Looking Back: I Am My Own Wife at the Wilma and Theatre Horizon

In a new series, Phindie takes a walk down memory lane to briefly revisit memorable theater performances from years past. In this installment, Kathryn Osenlund remembers two productions of I Am My Own Wife by Doug Wright. 

Photo by matthewjphoto.com

I Am My Own Wife was workshopped during Doug Wright’s stint as Artist-in-Residence at the Wilma in Philadelphia in 2001. I had loved it as a solo piece.  Later under the direction of Blanca Zizka it became a two-character play. While the performance was interesting, the utter precision of the original was sacrificed.  I was glad that elsewhere it was preserved as a one-man show.

2005 Wilma Production
“The playwright has a history working with Blanka Zizka, the Wilma’s artistic director, and because he trusts her instincts, Doug Wright okayed a major alteration in his play. She could experiment and include a second actor. The two-character version, however, gains pragmatism at the expense of both subtlety and power.” Review in Curtain Up

2013 Theatre Horizon Production
In the end, Wright’s sympathies lie with Charlotte, whatever the truth. He allows the audience to form its own opinions on her and her credibility, and the “Doug Wright” character steps out of the way enough to preserve a thought-provoking and morally complex tale rich in character detail and historical resonance.Review in Phindie


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