The University of Massachusetts Amherst
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Dance Nation

A logo of vaguely dancerish shapes. One has blood dripping from its footlike appendage
Design by Chenoa Albertson and Bianca Dillard

by Clare Barron
Directed by Dawn Monique Williams 
Nov. 12, 13, 18, 19 at 7:30 p.m., Nov. 20 at 2 p.m.
In the Rand Theater, located in the Randolph W. Bromery Center for the Arts at UMass

Tickets: $5 students, seniors/$15 general admission
Box Office:

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. An ensemble of dancers of different ages, races, ethnicities, body types, and gender presentations examines the challenges and triumphs of growing up in this play about ambition, coming of age, and finding one’s soul in the heat of it all. Dance Nation interrogates what “womanhood” is, and embodies a powerful release of rage, joy and liberation.

This show runs 1 hour, 50 minutes without an intermission.

Content Advisory: Gore, coarse language, depictions of self-harm, simulated masturbation and descriptions of masturbation, sex and sexual violence

Before you purchase tickets, please read our Patron COVID Safety Policy to ensure you are prepared. Patrons who are unable to meet the requirements WILL be turned away at the door.

Dance Nation: Program

To read our online program, scroll down, or click on the section you wish to view:

Production Credits | Dramaturgical Notes

Production Credits


Director, Co-Choreographer: Dawn Monique Williams
Intimacy Choreographer, Co-Choreographer: Roberta Inscho-Cox
Dramaturg: Bianca Dillard
Scenic Designer: Drishti Chauhan
Costume Designer: Chenoa Albertson
Associate Costume Designer: Emily Irene Peck
Lighting Designer: Benjamin Stanton
Sound Designer: Eddie Pizzano
Vocal Coach: Elisa Gonzales
Stage Manager: Carolyn Ferris

Assistant Director: Iris Sowlat
Assistant Lighting Designer: Hyejung Kang
Assistant Stage Manager: Anna Zaczek
Dance Captain: Aleen Karakouzian 
Intimacy Captain: Kaliska Wiley

Production Manager: Julie Fife
Technical Director: Michael Cottom
Costume Shop Manager: Kristin Jensen
Lighting Supervisor: Michael Dubin
Sound Supervisor: Amy Altadonna
Dramaturgy Advisor: Christopher Baker
Scenic Design Advisor: Anya Klepikov
Costume Design Advisor: Yao Chen
Lighting Design Advisor: Penny Remsen
Sound Design Advisor: Amy Altadonna
Stage Management Advisor: Julie Fife


Minda/Ensemble (Understudy Zuzu and Connie): Aleen Karakouzian
Ensemble (Understudy Sofia and Maeve): Beth Laine
Luke: Caleb Kovalchik
Sofia: Catarina Martins
The Moms (Understudy Vanessa and Dance Teacher Pat): Claudia Maurino
Zuzu: Edweyza Rodriguez
Amina: Elisabeth Castellon Goncalves
Connie: Hia Ghosh
God Mic/Ensemble (Understudy Luke): Himanshu Padnani
Ashlee: Ivy Linden-Dionne
Maeve: Kaliska Wiley
Vanessa/Ensemble (Understudy Amina): Monet Williams
Dance Teacher Pat: Sam Patterson
Ensemble (Understudy Ashlee and Moms): Madeline Choiniere Barr        

Special thanks to: Lavina Jadhwani; Claire Yotts; Brad Schiller, Sr. Business Development Manager at Martin by Harman, Valerie Jorgensen, Malory Grillo


“Dance Nation” is presented by arrangement with Concord Theatricals on behalf of Samuel French, Inc. 

DANCE NATION received its UK premiere at the Almeida Theatre, London, September 2018. Playwrights Horizons, Inc., New York City, produced the World Premiere of DANCE NATION in 2018 with support from an award by the National Endowment of the Arts, and a generous gift from Scott M. Delman. Special thanks to The Harold and Mimi Steinberg Trust for supporting new plays at Playwrights Horizons, and special thanks to the Time Warner Foundation for its leadership support of New Works Lab at Playwrights Horizons. DANCE NATION was developed at the Perry-Mansfield New Works Festival, June 2015, with the Atlantic Theatre Company, and presented as part of the Contemporary American Voices Festival at Long Wharf Theatre, September 2016. DANCE NATION was written, in part, in residence at SPACE on Ryder Farm, and received extensive workshop time and space as part of New Dramatists’ Jerry A. Tishman Playwrights Creativity Fund.




Assistant Production Manager: Pedro Eiras
Student Technical Director: William Waisnor
Scenic Construction Director: Brandon Hall
Scenic Artisan: Carl Bridge        
Scene Shop Teaching Assistants: Drishti Chauhan, Morgan Shea
Scenic Charge Artist: Carl Bridge
Prop Master: Morgan Shea
Scene Shop Technicians: Jesse Ball, Lindsey Barrett, Sebastien Dresback, William Waisnor, Isabella Vitti
Scene Shop Assistants: Emma Hagan, Jemma Kepner, Angela Kwebiiha, Arjun Misra, Kaliska Wiley

Production Master Electrician: Bobby Gaffney    
Lighting Console Programmer/Operator: Elana Peisner
Graduate Assistant: Hyejung Kang 
Electrics Shop Assistants: Robert Gaffney, Elana Peisner, Sena Yacteen, Kaiden Elison, Anika Nayak, Liv Darling  
Lighting Build Crew/ 361 Lab Participants: Tess Beckwith, Ulrika Brand, Zaria Cannon, Rebecca Cottrell, Ricky Cui, Bobby Gaffney, Jemma Kepner, Hanna Koczela, Fleur Kuhta, Walt Manasse-Latham, Anika Nayak, Sam Patterson, Caroline Richardson, Sarah Tonks

Sound Board Operator: Andrew Bove
Sound Crew: Ethan Lewis, Caleb Kovalchik
Assistant Costume Shop Manager: Felicia Malachite
Production Assistants: Chenoa Albertson, Mallory Grillo, Emily Peck
First Hand: Sarah Strong
Stitchers: Taylor Lennon, Kristen Mahone, Becca Cottrell
Stock Assistants: Jaime Woolcock, Kimberly Dy
Costume Build: Jordan Richo, Victoria Tavares, Zhu Mingyan, Yixuan (Katniss) Shi
Costume Crew Leader: Becca Cottrell
Costume Run Crew: Hanna Koczela, Victoria Lee, Parker Traphagen, Kelvin Sisa
Makeup Crew Leaders: Malory Grillo and Yuying Ethel Deng
Makeup Run Crew: Micki Kleinman, Yuying (Ethel) Deng, Mary Ellen Tisdell

Public Relations Director and House Manager: Anna-Maria Goossens
Public Relations and Front of House Assistant: Natasha Hawkins
Archival Photographer: Derek Fowles
Dance Nation Logo Designers: Bianca Dillard and Chenoa Albertson    
Poster Designers: Bianca Dillard and Becky Anderson 
Box Office Manager: Arianna Morales
House and Publicity Crew: Roxanne Edel, Julian Buitrago, Taina Duviela, Hanna Jane Kilduff, Riley Gregoire, Sean Dsouza, Taylor Mickens, Matthew Suchecki    
Business Manager: Joanne Corbeil-Harper
Administrative Assistant: Bethany Sherwood
Department Chair: Harley Erdman
General Manager: Willow Cohen

Dramaturgical Notes

Playwright Clare Barron

Clare Barron is a New York based playwright. Her play Dance Nation was a finalist for the 2019 Pulitzer Prize, the recipient of the 2017 Susan Smith Blackburn award, and previously received the inaugural Relentless Award (2015). The play received its world premiere at Playwrights Horizons in 2018 and ran at the Almeida Theatre in London. Barron’s play You Got Older (2015 Obie award for Playwriting; nominee for 2015 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding New Play; finalist for the 2015 Susan Smith Blackburn Prize) received its world premiere through P73 under the direction of Anne Kauffman and recently ran at Steppenwolf. Her play Baby Screams Miracle was recently produced at Woolly Mammoth Theatre, after having premiered as part of Clubbed Thumb’s 2013 SummerWorks Festival. Her play I’ll Never Love Again was produced at the Bushwick Starr in 2016 and was a New York Times Critics’ Pick. She is the recipient of the 2014-2015 Paula Vogel Playwriting Award (Vineyard Theater) and the 2014 P73 Playwriting Fellowship. She has received Sloan commissions from Manhattan Theater Club and Ensemble Studio Theatre, and is also under commission to Lincoln Center Theater and Playwrights Horizons. She was recently a writer on Maria Semple’s upcoming show on HBO, Today Will Be Different, starring Julia Roberts, and is currently developing a project with Gran Via Productions attached for AMC.

Barron's plays center on the experience of women and girls, all of which touch on her own experiences. Barron started her career in theatre as a child actor. Now she writes the types of roles she could have played as a young person. In a 2019 interview with Barron Alexis Soloski observes that much of her work, especially Dance Nation "concentrates on bodies. . . because she grew up in a conservative Christian community in Washington state and has tasked herself with undoing the shame she learned there." 

Dramaturg's Note

“Think of it as a ghost play: the actors' older bodies are haunting these thirteen-year-old characters. (We’re getting to see who they grow up to be!) And these thirteen-year-old characters are haunted by the specters of what they will become."

—Dance Nation Playwright Clare Barron 

The experience of the actors in this production of Dance Nation -in fact, the experience of most university students--shadows the experience these pre-teen characters are having: a holding-pattern, “waiting for their lives to begin,” working hard and looking forward to a time when they might step into the spotlight of a larger stage.  Sometimes the moments of synchronicity between these pre-teen characters' experience and the experience of the college age actors are fully condensed, collapsed on stage as the actors bring themselves, in this moment in their lives, to the characters they are playing. Sometimes these experiences feel further away from each other.  Throughout, Clare Barron invites us to experience the haunting interplay between time and ages and reflect on our own specters of past and future.

Lobby Display

Liverpool Dance Works Sign-ups

Work with Award-Winning Dance Teacher Pat 

Your destiny starts here! NOW!

Competition Teams 





  • Teeny Tiny Tots (ages 2-3) 
    Based on assessment of child’s movement aptitude and coordination. It’s never too early to get your boogie on nor is it too early to begin to lay a foundation (to get those trophies!) While 2 is the earliest we can accept students, we’d take them in utero if we could.  
  • The Littles (ages 4-6)
    Get comfortable with the building blocks of dance and the etiquette of competition through our own Liverpool Dance Company Recitals. It’s never too late to start your dance journey. 
  • Pat’s Cutie Pies (ages 7-9) 
    Only serious 7-9 year olds need apply. Auditions required. This is where the rigors of your training begins. This team wins awards and trains for our Nationally Recognized Elite Pre-Teen Squad. This is a crucial step in your child's development. 
  • Elite Pre-Teen Squad (ages 10-13)
    This team is winning awards and taking names (or else). Seven-time national championship winners. Does your star have what it takes to shine on the national competition stage? 
  • Dream Teens (ages 14-17)
    This is where your child’s professional star power really begins to come into focus, or it doesn’t. If I feel confident enough in your teen there will be opportunities to be seen by casting agents from stage and screen. The Dream is in reach on this team. 

Your Child's Commitment


3 times a week with mandatory weekend rehearsals or competitions. 

  • Your child should plan to stay as late as they are needed. Your child will be released when they are released, not before.
  • You will arrive on time to each and every rehearsal.   
    • *ontime means: dressed in warm up gear, shoes on, hair back, in line ready, to work!
  • We do not miss rehearsals at Liverpool Dance Works for any reason!   
    • *With the exception of serious injury or death.



  • $350 month
    • Competition Fees
  • $65 a person for each competition 
    • *Expect up to 5 regular competitions 
    • *And up to 3 additional competitions if we make it to nationals

Team Costumes 

  • $50 per costume (rental) 
    • $75 deposit per year (costume cleaning and repair) 

Clothing and accessories

Team Gear Required

  •         Jacket $75
  •         Duffle $75
  •         Accessories/Makeup $45

Team Gear Optional

  • Jersey $78
  • Tank/Tee $22
  • Pants $50
  • Parent Tee/Tank $25


  • 15% discount for boy dancers. 

National Award winning team should expect to pay between $3595 - $3790 

**transportation fees, food, lodging (for overnight competitions) are your responsibility.** 

At Liverpool Dance Works we encourage all of our girls to:

Forge connections to yourself
Forge connections to your art form
Forge connections to your community
Be your best self
Get those trophies
Make those memories
Push that trauma way way down

Eat Sleep Breathe Dance 
Eat Sleep Breathe Dance
Eat Sleep Breathe WIN! 


Production Credits | Dramaturgical Notes