Gay hero? Killer? Stasi informant?

Brendan Hanson I Am My Own Wife Black Swan State Theatre Company 2017 Programme

Brendan Hanson
I Am My Own Wife
Black Swan State Theatre Company
2017 Programme


Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Drama and Tony Award for Best Play, I Am My Own Wife is an examination of the life of German antiquarian Charlotte von Mahlsdorf. Born Lothar Berfelde, she killed her father when she was 12 years old, was sentenced to four years in juvenile prison and survived the Nazi and Communist regimes in plain sight as a transvestite.

As an adult she lived just as provocatively, running a museum of furniture and everyday objects sourced from destroyed and abandoned houses in Berlin. A museum that became well known as a hangout for the local LGBTI community, with a secret Weimar cabaret dive bar in the basement.

Doug Wright (Quills, Grey Garden) skilfully uses more than 30 characters, himself included, and portrayed in a one man tour de force by actor Brendan Hanson (Clinton the Musical, Next to Normal, Midsummer [A Play with Songs]), masterfully tells – through interviews, recollections of selective encounters, letters and song – the struggle and triumph of Charlotte’s extraordinary life. A truly engaging and dynamic Broadway biography that will disarm and fascinate!

Director Joe Lui says “This play excites me because it asks “What truths do we hide from ourselves in order to survive?” “Does truth matter if a story inspires hope?” “Are there ever any true heroes and villains? If so or if not, why are we constantly seeking them?” These are questions that are fundamental to the human experience, and pertinent ones. This is the reason why I want to make art.

I Am My Own Wife is a powerful play that celebrates humanity and the perseverance of the human spirit.


A Black Swan Lab Production

CAST:Brendan Hanson
SET/COSTUME DESIGNER: Cherish Marrington
PHOTO CREDIT: Robert Frith

VENUE: Studio Underground
WARNING Adult themes
Book @ or
1300 795 012 or Ticketek outlets
Groups 8+ 1300 364 001

Original Broadway production presented by David Richenthal