I Am My Own Wife

By Doug Wright

Directed by Roger Benington

This Pulitzer and Tony Award-winning play surprised Broadway in the fall of 2004.? The New?York Times called the play "the most stirring new work to appear on Broadway" that fall. Based on the life of Charlotte von Mahlsdorf, Germany's beloved "Tranny Granny," the play transcends stereotype and reveals the secrets behind this widely popular and highly unusual figure.? I Am My Own Wife is by playwright Doug Wright, keynote speaker at the first Madison New Play Festival in 2003, and author of the play and Academy Award-nominated film Quills.? It will be directed by recent TCG/NEA Career Development Award recipient Roger Benington, and will be presented in Promenade Hall at Overture Center for the Arts.

Produced by Madison Repertory Theatre at Promenade Hall in the Overture Center for the Arts

Performances: January 13 - February 5, 2006 at Wednesdays through Sundays

Ticket Prices $36-$44

Call (608) 258-4141 for reservations or more information.

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Richard Corley, artistic director Elizabeth Fadell, managing director


Madison Repertory Theatre continues its dedication to celebrating remarkable new drama with the Wisconsin premiere of Doug Wrightfs I Am My Own Wife, winner of the 2004 Tony Award for Best Play and the 2004 Pulitzer Prize for Drama. Opening January 13following two special Preview performancesthis riveting play first premiered in 2003 at off-Broadwayfs Playwrightsf Horizons, after workshops at the Sundance Theatre Lab and AboutFace Theatre in Chicago. Following its sold-out off-Broadway run, it moved to Broadwayfs Lyceum Theatre. I Am My Own Wife, tells the story of a German man who survived a brutal father, the Nazi onslaught, and later the oppressive Communist regime | in a dress.

gAs soon as I saw Dougfs play in New York I knew I had to bring it to Madison,h commented Artistic Director Richard Corley. gI Am My Own Wife may just be the most original play in the past ten years. Itfs also a very funny, surprisingly touching story that asks important questions about who we are.h

Employing forty different roles, I Am My Own Wife features a single actor, David Adkins, who returns to Madison after playing Mitch in last seasonfs Tuesdays With Morrie. In an acting tour de force, Atkins will morph from the playwright to the leading character, Charolotte von Mahlsdorf, to her father, to her aunt, to a Nazi soldier, to many others. gIfm thrilled to return to this lovely city,h said the New York based actor, gespecially for such an amazing play | and a dream role for any actor.h

Directing I Am My Own Wife is the South African born, Salt Lake City resident Roger Benington. gThis is the kind of play I love,h said Benington, who was recently awarded the prestigious TCG/NEA Career Development grant. gWrightfs play is a highly theatrical story about someone who defied stereotype and simplification. David and I are having a great time in rehearsal bringing Charlottefs story to life.h

The creative team of I Am My Own Wife includes Rodney Cuellar, Scenic Design; Steffani Lincecum, Costume Design; Josh Schmidt, Sound Design; and Ann Archbold, Lighting Design. Lincecum and Schmidt are returning artists, Cuellar and Archbold are joining Madison Repertory Theatre for the first time. Archbold was recently appointed to the faculty of UW Madisonfs Theatre Program.

Generously sponsored by Thompson Investment Management, I Am My Own Wife will be the final production presented in Promenade Hall in the Overture Center for the Arts before Madison Repertory Theatre moves into The Playhouse, its new home in Overture.

There are two special Preview performances this year, with a free reception Wednesday and Thursday, January 11 and 12 (reception at 6:30, performance at 7:30) sponsored by Restaino, Bunbury & Associates, Custer Financial Services and Isthmus Newspaper. Young Professionals Night at CafeL Montmartre, on Saturday, Jan. 14, and LGBT Night at the Opus on Saturday, Jan. 21, both offer a reception beginning at 6:00 p.m. followed by two-for-one tickets to the performance. Meet the cast at post-show Audience Discussions on Sunday, Jan. 15, and Wednesday, Jan. 25. An Artistic Presentation about the production begins 45 minutes prior to the 7:30 p.m. performance on Thursday, February 2.

Tickets may be purchased in person at the Overture Center Ticket Office. Single tickets are currently on sale by phone at (608) 258-4141. Students who present a valid Student ID may take 50% off the cost of a full-priced ticket (regular performances only). Tickets are $36-$44. A limited number of $12 tickets will be available for every performance. For information on First Monday Forums, Young Professionals Night, LGBT Evening or special group rates, call Madison Repertory Theatre at (608) 256-0029 x 23. For more information about I Am My Own Wife by Doug Wright, visit Madison Repertory Theatrefs website at www.madisonrep.org.

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David Adkins (Charlotte von Mahlsdorf) returns to Madison Rep after appearing last season as Mitch in Tuesdays with Morrie. David made his Broadway debut with the National Actors Theater in St. Joan. Other New York credits include Boy Gets Girl at the Manhattan Theater Club, Sabina and An Immaculate Misconception at Primary Stages, Venice Preservfd at the Pearl, and Agamemnon with Olympia Dukakis for the Aquila Theater Co. David has worked extensively in Resident Theater around the country; Long Wharf, The Goodman, The Old Globe, George St. Playhouse, Huntington, Center Stage, American Conservatory Theater, ACT | Seattle, The Kennedy Center (world premiere of Poet Laureate Rita Dovefs play Darker Face of the Earth), Denver Center Theater, San Jose Rep. and ten seasons at the Berkshire Theater Festival. Screen credits include all the New York Soaps, the pilot Blaq Jaq with Forrest Whitaker, the PBS mini-series Ben Franklin, Chicago Hope, Trinity, and a number of Law & Order and Special Victims Unit episodes. David received his training from The Juilliard School.

Ann Archbold (Lighting Design) joined the University of Wisconsin faculty in the fall of 2005 as Head of the MFA Lighting Design Program. Her credits include over 300 designs for theatre, industrials, opera, dance, live concerts, and television throughout the Unites States and several other countries, including the San Francisco Opera Center, numerous Los Angeles based productions, (winning Drama-Logue Awards for Serenading Louie and The Shoemakers) and Sand Diegofs Old Globe Theatre. Ann comes to Wisconsin after having headed the MFA Lighting Design Program at Florida State University for the past 6 years. She is a member of the United Scenic Artists #829, IESNA and USITT (Vice-Commissioner | Lighting and a current member of the Board of Directors). She holds degrees from the University of Michigan and San Diego State University (MFA).

Roger Benington (Director) was born in Johannesburg, South Africa. He holds an MFA in Theatre Directing from the University of Utah and was awarded The Andrew W. Mellon Foundationfs Young Artist Fellowship to study directing at The Juilliard School. In New York he directed Strindbergfs The Pelican Off-Broadway at Classic Stage Company, and Diviners for the Lincoln Center Theatrefs Directorfs Lab. In Salt Lake City, where he is the Artistic Director of Tooth & Nail Theatre, Beningtonfs directing credits include Ibsenfs Little Eyolf, Sedarisf The Santaland Diaries, his own adaptation of Arabian Nights, Crave by Sarah Kane, Becky Modefs Fully Committed, Ferdinand Brucknerfs The Pains of Youth, and most recently Project Fabulocity!, a play about Queer youth in Salt Lake City, which Benington created in collaboration with gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender youth, and their straight allies. Benington is a recipient of the NEA/TCG Career Development Program for Directors (2003-2005).

Rodney Cuellar (Scenic Design) Off-Broadway, Cuellar designed Uncle Tom's Cabin for The Drama Department. Other NYC credits include In Circles (The Salon) and Diviners (Lincoln Center Director's Lab) Cuellar has also designed several shows for New York choreographer Nancy Bannon, including It's a Long, Hot Summer at The Joyce Soho. Regionally he has designed for The Cleveland Public Theatre, as well as set and costumes for several Sundance Theatre productions. He is a founding member of Tooth & Nail Theatre in Salt Lake City, for whom he designed Project Fabulocity!, Pains of Youth, Crave, Fully Committed, The Santaland Diaries, Little Eyolf, and Arabian Nights. Salt Lake's City-Weekly has twice recognized Cuellar's excellence in design by awarding him a SLAMMY! for his work on Crave and Pains of Youth. Cuellar will direct and design Tooth & Nail's upcoming production of Caryl Churchill's Far Away in April.

Steffani Lincecum?Costume Design) Steffani's work was last seen on the Rep stage last season in A Moon for the Misbegotten. Her work has included Billy Bishop Goes to War, One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest, Death and the Maiden, and Lips Together Teeth Apart for the Alley Theatre, Houston, TX, where she also worked as assistant costume designer on the world premieres of Robert Wilson's Danton's Death, and Anne Bogart's American Vaudeville. Other designs include Carthaginians for the Williamstown Theatre Festival, and The Taming of the Shrew, Henry V and Romeo and Juliet for the Oklahoma Shakespeare Festival. Film work includes assistant costume designer on The Courtyard (Andrew McArthy), Ruby Jean & Joe (Tom Selleck), and American Perfekt (Amanda Plummer). Steffani is also a member of the Motion Picture Costumers Local 705 and her work as a costumer includes feature films Nixon (Joan Allen), Inventing the Abbotts (Joaquin Phoenix), Primary Colors (Emma Thompson), White Man's Burden (Travolta, Bellafonte), Night Watch (Ewan Macgregor), Rough Magic (Bridget Fonda), and The Next Best Thing (Madonna). Television credits include Third Rock from the Sun and Will & Grace.

Josh Schmidt?Sound Design) returns to Madison Repertory Theatre after previously designing? Walk in the Woods, Tuesdays with Morrie, Mercy of a Storm, The Credeaux Canvas, Lobby Hero, and Proof. His work has now been heard in concert and in conjunction with theatre and dance companies in venues including Fordfs Theatre (Washington DC); Steppenwolf Theatre, Northlight Theatre, Writerfs Theatre in Glencoe, and Seanachai Theatre Company (Chicago); American Players Theatre (Spring Green), Milwaukee Repertory Theatre, Chamber Theatre, First Stage Milwaukee, Next Act Theatre, Renaissance Theatreworks and The Builders Association (NYC). He received two Joseph Jefferson Award nominations and one Jeff Award in November 2003 for his composition and design work in Chicago Theatre. As a recitalist of new music, he has performed at Kunstverein Genthiner 11 and RumaNnisches Kulturinstitut in Berlin, Germany; University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign; University of Mississippi-Oxford; and throughout his home state of Wisconsin. He is a recipient of the 2003-2005 NEA/TCG Career Development Program Award and was named one of nine emerging designers in Entertainment/Design Magazine in 2004.

Doug Wright (Playwright) received the 2004 Pulitzer Prize for Best Drama, 2004 Tony Award for Best Play, the Drama Desk Award, a GLAAD Media Award, an Outer Critics Circle Award, a Drama League Award, and? Lucille Lortel Award for his play I Am My Own Wife, which premiered at Playwrights Horizons in 2003. Earlier in his career,?r. 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 Writerfs Guild of America. His stage work has been produced in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston, San Francisco, London, Stockholm, Bucharest, Krakow, Dublin, Budapest, Brasov and Viterbo, among other cities. Titles include: The Stonewater Rapture, Interrogating The Nude, Watbanaland, Buzzsaw Berkeley and Unwrap Your Candy. For career achievement, Mr. Wright?as recently cited with an award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He is a member of the Dramatists Guild, the Writerfs Guild of America, East and the Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers. Currently, he serves on the board of the New York Theater Workshop. He lives in New York with his partner, singer/songwriter David Clement.