The Coal Mines: New Play Development

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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.