Audible Theater Sets Off-Broadway Return for Coal Country | Playbill

Off-Broadway News Audible Theater Sets Off-Broadway Return for Coal Country

Jessica Blank and Erik Jensen's docu-play, with music by Steve Earle, had its 2020 Public Theater run cut short by COVID.

Steve Earle in Coal Country

Audible Theater will bring The Public Theater's production of Coal Country, by Drama Desk winners Jessica Blank and Erik Jensen and featuring original music written and performed by three-time Grammy winner Steve Earle, to Off-Broadway's Cherry Lane Theatre. Performances are set to begin March 4 ahead of a March 10 opening night, two years to the day the Public Theater world premiere was forced to shut down due to COVID-19. The limited engagement is set to run six weeks.

The production will feature Mary Bacon as Patti, Amelia Campbell as Mindi, Ezra Knight as Roosevelt, Thomas Kopache as Gary, Michael Laurence as Tommy, and Deirdre Madigan as Judy, with two additional performers to be announced at a later date. Earle will return with the production to perform his original score, though select performances will feature Joe Jung.

Tickets are currently available through a pre-sale for Audible subscribers and Public Theater supporters, with general ticket sales set to begin January 26 at 10 AM ET.

Directed by Blank, the docu-play shines a light on the 2010 Upper Big Branch mine explosion. The Cherry Lane run will reunite the work's entire original creative team, with scenic design by Richard Hoover, costume design by Jessica Jahn, lighting design by David Lander, sound design by Darron L West, and movement by Adesola Osakalumi. Janelle Caso will serve as production stage manager, with Andy Jones and Dylan Pager of Baseline Theatrical as general management.

"Coal Country is the story of 29 lives needlessly lost and those that they left behind," shares Blank and Jensen. "It's about the power of our common humanity in the face of unimaginable grief and injustice; and, we hope, it's about bridging seemingly insurmountable differences to help forge a more just nation. We are honored to be partnering with Audible, the Public Theater, and Steve Earle once again to shine a light on what we believe was an avoidable tragedy and the brave souls who survived it."

The Public Theater's world premiere production opened March 3, 2020, shutting down due to COVID-19 just seven days later. Audible released a recording of the play featuring a majority of its original cast in September 2021.

"We’re proud to join forces with The Public Theater to bring this vital story and stellar cast back to live audiences," shares Audible Founder and Executive Chairman Don Katz. "Oskar Eustis was a founding member of Audible’s theater advisory board five years ago, and Audible’s deepening alliance with The Public will allow us to draw the best art from society’s most creative people and project it beyond the stage to millions of listeners around the globe."

"This production of Coal Country has never been more important than it is now," adds Eustis. "A country so deeply divided needs to have stories that can bond all working people, North and South, Black and white, urban and rural, together in their shared humanity. ...We are thrilled that Audible has brought back this masterpiece to the Cherry Lane, to give a wider audience a chance to see this vital work. Our relationship with Audible has been growing and deepening for years, and this is a major step in our collaboration, one that I think will bear beautiful fruit in the years to come."

For more information and tickets, visit

Production Photos: Coal Country Off-Broadway


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