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Rep Stage continues its 21st Season with “I Am My Own Wife” by Pulitzer Prize Winner Doug Wright

October 17, 2013

Wright’s award-winning play is based on the true story of Charlotte von Mahlsdorf, a German transvestite who survived both the Nazi and repressive East German Communist regimes

(Columbia, MD) – Rep Stage, the regional theatre in residence at Howard Community College (HCC), continues its 21st season with “I Am My Own Wife” by Doug Wright. Winner of the 2004 Pulitzer Prize and the 2004 Tony Award, “I Am My Own Wife” was inspired by interviews conducted over several years by the playwright with Charlotte von Mahlsdorf, a German transvestite who survived both the Nazi and repressive East German Communist regimes. Michael Stebbins stars as Charlotte and more than 40 other characters that represent the men and women in Charlotte’s life in Germany from the 1930s through 1990, when the Berlin Wall fell. “I Am My Own Wife” has been hailed by The New York Times as ". . . both moving and intellectually absorbing" and praised by The Associated Press as “. . . more than a historical document . . . the play is a vivid portrait of a unique person whose ability to endure has been turned into a highly theatrical journey." Rep Stage veteran Tony Tsendeas returns to direct. “I Am My Own Wife” opens October 30, 2013, with a limited run through November 17 in the Studio Theatre of the Horowitz Visual and Performing Arts Center (HVPA) on the campus of HCC. For tickets and additional information, visit www.repstage.org or call 443-518-1500.

Press performance is Saturday, November 2, at 8 p.m. For photos and reservations, contact Mike Scrivener in the Office of Public Relations and Marketing at 443-518-3133 or mscrivener@howardcc.edu.

A post-show reception follows the Saturday, November 2, 8 p.m. performance and free post-show discussions follow the Friday, November 8 and 15 performances. A pre-show lecture with HCC history professor Fred Campbell precedes the Saturday, November 16, matinee performance beginning at 12:30 p.m. in the Monteabaro Recital Hall. Campbell will explore the German history, attitudes and laws towards the LGBT community during Charlotte’s lifetime. The lecture is free and open to the public and tickets are not needed to attend.

About the Play

“I Am My Own Wife” premiered Off-Broadway in 2003 at Playwrights Horizons and opened on Broadway later that year. The play was developed with Moises Kaufman and his Tectonic Theater Project (“The Laramie Project,” “Gross Indecency: The Three Trials of Oscar Wilde”) and Kaufman also acted as director. Jefferson Mays starred in the Broadway and Off-Broadway productions, playing some 40 roles. Wright received the 2004 Pulitzer Prize for Drama for the work, the same year that the play had its European debut at the Stockholms Stadsteater in Stockholm, Sweden. “I Am My Own Wife” has since enjoyed productions all over the United States and internationally in Mexico, Australia, the Czech Republic, Greece and Canada. The play continues to captivate audiences and win awards all over the world.

“I Am My Own Wife” (or “I Am My Own Woman”) is also the English title of Charlotte von Mahlsdorf's autobiography.

Meet the Playwright

Doug Wright wrote the book for the Broadway production of “The Little Mermaid.” In 2006, he received Tony and Drama Desk nominations for his book for the Broadway musical “Grey Gardens.” In 2004, he was awarded the Pulitzer Prize, a Tony Award for Best Play, the Drama Desk Award, a GLAAD Media Award, an Outer Critics Circle Award, a Drama League Award and a Lucille Lortel Award for “I Am My Own Wife.” Earlier in his career, Wright won an Obie Award for outstanding achievement in playwriting and the Kesselring Award for Best New American Play from the National Arts Club for his play “Quills.” He went on to write the screenplay adaptation, making his motion picture debut. The film was named Best Picture by the National Board of Review and nominated for three Academy Awards. His screenplay was nominated for a Golden Globe Award, and received the Paul Selvin Award from the Writers Guild of America. For director Rob Marshall, Wright penned the television special “Tony Bennett: An American Classic,” which received seven Emmy Awards. Other plays include “The Stonewater Rapture,” “Interrogating The Nude,” “Watbanaland,” Buzzsaw Berkeley” and “Unwrap Your Candy.” For career achievement, Wright was cited with an award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters and the Tolerance Prize from the KulturForum Europa. He is a member of the Dramatists Guild, the Writers Guild of America, East, the Screen Actors Guild and the Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers.

Meet the Director

Tony Tsendeas has brought his critically-acclaimed one man “The Poe Show” twice to Rep Stage. Other credits at Rep Stage include directing “Wittenberg” (Helen Hayes nomination for Best Director) and “An Almost Holy Picture” and appearing in “Mary Rose” and “Las Meninas.” Formerly the artistic director of Action Theater, his work as an actor and director has been seen nationally and internationally. With Action Theater, he directed and performed in “Beckettland,” for which he was nominated as Best Actor by London’s Stage Magazine. Directing credits include “The Cabinet of Doctor Caligari,” “The Madman and The Nun,” “Othello” and “Macbeth.” His play “The Adventures of Felix” was awarded a Maryland State Arts Council Playwriting Award.

Meet the Cast

Michael Stebbins (Charlotte Von Mahlsdorf, et al) has appeared on top regional stages across the country, including the Tony Award-winning Berkeley Repertory Theatre. Off-Broadway he has appeared at The Public Theater/New York Shakespeare Festival and the Mint Theater. Locally, he has appeared at Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company, Round House Theatre and Baltimore Shakespeare Festival. At Rep Stage — where he served as producing artistic director from November 2005 to May 2013 — Michael appeared in "Fully Committed," "Stones in His Pockets," "Mrs. Warren's Profession," "The Santaland Diaries," "Wittenberg" and "An Almost Holy Picture." He will be returning to Rep Stage later this season in the role of "Bellomy" in "The Fantasticks." Michael is the recipient of a Helen Hayes Tribute Award and is a proud member of Screen Actor's Guild and Actors' Equity Association.

Meet the Design Team

The “I Am My Own Wife” design team includes Jennifer Tardiff (costume designer), Elizabeth McFadden (set designer), Jay Herzog (lighting designer), Nancy Krebs (dialect/vocal coach), Vicki Sussman (properties designer) and Neil McFadden (sound designer). Stage Management by Raine Bode.

About HCC
Howard Community College (HCC) is a publicly funded two-year community college serving the educational needs of the citizens and employers in Howard County, Maryland since 1970. With its slogan, “You Can Get There from Here,” the college has forged a variety of partnerships to offer career and transfer programs to over 30,000 students annually at its main campus in Columbia, the Ecker Business Training Center, Laurel College Center, and Mount Airy College Center for Health Care Education. Located midway between two major metropolitan areas, Washington DC and Baltimore, MD, Howard Community College is an affordable, community-based institution that has long been recognized for its ability to inspire learning, and the lifelong pursuit of personal and professional goals. Among its many awards is the prestigious U.S. Senate Productivity Award for organizational performance excellence.