The play directed by Kushtrim Koliqi in which Adrian Morina, the sole actor on the scene, plays more than 30 characters, brings us a story of a difficult life of a German transgender person – Charlotte von Mahlsdorf, who managed to survive both the Nazi regime and the Stasi.
The play, which has won awards such as the Pulitzer Prize and a Tony award, is based on the conversations and interviews which Doug Wright had with German transgender person and antique dealer Charlotte fon Mahlsdorf, as well as Charlotte’s 1992 autobiography, also titled “I am my own wife”.
In order to fully portray Charlotte, who lived openly as a transgender person, first during the Nazi era and the subsequent Communist regime, the play requires its sole actor to play around 30 different roles. The play’s title comes from an anecdote Charlotte tells: when she was 40, her clueless mother asked her: “Don’t you think it’s time you settled down and found a wife?”, to which Charlotte replied: “But mother, don’t you know that I am my own wife?”
According to Wright, at first, Charlotte seems to be a true heroine – the one who survived both the Nazis and the Communists in East Germany; however, it soon becomes clear that she was forced to make morally questionable choices in order to survive in such conditions.
Through the play, we follow Charlotte from her youth to adulthood, watching her, born Lothar Berfelde, kills her abusive father when she is still a child. Later, she is accosted by a Nazi officer, whom she manages to persuade to help her avoid the fate of many other LGBT people during the Holocaust.
The play “I am my own wife” will take place on October 22 at 7 P.M. at the Centre for Cultural Decontamination (21 Birčaninova Street) within the “Mirëdita, dobar dan!” Festival. The play is not suitable for persons under the age of 16.