I recently went to see the world premiere of The Many Wondrous Realities Of Jasmine Starr-Kidd at the Hertz Stage at the Alliance. The story is about a twelve-year-old girl named Jasmine who has made a robot computer whom she calls Grace. Jasmine, who is really good at science and math, wants to work with Grace to create a time machine that Jasmine can use to try to get her divorced parents back together.
It was fun to watch Jasmine interact with Grace, almost like they were best friends. As a person living with a disability, I can understand how important technology is since I depend on technology every day to access the universe. Even though Jasmine wasn’t disabled she could still tell her robot Grace to do whatever she wanted Grace to do. Grace seemed like a Siri, Alexa, and Google assistant all in one ready to follow Jasmine’s every command.
Penny Schick, the young actress who played Jasmine, delivered a fantastic performance. She is only a freshman in high school but she has already appeared in many productions in Atlanta and New York. This was Penny’s debut at the Alliance, and I hope this will be the first of many! You can follow Penny on Instagram: @pennyjane630
The Many Wondrous Realities Of Jasmine Starr-Kidd is a new play by Stephen Brown who is currently a fellow at the Juilliard School in New York. This play has been nominated for many awards and won the Alliance Theatre’s Kendeda Award. Brown has had his plays performed in New York and at various theaters throughout the nation including the Aurora Theater in Gwinnett County. He is also working on projects for television and film.
The Hertz Stage at the Alliance is a small
200-seat theater which is designed to create a
more intimate setting for the audience. The Hertz
showcases up and coming playwrights and
provides audiences with a look at their work. The
Hertz is very easy to access because there is a
wheelchair ramp from the parking garage directly
to the lobby right by the Hertz Stage. The seating is first come first serve except for handicapped seating which you can reserve by just calling the box office ahead of time at 404-733-5000.
Because of the design of the theater, the only handicapped seating is at each end of the first row. In general, this is great because I really like being that close to the actors. For this production, however, sitting on the front row caused a problem for me. Once the time machine appeared on the stage, it was so big that it blocked my sightline of the actors for some of the scenes. I hope in the future that set designers consider all sightlines from the point of view of the person using the accessible seating.
This play appeals to tweens and teens as well as adults. I think it would be very inspirational to young girls who are interested in STEM subjects. STEM is short for science, technology, engineering and mathematics, career paths that have traditionally been male dominated. This play is a perfect way to get young girls interested in STEM classes in school and validate their ability to succeed in STEM careers. In other words, this play makes learning science and math look really cool!
- The Hertz Stage at the Alliance is easy to access from the parking garage.
- The performance was excellent.
- Actress Penny Schick and playwright Stephen Brown are rising stars–keep an eye outfor them!
1. I hope that set designers carefully check sightlines from all seats in the auditorium to ensure that every person in the audience can see everything that is happening on stage–especially from the wheelchair accessible seats.
Community Outreach Associate