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Burning Coal Theatre Company announces its 2014-15 Mainstage Season

The Burning Coal cast for David Edgar’s "The Shape of the Table" (photo by the Right Image Photography, Inc.)

The Burning Coal cast for David Edgar’s “The Shape of the Table” (photo by the Right Image Photography, Inc.)

Burning Coal Theatre Company of Raleigh, North Carolina announces its 2014/2015 mainstage season of plays.

It’s mainstage season includes the world premiere of David Edgar’s Iron Curtain Trilogy directed by Jerome Davis, three plays about the fall of communism in Europe presented to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall; Shakespeare’s classic love story Romeo & Juliet January 22 – February 15, 2015, directed by Emily Ranii; and Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine’s Pulitzer Prize winning musical Sunday in the Park with George April 9 – May 3, 2015, directed by Jerome Davis, music direction by Sujin Kim.  Tickets for all plays may be purchased by calling 919.834.4001 or by visiting

The Iron Curtain Trilogy will run in repertory at a site TBA from September 4 – 27, 2014.  The exact dates of each performance is shown below.  Performances of Romeo & Juliet and Sunday in the Park with George will be held at the Murphey School, 224 Polk Street, Raleigh, NC.  Tickets for all mainstage performances are $25 or $20 for seniors (65+) or $15 for all students, teachers and active military.  All Thursday night tickets are $10.


  • 9/4 at 7:30 pm
  • 9/11 at 7:30 pm
  • 9/13 at 2 pm
  • 9/14 at 2 pm
  • 9/18 at 7:30 pm
  • 9/25 at 7:30 pm

PENTECOST by David Edgar

  • 9/5 at 7:30 pm
  • 9/6 at 2 pm
  • 9/12 at 7:30 pm
  • 9/19 at 7:30 pm
  • 9/20 at 2 pm
  • 9/20 at 7:30 pm
  • 9/26 at 7:30 pm


  • 9/6 at 7:30 pm
  • 9/13 at 7:30 pm
  • 9/21 at 2 pm
  • 9/27 at 2 pm
  • 9/27 at 7:30 pm


On November 9, 1989, against all reasonable expectation, the Berlin Wall fell.  The next morning, British playwright David Edgar (Nicholas Nickleby, Written on the Heart, Maydays) began writing The Shape of the Table.  Table, which premiered at London’s National Theatre on the one-year anniversary of this historic event.  Over the next decade, Edgar continued to chronicle the reshaping of Eastern Europe (and the world) as a result of this cataclysmic event.  The second play, Pentecost, premiered at the Royal Shakespeare Company, transferred to London’s West End where it won London’s Evening Standard award as best new play of 1995.  In 1997, the final play in the trilogy, The Prisoner’s Dilemma premiered at London’s National Theatre.  Shape looks at the way power is fought for, shared, and relinquished.  Pentecost examines the role art and culture plays in shaping identity.  Prisoner’s asks the question:  how do we solve intractable problems?  And if the only answer is the worst answer, can we live with that?

ABOUT THE PLAYWRIGHT.  David Edgar created the first advanced degree in playwriting in England at the University of Birmingham.  He has served as president of England’s dramatists’ guild and is a frequent contributor to The Guardian.  His adaptation of Brecht’s Mother Courage is currently running at the Stratford Festival in Ontario, Canada.  His 2013 play If Only…. premiered at the Chichester Festival.  In 2011, the RSC presented his Written on the Heart about the creation of the King James Bible both in Stratford and on the West End.  Other plays include Continental Divide (two plays about the American political process), Maydays (about the failings of communism as a workable political position), and Ball Boys (about two Wimbledon ball boys plotting the murder of a Bjorn Borg-like tennis golden god).  That last one is a comedy.


Romeo & Juliet is a tragic love story about two young people who dare to defy their parents and find love with each other despite their family’s bitter and ages old rivalry.  Burning Coal presented Romeo & Juliet by William Shakespeare in its 2nd season.  Emily Ranii, then a fourteen year old middle schooler from Raleigh was cast as Juliet.  This year, she returns to direct the play as a professional theatre and opera director, based in Boston, Mass.  She recently received her MFA in directing from Boston University after receiving her undergraduate degree in theatre came from Cornell University in Ithaca, NY.  Emily recently directed Tongue of a Bird at New Repertory in Newton, Mass.  For Burning Coal, she has directed Brigadoon, Much Ado About Nothing and The Love Song of J. Robert Oppenheimer.


Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for drama, Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine’s Sunday in the Park with George premiered at the small, off-Broadway Playwrights’ Horizons before moving to Broadway.  It originally starred Mandy Patinkin as George and Bernadette Peters as Dot.  Its first act looks at the struggles of the young Georges Seurat and the effect of his blind devotion to his art on those around him.  The second act is set in the later part of the 20th century and asks how things have changed in the world (and in the world of art) since Seurat painted his masterpiece, A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of la Grande Jatte.  Artistic Director Jerome Davis will direct alongside music director Sujin Kim, a recent graduate of NYU and Boston University.

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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Burning Coal Theatre Company is one of Raleigh’s intimate, professional theatres.  Burning Coal is an incorporated, non-profit [501 (c) (3)] organization. Burning Coal’s mission is to produce literate, visceral, affecting theatre that is experienced, not simply seen. Burning Coal produces explosive reexaminations of overlooked classic and modern plays, as well as new plays, whose themes and issues are of immediate concern to our audience, using the best local, national and international artists available. We work toward a theatre of high-energy performances and minimalist production values. The emphasis is on literate works that are felt and experienced viscerally, unlike more traditional linear plays, at which audiences are most often asked to observe without participating. Race and gender non-specific casting is an integral component of our perspective, as well as an international viewpoint. 

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