Sometimes, creativity can be a family affair. Such is the case with “Boxcar,” the latest theatrical endeavor being undertaken by the husband-and-wife team of Corbin and Emma Went.
Coast Union High School graduate Corbin Went wrote “Boxcar,” and his wife, a Cambria native, will direct it when production begins this fall in New York City.
In the meantime, the couple are using GoFund Me.com to raise the money they’ll need to stage the play.
“We believe in this play for lots of reasons, and it’s very important to us,”
Emma Went said. “It will be Corbin’s first full production in the city, which is very exciting. And my first work on a nonverse play in quite a while.”
GoFundMe.com describes “Boxcar” as “a powerful American play, expansive in scope and obsessive in detail.” The play, which follows rakish musician Geraldo, teen runaway Alexis and fellow travelers Ida and Firefly on a railroad journey, will be Corbin Went’s first full Big Apple production as a playwright.
“Corbin has brought an original script to the table, which infuses classic American iconography with modern perspectives on love, gender, comradeship and destiny,” the website says.
As of Monday, 20 people had donated $1,700 of the $5,000 they project they’ll need to stage the play. (To find out more about the play and to donate, go to www.gofundme.com/boxcarplay.)
Donated funds will go toward providing design supplies, a venue and items such as props, costume pieces and makeup. Among the challenges: The play is set on a moving train, as seen from the outside, so members of the company must build a boxcar.
Daniella Benavides, a freelance producer, will serve as producer.
Emma Went is the founder of Easy Leap Theatre Co. in New York City, but "Boxcar" will be independently produced.
“I’ve just returned to NYC after being away for most of the summer with some theatre adventures — in Colorado, then in London — and now I’m home, getting ready to direct Boxcar,” Went told The Cambrian via the social networking site Facebook.
She has been busy over the past few months serving as an assistant director at not one but two Shakespeare festivals.
“It’s been an exciting year,” Went said. “I was on ‘Much Ado About Nothing’ at (Oregon Shakespeare Festival), which is a play I love, and I was on ‘Othello’ at (Colorado Shakespeare Festival), which is a play I also love, and have directed myself, working for Lisa Wolpe, who is a director I greatly admire.”
In addition, she spent most of July working on a cross-gendering workshop series at King's College and the Young Vic theatre in London under the auspices of TranShakespeare.
Under the initiative, a woman might play Hamlet or a man might play Juliet. Or a woman might play Prospero from “The Tempest” as Prospera — a female character. Transgender actors might also be featured as any character within the Shakespeare canon. (Details on the project are available at www.transhake speare.com.)
“Part of our aim is to afford greater visibility to trans and folks in the nonbinary community through broadening their access in theatre and contributing to more nuanced cultural discourse regarding gender in art in general,” Went explained.
She said she hopes to be in rehearsals for “Boxcar” in October and is shooting for production in late fall.