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fifty boxes of earth

Fifty Boxes of Earth

by Ankita Raturi '23

directed by Cambria Herrera '23


Performance Dates

Preview: May 2 @ 7:00pm
Showings: May 6, 11, 12 & 14 @ 7:30pm
     May 7 @ 2:00pm



hands holding a plant

   Click image to view full digital program


Theodore and Adele Shank Theatre



Visit our ticketing page to purchase tickets. We hope you enjoy the performance, and encourage you to explore other titles in the Wagner New Play Festival! You can receive a 25% discount on additional festival shows using promo code WNPF after your first purchase.

Please contact our virtual box office at if you need help with a promo code.




The Company

 Click the names and photos below to view performers' resumes.


The Cast


Ellen Nikbakht MFA '24


Iris Feng MFA '24


Victor Flores MFA '24

Dance Ensemble

Sophia Casas, undergraduate

Dance Ensemble

Lauren Dong, undergraduate

Dance Ensemble

Sarah Frazin, undergraduate

Dance Ensemble

Kaylin Poblete, undergraduate

Dance Ensemble

Holly Robertson, undergraduate


Dance Ensemble

Danniel Ureña, undergraduate


The Creative Team


Cambria Herrera MFA '23


Ankita Raturi MFA '23


Michelle Huynh, PhD student

Production Stage Manager

Stephanie Diana Carrizales MFA '24

Scenic Designer

Raphael Mishler MFA '24

Costume Designer

Euihyun Song MFA '23


Lighting Designer

Shelby Thach MFA '23 

Sound Designer/Composer

Ethan Eldred MFA '24

Fifty Boxes Graphic

Asst. Stage Manager

Hannah Gallagher, undergraduate

Fifty Boxes Graphic

Asst. Stage Manager

Angela Park, undergraduate

Fifty Boxes Graphic

Asst. Lighting Designer

Sydney Enthoven, undergraduate

Fifty Boxes Graphic

Asst. Sound Designer

Mercedes Rockin, undergraduate 


Vocal Coach

Professor Ursula Meyer

Fifty Boxes Graphic

Production Assistant

Sashank Kanchustambam

Fifty Boxes Graphic

Production Assistant

Melina Ginn


About the Play

Q imports earth from their homeland to grow peculiar plants in a community garden, cultivating a little plot of home in this new land. Jon, the community garden manager, doesn’t trust this mysterious immigrant or their foreign dirt. But much to his terror, Jon’s eleven-year-old daughter is intractably drawn to the enigmatic Q and their unearthly garden. A creative response to Bram Stoker’s Dracula, Fifty Boxes of Earth asks us to consider the heavy costs of leaving a home to put down new roots.

This is a play that is just as magical as it is grounded in necessary truths for our time. Truths about taking care of each other and the land. It’s about both learning from our most ancient past through the mistakes and traditions of our ancestors and looking forward to how we can make a better future for the next generation. We’ll see the power of connection to ancestors, connection to land, fear of the other, and desperate familial love explode into a transformative, queer garden.

This production of Fifty Boxes of Earth is dedicated to Ankita’s Dadi, Uma Raturi. And to every grandmother who has provided stability in times of transition.

Content Warnings

Lighting flashes, strobe, and photosensitive effects; blood, self-harm


About the WNPF

This show is part of the Wagner New Play Festival, an annual festival of new works by MFA playwrights, in collaboration with MFA/PhD directors, actors, designers, stage managers, and dramaturges. 


About the Playwright

Ankita Raturi | अंकिता रतूड़ी (she/her) is a second-year MFA Playwriting student. She grew up in and around the capital cities of India, Indonesia, and the United States. Ankita has developed new plays at UCSD, NYU, Page Break (SoHo Playhouse), Atlantic Pacific Theatre, The Hearth Theater, Hypokrit Theatre Company, New York Shakespeare Exchange, Pete’s Candy Store, and Natyabharati. Her devised work with co-creator Charlotte Murray has been seen at Fresh Ground Pepper, Corkscrew Theater Festival, and Dixon Place. Ankita’s first poetry collection was performed in 2019 at Dixon Place. B.F.A. in Drama from NYU Tisch (Playwrights Horizons Theater School). M.F.A. Candidate in Playwriting at UCSD. Instagram: @ankitawrites


About the Director

Cambria Lorene Herrera is a second-year MFA student from Garden Grove, California. They were most recently based in Oregon, where they co-founded and facilitated The AGE Theatre Collective to empower the resiliency of Portland's female and non-binary artists of color. Selected credits: World Premiere Adaptation of King Arthur at Long Beach Opera (Assistant Director), Yellow, Yellow, Yellow at Red Balloon Theatre Collective (Director and Co-producer) Romeo and Juliet at Penguin Productions (Director), Peter/Wendy at Bag&Baggage Productions (Tiger Lily), As One at Portland Opera (Assistant Director), and The Balkan Women at George Fox University (Director, awarded Meritorious Achievement by Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival, Region 7). Cambria is a graduate of George Fox University, where they earned their BA in Theatre, and an AGMA Union Member.

Full resume/portfolio at


About the Choreographer

Michelle Huynh is a third-year PhD student at UCSD. Born and raised in Honolulu, Hawaii, she attended the University of Hawaii at Manoa. Michelle received her BA (Honors) in Theatre and English, and her MFA concentrating in Asian Theatre Performance. Her artistic projects consist of directing and acting in traditional Asian theatre performances. A firm believer in promoting cultural diversity through all possible venues, she learns, utilizes, and translates traditional Asian theatre acting styles to the Western stage that is often dominated by realism, musical theatre, and Shakespeare. She has been trained under master artists from all over in various Asian performance genres, such as Thai and Balinese dance, Japanese kyogen, and Chinese jingju. She has attended conferences and theatre festivals in the US, Asia, and Europe to showcase both her artistic and academic work. For her research, Michelle is interested in Asian theatre (Southeast, East, and South Asia), post-colonial theatre in Asia, experimental fusion work, performances of identity, and affect theory. Michelle’s overall dissertation project focuses on how gendered Orientalism operates in Saigon to explore new theoretical languages on South Vietnam’s unique affective history.