Oakwood and History Plays

Oakwood and History Plays


Oakwood & Other History Plays

Every fall, Burning Coal Theatre presents a series of short plays from Raleigh and Triangle playwrights as outdoor theatre.  See below for more information. 

Every October, Burning Coal Theatre partners with the historic Oakwood Cemetery to present a series of short plays based on the lives of people buried in the Oakwood Cemetery, their partners, neighbors, associates and nemeses’.

Playwrights from around the Triangle and sometimes beyond will craft these short plays that look at the comical, the tragic, the dastardly and the utterly heroic lives of those who came before and upon whose shoulders, for better and for worse, the Capital City was built.

Although the live performances are now over, you can still buy tickets to Oakwood Virtual Recording through Sunday, October 31st!

The 2021 Oakwood Cemetery Plays took place October 1 – 3, 2021.  Although the live performances are now passed, virtual tickets to a recording of the event are available through October 31st.  

TICKETS are $20 (adults) and $10 (students) and are available at our online ticket sales (click here) for virtual tickets.

LOCATION:  701 Oakwood Ave, Raleigh, NC 27601.  You may drive into the cemetery and you will find our ticket table 100 yards up the driveway.

For additional information, please call 919.834.4001.

2021 Oakwood Plays

Chatting with J. D. Lewis
By Renèe Nixon

Chatting with J. D. Lewis follows the story of Taylor, a Senior at Shaw University. After struggling to write a school paper, she turns to the Oakwood Cemetery where she meets one of her idols. Together, they write Taylor’s paper and uncover some interesting history in the process. Content Warning: Death, Language

Point of No Return
By Brook North

When Deanne Woodward decides to go on a boat trip to celebrate her birthday, she never expected how the trip would end. Brook North’s Point of No Return follows this harrowing series of events and asks the question “what happens when you reach the Point of No Return?”.  Content Warning: Death, Perilous Situations. 

Radiant Edges of the Earth
By Tamara Kissane

Einer Rasmussen is a wild and adventurous teen who dreams of seeing the world. Rene Rasmussen is his older sister and worries about Einer’s rebellious nature. The siblings butt heads in Radiant Edges of the Earth by Tamara Kissane. Content Warning: Mentions of Death

Ellen Z. McGrew
By Courtney Pisano

Sam is working on a research project and stumbles into the North Carolina Department of Archives and History. There, they meet a fascinating woman who makes her experience of being a woman in WWII come alive in Courtney Pisano’s Ellen Z. McGrew. Content Warning: Mentions of War

Mary Ann Scherr: The Space Age
By Lydia Sbityakov

It’s 1969, the day after the moon landing and Mary Ann Scherr is at home working peacefully in her studio. Suddenly, she’s interrupted by her daughter and the doorbell. In Mary Ann Scherr: The Space Age, discover who’s at the door and the conversations that follow.

I Wasn’t Any Hero
By Ken Walsh

I Wasn’t Any Hero follows Bobby and Billy Crocker who are reunited in Oakwood Cemetery. The brothers discuss their contrasting views of life during WWII and what defines a good life. Author Ken Walsh proves family bonds can last more than any lifetime. Content Warning: Mentions of Death and War

Director – George Jack

PSM – Leslie Castro
Costume Designer – Elena Montero Mulligan
Dylan Bailey
Kurt Benrud
Kimmy Fiorentino
Thom Haynes
Cora Hemphill
Juan Isler
Laura Jenkins
Jackie Markham
Laura Stroud