The one-man show, "I Am My Own Wife," starring David Mays opens Friday at the CitySpace Theatre in the Civic Center Music Hall.
A drama specialist steps in to research and analyze the political, cultural, literary and historical basis of a story, serving as a critical tool for works such as Oklahoma City Theatre Company's upcoming production of the Tony- and Pulitzer-winning play.
The play examines the complex life of transvestite Charlotte von Mahlsdorf, a survivor of the Nazi and Soviet regimes who allegedly was an informer to the East German secret police, the Stasi. She died in 2002.
With a World War II setting that can render even the smallest anachronism glaring, Cristina Bewley's role as the production's dramaturge was crucial in ensuring the details were in line with the reality of 20th-century East Germany.
"One of the huge points of the show is the history must be preserved, because it is a record of the lives surrounding this history," Mays said. "That, to me, has to be as close to the real thing as possible. Otherwise, it is lost, and as a chain reaction, you forget it, so you are doomed to repeat it."