony Award, Drama Desk Award and Pulitzer-Prize winning enigmatic story, I Am My Own Wife.
Inspired by interviews conducted by the playwright over several years, I Am My Own Wife tells the fascinating true story of Charlotte von Mahlsdorf, a German transvestite who managed to survive living openly as a cross-dresser since the age of 16. This she accomplished under the twentieth Century's two most repressive, conformist regimes- the Third Reich and the Communists. The play is a striking solo performance portraying more than three-dozen characters, including the controversial figure herself and the American writer who became intrigued, disillusioned and impassioned by her. The playwright explains, "I'm drawn to characters who wilfully, even gleefully, thwart the status quo; outsiders who subvert or expose their surroundings in a way that's entertaining, sly and arguably, moral."
When the Nazis were looting Jewish homes during World War II, Charlotte followed with a junk cart, rescuing lamps, bronze busts and recordings of banned composers such as Mendelssohn and Offenbach. During the Cold War, when the Russians threatened to destroy a Weimar-era cabaret in Berlin, Charlotte rescued each table, cane-back chair and faded menu, receiving the Order of Merit for her efforts. In room after room of her homegrown museum, she kept a fractured, tumultuous country intact. But at what price? That is the heart of this gripping story.
Nationally respected director Chris Abraham is welcomed back to The Segal stage (Hedda Gabbler, The Glass Menagerie, Saltwater Moon) with great anticipation. Rising to and excited by the acting challenge is Brett Christopher, skilfully inhabiting each character. Brett's recent credits include Antony & Cleopatra (Shakespeare in the Rough), Much Ado About Nothing (CanStage) and Family Stories: Belgrade (Actors Repertory Co.). Playwright Doug Wright has previously won an Obie Award for Outstanding Achievement in Playwriting for his play Quills.
You're teaching me a history I never knew I had. Thank-you. Doug
You must save everything and you must show it "as is". It is a record of living. Charlotte
I Am My Own Wife is additionally a rumination on the preservation of history: Who records it and why? What drives its documentation? Is it objective truth, or the personal motive of the historian?
With micro-cassettes, sepia photographs and aged diaries, the play at its core is about the process of recording.
The innovative team recreating history includes set and costume designer for ballet, opera and theatre, Yannik Larivée; city-wide, sought-after lighting designer, Luc Prairie and inspired sound designer for theatre, dance and film, Richard Feren. The assistant director is Brendan Healy and the stage manager is Merissa Tordjman.
88.5 CBC Radio One proudly presents Sunday-@-the-Segal with Professor Frédéric Mégret
Sunday, March 11th, 11am. Admission is free.
Join us for another season of intimate conversation and riveting lectures as respected international law advisor, Professor Frédéric Mégret, discusses the experience of homosexuals and transvestites under Nazism, and the failure of the Genocide Convention to protect them.
Monday Night Talkbacks presented by Pratt and Whitney Canada
As usual following the play, some of the actors and/or designers will remain on stage to take questions from the audience. Monday Night Talkbacks provides an intimate opportunity for audiences to engage up close and personal with the personalities bringing first class professional English language theatre to Montreal. Combined with lower rates for this evening, Monday night performances have become an outstanding package that true theatre buffs cannot resist.
Tickets and Media Information:
Previews: March 11 1:30 pm
Mar. 12, 13, 14 8:00 pm
Sunday-@-the-Segal: March 11, 11:00 am
Opening Night: Thursday, Mar. 15, 8:00pm
Run: March 11 - 25
Sunday, 7:00 pm
Matinées: Wednesdays, 1:00pm / Sundays, 2:00 pm
BOX OFFICE: (514) 739-7944
5170 Cote St. Catherine Rd. www.saidyebronfman.org
The Saidye Bronfman Centre for the Arts
Admission 790-1245 www.admission.com