The Coal Mines Presents: YOU ARE WHAT YOU, A New Play by Mora V. Harris


March 13th, 2019
7:00 PM

cw: eating disorders, self-harm

Burning Coal Theatre Company is proud to present a staged reading of Mora V. Harris’ You Are What You. The reading will run approximately 90 minutes, and will be followed by a talkback with the director, cast, and playwright. This reading is free and open to the public.

“Remember the taste in your mouth right now. It’s the taste of your family when everything is good.”Competitive eater Francie is desperate to find a way to help her younger sister Trisha eat. When celebrity chef Electra Sinclair arrives on their doorstep, she thinks she may have found just the thing to set Trisha on the road to recovery. Yet Trisha’s illness worsens as she begins seeing visions of a talking Pot Roast, and Francie becomes distracted by an ex hell-bent on exploiting her in a cogent work of non-fiction. The sisters struggle to take care of each other and nourish themselves in this comedy about learning from the things we crave.

The Coal Mines: New Play Development

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 encourage both artists and audiences of all backgrounds

-To introduce  local audiences to emerging plays and playwrights

Burning Coal Theatre Company is recognized for bringing cutting-edge 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 and this powers the heart of the company’s new works development process, The Coal Mines –increasing visibility and opportunity at home and at large.

Since 2000, Burning Coal Theatre Company has produced staged readings of new plays by writers connected to the Tar Heel State.   The Coal Mines laboratory offers playwrights the opportunity to hear how their new work sounds aloud by professional actors–and gives audiences a peek into what’s smoking in Raleigh.

*The Coal Mines accepts unsolicited scripts on a rolling basis from all playwrights born in North Carolina, regardless of where they currently consider home. Writers also qualify for The Coal Mines if they have studied or worked in North Carolina  for a significant portion of time.

Submission Process

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

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


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. Read More »

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. Read More »