Art House Productions inaugurated their new theater space in Jersey City with Tracy Jones, a play by Stephen Kaplan. Art House, founded shortly after 9/11, has just moved into a permanent performing and visual arts center containing an intimate black box theater space and a spacious art gallery. Their continuing mission is to inspire, entertain, and challenge audiences; provide arts education; and celebrate the power of the arts to illuminate humanity. They do this by providing a home for innovative artists developing new work; presenting emerging and under-recognized artists; and giving established artists a safe space to take creative risks.
Tracy Jones explores, under a comic veneer, themes of failed expectations and the search for connection. The title character (Helen Coxe) has had the bright idea of inviting every woman in the world named “Tracy Jones”, spelled exactly that way, to a mixer in the party room of a bar noted for its “wings ‘n’ things”. We meet Tracy an hour and a half into the party, and she is the only Tracy there. Her mind frantically races through her list of party activities; she paces the space, arranging the food platters, pouring herself Diet Cokes. She engages with Jillie (Ciara Chanel), the teenaged first-time “Personal Party Host with the Most” assigned to assist at the last minute.