Abstract

Doug Wright's play I Am My Own Wife (2003) made a commercial and critical Broadway smash out of the unlikeliest heroine: the dead, German, notoriously untrustworthy transvestite Charlotte von Mahlsdorf. After reviewing Charlotte's pre-Wife phenomenology, this article explores the dramaturgical techniques through which Wright kept mass audiences invested in the spectacle of a purportedly "real" protagonist whose life and persona were built upon detectable lies. Charlotte's hold over audiences has powerful resonance for our understanding of the nature of spectatorship, particularly the verisimilitude expected of, if only partially delivered by, the one-person biodrama.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1086-332X
Print ISSN
0192-2882
Pages
pp. 195-220
Launched on MUSE
2006-07-06
Open Access
No
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