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.
The Public Theater continues its 2019-2020 Off-Broadway season with the world premiere of Jessica Blank and Erik Jensen's Coal Country, directed by Ms. Blank and featuring original music by Steve Earle.
Performances are staged at the Public's Anspacher Theater.
(Photos by Joan Marcus)
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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.