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San Francisco Playhouse Announces Bay Area Premiere Of DANCE NATION

San Francisco Playhouse Announces Bay Area Premiere Of DANCE NATION

San Francisco Playhouse announced casting for the Bay Area premiere of Dance Nation, Clare Barron's award-winning play about pre-teen competitive dancers. Becca Wolff will direct the Playhouse production, with choreography by Kimberly Richards.

A 2019 Pulitzer Prize Finalist and winner of the 2015 Relentless Award as well as the 2017 Susan Smith Blackburn Prize, Dance Nation received its world premiere at Playwrights Horizons in New York City in 2018.

Somewhere in America, an army of pre-teen competitive dancers plots to take over the world. And if their new routine is good enough, they'll claw their way to the top at Nationals in Tampa Bay. Dance Nation is play about ambition, growing up, and finding our souls in the heat of it all.

?Dance Nation will be one of the most edgy and surprisingly dangerous plays we have produced,? said Bill English, Artistic Director. ?With a large cast of women of all ages portraying 13-year-old girls, it presents a multi-layered perspective on the joy and pain of becoming a woman, and shows us how we carry our past selves with us throughout our lives.?

The cast includes Ed Berkeley, Ash Malloy*, Lauren Spencer*, Michelle Talgarow*, and Indiia Wilmott*. Additional casting will be announced.

San Francisco Playhouse's production of Dance Nation is made possible by Executive Producer Betty Hoener; Producers Betty & Cliff Nakamoto; Associate Producers William J. Gregory and Linda Brewer; and Artistic Sponsor Kevin Gahagan. Dance Nation is presented by special arrangement with Samuel French, Inc.

Clare Barron (Playwright) is a playwright and actor from Wenatchee, Washington. Her plays include You Got Older, which received its world premiere with Page 73 and was presented at Steppenwolf in 2018 (Obie Award for Playwriting, Drama Desk Nomination for Outstanding Play, Kilroys List, and Susan Smith Blackburn finalist);? I'll Never Love Again (The Bushwick Starr, NYTimes & Time Out Critics' Picks); Baby Screams Miracle (Woolly Mammoth, Clubbed Thumb); and Dance Nation, which premiered at Playwrights Horizons in 2018 and won the Relentless Award established in honor of Philip Seymour Hoffman and the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize. She is also the recipient of a Whiting Award, the Page 73 Playwriting Fellowship and the Paula Vogel Award at the Vineyard.

Becca Wolff (Director) is a California-based director and co-founder of Tilted Field Productions. She explores the intersection of the theatrical and the confessional, collaborating with virtuosic performer/creators to explore deeply personal material in bold new ways. Our Country: The Antigone Project, her collaboration with Annie Saunders of Wilderness will be touring this year to the Sibiu Festival in Romania. It was workshopped at New York Stage & Film's Powerhouse gathering this summer, and had its world premiere in Edinburgh, Scotland at Summerhall as part of the International Fringe Festival. The piece was commissioned by San Francisco Playhouse, and received development and showings at Basic Flowers, The Getty Villa and The Public Theater as part of the Incoming! Festival at Under the Radar. Other projects include Giovanni Adams' critically acclaimed solo Love Is a Dirty Word, which premiered in a sold out run at VS. Theatre Company in LA, and toured to Z Space in San Francisco. Also at Z Space, she directed the Kilbanes' smash-hit rock opera Weightless, produced in association with piece by piece productions. Weightless had its NYC premiere at the Under the Radar Festival, 2019 and will be at ACT in San Francisco in May 2019. She has directed new plays and premieres by Lauren Yee, Harvey Fierstein, Jen Silverman and Sarah Gubbins at venues including ACT, Theatreworks, San Francisco Playhouse and Z Space. With Tilted Field, she created the electro-opera, The Last Days of Mary Stuart with Los Angeles band TONY. Her work has been named to Best Of lists in the SF Chronicle and LA Weekly. Awards and nominations for her work include Princess Grace, Outstanding Solo Show & Outstanding Musical at the NYC Fringe, Ovations (Los Angeles), Theatre Bay Area and Bay Area Critics Circle. She is a graduate of the Yale School of Drama and co-creator of SCOTUS Theater. Member SDC.

Kimberly Richards (Choreographer) launched her versatile career nearly 50 years ago: actress, aerialist, choreographer, comedienne, dancer, director, and illusionist. She co-starred (with Louis Parnell) in SF Playhouse's first production, It Had to Be You, and recently played Dottie in Noises Off! (2017), Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle nomination for Best Ensemble. Her choreography credits include productions in Las Vegas, and at SF Playhouse including She Loves Me (2016), A Christmas Story ? The Musical (2017), and Sunday in the Park with George (2018). She won 3 BATCC Outstanding Choreographer Awards: My Fair Lady (2012), Company (2015), and La Cage aux Folles (2017), with multiple BATCC and Theatre Bay Area Choreography nominations for Promises, Promises (2014), Into the Woods (2014), and Mary Poppins (2018). She co-choreographed Abe Lincoln's Big Gay Dance Party with Tom Segal, awarded Best New Play in the 2009 New York International Fringe Festival. She is excited to collaborate with director Becca Wolff for the first time. Since 2001, Kim has toured the continent starring as ?Sister? in all 7 installments of the hit one-woman comedy series Late Nite Catechism.

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