Review Fix chats with Sandy Gooen, who discusses ‘Pass/Fail’ at this year’s Trans Theatre Festival in New York City, detailing the creative process and letting us know what to expect.
July 9 – 22, 2018
The Brick | 579 Metropolitan Ave | Brooklyn NY
Pass/Fail by Sandy Gooen
July 17 – 21, 2018
Directed by Donnie Cianciotto
Pass/Fail is a new play by Sandy Gooen, whose Twitter is @featsandygooen. A play about friendship, belonging, and, well, passing. The story follows Johnny, who is a transmasculine student at a women’s college, and his best friend Noah, who is a cis gay man at the Ivy League across the street.
Tuesday, July 17 @ 7pm Wednesday, July 18 @ 7pm Saturday, July 21 @ 3pm
Review Fix: What was the inspiration for this project?
Sandy Gooen: My playwriting course had a final assignment to be inspired by a story or a fable, I picked the Don Quixote narrative of the unattainable, impossible, idealistic dream, and applied it to my current circumstances as a Transmasculine student at a women’s school. I also was inspired by an evolving relationship with my dear friend, Zach.
Review Fix: What’s your creative process like?
Gooen: Crying and blasting music while writing, collaborative and lots of fun, self-deprecating humor (and occasional snacks) in rehearsals. I draw from memory, from culture, from my and other experiences, and I just create the most relatable, well-rounded, eccentric work I can.
Review Fix: What makes this different or special?
Gooen: Well. It’s certainly not common enough to see a Transmasculine protagonist and a gay co-tagonist (as I like to call him) and a number of other wild intersecting narratives clash onstage. It’s a play with music and the lead character moves and stays onstage throughout to invite you to see both inside his world and how others see him.
Review Fix: What did you learn about yourself through this process?
Gooen: Firstly, the actor playing Johnny (a somewhat factionalized version of myself), is somewhat of a doppelgänger for me, and so I learned how not alone I am. My work this year has brought me closer to my community. I learned I want to keep doing this writing thing, but I’m always learning and growing. It’s my second professional play and this one came with the challenge of less resources and more personal content. But I have learned to open myself up, though not all my shows will be autobiographies.
Review Fix: What are your ultimate goals for this production and for the future?
Gooen: I want to keep going. Keep working with marginalized artists. Get our stories out there. And maybe change some minds and make some friends along the way. Ideally, this will not be the last time this play- or any of my work- is performed. We need representation in every facet of the media and in every field on earth. I stand on the shoulders of other queer and trans artists like MJ Kaufman, Kit Yan, Larry Kramer, Shakina Nayfack, Lisa Kron, (and a whole bunch of other lovely folks who are too famous for me to be naming in the same sentence as myself), and I will continue to put in the work to pay it forward!
Review Fix: What’s next?
Gooen: I’m graduating in December, and my thesis concert will be on December 12 at the Glicker-Milstein Theater, where my first play, It Takes a Village, made its professional debut.