The Secret Journals of Desiree von Wertheimstein
No one’s ever loved me, Madame Duse. And quite frankly, between you and me, it’s a relief. They’d have forced marriage on me. But I can act. I’m not La Duse. But I can play a mad scene. I can make myself faint. Just like that. And shudder so violently my hair stands on end.
Two women and one trans/gender-fluid actor (doubling role)
Desiree von Wertheimstein spent her entire adult life as the Italian actress Eleonora Duse’s companion, but was ignored or trivialized by biographers of Duse’s life. Only Eva Le Gallienne gave her something of her true due in her book, The Mystic in the Theatre. In this biographical drama, Desiree von Wertheimstein takes center stage to tell the story of their long partnership.