New Works: Coal Mines

New Works: Coal Mines


The Coal Mines

Developing New Plays from Local Writers

Burning Coal Theatre supports local writers and playwrights by developing new plays of artists connected to North Carolina

Next staged reading is WELCOME TO THE RAA, a new play by Sharon Black. See below for more information.

WELCOME TO THE RAA  A staged reading of a new play by Sharon Black

Directed by Mark Filiaci

Co-Produced by American Theater Practice (ATP)

May 17th, 2023 at 7:30 PM

LOCATION:  Burning Coal Theatre Company, 224 Polk Street, Raleigh, NC 27604

TICKET PRICE:  $5 suggested donation, at the door only (no RSVP) 


This is a play about the American family adrift in a post-religious, entertainment-saturated world grasping, with limited success, for spiritual fulfillment.  The ME TOO movement, addiction, crime, guns, and imminent social upheaval cast long shadows over the characters’ fervent obsessions with pop culture manifested in music, sports, internet fan communities, collecting, fitness and survivalism.

 SHARON BLACK is a recently retired librarian at the University of Pennsylvania who has been writing poetry all her life.  Her work appears in over 30 literary journals and was twice nominated for the Pushcart Prize.  WELCOME TO THE RAA is her first foray into playwriting.  This late blooming theater bug has not yet run its course as she is currently working on another play called THE DRIP where hypodermic media indoctrination, climate change, cultism, and conceptual art collide to test family relations.  Sharon resides in Wallingford, PA with her husband George.

Show up to support new work! No registration or ticket required.

Burning Coal Theatre Company is committed to developing new plays and theatre practices by artists connected to the Tar Heel State.* In producing new and innovative theatre, The Coal Mines development process focuses on five objectives:

-To promote and celebrate playwriting throughout North Carolina
-To include Southern voices within the national, cultural conversation
-To represent Raleigh as an inferno for the incubation and development of new work
-To encourage equity in the theatre field by welcoming underrepresented artists and encouraging both artists and audiences of all backgrounds
-To introduce local audiences to emerging plays and playwrights

Burning Coal Theatre Company is recognized for bringing innovative theatre home to Raleigh-Durham, as well as to other cities such as New York City and London. Burning Coal is committed to the exchange between regional and global performance communities.

Since 2000, Burning Coal has produced staged readings or fully mounted productions of new plays by writers connected to the Tar Heel State such as Samm-Art Williams, Angus MacLachlan and Alex Finlayson.   The Coal Mines laboratory offers playwrights the opportunity to hear how new writing sounds when spoken by professional level actors–and gives audiences a peek at the new ideas and forms being developed by tomorrow’s writers.

*The Coal Mines accepts unsolicited scripts from writers with a substantial connection to North Carolina.

Please include:

One hard copy of your script (The Coal Mines considers one script per playwright at a time.)
Cover letter with your name, contact info, and prior or anticipated productions of your script

If you wish for your script to be returned, please include a SASE

Mail these materials to

Burning Coal Theatre Company
Attn: The Coal Mines
224 Polk Street
Raleigh, NC 27604

In addition, please send an electronic copy of your script (PDF preferred) to and let us know the hard copy is on the way.

The Coal Mines will offer selected scripts a staged reading by professional level actors in the theatre at the historic Murphey School, and host the playwright’s stay for the duration of their reading. Performances are free and open to the public.