Mesa Community College (MCC) Theatre is opening their production of “The Intelligent Design of Jenny Chow” in less than a month.
Professional and collegiate theatres across the country have performed the show and on November 30, Jenny Chow is coming to MCC for the first time.
“It’s about a girl who is adopted, who is a little bit agoraphobic, she doesn’t really want to go out into the world, but she’s also really smart,” MCC Theatre’s Arts Program Director Kevin Dressler said.
According to Adriana Diaz, who is in charge of MCC Theatre’s Costume Program, the show is not just about an anxiety-stricken girl struggling to find her place in the world. “The Intelligent Design of Jenny Chow is actually a comedy, it’s really funny,” Diaz explained.
Relevant to our modern age, “The Intelligent Design of Jenny Chow” supplements its humor with an important underlying caution. “It also can be a little warning that this is, in some cases, where we’re leading, where some people just want to be at home and don’t want to interact with actual humans,” Diaz said.
For MCC, presenting “The Intelligent Design of Jenny Chow” has more value than simply generating ticket revenue. It is an opportunity for students to get real experience in theatre production and design.
Each semester MCC selects a show to be completely student produced. This means the students are responsible for the idea behind every visual element the audience sees on stage.
“They truly are student designed shows,” Dressler said. “It’s all their ideas. They’ve come up with what it’s going to look like,” Diaz added. It is this high level of early student involvement that sets MCC apart from other theatre programs around the state.
“If you’re going to ASU or U of A, you’re looking at doing a design on the main stage maybe your junior year, if you’re lucky, but probably not until your senior year,” Diaz explained, “whereas here… you can walk in your first semester and design a show on the main stage.”
When MCC Theatre opens with their first performance of “The Intelligent Design of Jenny Chow” on November 30, theatre-goers will be treated to more than just an entertaining show. They will get to appreciate the finished student production and design work.
Joseph Lowery is a journalism student at Mesa Community College.