Concurrent with each mainstage production, Burning Coal will present one or more lectures conducted by guest scholars on topics central to the theme of the play being presented. These lectures will be presented at 6:00 pm prior to the play performance and will be free to anyone holding a reservation for any performance of the play (limited seating – availability on first come, first served basis).


AfterThoughts is a new series intended to take the place of our usual Lobby Lectures series of audience talkbacks.  In this series, we will interview people with profound experiences, knowledge of and information about the themes and ideas of each of our mainstage productions.


Gemma BarnettWEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 21, 2020.  Gemma Barnett, ‘Rory’ in the West End (London) production of A Hundred Words for Snow, for which she won the prestigious Offie Award in 2019 joins us to talk about Snow, about Rory and about her just beginning career as a professional actor during the times of the pandemic.




Caroline Hamilton - snowWEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 28, 2020. Caroline Hamilton is part of the first all-women team to ski to both the North and South Poles. Hauling sledges more than her own bodyweight, she travelled 500 miles to the North Pole in 2002 and 700 miles to the South Pole in 2000. She also played a crucial role in the first all-woman relay to the North Pole in 1997.


Past Productions & Events

The following shows/events have passed.


Global Climate Change Panel Discussion

Sep 21, 2013

Prior to  The Heretic

Burning Coal Theatre Company will hold its first “Lobby Lecture” of the 2013/2014 season, a panel discussion on the subject of global climate change, in conjunction with its current production, The Heretic by Richard Bean. The event will take place at 6 pm on Saturday, September 21, 2013 at Burning Coal Theatre, 224 Polk Street, Raleigh.  Tickets are $5 or free to anyone holding a ticket to any performance of The Heretic

The Heretic continues its run at Burning Coal Theatre Thursdays through Saturdays at 7:30 pm and Sundays at 2 pm. All tickets to The Heretic are $25, $20 for seniors (65+), $15 for students and $15 or everyone on Thursday nights, and may be obtained by calling 919.834.4001 or visiting    


Anant Aiyyer is a professor of Atmospheric Science at North Carolina State University. His research areas include weather systems of the tropics (e.g., Hurricanes) and climate variability. He has a PhD from the State University of New York and a Master’s degree in Physics from Indian Institute of Technology. He was born in a suburb of New Delhi but now Carrboro, NC is his home.

Liz Kazal is the Field Associate for Environment North Carolina, a statewide, citizen-based, environmental advocacy group. Her primary focus is protecting our clean waters from the threats of the dangerous form of natural gas drilling known as fracking. This summer, she directed Environment North Carolina’s citizen outreach efforts and mobilized over 10,000 North Carolinians to take action to promote healthy, sustainable farms. Liz is originally from the Mississippi Gulf Coast and is a graduate of the MS School for Math and Science and Mississippi State University. In college, she was the founder of her campus environmental group and worked to pass the first clean energy student initiative on campus.

Aaron Newman is a student at Duke University studying Environmental Engineering and Cultural Anthropology. As a student and member of the next generation of youth, he has taken on the responsibility of learning how to effectively adapt to and combat climate change through research, speaking to peers, and participating in and leading environmental seminars and projects. In this way, he aims to promote the movement towards minimizing climate change in the coming decades. His greatest interests reside in learning about and collaborating to design environmental solutions that are culturally and economically appropriate for developing countries.

Paul Reid

Jan 31, 2013

Lecture by Paul Reid

Prior to  


After stints in the late 1960s and early 1970s as a worker in a cat-food factory, blue-grass guitarist, cab driver, bartender, and counselor at a home for emotionally disturbed children, Paul Reid and his brother bought a small steam-valve manufacturing business in Newtonville, Mass. In the early 1990s, after selling his share of the company, Reid began writing political commentary for local Massachusetts newspapers, which led to a regular op-ed column at the Boston Globe. As a free-lance writer he covered the Yugoslav civil war, narco-terrorism in Colombia, and the Troubles in Northern Ireland.  He graduated from Harvard University Extension School in 1990 with a bachelor of Liberal Arts cum laude.  In 1996 Reid joined The Palm Beach Post, a Cox newspaper, as a features writer.  

Reid was named 1998 Cox Newspapers writer of the year and won the 1998 Paul Hansell award, given by the Florida Society of Newspaper Editors, for reporting and writing. In 2003 he was embedded with United States Marines at the start of the Iraq War.  In 2004 he left the Post to complete THE LAST LION: Defender of the Realm.

Paul lives in western North Carolina.

A popular novelist, historian, and biographer who, according to the New York Times, “used his novelist’s eye to fashion meticulously researched portraits of power,” William Manchester (1922–2004) was also the adjunct professor of history and writer-in-residence at Wesleyan University. “Power is the one thing that has fascinated me ever since I was a kid in Springfield, Mass.,” he told People magazine. “What exactly is power? Where are its roots? How do some people get it and others miss it entirely? How do they hold it or lose it?”

Manchester’s attention to detail was what made his works so successful. Many of his eighteen books of fiction and nonfiction were bestsellers, including The Arms of Krupp (about the German family that fed the Nazi War Machine),American Caesar (his biography of Gen. Douglas MacArthur), The Death of a President (on the assassination of John F. Kennedy), Goodbye Darkness (his memoir of his World War II experiences as a Marine in the Pacific), A World Lit Only by Fire (an exploration of the sordidness and the splendor of the Middle Ages), and the first two volumes of his Winston Churchill trilogy, The Last Lion. The final volume was published by Little, Brown on November 6, 2012 and written by Manchester and Paul Reid.

Manchester was born in Attleboro, Massachusetts, in 1922, and he joined the Marines in 1942. For wounds received on Okinawa, he was given the Purple Heart. After the war, he graduated first in his class from the University of Massachusetts, and received a master’s degree from the University of Missouri. Manchester’s thesis was on H. L. Mencken, and it became the basis of his first biography, Disturber of the Peace, published while he was a local reporter and foreign correspondent for the Baltimore Sun.

Manchester received the Prix Dag Hammarskjöld du mérite littéraire, James L. McConaughy Jr. Memorial Award for distinguished writing, the Peggy V. Helmerich Distinguished Author Award, the Abraham Lincoln Literary Award, the Washington Irving Medal for Literary Excellence, and the National Humanities Medal for his distinguished career.