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Butcher Holler Here We Come

From 14 critic and 0 member reviews

About the show

Brooklyn arts collective Aztec Economy and The TankNYC present a drama set in 1970s West Virginia about five coal miners trapped in a cave collapse that forces them to examine their lives. More…

Following a cave collapse, five coal miners struggle to survive the dwindling supply of oxygen, the lack of food and water, the unraveling sense of passing time, and, even more threatening, their own competing natures. Brutally weaving through family histories, complicated friendships, crooked politics, audacious hopes, eerie dreams, and fervent spirituality in this run-of-the-mill Appalachian community, 'Butcher Holler Here We Come' is a descent into the male psyche-in-crisis where secret desires, carnal urges, and hidden memories come boiling to the surface.

Stage Buddy

"An emotionally dark yet stunning portrait of humanity in crisis...'Butcher Holler Here We Come' stomps and kicks and gasps its way through each one of these huge topics, swirling them around in a pitch dark stew, imploring us to hold on and pray for escape." Full Review

Theatre is Easy

"This performance is the stage version of a thriller...Confusion surrounded parts of the plot for me, but I don't mind not understanding every detail. After awhile most connections revealed themselves and before they did I had the pleasure of watching some innovative staging paired with talented acting...If you want to see something new and different this is for you." Full Review


"It appears that in losing the standard tools of electrical power, especially stage lighting, Aztec Economy gained license for even more narrative iconoclasm than usual. A taste for the avant-garde may be needed to appreciate this dark concoction. It grew on me like a clammy mold in a dark, dank cave – but it grew on me." Full Review

The New York Times

"In truth, it’s a little hard to follow and keep the characters straight. Blame writing that is too oblique for its own good and direction that favors volume and shock over clarity. By the end you understand in general terms what went on in the mine, but you wish you had the text to read. Still, the piece is visceral." Full Review

Black & Gold Review

for a previous production "One of most primal fears is that of the unknown. 'Butcher Holler, Here We Come' takes full and effective advantage of this fear by plunging us repeatedly into darkness, its exceptional performances and use of our own senses against us making it a standout experience...From beginning to end, 'Butcher Holler, Here We Come' is constantly throwing us off-guard...Finishes on an exceptionally powerful, haunting note." Full Review

City Beat Cincinnati

for a previous production "'Butcher Holler Here We Come' provides an intense, funny, scary, dark experience for a little over an hour regarding the effects of a cave collapse on five coal miners. Aztec Economy is comprised of five excellent actors with an engrossing, serious script that keeps you on the edge of your seat throughout the show...See the show." Full Review

Theater Jones

for a previous production "The play weaves together the collected terror of the Appalachian miners with those of their settler ancestors and the Native Americans who lived on the land before that into a macabre vision of Indian rituals, demons and primordial monsters... \Each man’s strengths and sins are insightful as well as familiar, and the performances capture the horror of being in an ancient place where God has no power—but faith must see you through." Full Review

Creative Loafting Tampa

for a previous production "I’m not precisely sure what I saw and heard in the play’s 70 minutes, but it had the consistency of a shocking dream and the authority of brutal poetry .Maybe the governing concept here is Artaud’s call for a 'Theatre of Cruelty' that attacks the audience’s subconscious and acts upon us 'like a spiritual therapeutics whose touch can never be forgotten.' In any case, 'Butcher Holler' got through to me. It’s not often that I see theater so primordial or so deep." Full Review

Best of New Orleans (Gambit)

for a previous production "I thought the show was very compelling, the characters rich and nuanced, and the blackout immersion effective. The drama is good, but the show is very much about getting caught up in the moment and the feel of confusion and fear. That bit of discomfort gives the show an edge." Full Review

Southern Glossary

for a previous production "This is no standard bottle drama. The dialogue flashes constantly with the miners speaking from all corners of the room. There is a lyrical tinge to the language used, giving the rough character of minerspeak and technical jargon a unique flow...'Butcher Holler Here We Come' is the type of show that elevates the Fringe Festival. Perfectly executed in performance, structure, and fringe-iness, it is also a natural fit for its venue." Full Review

The Column

for a previous production "This production is gripping from the opening seconds... Knowing the real threat can be the psychological stuff that comes to the fore under stress, the physical danger of being trapped is less daunting then the secrets and fears that emerge from the inner darkness of the men’s minds...While the Appalachian dialects and pace may take a moment to get used to, the confined space forces you to be part of the story. Eventually you just let the experience wash over you and carry you along." Full Review

Front Row Blog

for a previous production "If only the script by Casey Wimpee weren’t quite so murky...t’s not always clear when we’re in the present or past. The ingenious headlamps the cast wears, which throw ghoulish shadows over bulging eyeballs and terror-stretched mouths, feel out of place during the flashbacks...See it? As long as you’re not afraid of the dark." Full Review

NOLA Defender

for a previous production "With the only available lighting provided by the headlamps worn by its actors, 'Butcher Holler Here We Come' is largely a drama of shadows and sound...The actors move throughout the theatre; their freedom of movement contrasts with the claustrophobic area the miners inhabit, which gives the audience a sense of intimate familiarity with the doom, gloom, and musk that surrounds them." Full Review

Behind The Curtain Cincinnati

for a previous production "The ensemble is talented and does great work. The confrontation scene was well done albeit a bit stressful...For me, with the lack of visual information, I had a hard time keeping track of who was who, and their personal connections. Perhaps a short scene before the lights go out could help establish some of the characters and relationships for the audience. Overall a fun and unique experience." Full Review

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