The Southeast’s premier LGBTQIA+ theater, Out Front Theatre Company, has announced that solo performer and actor Peter Smith (PETER PAN at Bard SummerScape, Comedy Central’s Upcoming Variety Performers 2018) will perform in the theater’s 2019 production of Doug Wright’s Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize winning play I Am My Own Wife, March 14-30, 2019.
Originally designed by Wright as a solo-piece, a limited number of productions have divided the characters amongst a small number of actors and involved trans performers playing a certain number of specific characters. Out Front’s rendition marks the first professional production with a trans performer playing all thirty-five characters, as has been traditionally done only by cisgender male actors.
I Am My Own Wife tells the story of the life of Charlotte Von Mahlsdorf, a trans woman who survived living in Berlin during both Nazi and Stasi control, collecting antique furniture for her museum. It is simultaneously the journey of playwright Doug Wright in his search to represent Charlotte in her fullest truth. Actor Jefferson Mays originated the role in his Tony Award winning performance in the 2003 Broadway production.
Actor Peter Smith can’t wait to get to work. “The most exciting thing for me is that people get to meet Charlotte. She navigated and survived the violence of two brutal regimes, retaining an indomitable spirit and sense of humor. I saw the original Broadway production whilst it was playing in Chicago over ten years ago. Celebrating a nuanced trans life with an audience in a fancy theater as a dysphoric Midwestern preteen is an experience for which I’m eternally grateful and can’t wait to participate in again.”
Director Graham Miller believes that the casting is not only important to the integrity of the community but to the design of the play itself. “After deep discussions with generous trans artists and friends, I knew that it was past time that the telling of this story be in the hands of a trans actor. But I also feel that it is integral to my production’s effectiveness, as an obstacle course for its audience, that the performer be a singular vessel through which all the characters’ discordant perspectives are gleaned.”
I Am My Own Wife will open at Out Front Theatre Company on March 14, 2019 with a three week run closing March 30, 2019. Performances are Thursday through Saturday evenings at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 3 p.m. There is one Monday evening performance at 8 p.m. on March 25, 2019. Out Front Theatre Company is located at 999 Brady Ave., Ste. 10, Atlanta, Georgia 30318. For tickets and more information please visit outfronttheatre.com.