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Pictured: Delia Kropp
Traditionally a solo piece, I AM MY OWN WIFE will feature three actors.
New About Face artistic associates announced.
About Face Theatre announced its 2016-17 Season, kicking off this fall/winter with a reimagining of I AM MY OWN WIFE, Doug Wright’s Tony, Pulitzer Prize and Lambda Literary Award-winning play first developed at About Face in 2003.
I AM MY OWN WIFE is based on the true story of Charlotte von Mahlsdorf (born Lothar Berfelde) who, against all odds, hid from the Nazi and Communist regimes in East Berlin in plain sight dressed a woman. Traditionally staged as a one-person play performed by a male actor, Director Andrew Volkoff’s re-examination will feature transgender actor Delia Kropp and two additional actors.
“I’m excited to dig back into Charlotte’s story with Delia, who brings a refreshing authenticity to the role,” comments Andrew Volkoff. “Working with Delia and the two other actors removes the virtuosity from the piece, focusing instead on Doug Wright’s fantastic text, re-emphasizing Charlotte’s narrative, and creating new visibility for her in this context. Wright, who has remained a loyal AFT supporter, has given us his blessing to cast the role in this way. He is excited by its historical significance and the possibilities that new transgender and non-transgender audiences will be exposed not only to Delia’s considerable talents, but Charlotte von Mahlsdorf’s story in a new way.”
About Face continues its 21st season next winter with the Chicago premiere of THE TEMPERAMENTALS, Jon Maran’s Off-Broadway hit about the founding of the Mattachine Society, the first sustained LGBT rights organization in the U.S., and the love affair of two of its founding members, Harry Hay and emigree Rudi Gernrich.
“The Temperamentals is stylish, sensitive and smart, exploring a time of incredible invisibility for the LGBTQ community,” comments Volkoff. “Moran’s play asks us take stock of where we came from and, in light of recent events like the Orlando shooting massacre and controversy over transgender restrooms, provides a sobering reminder that we still have a long fight ahead.”
About Face’s season continues into the spring with the Chicago premiere of Pulitzer Prize nominee Tanya Barfield’s contemporary love story BRIGHT HALF LIFE, directed by AFT Artistic Associate Keira Fromm and featuring AFT Artistic Associate Elizabeth Ledo.
Winner of the 2016 Lambda Literary Award for Best Play, BRIGHT HALF LIFE follows the ups and downs of a modern lesbian relationship. Their moving story is told through a series of fast moving, fragmented memories – from elevator rides as strangers to steamy workplace romances to heartache and building a family.
“I’m excited to feature Tanya Barfield’s work, a fresh counterbalance to this season’s historical pieces,” comments Volkoff. “Tanya’s language is muscular and sparkles, but it was her inventive structure that captured me. She’s created a verbal tilt-a-whirl for the audience, echoing the ins and outs of modern relationships.”
About Face Theatre also announced that William Boles, Bob Kuhn and Mieka Van der Ploeg will be joining as Artistic Associates.
About Face Theatre’s 2016-17 mainstage season will also include a yet-to-be-titled world premiere devised by the About Face Youth Theatre Ensemble. About Face Theatre is in residence at Theater Wit, 1229 W. Belmont Ave. in Chicago. AFT memberships are currently available at aboutfacetheatre.com. Single tickets for additional programming will go on sale at a later date.