Playwriting: Building a Play

Sep 8 – Oct 20, 2014

$155  For six sessions, payable on or prior to the first day of class. (Off Oct. 6th)

Taught by Jonathan Fitts

This is an intensive laboratory to sharpen both your skills as a dramatist and your play, taught by Burning Coal’s Director of Education. 

Participants are expected to bring a completed play with them to class to be workshopped over the course of the six-week class.   In addition to further studies about the theory and practice of playwriting, students will learn about the new play development process, including moderating and understanding criticism; effective strategies for rewriting; structuring workshop goals; and how to identify, shape, and stay true to the story you want to tell.  Students will also have the opportunity to talk with professional directors and actors about their experience working with new plays and receive feedback on their plays.  Students will be expected to both read and write outside of class.

The class will conclude with a public staged reading of excerpts from student plays.

Some playwriting experience is recommended, but not necessary.  All students must have a completed play (one act or full-length) that they will commit to working on during the six-week class.

Space is very limited and, since the curriculum will vary depending upon student plays, early registration is encouraged. 

When: Monday evenings from 6:00pm-9:00pm. Sept 8, Sept 15, Sept 22, Sept 29, Oct 13, and Oct 20.


Jan 5 – Feb 9, 2015

6:30 pm – 9:30 pm on Monday

$155  DUE on or prior to the first day of the first day of class

Taught by Jonathan Fitts

Love the movies?  Interested in writing them?  Learn how!  Burning Coal’s Director of Education leads a six-session class on the delicate art of writing a marketable, producible, and compelling screenplay.  Learn everything from format, to structure, to how to make your action lines pop off the page, and how to keep your reader hooked!  Suitable for anyone interested in screenwriting.  No experience necessary.




Auditions Held
9 am – 5:30 pm on June 13, 2015

Please Bring
2 copies of Picture & Resume (if you have one)
1 minute contemporary monologue
16 bars from a gospel or soul song (if auditioning for The Wiz)

Burning Coal firmly believes in the principle of race, age and gender non-specific casting and actively seeks minority actors, directors, designers, and technicians for participation in ALL its events!  

Auditions for the 2015/16 Season at Burning Coal for both Equity and non-Equity actors of all ages, genders, races and experience levels will be held on Saturday, June 13th at Burning Coal Theatre, 224 Polk Street, Raleigh, NC 27604.  Timeslots available from 9 a.m. to 5:30 pm.  In order to book an appointment, please email with a time of day when you would like to audition and we will respond back with the nearest available timeslot (include emailable copy of picture/resume if possible).  Callbacks will be held on the morning of June 14th.

The season, as it is now known, is shown below and includes roles for EVERYONE.  Auditions will be for both mainstage and second stage seasons, plus smaller projects.  Many directors will be in attendance, so come and be seen!

The season will include: Read More »

Uta Hagen Class

Jul 13 – Aug 31, 2015

7 pm – 10 pm on Monday

$200  payable on or prior to the first day of class

Taught by Jerome Davis

Work on scenes from great modern plays with Burning Coal Theatre Company.  Burning Coal’s Artistic Director, Jerome Davis will again lead his annual, eight-week scene study class based on the concepts expressed in Uta Hagen’s landmark book Respect for Acting. Davis studied with Uta Hagen at HB Studios in New York for seven years. Class will be founded in Hagen’s “object exercises.” Students will have the opportunity to work each week on scenes Read More »


Past Productions & Events

The following shows/events have passed.


THE IDEAL SPEAKER: Actor’s Tools for All Professions

Apr 14 – May 5, 2014

6:30 pm – 9:30 pm on Monday

$120  Due on or before the first class

Taught by Director of Education Jonathan Fitts

Learn to utilize an actor’s tools of confidence, articulation, and improvisation in your professional life!  Burning Coal Theatre Company’s Director of Education, Jonathan Fitts (MFA/NYU, 2013), will teach a four-week class on the art of public speaking. Learn how to command an audience and make a splash at your next board meeting or presentation!

Jon holds an MFA in Dramatic Writing from NYU and an undergraduate degree in theatre from Appalachian State University.  He is a published playwright, an accomplished musician and composer, and has acted extensively at Burning Coal (HAIR, Einstein’s Dreams) and elsewhere.

Up From the Ground

Oct 2, 2013

7 pm on Wednesday

$5  Suggested Donation

Murphey School Auditorium

Written by Ian Finley

Up From the Ground is an original play by 2012 Piedmont Laureate Ian Finley about how our heritage, hopes and values are reflected in the food we eat.  Written as part of the Laureate program, Up From the Ground will receive its world-premier reading at Burning Coal Theatre Company on Wednesday, October 2nd, 7:00pm as part of their New Works series. Read More »

Aurora Borealis

Jun 26 – Jun 26, 2013

7 pm on Wednesday

Murphey School Auditorium

Written by Kelly Doyle

Directed by Steph Scribner

Free with suggested donation of $5 at the door

Staged reading of new play by Kelly Doyle (Blue, Dirt, Agnes the Giant), directed by Steph Scribner.  When Aurora returns home after spending nearly two years in prison, she finds  her brother Milo’s hoarder girlfriend has moved into the house and filled it  with mountains of well-organized garbage. On the other side of town, Milo has a  violent altercation with a rescue worker while he singlehandedly attempts to  protect the CSA produce from a hailstorm. When they finally meet, dark secrets  from childhood are revealed and resolved as they attempt to reconcile after  years of estrangement and misunderstanding. Alternatively disturbing and drily  funny, “Aurora Borealis” explores how we escape the traps in life that we set  for ourselves and become lost in.”

Estimated run time: 1.5 hours.