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Burning Coal Announces its 2010/2011 Season

Burning Coal is excited to announce details of its 2010/2011 season of plays in Raleigh, NC.  All performances will be held at Burning Coal Theatre at the Murphey School (NOTE VENUE NAME CHANGE), 224 Polk Street, Raleigh, NC.  All tickets are $20 or $15 for students, seniors and active military.  Further details can be obtained by calling 919-834-4001 or visiting our website at

Burning Coal’s 2010/2011 season will include:  To Kill a Mockingbird by Christopher Sergel from the novel by Harper Lee directed by Randolph Curtis Rand (September 9 – 26, 2010),, St. Nicholas by Conor McPherson, directed by Randolph Curtis Rand (November 4 – 21, 2010), Crowns by Regina Taylor, directed by Rebecca Holderness (December 2 – 19, 2010), Blue by Kelly Doyle, directed by Mark Sutch (January 13 – 30, 2011) and The Shape of the Table by David Edgar, directed by Jerome Davis (April 7 – 24, 2011).

2010 is the 50th anniversary of the publication of Harper Lee’s essential Southern novel about a small town lawyer, Atticus Finch, and his decision to stand and fight bigotry and injustice.  It is told from the viewpoint of the widower Atticus’ young daughter, Scout.  Mr. Sergel’s stage adaptation is the only authorized stage adaptation of Ms. Lee’s novel.  As with a previous American novel, Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin (who many credit with leading to the Civil War and the Emancipation Proclamation), Miss Lee’s novel is widely regarded as a significant inspiration for the civil rights movement that took root during the 1960s.

Randolph Curtis Rand will direct a cast of nine, including Los Angeles based actor Liz Beckham, who has appeared at Burning Coal in Tartuffe and The Taming of the Shrew, and New York City-based actor Roger Rathburn, who has appeared on Broadway and at regional theatres across the country, including the Broadway revival of No No, Nanette directed by Busby Berkley.  Mr. Rand has directed for Burning Coal The Historie of King Henrie the Fourth and Uncle Tom’s Cabin and written an adaptation of Ibsen’s A Doll House.  He has acted at Burning Coal in Love’s Labours Lost, Pentecost, and recently in The Seafarer.  Mr. Rand founded The Drama Dept. in New York City with Douglas Carter Beane.  He is currently a member of the performance collective Elevator Repair Service.

Conor McPherson’s haunting and funny one-man show deals with a besotted Dublin theatre critic who falls in love with a young actress and follows her to London, and straight into a coven of vampires.  Mr. McPherson is also the author of The Weir and The Seafarer, both presented by Burning Coal in past seasons.

Randolph Curtis Rand (see above) will direct.  The production will feature Burning Coal’s Artistic Director, Jerome Davis, as the Critic.  Davis has acted at New Jersey Shakespeare Festival, People’s Light and Theatre Company, Trinity Repertory Company, Phoenix Theatre, W.H.A.T., and others.  In New York, he studied with Julie Bovasso, Nikos Psacharapolous and, for seven years, Uta Hagen.  He has worked or studied with Ellen Burstyn, Horton Foote, Ben Gazzarra, Richard Jenkins, Adrian Hall, David Wheeler, Hope Davis, Amanda Peet, Oliver Platt and Steve Harris.

Regina Taylor’s rollicking gospel musical is based loosely on a book of photography: Crowns: Portraits of Black Women in Church Hats by Michael Cunningham and Craig Marberry.  It details the tribulations of a young African American girl from New York City whose family send her to live with her grandmother in South Carolina after an act of violence shatters their family.

Crowns will be directed by Rebecca Holderness, who teaches theatre at the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee.  Ms. Holderness has directed for Burning Coal Love’s Labours Lost, A Doll House, Travesties, James Joyce’s ‘the Dead’, Twelfth Night and Romeo & Juliet.  In New York City, her production of The Life of Spiders at HERE was hailed by the New York Times as “beautiful”.  The production will star the original cast from the production Burning Coal mounted in 2008, including Yolanda Rabun, Emelia Cowans and Naima Adedapo.  The production is a collaboration between Burning Coal Theatre Company and the Temple Theatre in Sanford, NC, where the production will play in February, 2011.

Raleigh native Kelly Doyle’s play Blue will receive its world premiere at Burning Coal Theatre Company.  It is about a charismatic, morally bankrupt blue worm, William, and the women who love him.

Kelly Doyle holds an MFA in playwriting from Brown University in Providence, RI.  Her undergraduate degree is from CalArts.  Her plays Hole and Dirt each received readings at Burning Coal’s New Works program in past seasons.

The production will be directed by Davidson College associate professor of theatre, Mark Sutch, who directed last season’s Hair.  Mr. Sutch is a graduate of the Trinity Repertory Conservatory in Providence, Rhode Island.  Jenn Suchanec, who has appeared at Burning Coal in Pentecost, Inherit the Wind, Twelfth Night, The Prisoner’s Dilemma and Much Ado About Nothing, will star.

David Edgar’s Eastern Europe trilogy concludes at Burning Coal with his 1990 play, The Shape of the Table, in its American Premiere.  The play examines the fall of the Iron Curtain, as observed from inside the politburo of an unnamed Soviet satellite country.  Edgar’s trilogy includes The Prisoner’s Dilemma, about negotiations between cultures and Pentecost, about the spread of multiple cultures throughout Europe immediately following the collapse of communism there.

Artistic Director Jerome Davis will helm the production.  For Burning Coal, Davis has directed Rat in the Skull, Pentecost, Winding the Ball, The Steward of Christendom, Company, Taming of the Shrew, Hamlet, Inherit the Wind, 1960, The Seafarer and others.  The play will feature Rob Jenkins, John Allore, Tom McLeister, James Anderson and Tamara Farias Kraus.  Scenery and lighting will be provided by Rob Andrusko and Matthew Adelson, respectively.

For further information, please contact Burning Coal’s managing director, Simmie Kastner, at 919.834.4001 or visit our website at

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