Doug Wright's film "Quills," based on his play of the same name, was an indy hit in 2000, garnering a Best Picture award from the National Board of Review, a Golden Globe nomination for Best Screenplay and three Academy Award nominations. But in 2001 it's back to the theatre for the Obie winner, who premieres his latest work, Unwrap Your Candy, at New York's Vineyard Theatre in the fall and workshops his one-man play, I Am My Own Wife: Studies for a Play About the Life of Charlotte Van Mahlsdorf, at La Jolla Playhouse July 10-29.
I Am My Own Wife revolves around the strange life of Charlotte von Mahlsdorf, a homosexual man who, after escaping a Nazi interment camp disguised as a woman, lived the rest of his life as one. Later, Charlotte served as an East German spy and earned a government medal for efforts to preserve authentic Weimar cabaret theatre.
Wright began interviewing van Mahlsdorf in 1992, basing the script on their interactions. An Obie winner for Quills, Wright penned The Stonewater Rapture, Interrogating the Nude, Watabanaland and Buzzsaw Berkeley.
Jefferson Mays stars as Charlotte. A Playhouse regular, where he appeared in Fortinbras, Macbeth and Life During Wartime, Mays won a Drama-Logue Award for his work in La Jolla's The Importance of Being Earnest. Other credits include the New York productions of Quills, Lydie Breeze, Moe's Lucky Seven and Orestes at En Garde Arts, for which he won an Obie.
Designing I Am My Own Wife are Paul Eric Pape (sets), Rebecca Lustig (costumes), Shaoann Yo (lighting) and Casi Pacillo (sound). M. William Shiner is the stage manager. Tickets are $15-$17.50. For reservations, call (858) 550-1010. La Jolla Playhouse is on the web at http://www.lajollaplayhouse.com.