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In ‘Corsicana,’ Will Arbery puts art, family and Down syndrome on stage

In a joint video interview with Will, Julia described him as “my favorite brother,” which wasn’t the only time they had a blast. (He’s her only brother.) She said they were always able to talk about “our feelings, our excitement, our sadness” and “our hearts.”

Julia was about to make her first trip to New York, to see “Corsicana” – the first time she had seen a professional production of one of her plays. Julia, a country music fan who used to sing in a choir, doesn’t know many details about the piece. But she said she was especially excited to hear Ginny and Lot’s song (co-written by Arbery and musician and indie artist Joanna Sternberg).

There’s a scene in the play where Christopher, the would-be hipster author, asks Ginny (a “High School Musical” fan) if she wants to be in one of his movies. “Is it going to be good?” she replies. (Much of “Corsicana,” Arbery said, “is a tug of war over taste.”)

In real life, Julia starred in some of her brother’s short films, including the 2016 sci-fi film “Your Resources,” shot in 2016 at their parents’ ranch-like house, starring Julia in the role of a young woman who enters a contest to win a brain implant developed by a sinister futuristic corporation, so she can be “different” and help her ailing father (played by Glenn Arbery).

“The short is a little awkward,” Will later said via email. But “Julia is really good.”

They also talked about making a feature-length hybrid documentary, about Will filming Julia doing a mix of “The Princess Bride” (one of their favorites) and Liam Neeson’s “Taken.”

Julia, he said, inspired not only this piece, but his approach to writing.

“From an early age, she made me realize that one way a person uses language is a fingerprint,” he said. “It always seemed very clear to me that she was the reason why I was doing this.”


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