Coal Country

Coal Country

Two years after the forced closure of the world premiere of Coal Country at The Public Theater, the musical returns for a six-week engagement at the Cherry Lane Theatre, produced by Audible Theater. Coal Country tickets will be available on New York Theatre Guide soon.

The Coal Country musical is set in West Virginia, just after the disaster at the Upper Big Branch Mine in the state's Raleigh County. On Apr. 5, 2010, a coal dust explosion killed 29 of the 31 miners inside the mine at the time. Some time later, an independent investigation would find Massey Energy, the company that owned the mine, responsible for the explosion after multiple safety violations were uncovered. But in the time between the explosion and the release of investigation results, West Virginia residents mourned their lost loved ones, found ways to keep going, and clamored for justice. Coal Country focuses on the middle period, and is developed from interviews with the families of the deceased miners as well as the two that survived.

Coal Country is by Jessica Blank and Erik Jensen. The wife-and-husband duo first achieved Off-Broadway success with The Exonerated. Similar to Coal CountryThe Exonerated is a docudrama based on interviews, in that case with more than 40 people who were set free after being on death row. The Exonerated received numerous accolades and has toured all across the world.

The first production of Coal Country off-Broadway in 2020 also received critical acclaim upon premiering in 2020; the New York Theatre Guide review called the show "at times as elemental as fire and air, and as all-consuming as the explosion itself." Shortly after opening, however, the production was forced to shut down amid the pandemic. In 2021, Audible Theater produced Coal Country as an audio play so anyone could listen worldwide and is now mounting the new engagement, which begins performances exactly two years after being shut down. The Coal Country story is set to an original score by Steve Earle, and is directed by Jessica Blank.

Check back for information on tickets to Coal Country in New York.

(Photos by Joan Marcus)

This show has now closed. See our list of theatre tickets for shows currently on sale.

Running time: 
1hr 30mins (no intermission)
11 images
About Coal Country:

In 2010, the Upper Big Branch mine explosion killed 29 men, and tore a hole in the lives of countless others. In this riveting, emotionally stunning new work based on first-person accounts by survivors and family members, Coal Country digs deep into the lives and loss of the most deadly mining disaster in recent U.S. history. This haunting world premiere gives voice to those yet unheard and shines a piercing light on the deadly forces of greed and the enduring power of love.

Jessica Blank and Erik Jensen
The Public Theater
Jessica Blank
David Lander
Darron L West
Richard Hoover
Jessica Jahn
Cast list:
Mary Bacon (as Patti), Amelia Campbell (as Mindy), Michael Gaston (as Stanley “Goose”), Ezra Knight (as Roosevelt), Thomas Kopache (as Gary), Michael Laurence (as Tommy), Deirdre Madigan (as Judy), and Melinda Tanner (as Judge)
Other info:
Original Music by Steve Earle
Coal Country Performance Dates & Times
Previews from: 
March 4, 2022
Opening date: 
March 10, 2022
April 17, 2022

Performance schedules for all shows are subject to change.

Buy Tickets on TodayTix

Cherry Lane Theatre

38 Commerce Street (off 7th Avenue), New York, NY 10014
Nearest subway station:
Christopher Street Station

Latest Coal Country News & Features

Jessica Blank and Erik Jensen
The Public Theater’s 'Coal Country' to play limited Off-Broadway engagement
January 19, 2022

UPDATE: Additional Coal Country casting has been announced. Kym Gomes and Carl Palmer round out the cast as Judge and Goose, respectively. After closing prematurely at The Public Theater in 2020, the acclaimed musical Coal Country will be revived at the Cherry Lane Theatre this spring. The show is set for a six-week engagement from March 4 to April 17. Opening night is March 10, two years to the day after the original production was shut down due to the pandemic.

Our Coal Country Review

It's difficult to avoid comparing Coal Country to its theatrical relatives. With a no-frills set, a plain-clothed ensemble performing directly to the audience, and music played right on stage (in this case, by composer Steve Earle), the staging brings Come From Away to mind. The exact genre of Coal Country recalls Girl From the North Country: a "play with music" moreso than a musical, in which... Read more

Twenty-nine small lights hang above the Public Theater’s Anspacher stage, one for each victim of the 2010 Upper Big Branch Mine Disaster. The absence of these sons, fathers and brothers brought heartbreak to the town of Montcoal, West Virginia and that grief is palpable in the beautifully rendered, impeccably cast production of Coal Country, a documentary-style chronicle of the worst U.S.