Dallas native playwright Doug Wright subscribes to the less-is-more principle of organization and penned "I Am My Own Wife" for one actor, who plays more than 30 characters. And thank Thespis that the actor in the Oklahoma City Theatre Company production is the terrific David Mays, who gives a performance that is a theatrical tour de force.
Mays carefully delineates every character, so you always know who is talking. He changes characters subtly and instantly, sometimes by just slouching or sitting up straight, turning his head slightly or altering his facial expression.
Some of the dialogue is in German, and Charlotte's English is noticeably accented. Mays plays her from the time she is a teenager, through young adulthood and into old age, and he modulates the character's voice to match her progression through time. Other characters are British, German, French, Indian and American. And Mays also has to do a lot of stage business with dollhouse furniture, phonograph records (including an old Edison cylinder) and many other props.
Throughout the play, Mays wears a simple black skirt and blouse with a pearl necklace, and a black kerchief on his head (costumes by Brenda Nelson). Most of the production, directed by Carol Klages, takes place in Charlotte's cluttered mansion (with set and prop design and set design provided by David Thompson and Rick Cheek, respectively).