Burning Coal Theatre Company Receives Grant from Fletcher Foundation to Support its Upcoming Iron Curtain Trilogy

Burning Coal Theatre Company announced today that A.J. Fletcher Foundation has awarded the Raleigh-based professional theatre a $37,500 matching grant in support of its upcoming production of The Iron Curtain Trilogy by the British playwright David Edgar. The Trilogy will be performed in repertory from September 4 - 27, 2014 and then moved to London's Cockpit Theatre for a three week run November 13 - 30, 2014. These performances will be the first ever of this powerful trilogy.

Burning Coal will collaborate with the Wake County Public School System in creating a history curriculum for its students. Included will be a workshop with the Tony Award-winning playwright, the creation of a comprehensive study guide, and an interactive website created in partnership with UNC-Chapel Hill's Department of European Studies and their continuing education series, Adventures in Learning.

The Trilogy and events surrounding aims to create a greater understanding of the Cold War, the impact of the fall of the Iron Curtain on Europe and the world.

ABOUT THE PLAYWRIGHT. David Edgar is a Tony Award-winning playwright from Birmingham, England. His adaptation of Charles Dickens' Nicholas Nickleby played at the Royal Shakespeare Company, on London's West End and on Broadway in the 1980s. It was filmed by the BBC and broadcast over PBS many times. Edgar's other plays including Destiny (RSC, 1986), Maydays (RSC, 1983), Albert Speer (National Theatre, 2003), Continental Divide (Oregon Shakespeare Festival, 2000) and Written on the Heart (RSC, 2011 and West End, 2012). David sat down and began writing The Shape of the Table the morning after the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. In 1995, in response to the rampant ethnic cleansing occurring in Eastern Europe, he wrote Pentecost (RSC, 1995). In 1998, in the midst of the efforts to find a diplomatic solution to ethnic cleansing on the part of the US and other western powers, David wrote The Prisoner's Dilemma. Each of these three plays looks at a particular facet of the dissolution of the Iron Curtain and the reshaping of Eastern Europe, its aftermath and its continuing impact on the rest of the world (see Arab Spring, Georgia and Ukraine, etc). David is a regular contributor to The Guardian and created the first advanced degree in playwriting offered in England at the University of Birmingham. He has written many radio plays for the BBC and elsewhere, many books on theatre, including How Plays Work (2010) and the screenplay to the film Lady Jane, directed by Trevor Nunn.

ABOUT BURNING COAL THEATRE. Burning Coal is an intimate, professional theatre about to begin its 18th season in North Carolina. It currently occupies the Murphey School auditorium at 224 Polk Street in Raleigh. It has presented dozens of world, US or North Carolina premieres, including Terry Milner's The Jesus Fund, Randy Rand and Floraine Kay's Uncle Tom's Cabin and Ian Finley's 1960 and his adaptation of Jude the Obscure by Thomas Hardy. Burning Coal has received the IndyWeek Award for Excellence in the Arts, the George A. Parides Award for Professional Theatre in North Carolina and has seen numerous productions named on "year's best" lists over the last 17 years.

For further information, please contact Burning Coal's managing director, Simmie Kastner, at 919.834.4001 or visit our website at www.burningcoal.org.

ABOUT A.J. FLETCHER FOUNDATION. The mission of A.J. Fletcher Foundation is to support nonprofit organizations in their endeavors to enrich the lives and well-being of people in North Carolina. To achieve this, AJF partners with nonprofit organizations that recognize and solve social and civic problems and provides resources to advance big, bold ideas. To learn more, please visit www.ajf.org.

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