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Io sono mia moglie

(I Am My Own Wife)

Premiere: to be scheduled

About this event

Based on a true story, “I Am My Own Wife” tells the life of Charlotte Von Mahlsdorf, a transvestite in Berlin who survived the Nazi dictatorship and the Communist regime by salvaging and collecting antiques. An almost journalistic investigation of a symbol of freedom and struggle between lights and shadows. A solo performance with over 20 characters, winner of the Pulitzer Prize in 2004

Director’s notes

“It doesn’t seem possible that you could be there. You shouldn’t even exist”. So writes Doug Wright in a letter to Charlotte. And it is indeed incredible that Charlotte Von Mahlsdorf survived, in women’s clothing, during the bloodiest period in 20th century history. Yet hers is a true story, which Doug Wright tells in a play that won the Pulitzer Prize for dramaturgy in 2004. A monologue in which one actor plays 20 characters. “I Am My Own Wife” traces Charlotte’s life through tapes of interviews that Doug, also on stage as a character, has conducted since January 1993. In a room full of shoeboxes filled with tapes, Doug relives his encounters with Charlotte and tells pieces of her life. A physical space that becomes a place of the mind, in order to know and understand who this transvestite is through an obsessive research. Her life is in itself a symbol, a victory over history. A compulsive collector, Charlotte has preserved the culture of the Gründerzeit period, rescuing furniture from the homes of deported Jews, from the ruins of World War II bombs, from homes confiscated by the Stasi. With these precious objects she created a museum in Berlin: the Gründerzeit Museum, which also became a hidden landmark for the homosexual community in East Berlin. But who is the real Charlotte? Is she Lothar Berfelde, the boy she once was? Is she a heroine? Or is she a Stasi spy, a liar? As this question arises, wheter her “transvestism” is a way of hiding herself or a way of showing her truest part, the show evolves in a carousel of personas that leaves the spectators to find their own answer.

Michele Di Giacomo


About the director

Michele Di Giacomo is an actor, director and trainer. Born and raised in Cesena (IT), he graduated as an actor at the Scuola D’Arte Drammatica Paolo Grassi in Milan in 2005. He takes part to Emilia Romagna Teatro Fondazione’s two “Corsi di Alta Formazione” directed by Massimo Castri and to the shows “Così è se vi pare” directed by Massimo Castri and “Freddo” directed by Marco Plini. He is the interpreter, among others, of contemporary dramaturgy texts such as “Ritratto di donna araba che guarda il mare” by Davide Carnevali, “Trainspotting” by Mouawad, “Il generale” by Emanuele Aldrovandi”. In 2015 he began his career as a director. ERT produces the monologue “Le Buone Maniere, i fatti della Uno Bianca” and founds the Cesena-based Company Alchemico Tre, with which he creates contemporary dramaturgy shows (among which “Vite dei Galilei”, “Per la ragione degli altri, un tradimento di Pirandello”, “In Trincea”), theatre training projects with the young generations of the Cesena territory and the Contemporary Theatre Festival FU ME, which sees its first edition in the summer of 2020.

Artistic Data

by Doug Wright
translated, directed and played by Michele Di Giacomo
set design Riccardo Canali
lighting design Valentina Montali
sound design Marco Mantovani


assistant director Iacopo Gardelli
technical director Massimo Gianaroli
lighting technician Valentina Montali
sound technician Marco Mantovani
resident technical staff support Franco Federiconi, Giovanni Belvisi and Stefano Cortesi
set and props created by Mulinarte
poster image by Matteo Babbi
stage photos and video documentation by Matteo Toni

production Emilia Romagna Teatro Fondazione

Thanks to Musicalia – Museum of Mechanical Music of Villa Silvia – Carducci for the concession of the instruments for the sound recording and Silvia Masotti for the collaboration to the text translation

Broadway original production presented by David Richenthal

a production of Io sono mia moglie • Production Emilia Romagna Teatro