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Spring Repertory Season at Burning Coal in Raleigh | Apr 15 – May 1

Burning Coal Theatre Company of Raleigh, NC will present two plays in repertory, Gee’s Bend by Elyzabeth Gregory Wilder and Southeastern Center for Contemporary Arts by Angus MacLachlan April 15 – May 2, 2010 at Meymandi Theatre at the Murphey School, 224 Polk Street, Raleigh.  Performances are Thursdays through Saturdays at 7:30 pm and Sundays at 2 pm.  Tickets are $20 or $15 for students, Seniors and Active Military.  Thursday tickets are $10.  Sunday, April 18 at 2 pm is Audio Described for the Hearing Impaired and ‘Pay What You Can’ day.  Gee’s Bend performs April 16, 18, 22, 24, 30 and May 2, 2010.  Southeastern performs April 15, 17, 23, 25, 29 and May 1, 2010.  For reservations, please call 919-834-4001 or visit us at www.burningcoal.org.

Sherida McMullan and William Byrd Wilkins in the Burning Coal Theatre Company production of Gee’s Bend by Elyzabeth Gregory Wilder, directed by Marc Williams (photo by the Right Image Photography, Inc).

Sherida McMullan and William Byrd Wilkins in the Burning Coal Theatre Company production of Gee’s Bend by Elyzabeth Gregory Wilder, directed by Marc Williams (photo by the Right Image Photography, Inc).

ABOUT GEE’S BEND
Gee’s Bend by Elyzabeth Gregory Wilder is based on the true story of the quilters of Gee’s Bend, Alabama, whose innovative quilts now hang in our nation’s most prestigious art museums.  Through family, faith, and quilting, the members of this isolated African-American community survived slavery, the Great Depression, and Jim Crow, in their journey toward becoming great American artists.

Sherida McMullan, Yolanda Rabun and MeMe Cowans in the Burning Coal Theatre Company production of Gee’s Bend by Elyzabeth Gregory Wilder, directed by Marc Williams (photo by the Right Image Photography, Inc).

Sherida McMullan, Yolanda Rabun and MeMe Cowans in the Burning Coal Theatre Company production of Gee’s Bend by Elyzabeth Gregory Wilder, directed by Marc Williams (photo by the Right Image Photography, Inc).

ABOUT THE QUILTS TO BE USED IN GEE’S BEND. Burning Coal Theatre Company collaborated with quilters and quilting guilds from across the state of North Carolina, who have designed and constructed nearly a dozen custom-made quilts for the production. At the April 24th Lobby Lecture (6:15 pm), these artists will display their Gee’s Bend-inspired quilts and discuss the process of designing and building these quilts.  The panel will include members of the Gate City Quilt Guild in Greensboro, the Capital Quilters Guild and Ebony Raleigh Area Group Stitchers in Raleigh, and the African-American Quilt Circle and the Durham-Orange Quilters’ Guild in Durham.  The quilts will then be auctioned off on-line.  They may be viewed at http://www.burningcoalquilts.com/quilts/Auction.html.

ABOUT THE DIRECTOR
Marc Williams is Resident Dramaturg for Burning Coal Theatre, where he previously served as Director of New Works.  Other directing credits include Goodnight Desdemona/Good Morning Juliet, Pippin, The Shadow Box, How Water Speaks to Rock, Lovers & Executioners, The Jewish Wife, Cloud 9, Crimes of the Heart, On Golden Pond, The House of Yes, Laundry and Bourbon, and The Water Engine. He is a past recipient of the Leighton Ballew Directing Award from the Southeastern Theatre Conference and currently teaches theatre at University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

ABOUT SOUTHEASTERN CENTER FOR CONTEMPORARY ARTS
Southeastern’ is a comedy by Winston-Salem based playwright Angus MacLachlan.  It concerns a young writer living in that North Carolina city, working to make a life for himself in the arts while dealing with the very real needs of two women, his sister and a young college professor who has recently moved to town and taken up residence squarely in his heart.

Emily Rieder and Aaron Mills in the Burning Coal Theatre Company production of Southeastern Center for Contemporary Arts by Angus MacLachlan, directed by Kathryn Milliken LeTrent (photo by the Right Image Photography, Inc).

Emily Rieder and Aaron Mills in the Burning Coal Theatre Company production of Southeastern Center for Contemporary Arts by Angus MacLachlan, directed by Kathryn Milliken LeTrent (photo by the Right Image Photography, Inc).

ABOUT THE DIRECTOR
Kathryn Milliken LeTrent marks her Burning Coal mainstage debut with this production.  She has directed Howie The Rookie by Mark O’Rowe and Checkhov’s The Cherry Orchard for Burning Coal’s ‘Wait ‘Til You See This!’ series (both co-productions with Durham’s Delta Boys Theatre).  Kathryn holds a BFA in Theatre from New York University.  She grew up in China, where she became fluent in Mandarin.  Later this year she will direct her own adaptation of Shakespeare’s Titus Andronicus for The Distillery.

ABOUT THE PLAYWRIGHT
Angus MacLachlan is a playwright, screenwriter and actor living in Winston-Salem, NC.  His play THE DEAD EYE BOY was selected as the 2000 Lois and Richard Rosenthal New Play Prize Award Winner and premiered by Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park.  It was a finalist for the Steinberg New Play Prize, presented by the American Theater Critics Association, and, starring Lili Taylor, opened in NY at the Manhattan Class Company in April, 2001. It was nominated for two Drama Desk Awards.  In January of 2002 it opened in London at the Hampstead Theatre, starring Olivier Award winner Brendan Coyle.  It is published by Dramatists Play Service.  His play BRIDGE won the 2000 New Works prize presented by Actor’s Theatre of Santa Rosa. In 2001 the Williamstown Theatre Festival nominated Angus for the Kesselring Prize. In 2002 he was commissioned by Woolly Mammoth Theatre in Washington, D.C.  The play, ‘THE RADIANT ABYSS’ premiered at the Kennedy Center in June 2004.  He wrote the screenplay for the film JUNEBUG, which was selected for the 2005 Sundance Film Festival, and won a Special Jury Citation for Acting for Amy Adams.  JUNEBUG was selected as ‘Best Screenplay, 2005’ by the International Cinephile Society. The film was listed on over 50 Top Ten lists for 2005. Amy Adams was nominated for a ‘Best Supporting Actress’ Oscar.  His original screenplay, STONE, starring Robert Deniro, Edward Norton, and Mila Jovovich, directed by John Curran, will be released by Overture Films in 2010.

Reservations recommended.  For further information, please contact Burning at 919.834.4001.

Burning Coal Theatre Company is one of Raleigh’s small, professional theatre companies.  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. For more information, visit www.burningcoal.org

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