Conversations I Always Wanted to Have

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Jan 28 – Feb 14, 2021

Written by Dael Orlandersmith

Directed by Jordan Lichtenheld and Renèe Nixon

Conversations watch partiesConversations I Always Wanted to Have: A Rotating Repertory Season of Two Plays by Dael Orlandersmith

Burning Coal is excited to present two stunning plays by the African American playwright Dael Orlandersmith.  The plays will be presented live on the stage of the Burning Coal Theatre and livestreamed into your home for viewing. One of the two plays will be performed on each date, in rotating order (see below for specific dates).  Each play runs about 80 minutes.

Forever by Dael Orlandersmith Directed by Jordan Lichtenheld is a semi-autobiographical work that traces the tempestuous relationship between a young girl, growing up in East Harlem, and her ex-dancer mother, a force of nature and a troubled mind who has been forced by circumstances beyond her control to give up so much in order to survive, and to keep her daughter safe. Dates:  January 28, 30, February 5, 11 and 13th at 7 pm and Sunday, February 7, 2021 at 2 pm. Tickets for both plays available by clicking hereContent Warning: discussion of child abuse, rape, language.



For this production, a watch party is a group of 10+ people who attend the same performance of one of our virtual plays, and may receive a complimentary talk-back afterwards with a member of the production if requested at least a week in advance (actor, director, etc.). And watch party members qualify for our group discount, so tickets are $15 per person instead of the regular adult ticket price of $25. Sponsorships of $500 or more may also include a watch party for an organization. For sponsorship info contact

MeMe Headshot









Forever will star Emelia ‘MeMe’ Cowans-Taylor

Until the Flood by Dael Orlandersmith Directed by Renèe Nixon is a play comprised of interviews Ms. Orlandersmith conducted with residents of Ferguson, Missouri in the aftermath of the Michael Brown killing. Its reach is broad, and the characters introduced range from the introspective to the fiercely confrontational.  Dates: Jan 29, Feb 4, 6, and 12 at 7 pm and Sunday, Jan 31 and Feb 14 at 2 pm. Tickets for both plays available by clicking hereContent Warning: Language.  

Byron Jennings Headshot 1








Until the Flood 
will star Byron Jennings.

TRAILER for Until the Flood.

SUBSCRIBERS book by emailing

Click Here to view the audience TALKBACK with both directors and both actors.

Our printing partner on this production is

Joseph C Woodard Printing Company Logo






Our Sponsors are:




Eclub for Social Justice





 Glenwood Agency logo



Rotary Club of South East Raleigh





Smith Anderson logo













COVID precautions BCT

Estimated run time: 1.5 hours.

Download the Study Guide

Cast & Crew

Emilia 'MeMe' Cowans-Taylor

Until the Flood
Byron Jennings

Production Stage Manager Cynita Lew
Technical Director Greg Osbeck
Scenery by Nadir Bey
Lighting by Matthew Adelson
Costumes by Elena Montero Mulligan
Properties by Elizabeth Newton
Sound by Juan Isler
Master Electrician Barry Jaked
Scene Painter Meredith Riggan
ASMs Emily Johns, Germona Sharp, Tameka Tisdale, Noah Zimmerman
Video Director David Ray
Camerapersons Natalie Overton and Nadia Sanchez
Assistant to the Directors Sarah Hogewood, Marley Rockwood
Asst to the Lighting Designer Sydney Fansler
Dramaturg Eric Kildow


Check back closer to the production dates for this information.