Dancing Lessons

March 1 – 17, 2019

Fri & Sat @ 7:30pm / Sun @ 2pm

A heartwarming story laced with humor about a young man with Asperger’s syndrome seeking the instruction of an injured dancer in order to survive an awards dinner. As their relationship unfolds, they’re both caught off-guard by the discoveries that they make about each other and themselves.

“CRITIC’S CHOICE!” – SD Union-Tribune

“Under the perceptive and empathic direction of Meg DeBoard, the piece is beautifully played for both laughter and pathos…  Michelle Marie Trester, a highly versatile local favorite, is marvelous as the prickly, defensive Senga, and Andrew Gumm is spectacular as Ever; he perfectly captures both the intelligence and the sometimes self-aware social ineptitude.” – Pat Launer, Times of San Diego

“Meg DeBoard directs this lovely piece with a sure hand and an eye for comedy and pathos, both of which exist in abundance…  Trester is terrific as the dancer fearful of losing her identity. You can feel her wish to let go again … and her fear that she may never be able to do it again. Gumm is astonishing in the difficult role of Ever, a man with verbal diarrhea but a phobia about any connection closer than talking distance.” – Jean Lowerison, San Diego Gay and Lesbian Times

Click to See a Preview:

(Dancing Lessons is a co-production with Scripps Ranch Theatre)

Masters Kitchen special!  Dinner and Dancing Lessons for $46!  To purchase the Masters dinner package, click the “Purchase Tickets” button, select your date and seat choices, then select “Dinner + Ticket” from the Type dropdown.    Click for more information and menu.


Andrew Gumm (Ever) is excited to be working with OTC for the first time. He is high school teacher of theatre and film. His recent stage work has included Twelfth Night, A Midsummer Nights Dream, A Tuna Christmas, and Hamlet. His film work includes, You’ve Seen This Before We Know, and Repeat After Me (winner of best comedy at San Diego Comic Con Film Fest).

Michelle Marie Trester (Senga)  is returning to OTC after appearing in Same Time, Next Year last season. San Diego credits include: Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley (New Village Arts), Blithe Spirit (North Coast Repertory Theatre), Romeo, Romeo & Juliet (The Roustabouts Theatre Co.), The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds (Cygnet Theatre), 4000 Miles (ion theatre), Hand to God (u/s) (San Diego Repertory Theatre),  Hackathon (Playwrights Project), Baskerville: A Sherlock Holmes Mystery (SRT), and Noises Off (Premiere Productions at Welk Resort). Elsewhere: Fight Dreams (Williamstown Theatre Festival), The XYZ Files (Off-Broadway), Little Piece of You (NYC International Fringe Festival), and the title role in Henry VI (The New School for Drama). She has also toured with her solo theatrical clowning show TO DO: to various festivals including the NYC International Fringe Festival. Film/Television credits include: “Deadly Devotion” (Discovery ID), “Mary Pillard 2016” (Safe Circle Productions). MFA, The New School for Drama. www.MichelleMarieTrester.com

Production Team

Meg DeBoard (Director) is happy to be directing at SRT and OTC for the first time. Directing credits include Failure: A Love Story, Bus Stop, James and the Giant Peach, Little Women, A Wrinkle in Time, Into the Woods, And Then They Came For Me, Lulu, Seussical, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (Hawai’i Premiere), Urinetown, and The Wizard of Oz. She has assistant directed numerous times at La Jolla Playhouse, The Old Globe and Cygnet Theatre. Meg is the Director of Theatre at Point Loma Nazarene University, a board member for the Big Bridge Theatre Consortium and holds an MFA in Theatre Directing from The University of Essex in London. Up next: Spring Awakening the Musical and an Arlene Hutton World Premiere.

Charmaine Reed (Stage Manager) just finished She Loves Me at SRT. PSM for The Roustabouts Theatre Company for their first two seasons, PSM for the Playwrights Project Young Playwright’s Festival 2017,2018 at The Old Globe Theatre. Favorites include; Vanya and Masha and Sonia and Spike and Murder at the Howard Johnson’s (SRT), Amazons and Their Men (Diversionary): Intern, How the Grinch Stole Christmas (The Old Globe). She has decades of theatre experience performing and teaching, a Technical Theatre degree from Palomar College, a B.A. in History from CSUSM, where she also earned a Teaching Credential.

Danita Lee (Costume Designer) Danita is thrilled to be part of this production! Some favorite and notable projects: The Madres and brownsville song (b-side for Tray) (MOXIE), Bad Jews (Cygnet), Soul Fire (Playwrights Project). ACD credits include: Guys & Dolls and The Imaginary Invalid (Old Globe Theatre), Constellations (Hangar Theatre), The Rocky Horror Show (Cygnet), Chagall (La Jolla Playhouse/Malashock Dance), and The Underpants (NCRT). She holds undergraduate degrees from UCSD and an MFA in Costume Design from SDSU. Thanks to this show’s incredible team, Michael J., the Lee family, and SW! danitalee.com

Ted Leib (Production Manager, Lighting, Sound, and Projection Designer)  Ted’s sound design credits include eight shows for SRT and six for Oceanside Theatre Company, plus Spelling Bee for Intrepid Theatre Company. His lighting credits include Red at OTC and he has designed projections for SRT’s Lettice and Lovage and OTC’s A Christmas Carol: A Radio Play.  As an actor Ted has appeared in over 30 stage productions in San Diego and Orange Counties. He serves currently on the SRT board and as artistic director for Oceanside Theatre Company.  He directed SRT’s most recent show, She Loves Me.

Sue Givens  (Properties) is very happy to be working with SRT again, following her work on She Loves Me and Communicating Doors. She has been Stage Manager, ASM and props coordinator throughout Southern California, with regional theaters as well as youth theaters. Sue has recently branched out, having worked as script supervisor on an independent feature film, and was Production Manager for the Carlsbad Music Festival.

Rogelio Rosales (Set Construction)

Zachary Elliott (Scenic Painting & Finishing)  graduated from MiraCosta College with an Associate’s Degree in Technical Theatre and is currently on staff as the Department’s paint charge artist as well as designing show for their stage and other theatres in the area.  He has been involved with several shows at OTC, including the scenic painting and finishing for A Christmas Carol: A Radio Play and Deathtrap, as well as the artwork and scenic painting for OTC’s critically-acclaimed production of RED.

Dancing Lessons was a co-production of OTC and Scripps Ranch Theatre.  Press photos can be found on SRT’s website:  http://www.scrippsranchtheatre.org/dancinglessons2019/