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    Image by Harvey House Productions

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I Am My Own Wife

Presented by Oriel Entertainment Group and Brisbane Powerhouse

MELT continues throughout the year with MELT Presents!

Not long after the fall of the Berlin Wall, playwright Doug Wright (Quills, Grey Gardens) began a conversation with Charlotte von Mahlsdorf, an elegant and eccentric 65-year-old German transgender woman who, against all odds, survived two of the most oppressive regimes of the 20th century, the Nazis and the Communists. After hundreds of hours of interviews, Wright emerged with this fascinating and breathtaking story of survival and identity.

In this one man tour de force, Wright uses more than 30 characters—all played here by Ben Gerrard (Molly, Open Slather)—to piece together Charlotte’s controversial life. Winner of the 2004 Pulitzer Prize for Drama and Tony Award for Best Play, I Am My Own Wife is a profound and mesmerizing piece of theatre that should not be missed!


A beautiful production telling a special, moving story. Go see it!

Australian Arts Review

Gerrard’s von Mahlsdorf has the audience warming immediately to this larger-than-life character.

Australian Arts Review

Ben Gerrard is outstanding as he moves between the varied characters.

Broadway World

It’s very much a showpiece for any actor who takes on the role of Charlotte and Ben Gerrard rises to the play’s many technical challenges with tenacity and great skill.

Daily Review

A wittily designed and beautifully directed evening of truly entertaining theatre.

Stage Noise

More Info

Writer Doug Wright

Doug Wright earned the Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award for his play I Am My Own Wife. Other stage works include Grey Gardens (Tony Nomination), The Little Mermaid, Hands on a Hardbody, and War Paint. Film: Quills, based on his Obie-winning play, nominated for three Academy Awards. Television: Tony Bennett: An American Classic directed by Rob Marshall. Honors: Benjamin Dank Prize, the American Academy of Arts and Letters; Tolerance Prize, Kulturforum Europa; Paul Selvin Award, Writers Guild of America. Professional affiliations: President of the Dramatists Guild; member, Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers, board of the New York Theatre Workshop. Wright is married to singer/songwriter David Clement.

Charlotte Von Mahlsdorf Ben Gerrard

Ben Gerrard graduated from NIDA in 2006. He most recently appeared in You're A Good Man, Charlie Brown (Hayes Theatre). Other recent theatre credits include several seasons of the acclaimed Songs For The Fallen (Queensland Cabaret Festival, Sydney Festival, Brisbane Festival, Adelaide Cabaret Festival), as well as the Sydney season of I Am My Own Wife at the Old Fitz (Oriel Group). Ben was nominated for Best Actor (Independent production) at the Sydney Theatre Awards for this performance. He is also well known for his television work having starred in Molly, Open Slather, Outland as well as the feature film Wolf Creek 2. Other television appearances include Deep Water, A Place To Call Home, Jack Irish: Dead Point, The Power of Ten: Gallipoli, Chandon Pictures, and All Saints. He was a recipient of the Mike Walsh Fellowship in 2014.

Producer - Oriel Group Elise McCann

Oriel Group is a production house for Film, Theatre and Musicals. It is led by acclaimed actor and producer Elise McCann. Elise was recently seen in the Channel 7/Shine biopic miniseries Peter Allen – Not The Boy Next Door as Allen’s sister Lynne Woolnough. She is currently playing Miss Honey in the Royal Shakespeare Production of Roald Dahl’s Matilda the Musical, for which she won the 2016 Helpmann Award for Best Female Actor in a Supporting Role in a Musical and the 2015 Sydney Theatre Award for Most Outstanding Female Actor in a Supporting Role in a Musical. Other Professional theatrical credits include Ali in the 10th Anniversary Australian Tour of MAMMA MIA! (LWA/Littlestar); the World Premiere Production of Doctor Zhivago (GFO); the Australian tour of the Lincoln Center Theater production of South Pacific (Opera Australia/GFO); Cordelia in Falsettos (Darlinghurst Theatre Company); Florinda in the Victorian Opera’s production of Into the Woods; Fiddler on the Roof (TML); Camelot (The Production Company); My Fair Lady (Opera Australia); Little Women (Kookaburra); Side by Side by Sondheim (State Theatre) and as Lucille Ball in her one-woman show, Everybody Loves Lucy (Luckiest Productions), which toured Australia in a 6 week national tour early 2015 after a sold out premiere season in 2014. As a producer, Elise was a co-creator in association with Luckiest Productions on Everybody Loves Lucy, and in pre-production on the short film The Lake, selected by MetroScreen and Screen NSW for their First Breaks Program. I Am My Own Wife was the first independent venture for Oriel Group, which aims at becoming a sustainable production house, providing opportunities for artists and technicians to foster and develop their visions into innovative first class entertainment.

Director Shaun Rennie

Shaun made his directorial debut at Hayes Theatre Co in 2015 with RENT (Highway Run Productions). After a totally sold out initial season, RENT returned to the Hayes in April this year due to popular demand, with both seasons selling out prior to opening night. Last year Shaun also directed I Am My Own Wife (Oriel Group/Redline Productions) at Old Fitz Theatre. Most recently he directed You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown for the Hayes Theatre Company. In 2005 Shaun co-created Light the Night, an annual benefit concert for Leukaemia research. Shaun produced and directed Light the Night for 10 years. Other directing credits include Co-Director – A Christmas Carol (London), Resident Director – Once We Lived Here (London). Shaun’s next project will be directing Wicked for Free-Rain Theatre Company in Canberra.

About the Venue

Common Questions

How do I get to Brisbane Powerhouse?
See our Getting Here page.

Is parking available?
There is limited free-of-charge, all-day, on-site car parking at Brisbane Powerhouse. If you are travelling by car, please arrive early to secure a park. Additional free parking is available in New Farm Park accessible via our link road, which is opened after 5pm on performance days.

What time should I arrive?
It's best to arrive at least 30-40 minutes before the show start time to find a car park, pick up your tickets at box office and make your way to the venue. The doors of the venue will open approximately 10-15 minutes prior to show time.

Where do I pick up my tickets?
Tickets will be available for pick up from Box Office 60 minutes prior to show time.

Is there food and drink available

Brisbane Powerhouse has two on-site restaurants. More information can be found on our Eat + Drink page.

See more common questions and learn everything you need to know about your visit to Brisbane Powerhouse on our FAQ page.

Get the most out of your visit

See an exhibition
See the world for free with awe-inspiring visual art from just about everywhere. Make sure you don’t miss anything – explore all of the foyers on the main and bottom floors. See what's on.

Explore New Farm Park
Brisbane Powerhouse is located next to the beautiful New Farm Park, one of Brisbane’s most popular and much loved recreational facilities. Pack a picnic, smell the roses in the garden, play a game of tennis, let the kids loose in the playground, enjoy a coffee, or just sit back and take in the sunshine.

Brisbane Powerhouse recommends The JohnsonTryp Hotel, and Sofitel Brisbane