Taught by Burning Coal's Education Director

Willpower! is Burning Coal’s Education Outreach program for public and private schools throughout central North Carolina.  The residencies bring a trained, professional theatre artist into the school to conduct a workshop or performance with the drama, theatre, or English classes.

Originally developed to educate elementary, middle, and high school students about the works of William Shakespeare, it has since developed into a tailored curriculum for students covering topics such as the art of voice, musical theatre, movement, and playwriting. Read More »

Submit to KidsWrite

All students, grades 6-12

March 09, 2015

Submission Deadline

SUBMIT YOUR ONE-ACT PLAY in Standard Manuscript Format

To encourage the young writers of North Carolina, Burning Coal each year holds a festival of new plays, written by students from 6th grade to 12th grade from Wake and surrounding counties in North Carolina. We will be accepting submissions of one-act plays from students and producing a number of them in May 2015 at the Murphey School. Please help us spread the word and help our next generation of writers!

All original one-act plays, less than 45 pages in standard manuscript format and written by a student, grades 6 through 12, are eligible.  Please send submissions along with a letter including your name, address, email address or phone number, grade and school.

Submissions must be received by March 9, 2015 (EXTENDED ONE WEEK DUE TO WEATHER).  Writers will be notified by mid-April.

Schools Tour

This year‘s play is Romeo and Juliet

$900  One performance
$1700  Two performances

Written by William Shakespeare

On tour March 9 - 13, 2015

Run time: 55-85 minutes as needed

Burning Coal will come to you! Have us perform a classical play (this year, Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare) at your school for the entire student body! Performances can take place morning or afternoon. The production is flexible and self-contained; all we need is a blank stage. Performances followed by a talkback with cast, and accompanied with a study guide to the performance.


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.




Jun 15 – Jun 26, 2015

10 am – 3 pm on Monday – Friday

$245  DUE on or before the first day of the program.


Students in grades 6-8

Taught by Burning Coal's Director of Education

Performance Friday, June 27th, 2014 at 7 pm

A two week conservatory for students in grades 6-8 who want to explore all the possibilities the theatre offers.  Students learn techniques of movement, vocal production, and character study in the mornings and apply those techniques in rehearsing an original play in the afternoons, with a culminating production of that play created by the students themselves at the end of the session.  Taught by Burning Coal’s Director of Education.


ShakeScenes introduces 3rd through 12th graders to the works of William Shakespeare, emphasizing through games, exercises, and performances that Shakespeare is fun, not hard!
By introducing students to Shakespeare at an early age, it debunks many of the students’ preconceived myths that Shakespeare is boring, old, and hard to understand. 
The interactive and fun nature of ShakeScenes serves to clear roadblocks in their future education by making students enthusiastic about Shakespeare!

ShakeScenes Packages

Includes five days of class instruction, activities, games, and discussions (up to three consecutive hours a day) with Burning Coal’s Director of Education Jonathan Fitts that makes Shakespeare accessible and fun!
Burning Coal’s troupe of professional actors come to your school and perform  a variety of scenes from Shakespeare’s most famous works, including A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Romeo & Juliet, and Much Ado About Nothing as part of an interactive show! This 50 minute performance is open to the entire student body and is narrated by Director of Education Jonathan Fitts, with a discussion following the performance.
If you have trouble choosing one, have both our residency teaching program and single performance compliment one another as you open the works of Shakespeare to your students on a fun, interactive level!


Jul 13 – Jul 31, 2015

10 am – 4 pm on Monday – Friday

This year‘s play is Henry V

$395  DUE at time of your audition for the play.


Students in grades 9-12

July 01, 2015

You will be contacted regarding auditions for the play (Henry V) following enrollment.

Written by one Wm. Shakespeare

Taught by Burning Coal's Director of Education

STC Sr. is our intensive, three-week conservatory for high school students interested in rigorous, professional training.

The conservatories are led by Burning Coal’s Education Director.

Last year, we  were joined by guest artists from colleges and professional theatres around the state, including UNC/PlayMaker’s lead actor Ray Dooley.  Similar quality educators will be hired again this year!  Students will learn a wide variety of subjects and techniques in classes with guest artists from fine educational institutions and professional theatres like: Read More »

Watch the STC Promo


A drama based program designed to strengthen oral communication and language literacy in young ESL learners, while nurturing creativity, cooperation And confidence.

TEATRO utilizes improvisation, role play, theatre games, monologues, dialogues and bilingual scripts (commercial and student generated) to enhance academic skills, honor cultural diversity and foster achievement.

TEATRO is aligned with the North Carolina Standard Course of Study and may be adapted for various grade levels and residencies of varied duration. Instructor will work with administrators and teachers to tailor a program specific to the needs of your ESL population. Read More »


Past Productions & Events

The following shows/events have passed.


Uta Hagen Class

Jun 9 – Jul 28, 2014

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 »

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.

Commedia Workshop with Kevin Otos

Nov 2, 2013

12 pm - 5 pm on Saturday

$60  Workshop fee

Learn and experience the Commedia dell’Arte with Kevin Otos in this dynamic, on-your-feet engaged workshop Saturday, November 2nd from noon to 5pm at the Burning Coal Theatre, 224 Polk Street, Raleigh. Participants will discover and explore the characters, lazzi, and masks associated with this vital style through a series of invigorating exercises and structured improvisations.  This workshop is designed for both those familiar and unfamiliar with Commedia; everyone is welcome to experience this visceral style.  Workshop fee:  $60.  To reserve your space, please call 919.834.4001 today. Read More »

KidsWrite Performance Festival

May 30 – Jun 1, 2014

7:30 pm on Friday – Saturday
2 pm on Sunday

$10  Regular Admission

To encourage the young writers of North Carolina, Burning Coal will hold its 7th annual festival of new plays, written by students from 6th grade to 12th grade.  The KidsWrite 2014 Festival of New Plays will include:

Odyssey to Mars by Evan J. Hunt (Wake Young Men’s Leadership Academy)
Five Stages by Miles Ndukwe (Millbrook High School)
The Auxiliary Father by Sophia Holmes (Research Triangle High School)
Elements by Michelle McGoogan (Enloe High School)
To Fill the Abyss: A Play on True Happiness by Nikhil Milind (Wake Young Men’s Leadership Academy)