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Clare Barron’s explosive off-Broadway smash kicks off Olney Theatre Center’s 2022-23 season! In this Pulitzer Prize finalist, about a tweenage dance team from Liverpool, Ohio, more is at stake than a first-place trophy. It's a play about the puberty years, but leave the kids at home — adult actors of all ages portray the adolescent girls (and one boy) amidst their tween confusion, as well as their future adult selves. As the competition heats up, literal fangs come out, and the blood, sweat, and tears get very real in a drama about friendship, rivalry, and girls becoming women.
The New York Times declared playwright Clare Barron “insanely talented,” and continued to describe the experience of Dance Nation as possessing “the passionate ambivalence of early adolescence with such being-there sharpness and poignancy that you’re not sure whether to cringe, cry or roar with happiness.”
Featuring: Brigid Cleary (The Diary of Anne Frank), Louis Davis, Megan Graves (The Thanksgiving Play), Yesenia Iglesias, Jasmine Joy, Shubhangi Kuchibhotla, Ashley Nguyen, MaryBeth Wise, Michael Wood (Disney's Beauty and the Beast).
Content Advisory: strong language, sexual content.
Winner of the Relentless Award established in honor of Philip Seymour Hoffman and finalist for the Pulitzer Prize
By Clare Barron
Intimacy and Violence Director
Dance Nation Trailer
Sign-Interpreted and Audio-Described performances
Wednesday, Oct. 12 at 7:45 pm
Sign-Interpretation is no longer available for this production.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org if you plan to utilize these services. Please note that dates are subject to change.
Adult Actors Playing Teens in "Dance Nation"
Learn More on the Blog
Behind the Scenes Events
Saturday, October 1 at 5:00 pm
Mulitz-Gudelsky Theatre Lab
Free for members or to stream/$10 general public
In Dance Nation, a pre-teen dance troupe navigates ambition, friendship, and desire as they claw their way to the Nationals in Tampa Bay. The journey is anything but easy. As Abby Lee Miller of TV’s Dance Moms warns, “Do it right, because somebody, sometimes your best friend, is waiting for you to screw up so she can take your place.” Olney Theatre Center assembles a panel of women who clawed their way to the top of their fields to discuss how competition and sisterhood coexist. In Dance Nation, a pre-teen dance troupe navigates ambition, friendship, and desire as they claw their way to the Nationals in Tampa Bay. The journey is anything but easy. As Abby Lee Miller of TV’s Dance Moms warns, “Do it right, because somebody, sometimes your best friend, is waiting for you to screw up so she can take your place.” Olney Theatre Center assembles a panel of women who clawed their way to the top of their fields to discuss how competition and sisterhood coexist. Panelists for this event will include Miss Maryland 2022 Kayla Willing as well as Dr. Chandni Shah, a clinical psychologist who grew up immersed in dance as an essential element of her South Asian cultural background and is also trained in a classical style of Indian dance known as Bharatnatyam.
Beyond the Stage Events
Saturday, October 8 at 4:00 pm
1938 Original Theatre
Living in the DMV we’re surrounded by many amazingly talented competitive diverse dance teams. To celebrate our production of Dance Nation, we’ve invited local high school and college level teams who compete in Step Dance, Irish Dance, Dance Twirl, Cheer and South Asian Dance to strut their stuff on the Olney Theatre stage. Featured groups will include Baila4Life Latin Dance Group, Montgomery County Public Schools’ Latin Dance Competition Winners and students from Centerstage Academy of the Arts and Culkin School Of Irish Dance. Come experience the energy and excitement as each team presents their unique dance style dancing to win, in our case, the hearts of the audience!
Health and Safety
Patrons are required to wear masks in performance spaces regardless of vaccination status. Masks are not required in lobby areas. No food or drink is allowed in the theatre.
Proof of vaccination or negative Covid test is no longer required.
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September 28 - October 30 2022