The Cherry Orchard, Silent Sky, and More To Be Presented In Burning Coal Theatre Company's 26th Season

Burning Coal Theatre Company will present its 26th season (2022 – 2023) in Raleigh, NC.

By: Jul. 23, 2022
The Cherry Orchard, Silent Sky, and More To Be Presented In Burning Coal Theatre Company's 26th Season
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Burning Coal Theatre Company will present its 26th season (2022 - 2023) in Raleigh, NC. This year, they will present the world premiere of a great big woolly mammoth thawing from the ice by Tatty Hennessy (September 29 - October 16, 2022), Silent Sky by Lauren Gunderson (December 1 - 18, 2022), Mlima's Tale by Lynn Nottage (January 26 - February 12, 2023) and The Cherry Orchard by Anton Chekhov (April 6 - 23, 2023). All performances are Thursdays through Saturdays at 7:30 pm and Sunday at 2 pm and will take place at Burning Coal Theatre Company, 224 Polk Street, Raleigh, NC unless otherwise noted. Tickets are $30, $25 for seniors (65+) and $20 (students, teachers, active military). Tickets are $5 for anyone 18 or under for all Thursday and Friday night shows. All Thursday night tickets are $20.

Artistic director Jerome Davis says, "The season focuses on the connectivity of our world - the natural and man-made systems that bind us together. Climate, money, political and social structures impact all our lives and the choices we make can ripple (for better or worse) across space and time."

All performances will take place at Burning Coal Theatre, 224 Polk Street, Raleigh, NC 27604. Performances are Thursdays through Saturdays at 7:30 pm and Sundays at 2 pm. All tickets are general admission for $30, or $25 for seniors (65+) or $20 (students, teachers, active military). Additional ticket discounts can be found on our Plan Your Visit webpage (, including new $5 tickets for students 18 and under on Thursdays and Fridays. Tickets and additional information can be found at or by calling the box office at (919) 834-4001.

MAIN STAGE PLAY #1: a great big woolly mammoth thawing from the ice
In Alaska, an activist, a tech giant, and an oil driller meet in a bar. The temperature is rising, and who knows what buried treasures they might find in the glacial wreckage. Hennessy was inspired to write this play by a New York Times article by Kenneth Chang titled, "Mammoth's Rambling Life Mapped Out from Study of Its Tusks." The play encourages a nuanced look at the impact of climate change on personal relationships.

This is a world premiere by London playwright Tatty Hennessy, commissioned by Burning Coal Theatre. London-based director Lucy Jane Atkinson is coming back to direct for Burning Coal for a second time, following the success of last year's production I And You by Lauren Gunderson. Atkinson recently assistant directed the world premiere of David Eldridge's Middle at London's Royal National Theatre.

About Tatty Hennessy
Tatty Hennessy is an award-winning playwright, dramaturg, and director whose work has been performed on the West End in London. In 2017 she won the Heretic Voices Monologue Competition with her play A Hundred Words for Snow which was produced by Heretic Voices at the Arcola Theatre, London. The play transferred to the Trafalgar Studios where it received 4 Offie nominations including Best New Play and Most Promising New Playwright. More recent work includes F* Off for the National Youth Theatre (2019 Edinburgh Fringe Festival). Previous work includes an adaptation of The Snow Queen (Theatre N16), All That Lives (Ovalhouse) and she has completed her first script for television, 'Kitty Kitty', which explores women and violence and the obsessive consumption of true crime stories.

MAIN STAGE PLAY #2: Silent Sky

Henrietta Leavitt dreams of being an astronomer but isn't allowed to touch a telescope. Be transported to the Harvard Observatory in the early 1900s and discover what really happened in Henrietta's battle for recognition. This true story is told in a family-friendly production directed by Rebecca Holderness (Einstein's Dreams, Crowns, Twelfth Night). Burning Coal plans to host a variety of events around this production in collaboration with area STEM organizations, including the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences.

About Lauren Gunderson
Lauren Gunderson has been the most produced playwright in America (whose name isn't William Shakespeare) in three of the last four years. Originally from Alabama, she now calls San Francisco home. Her work includes Silent Sky, which was originally scheduled for Burning Coal's 2019/2020, Ada and the Engine, The Book of Will, The Taming, and many others.

MAIN STAGE PLAY #3: Mlima's Tale
There's a ghost on the Ivory Highway. It follows the tusk of an elephant across thousands of miles, over land and sea, and feels each hand it touches along the way. Who is culpable in this underground global market? Can we learn from Mlima's Tale? And will we care?

Mlima's Tale is directed by Burning Coal's associate artistic director Ana Radulescu, who most recently directed Caryl Churchill's What If If Only (U.S. Premiere) and Air (World Premiere) at Burning Coal.

About Lynn Nottage
Lynn Nottage is currently the only woman to hold two Pulitzer Prizes in Drama, for Sweat and Ruined. She is a contemporary playwright who frequently writes about the Black experience in the U.S. and worldwide. Other works include Clyde's, Intimate Apparel, and Crumbs from The Table of Joy. Her awards include MacArthur "Genius Grant" Fellowship, TIME 100 (2019), Merit and Literature Award from The Academy of Arts and Letters, Columbia University Provost Grant, Doris Duke Artist Award, the National Black Theatre Fest's August Wilson Playwriting Award, a Guggenheim Grant, and Visiting Research Fellowship at Princeton University, among many others. She is a graduate of Brown University and the Yale School of Drama. She is also an Associate Professor in the Theatre Department at Columbia School of the Arts.

MAIN STAGE PLAY #4: The Cherry Orchard
It's workers vs. landlords in this brutally funny classic play. The old ways are dying, and one wealthy family just can't see it. They hold on to their traditions, even as their hold on society teeters on the brink. This deeply insightful play asks the question: are we all blind to our own complicity in inequality? And what will it take to snap us out of our slumber?

The Cherry Orchard first opened at the Moscow Art Theatre on January 17, 1904, the birthday of director Konstantin Stanislavski and less than a decade from the beginning of the revolution that brought the authoritarian Czarists' reign to an end. Burning Coal's production will be adapted and directed by OBIE-award winning artist and long-time collaborator Randolph Curtis Rand. Rand performed in Burning Coal's The Life of Galileo last season and directed The Wiz (2016) and To Kill a Mockingbird (2010).

About Anton Chekov
Playwright Anton Chekov (1860 - 1904) is often referred to as one of three playwrights who spearheaded the birth of early modernism in theatre, along with Henrik Ibsen and August Strindberg. His works contrasted with others of the time period because of their ability to represent how real people talk and behave, sparking a desire for naturalism that is the backbone of acting to this day. Other well-known works include The Seagull, Uncle Vanya, and Three Sisters.

Burning Coal Theatre Company is an intimate, professional theatre and an incorporated non-profit (501 (c)(3) organization in the heart of downtown Raleigh. Burning Coal's mission is to produce literate, visceral, affecting theatre that is experienced, not simply seen. It 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. The company works toward a theatre of high-energy performances and minimalist production values. The emphasis is on literate works that are felt and experienced viscerally to create an active role for the audience, unlike more traditional linear plays, at which audiences are most often asked to observe without participating.


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