Studio Theater in Exile presents “I AM MY OWN WIFE” by Doug Wright 

Studio Theater in Exile presents “I AM MY OWN WIFE” by Doug Wright 
Directed by Mara Mills  | Starring Thomas Kramer | In collaboration with Peekskill Pride

Performances in the Black Box at HV MoCA, 1701 Main St, Peekskill, NY 10566

June 7: 7:00 PM | June 8: 7:00 PM Talk-back and reception | June 9: 3:00 PM
June 14: 7:00 PM | June 15: 3:00 PM | June 16: 3:00 PM
June 22: 7:00 PM | June 23: 3:00 PM

 Hudson Valley MOCA exhibit How We Live will be open before show and during intermission.

“I AM MY OWN WIFE” is the amazing and true story of Charlotte von Mahlsdorf, German transvestite who “Survived the Nazis and the Stasi in a dress.”  A lover and collector of objects, she founded a museum in Mahldorf to house not only her beloved clocks and phonographs and other castoffs of German industrial design but the Mulack-Ritze, a gay nightclub established in the time of Willhelm II and under threat of destruction by the Stasi. Here she maintained a “safe-place” for gays, lesbians, and transvestites. Celebrated and vilified, Charlotte’s story is part of untold history. Doug Wright has literally brought to life an amazing character – or as Wright says, “She didn’t just found a museum, she is the museum.” Doug Wright’s story, as playwright and character, is as important as Charlotte’s. From idol worship to disillusionment to understanding and love, we watch the playwright grow as a man and a creator.  This one- person show is educational and entertaining. Daring and beautiful and an important addition to history and theater.

 “I originally saw I AM MY OWN WIFE in 2003 and was struck by the complexity of Charlotte’s life as well as the importance of her story from both the point of view of history and the struggle that LBGTQ+ individuals face every day. Any individual who has had challenges understanding who they are and their where they fit in society can relate to Charlotte’s embracing her authentic self and living her life as she felt she needed to. Her world was dangerous and often deadly, however she not only lived, but thrived. So, how could I not be inspired? 
In 2003, Charlotte’s story was powerful; in 2024, it’s vital that we share it. In a political and social climate that tries to silence or negate those who are different, “those individuals who defy ready classification”, we all MUST raise our voices and demand our rights to not only exist, but to partake in all life has to offer. We need to find allies who will join us in this fight and hope that by sharing the Story of Charlottes von Mahlsdorf we will add to these numbers.  Please join me on Charlotte’s amazing journey.” – Tom Kramer

Tickets: General Admission $25, Students/Seniors/HVMoCA members $20, June 8th Talk Back & Reception $30

Find more information at


About Studio Theater in Exile

Studio Theater in Exile is a collective which morphed out of the Newman Theater and Theater in Odd Spaces. Formed in 2018, Studio Theater in Exile shares and builds upon the mission of these previous organizations, and now supersedes them as an official entity. The Newman Theatre, in Pleasantville, NY, ran from 1993 to 2005 and its mission was to “Bring the Arts and Community Together”. Besides mounting established plays, the Newman was known for encouraging and creating original work, including Promised Land, about the Holocaust which began at the Newman and toured from SUNY Purchase to Budapest, Hungary, Memoirs of a Mad Masseuse written by Westchester Playwright Staci Swedeen, and Shedding Light, an Abeles award winner that toured the tribe-state area. After the Newman Theater closed, the executive team ran Theater in Odd Places from 2005-2018 wanting to continue the mission and focus collaborating with others and produce new works presented in unusual venues. And thus Studio Theater in Exile was born. Mara Mills and Jeremy Gratt, cofounders with Marsha Newman of the Newman Theater and partners in Theater in Odd Spaces are the founders of Studio Theater in Exile. Karina Ramsey joined the administrative team in August 2018. Evan Bishop and Katori Walker joined us this year, both as creators and members of the collective.

mission: Studio Theater in Exile collaborates with playwrights and performers to create and develop original work. Studio Theater in Exile is a company without a space that collaborates with its environment. It is an outgrowth of the belief that theater takes place anywhere and can be performed anywhere – in the streets, galleries, libraries, museums, black boxes, backyards, and even on a stage. We have been working with performers and playwrights to develop work that can be performed in any venue. Co-founders, Mara Mills and Jeremy Gratt have worked together, since 1991, to present original work, based on the art in an exhibition, a social justice issue, history, or the spark of an idea. Karina Ramsey joined Studio Theater in Exile in 2018.