Tom Stoppard's DARKSIDE to Make East Coast Debut at Burning Coal Theatre Company

Tom Stoppard's DARKSIDE to Make East Coast Debut at Burning Coal Theatre Company

Burning Coal Theatre Company will present the East Coast premiere of Darkside, a comedy by Tom Stoppard with music by Pink Floyd, directed by Pálína Jónsdóttir. The play will run October 12 - 14, 19 - 21, 26 - 28, 2017 at 7:30 pm and October 15, 22, and 29 at 2 pm at Burning Coal's Murphey School Auditorium, 224 Polk Street, Raleigh, NC 27604.

Tickets are $25 regular admission or $20 for seniors (65+) or $15 for students, teachers and active military. Student Rush tickets at curtain time, if available, are $5 apiece. The first Sunday, October 15th, is Pay What You Can Day and will be Audio described by Arts Access. All Thursday performances are $15 as are group tickets (10+) for any performance. Tickets and further information can be found at www.burningcoal.org or by calling 919.834.4001.

In 2013, to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the release of their groundbreaking album Dark Side of the Moon, the BBC in England commissioned playwright Tom Stoppard (Rosencrantz & Guildenstern are Dead, Travesties, Arcadia, Shakespeare in Love, etc) to write a radio play using the album as a framework. Stoppard, who is known throughout the world as the writer of comedic plays that mix together seemingly disparate themes into coherent and beguiling plays, created a play that posits the question: what if a person became so interested in ethical behavior that they actually became a character in a 'thought experiment'? From there, Stoppard leads his heroine on a wild and shaggy dog story through a series of 'what if's' and ethical considerations that finally emerges into the light of reality with a fierce call to act.

Considered by many to be the greatest living British playwright, Tom Stoppard was born in Czechoslovakia and moved to England to escape the Communist takeover of his country following the second world war. He began his writing career not as a playwright, but as a journalist. After a year working at a regional newspaper in his hometown, he penned Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead, a play first produced at London's National Theatre in 1966. The play, a dizzying blend of Shakespeare and late-60s radical questioning of authority ("There must have been a time when we could have said 'no'.") launchEd Stoppard to the forefront of the international theatre community ... but also saddled him with a label that has plagued him since: "All head, no heart." Subsequent plays such as The Real Inspector Hound (1968), Albert's Bridge (1969), Jumpers (1972), Travesties(1974 and at Burning Coal in 2002 and transferred by Burning Coal to Charleston's Piccolo Spoleto Fringe in 2003), Every Good Boy Deserves Favor(1977), The Real Thing (1982), Hapgood (1988) and Arcadia (1993) more or less continued the perpetuation of that idea, though with critics occasionally discovering that Stoppard did indeed have a heart, especially in his film scripts for Stephen Spielberg's Empire of the Sun (1987) andShakespeare in Love (Best Picture Oscar, 1997), co-written with Marc Norman. Later plays have included the three play trilogy The Coast of Utopia(2002) and Rock and Roll (2006). He has written extensively for radio, television and film, including Brazil for Terry Gilliam, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade for Spielberg and The Russia House from the novel by John Le Carre. Stoppard's most recent play, The Hard Problem, premiered at London's National Theatre in 2015 and asked the question: "how can a grouping of unconscious materials, such as those that make up the human body, lead to a state of consciousness?"

Pálína Jónsdóttir (Director) is a theatre and opera director from Iceland. She recently received her MFA in Directing from Columbia University in Manhattan, under the direction of Anne Bogart. She recently worked with Robert Lepage and Kaija Sarariaho for their production L´Amour de Loin at the Metropolitan Opera. As an actor, she has played Miss Julie in Miss Julie by August Strindberg, Solveg in Peer Gynt by Ibsen, Snæfríður in The Icelandic Clock by Laxness and Edda in Schiller by Night and her film credits include Devil´s Island, The Dance, In His Life-The John Lennon Storyand Wildlife. She holds a PGDip in Contemporary Dancing from the Conservatoire National Superior of Music and Dance in Lyon, France and she studied literature and philosophy in the University of Iceland. Pálína graduated from the Acting Program at The Icelandic Academy of the Arts and studied opera singing in The Reykjavík Academy of Singing and Vocal Arts and she holds a Diploma in Arts Education in Drama from the Icelandic Academy of the Arts.

Davitta Singletary of Raleigh will play Emily, the young student who falls into a 'thought experiment'. Ethics Man, her professor, will be played by New York City based actor Brian Linden. Marc Geller of New York will play Dr. Antrobus and Raleigh's Juan Isler will play The Man. Raleigh's Mac McCordy and Fred Corlett will play the Politician and the Banker, respectively, and Cody Hill (The Boy) and Vincent Bland (The Wise One) round out the cast. Montreal-based video designer Elliot Storey and Manhattan's Margaux Maight (Scenery), Elizabeth Newton of Raleigh (props) and Matthew Adelson of Massachusetts (lighting) form the design team, along with Ms. Jónsdóttir, who will work with Raleigh's Cassidy Nolde on costuming the production. Raleigh's Barry Jaked will serve as technical director and Alex Procknow of Raleigh will be stage manager.

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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