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Warren Gerds/Critic at Large: ‘The Intelligent Design of Jenny Chow’ next reading in Sturgeon Bay

Critic At Large

Third Avenue Playhouse

Renovation is continuing at Sturgeon Bay’s Third Avenue Playhouse, photographed May 29, 2021. (Warren Gerds)

STURGEON BAY, Wis. (WFRV) – Third Avenue Playhouse’s “PlayWorks 2021” series continues this week with Rolin Jones’ “The Intelligent Design of Jenny Chow.”

The performance starts at 7 p.m. June 4. Info: thirdavenueplayhouse.com.

According to a press release: “The Intelligent Design of Jenny Chow” was the winner of a 2006 Obie Award in New York City.

Snapshot: Jennifer is just an average girl who re-engineers obsolete missile components for the U.S. Army from her bedroom. When she decides to meet her birth mother in China, she uses her technological genius to devise a new form of human contact.

“Rolin Jones’ irreverent ‘techno-comedy’ chronicles one brilliant woman’s quest to determine her heritage and face her fears with the help of a Mormon missionary, a pizza delivery guy and her astounding creation called Jenny Chow.”

Biographical information:

Rolin Jones’ play was a finalist for the 2006 Pulitzer Prize in Drama. Productions include South Coast Repertory (world premiere), Yale Rep (East Coast premiere), Atlantic Theater Company (New York premiere), among others. Jones’ full-length “The Jammer” received a Fringe First Award for Best New Writing at 2004’s Edinburgh Fringe Festival and was also produced at the 2004 New York International Fringe Festival. His 10-minute play “Sovereignty” was produced at the Actors Theater of Louisville’s 2006 Humana Festival.

Marie Tredway is a Chicago-based director/actor/choreographer. Directing credits include the staged readings of “Cannibals vs. Kung Fu Zombies” (Goodman Theater), “Black Box” (Victory Gardens Theater), and “The Fixer” (Steppenwolf). Tredway currently recurs on Season 5 of TV’s “Chicago Med” as Nurse.

Harmony Zhang (Jenny Chow/Dialect Coach) is an actress and musician from Tucson, Arizona. She earned her B.A. from Duke University. Her regional credits include the world premiere of “Hershel & The Hanukkah Goblins” at Strawdog Theatre Company and “Kentucky” with The Gift Theatre. Her TV credits include “The Red Line.” Zhang has studied at Stella Adler Studio of Acting in New York City and the Shanghai Theatre Academy. She is fluent in Mandarin Chinese.

Sydney Richards (Jennifer Marcus) is a Chicago-based actor, dancer and singer-songwriter from Naples, Florida. She earned a B.A. in musical theater with a stage combat minor from Columbia College Chicago. Her credits include “Footloose”/Rusty (The Naples Players), “Wonder Women”/Olive (Chicago Musical Theatre Festival) and “Spring Awakening”/Anna US (Three Brothers Theatre).

Theresa Ro (Adele Hartwick/Ms. Zhang” “is thrilled to be working with Marie on this project. It has been some time since she’s last performed, so she is excited to jump back in and work with the other amazing actors.”

Dwight Sora (Mr. Marcus/Mr. Zhang) is a native of River Forest, Illinois, and a graduate of University of Chicago. Stage roles include “After the Quake” (understudy, Steppenwolf Theatre Company), “Durango” (understudy, Silk Road Rising), “12 Angry Men” (Raven Theatre), “The Three Musketeers” (Lifeline Theatre) and “Cymbeline” (Strawdog Theatre). He has provided fight choreography for productions of “Company” (Mercury Theatre Chicago) and “Pacific Overtures” (Porchlight Music Theatre). Soro is a 23-year student of the Japanese martial art of aikido and holds a rank of sandan (third-degree black belt).

Preston Tate Jr. (Preston/Terrence/Hubbard/Yakunin/Voice) has appeared on numerous major television shows, including “Chicago Fire,” “Shameless” and “Empire.” The major independent features, “Unexpected” and “Southside with You,” became his most notable film roles when they made their world premieres at Sundance Film Festival. For theater, he has worked with storefront and major theater companies such as Mary-Arrchie, Victory Gardens and Steppenwolf.

Nicholas Tanner Garren (Todd/Boy) “has been hard at work with his day job which has absolutely nothing to do with theater” and thanks “Marie for giving him the opportunity to not only act again but to be part of another production that not only makes him laugh but also gives him something to learn and think about.”

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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