I, Robot! Atlantic Theater's NYC Premiere of Intelligent Design of Jenny Chow Begins Aug. 31

News   I, Robot! Atlantic Theater's NYC Premiere of Intelligent Design of Jenny Chow Begins Aug. 31 Atlantic Theater Company offers the New York premiere of Rolin Jones' The Intelligent Design of Jenny Chow, the quirky play about an ingenious woman who creates a robot double, starting Aug. 31.
Eunice Wong in The Intelligent Design of Jenny Chow
Eunice Wong in The Intelligent Design of Jenny Chow Photo by Monique Carboni

Jackson Gay will direct Remy Auberjonois (The Public's Othello, Yale Rep's Jenny Chow), Michael Cullen (Off-Broadway's Bug), Linda Gehringer (the world premiere of Jenny Chow in California), Julienne Hanzelka Kim (Broadway's Metamorphoses), Ryan King (Off-Broadway debut) and Eunice Wong (Target Margin's Faust in Love) at ATC's digs in Manhattan's Chelsea neighborhood. Opening is Sept. 19. The limited engagement ends Oct. 15.

In the play, "Jennifer Marcus (played by Julienne Hanzelka Kim) is just an average American girl who re-engineers obsolete missile components for the U.S. Army from her bedroom," according to ATC notes. "Afraid to leave her house, yet desperate to find her birth mother in China, she uses her technological genius to devise a new form of human contact." Expect a robot double to seek out the birth mother.

Playwright Rolin Jones received both the American Theatre Critics' Association Elizabeth Osborne Award for an Emerging Artist and Orange County Weekly’s 2004 Best New Play Award for The Intelligent Design of Jenny Chow. His play The Jammer won the 2004 Edinburgh Fringe Festival Fringe First Award for Best New Writing prior to a New York International Fringe Festival staging. Jones is currently an NEA/TCG playwright-in-residence at Yale Repertory Theatre and a staff writer for Showtime's new series "Weeds," starring Mary Louise Parker. Jones graduated from the Yale School of Drama in 2004.

The Intelligent Design of Jenny Chow received its world premiere production at South Coast Repertory Theatre, and is blossoming in American regional theatres.

The creative team includes Bernard Telsey Casting, scenic designer Takeshi Kata, lighting designer Tyler Micoleau, costume designer Jenny Mannis, sound designer Daniel Baker, with original music by Matthew Suttor and production stage management by Robyn Henry. The Intelligent Design of Jenny Chow will play Tuesday through Friday at 8 PM, Saturday at 2 & 8 PM and Sundays at 3 PM. All tickets are $50 and are available by calling Telecharge at (212) 239-6200 (Telecharge.com).

Atlantic Theater Company is located at 336 West 20th St (between Eighth and Ninth Avenues). For membership information, wheelchair seating, and/or group sales call (212) 691-5919, ext. 102.

Atlantic Theater Company (Neil Pepe, artistic director; Andrew D. Hamingson, managing director) is the award winning Off-Broadway theatre "dedicated to producing great plays simply and truthfully utilizing an artistic ensemble." For more information, visit www.atlantictheater.org.

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In honor of the 20th anniversary season of the company co-founded by William Macy and David Mamet, Atlantic is launching the "Theater for the Price of a Movie" program to encourage people to attend theatre.

Beginning Aug. 24, sales of 33 seats — 20 percent of the house — for every performance were made available to the general public at $10 per ticket. Unlike some "rush seat" programs in town, seats may be reserved in advance by calling (212) 691-5919 ext. 126 or may be purchased at the box office (336 West 20th Street) two hours prior to curtain (if the 33 tickets are not already gone by that time).

Because ATC administers the program, there are no service charges, managing director Hamingson told Playbill.com.

"One has to begin to cultivate the next generation of theatregoers," Hamingson said. "Those [potential] theatregoers are going to films or buying DVDs or CDs. We wanted to make it possible for them to have another $10 price point when looking at their entertainment options. We wanted to encourage people who in the past have been resistant to pay $50 to $60 to come to the theatre."

The program is not about "back of the bus" bad seats, Hamingson said. The second row and a row in mid-house will be used. (Fans of ATC's Chelsea venue know the space is intimate enough that there aren't really bad seats in the space, but the managing director suggested some people associate the last rows with the worst rows, and that's not an idea they wanted to introduce in this test program).

By the Sept. 19 opening of the New York premiere of The Intelligent Design of Jenny Chow, the new play by young writer Rolin Jones, ATC staffers will likely know what the future of the program will be.

"It's our hope to do it at least on one other show," Hamingson said, adding that "it's a program we hope to replicate on all of our shows."

ATC is exploring getting underwriters for the program.

The offer was inspired by the National Theater's £10 Season in London, sponsored by Travelex, which has been successful increasing audience capacity and attracting first time theatregoers.

Atlantic Theater Company is the award winning Off-Broadway theatre "dedicated to producing great plays simply and truthfully utilizing an artistic ensemble."

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