Obie Award winner Clare Barron (You Got Older) will return Off-Broadway this spring with the world premiere of her newest play: the Relentless Award-winning Dance Nation (the play shared the 2015 award with Sarah DeLappe’s The Wovles). The comedy-drama follows an “army” of pre-teen competitive dancers vying to take the top prize at the Boogie Down Grand Prix in Tampa Bay.
Obie winner Lee Sunday Evans will direct and choreograph the debut production at Playwrights Horizons. Dance Nation will begin previews April 13 ahead of a May 8 opening in the company’s Peter Jay Sharp Theater.
The cast will be made up of Purva Bedi (currently starring in An Ordinary Muslim Off-Broadway), Eboni Booth (After the Blast, Fulfillment Center), Camila Canó-Flaviá (regionally in Julius Caesar, My Jane), Obie Award winner Ellen Maddow (The Lily’s Revenge, Betty and the Blender), Christina Rouner (Coram Boy, Eternal, Three Tall Women), Drama Desk Award winner Thomas Jay Ryan (The Crucible, In the Next Room), Dina Shihabi (regionally in Picasso at the Lapin Agile, Jack Ryan), Lucy Taylor (Fondly, Collette Richland), and Ikechukwu Ufomadu (Ike at Night, Nightcap by Ike, Ike Night).
Dance Nation is billed as a “raucous pageant of ambition and ferocity,” which not only looks at the competitive world of dance, but looks at the ways in which young women find themselves.
Performances are scheduled through May 27.
The production will feature scenic design by Arnulfo Maldonado, costume design by Ásta Bennie Hostetter, lighting design by Barbara Samuels, and sound design by Brandon Wolcott. Production stage manager is Erin Gioia Albrecht.