Theater Preview: THE NICETIES (MOXIE Theatre)

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by Nia Liat on September 11, 2020

in Theater-Los Angeles,Theater-Regional,Virtual


Turning sixteen means new responsibility and new freedom. The same goes for San Diego’s scrappy, innovative, and critically acclaimed MOXIE Theatre, kicking off their sweet sixteen season with a drama that is just as scrappy and innovative. Not only will they be filming the production for audiences to watch safely at home, but a documentary film will be created to capture the unique process of creating theatre during a pandemic.

Opening September 12, 2020 is Eleanor Burgess’ The Niceties: Set in an elite East Coast university, The Niceties features an ambitious young Black student and her esteemed white professor who meet to discuss a paper the college junior is writing about the American Revolution. They’re both liberal. They’re both women. They’re both brilliant. But very quickly they’re in dangerous territory – and facing stunning implications that can’t be undone. This timely production will be recorded on MOXIE’s stage and streamed with a live component using Zoom. Audiences can tune in and watch the play, meet the artists and enjoy pre-show and post-show live content as well as a clip from the documentary about making theatre during the time of COVID19.


The team has developed a safety plan for artists that is, in itself, an entire production. Rehearsals will happen almost exclusively on Zoom, designers will work in new creative ways on video chats with the actors and director, and the whole carefully orchestrated process, which even quarantines the props before they’re touched by actors, will be filmed by Canis Lupus Productions. The documentary will give audiences an in-depth look at the process as state and local safety guidelines shape the artistic process.

MOXIE expects the process for each production to shift with safety regulations throughout the season but is prepared to think creatively in order to ensure that the show goes on and artists and audiences are safe. “Our mission is more vital than ever,” Executive Artistic Director Jennifer Eve Thorn says. “Women are being called on to do some heavy lifting as we move through this moment. Most of the parenting and care-giving work is carried by women and it’s vital that their voices don’t take a back seat. MOXIE exists to lift women’s voices and we won’t be derailed in our work now when it means so much. We’ll just have to get more creative.” Tune in starting September 12, 2020 to see what that looks like.

Set Design, Julie Lorenz; Costume Design, Faith James; Lighting Design, Cynthia Bloodgood; Sound Design, Mason Pilvesky; Properties Design, Angelica Ynfante; Stage Management, Beonica Bullard; Assistant Director, Vanessa Duron.


The Niceties
MOXIE Theatre, virtually
runs September 12-October 04, 2020
for tickets, call 858-598-7620 or visit MOXIE

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