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Coal Country

From 56 member  reviews
Members say: Relevant, Absorbing, Thought-provoking, Great acting, Great singing

About the show

From the creators of "The Exonerated" comes this new work based first-person accounts by survivors of the 2010 Upper Big Branch mine explosion and their family members.

From the show:

In 2010, the Upper Big Branch mine explosion in West Virginia 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, Jessica Blank and Erik Jensen, award-winning writers of The Exonerated, and three-time Grammy Award-winning country/folk legend Steve Earle, dig deep into the lives and loss of the most deadly mining disaster in recent U.S. history.

Jessica Blank directs this haunting world premiere that gives voice to those yet unheard, and shines a piercing light on the deadly forces of greed and the enduring power of love.


Member Reviews (56)

MEMBERS SAY:

Relevant, Absorbing, Thought-provoking, Great acting, Great singing

48
Disappointing, Slow, Overrated

See it if you like theatre of reporting rather than a conventional play

Don't see it if You want to care about the characters and prefer a play with a protagonist and story arc.

During previews
22
Dramatically inert, Tedious, Bad acting, Manipulative, Emotional torture porn

See it if You want to hear random people tell overlapping accounts of losing loved ones in a mining accident.

Don't see it if You are looking for any kind of interesting narrative flow. Or music that adds to the story.

Also This is another stinker from The Public. It seems like everything is d... Read more Read less

During previews
30
Bad direction, Cliche, Disappointing, Banal, Boring

See it if You enjoy unnecessary bench choreography

Don't see it if You hate bad theatre that relies on the subject matter to get applause.


March 3rd, 2020
CRITIC’S PICK. "Songs and Stories in a Disaster’s Aftermath: Jessica Blank and Erik Jensen’s show at the Public Theater, with live music by Steve Earle, is based on a real-life West Virginia mining tragedy."
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March 3rd, 2020
4/5 Stars "A devastating documentary play...Blank and Jensen...compassionately channel true accounts of survival without editorializing, so nothing gets in the way of our empathy...The performances are gorgeously authentic and underplayed."
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March 3rd, 2020
"Jessica Blank and Erik Jensen give voice to the friends and families of miners killed in a 2010 West Virginia explosion in this haunting drama with original music written and performed by Steve Earle."
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March 3rd, 2020
"Coal Country Takes Us to West Virginia Where We're Far Past Canaries: Jessica Blank and Erik Jensen chronicle the 2010 Upper Big Branch mine explosion at the Public Theater, with original songs by Steve Earle."
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Cast & Creatives (4)