Relive your dance team days with Moxie Theatre’s ‘Dance Nation’

The female-run theater groups kicks off its 15th anniversary season with this Pulitzer Prize-nominated comedy


The women-centered Moxie Theatre is about to celebrate its 15th anniversary by giving San Diego its first look at “Dance Nation,” Clare Barron’s off-Broadway hit about a group of young and tough-minded competitive dancers.

The play, directed for Moxie by executive artistic chief Jennifer Eve Thorn, was both a Pulitzer Prize finalist and the winner of the prestigious Susan Smith Blackburn Prize. Its young-adolescent characters are all played by adult actors.

“Dance Nation” kicks off a season that includes three additional resident productions, plus an ongoing show for young audiences that will be performed at schools and other locations around San Diego County.

Here’s a look at what’s coming up:

“Handbagged” by Moira Buffini, directed by Kim Strassburger: This comic piece focuses on the real-life pas de deux between Queen Elizabeth II and the late British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. (Buffini’s play “Gabriel” had its West Coast premiere earlier this year at North Coast Rep in Solana Beach.) Oct. 19 to Sept. 17 (opens Oct. 25).

“Red Bike” by Caridad Svich, directed by Lisa Berger: Svich is a much-admired playwright and University of California San Diego grad whose plays include “In the Time of the Butterflies,” staged at San Diego Rep back in 2014. “Red Bike,” which recently came off a series of “rolling” world premieres around the country, focuses on the struggles and realities of living in small-town America. Jan. 18 to Feb. 16, 2020 (opens Jan. 24).

“Manahatta” by Mary Kathryn Nagle, directed by Delicia Turner Sonnenberg: Moxie’s founding artistic director returns to stage Nagle’s time-jumping saga of a young Native American woman working on Wall Street, and “the true and hidden history of the land underneath her feet.” April 25 to May 31, 2020 (opens May 1).

“The G.E.W. (Moxie’s Gender Equality Workshop)” by Callie Prendiville, directed by Nicole Cantalupo: Moxie’s own associate artistic director wrote this piece, commissioned in collaboration with the San Diego Commission on the Status of Women and Girls, with support from the city of San Diego. The traveling work focuses on “gender equality, the power of speaking up and the opportunity to make a difference, however young you might be.” Dates TBA, 2019-2020.

‘Dance Nation’

When: In previews. Opens Saturday (Aug. 23). 7:30 p.m. Thursdays; 8 p.m. Fridays-Saturdays; 2 p.m. Sundays. Through Sept. 15.

Where: Moxie Theatre, 6663 El Cajon Blvd., Rolando District.

Tickets: $25-$40 (discounts available)

Phone: (858) 598-7620