Burning Coal Presents an Evening of Suspense, Blarney and a Pint or Two

The Burning Coal Theatre Company is proud to present Conor McPherson's The Weir, the story of what happens on a seemingly quiet evening in a rural Irish pub when the local boys are visited by a stranger. Directed by Jerome Davis, The Weir will play at Burning Coal's Murphey School Auditorium in downtown Raleigh from November 29th through December 16th. There will be a "pay what you can day" on Sunday December 2nd. Performances are November 29, 30 and December 1, 6, 7, 8, 13, 14 & 15 at 7:30 pm and December 2, 9 & 16th at 2 pm. Tickets are available now for $25, with a senior discount (65+) at $20, a student, teachers, and active military discount at $15 and student rush tickets for $5 (if available) at curtain. Those interested can secure their tickets online at burningcoal.org or by calling the box office at 919.834.4001.

The Weir offers an intimate look at the complexities of the individual human as it captures a quiet evening in a small pub in the Irish countryside. What begins as a normal run-of-the-mill night is disrupted by the arrival of an unexpected guest. The bar-goers swap ghostly tales of superstition, and folklore, but gradual the surface storytelling turns personal.

"What's remarkable about the play is how ordinary the characters seem to be, yet how much they show us about ourselves," says Director Jerome Davis. "The Weir demands that each audience member think about the people around them and consider the complexities that go into making a human being. The mechanic, the bartender, the realtor and the odd jobs man, each a seemingly ordinary person, but when you look beneath the carefully constructed exterior, you will always find a stunning story of struggle, strength, childhood hurt and the will to persevere. The Weir offers us a glimpse into the souls of five remarkable people - just like you and me."

The Weir first debut at The Royal Court Theatre in London in 1997. It played on Broadway at the Walter Kerr Theatre in 1999 and has since gone on to play in dozens of other cities around the globe, earning world recognition and a spot as one of the most significant plays of the late 20th century.

Conor McPherson is an Irish screenwriter, playwright and winner of the 1998 Critics' Circle Award for Best New Playwright. His other works include The Seafarer, Shining City, The Veil, and the Tony Award-nominated Shining City. The Weir earned McPherson an Olivier Award for best new play in 1999. McPherson has also adapted and written several screenplays, including The Eclipse, Strangers and the BBC television series Paula. McPherson's latest play, The Girl From the North Country, which includes music by Bob Dylan, opened at London's Old Vic Theatre, transferred to the West-End and recently opened the 2018/19 season at New York City's Public Theatre.

Jerome Davis is Burning Coal Theatre Company's founding artistic director. He has worked at Trinity Repertory Company (Providence), People's Light & Theatre Company (PA), New Jersey Shakespeare Festival, Phoenix Theatre (SUNY/Purchase), Wellfleet Harbor Actors' Theatre (Cape Cod), Columbia University, and Soho Rep, New Dramatists, Avalon Rep and Mint Theatre (NYC). Originally from Murfreesboro, Tennessee, he studied in New York with Uta Hagen, Nikos Psacharapolous and Julie Bovasso. For Burning Coal, he has directed Iphigenia in Splott, Sunday in the Park with George, Rat in the Skull, Pentecost, The Steward of Christendom, Winding the Ball, Night and Day, and Company. Elsewhere, he directed Of Mice & Men at the Temple Theatre, See How They Run at Sandhills Rep and Twelfth Night for Apex High School and Benjamin Britten's Turn of the Screw for NC Opera. He co-wrote The Man Who Tried to Save the World with Floraine Kay. In 2014, Jerome directed David Edgar's Iron Curtain Trilogy and took the three plays, and a company of 38 mostly North Carolinians to London for a three-week run at the Cockpit Theatre, garnering a 4-star review from the dean of London Theatre critics, Michael Billington. In November, 2018, he will be awarded the Raleigh Medal of Arts for his contribution to the arts in his adopted home town.

David Dossey, a Washington, DC based actor will play Finbar. Dossey appeared in Burning Coal's first production, Rat in the Skull by Ron Hutchinson, in 1997. He has worked with Mark Rylance and Julie Taymor, and now lives in Washington, DC. Simon Kaplan of Raleigh will play Jack. Simon most recently appeared at Burning Coal in the US premiere of David Edgar's Written on the Heart. Brendan, the barkeep will be played by Wilmington's Jordan Wolf. Jordan is a residence of Wilmington, NC. He recently played Poor Tom in a production of King Lear at Wilmington's DramTree Theatre. Jim, the odd jobs man, will be played by Lucius Robinson, a Raleigh native who recently appeared as Prince William in Burning Coal's King Charles III. Into the midst of 'the boys' comes Valerie (Greensboro's Emily Rieder), an urban young woman with her own ghosts to bear. Emily most recently appeared at Burning Coal in David Hare's Skylight.

The scenic design is by sound is by Tom Burch of Charlotte, NC, props are by Raleigh's Elizabeth Newton and Pittsburgh's Chris Popowich will design the lighting for the production. The costumes will be created by Raleigh's Lee Huddleston. The production stage manager will be Andy Hayworth of Raleigh.

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