Pierce’s theatre department hosted the closing night of its first play of the year, “The Intelligent Design of Jenny Chow,” for a sold-out audience in the temporary performing arts complex Sun.
Main character Jennifer Marcus, who was played by former Pierce student Jenny Kang, 23, was a complex character who was adopted by an American family in Calabasas, Calif. from China and struggles with her identity, obsessive compulsive disorder and agoraphobia.
Because the fear of the outside world causes her to have very few friends and inhibits her search for her birth mother, Marcus builds a robot named Jenny Chow, played by Kristina Reyes, to send in her place.
“It’s a very complicated play,” said director and Theater Department Chair, Valorie Grear. “I didn’t know how the audience would respond to this.”
Although the premise was complicated and left some audience members confused at intermission, the play successfully wrapped up Kang’s’ “relationships” with her family and friends.
However, the relationship between Kang and Reyes were left in doubt after her robot could not be found.
“It’s a bittersweet ending,” said Kang. “It’s up to the audience to decide whether it’s a happy ending.”
On stage, Kang only had one friend who she interacted with in person, the pizza delivery boy Todd, played by Cyrus Zoghi. The rest of her social relationships were shown via green screen on stage.
Kang was surrounded by an excellent supporting cast both on stage and via green screen including David Klane, who played Kang’s father, and Laura Ring who played her mother and had to learn Chinese for her role.
“The Intelligent Design of Jenny Chow” was written by a Woodland Hills native, Rolin Jones who was a former pizza delivery boy.
Pierce’s Theater Department’s next show will be “Side Show,” starting Dec. 2 and will be directed by Gene Putnam.