Burning Coal Theatre Company began its New Works program of staged readings of new plays by writers connected to the Tar Heel State in the year 2000.  We accept unsolicited scripts from North Carolina playwrights.

Please include

1 hard copy of your script
Cover letter with your name and contact info
If you wish for your script to be returned, please include a SASE

Mail these materials to

Burning Coal Theatre Company
224 Polk Street
Raleigh, NC 27604

In addition, please send an electronic copy of your script (PDF preferred) to


Past Productions & Events

The following shows/events have passed.


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.

Inspired by interviews with chefs, journalists and farmers from Wake, Durham, Orange and Alamance counties, Up From the Ground explores the questions of where our food comes from and what it means to cook in the hectic 21st century.  

Up From the Ground was written with the support of the City of Raleigh Arts Commission, United Arts Council of Raleigh & Wake County, Durham Arts Council, Orange County Arts Commission and Alamance County Arts Council.  


Ian Finley holds a BFA degree from the University of Utah, and an MFA in playwriting from New York University.  He worked at Burning Coal Theatre Company as Director of Education from 2004 through 2012.  In 2012, he was named Piedmont Laureate.  He has had plays produced in Utah, New York, Florida, North Carolina and Virginia.  At Burning Coal, he authored 1960 and co-authored Jude the Obscure, Parts 1 & 2.

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.

Outrunning Bullets

Feb 13, 2013

8 pm on Wednesday

$5  Suggested Donation

Murphey School Auditorium

Written by Jonathan Fitts

Directed by Eric Kildow

The Irish War of Independence ended in 1922 with the signing of the Anglo-Irish Treaty.  But the fighting had only just begun.  Havoc breaks loose in a small, rural town when Tom O’Malley of the anti-treaty Republicans captures the ornery Lieutenant Jimmy Caraghy and the young Private Seamus Fitzpatrick of the pro-treaty Irish National Army. With a small band of guerilla soldiers, including his fiery sister Anne and her fiancée John, Tom attempts to negotiate with the National Army to get the “Free Staters” out of his hometown. In the process, however, the ties that bind each of the individuals are torn and rewound in surprising places, allegiances are changed, and everyone is forced to ask if saving their family is worth losing their home.  But the ties that connect the members of this small Irish town are stronger than any of them might have believed, and Tom’s plan creates rifts, and connections, that no one could have foreseen.

Jonathan Fitts, a native of Raleigh, NC, holds an undergraduate degree in theatre from Appalachian State University.  He is one semester away from completing his MFA at New York University, where he will graduate this spring.  Jonathan has written many plays, including the music and lyrics for Jude the Obscure, Parts 1 & 2 (with Bruce Benedict) at Burning Coal Theatre Company.

Eric Kildow holds degrees from the Savannah College of Art and Design and Texas A&M.  He regularly works for Burning Coal as its dramaturg.  He currently teaches at Coast Carolina Community College in Jacksonville.