Willkommen to Berlin

Ubuntu Theater Project delivers an enthralling production of I Am My Own Wife. My review is in the San Jose Mercury News and other BANG papers.

William Hodgson in Ubuntu Theater Project's production of I Am My Own Wife. Photo by Beth Hitchcock.

William Hodgson in Ubuntu Theater Project’s production of I Am My Own Wife. Photo by Beth Hitchcock.

I had an interesting conundrum about what terminology to use in referring to the main character, because today we’d most likely call her a trans woman. She was born in a male body but lives as a woman and has taken a woman’s name. But she identifies as a transvestite, and my usual rule of thumb is go with whatever the individual’s preferred terminology is. The only reason I’d even question that decision is because the person in question was living as a transvestite in Nazi Germany and Cold War-era East Berlin. Is the terminology, then, primarily a product of its time, and should I assume that she’d use different language if she came of age today? Well, maybe she would, but isn’t that assumption patronizing in itself? Once again I have to come back to the thought that she knows her mind and she knows herself–insofar as any of us truly know ourselves–and what she says goes.

Review: You’ll be riveted by ‘I Am My Own Wife’

I Am My Own Wife
Through March 20
Ubuntu Theater Project
Haba Na Haba House
1936 Thousand Oaks Blvd.
Berkeley, CA

Show #19 of 2016, attended March 5.

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