Coal Country
Coal Country

Coal Country

New York, NY
A powerful world premiere musical revisits recent U.S. history.
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About Coal Country

Audible Theater is proud to present The Public Theater's critically acclaimed, "gorgeously authentic" (Time Out New York) production of COAL COUNTRY, back by popular demand for a limited engagement.

Jessica Blank and Erik Jensen, the creative minds behind the award-winning docudrama The Exonerated, bring their signature style to this strikingly innovative New York Times Critic’s Pick that delves into the aftermath of the West Virginia mine explosion of 2010, highlighting the indomitable resilience of an American community on a quest for justice.

Featuring the musical talents of three-time Grammy Award® winner Steve Earle, COAL COUNTRY powerfully combines the country/folk legend's "soaring emotional heft and superbly evocative string-picking" (The Hollywood Reporter) with actual first-person accounts from survivors and family members, immortalizing their stories of survival in this soulful yet resolute tribute.

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Tell Me More

The acclaimed musical Coal Country, whose premiere run at The Public Theater shuttered early in 2020, returns for a new engagement at the Cherry Lane Theatre in March and April. Get Coal Country tickets on TodayTix.

Coal Country is a musical set during the aftermath of the 2010 Upper Big Branch Mine explosion in Raleigh County, West Virginia. Out of the 31 miners that worked at the time, 29 died in the disaster. The Massey Energy company, which owned the mine, was eventually found directly responsible, but restitution was slow. The musical is based on interviews with the miners' family members, as well as the two survivors, about their search for justice amid their mourning.

The Coal Country musical is written by husband-and-wife duo Jessica Blank and Erik Jensen. Blank and Jensen are also the creators of The Exonerated, another documentary show about people released from death row. The Exonerated was critically acclaimed, as was Coal Country — the production shut down in 2020 just after opening night, when the musical received glowing reviews.

In the meantime, Audible Theater recorded Coal Country as an audio drama that people worldwide could stream while live theatre was closed down. Much of the cast from the 2020 production and audio drama now returns for the 2022 run, produced by Audible Theater.

Get tickets to Coal Country in New York on TodayTix now.

What to Watch For

  • It's not often you see a musical's composer on stage during the show, but that's the case at Coal Country. Steve Earle performs the original score he composed for Coal Country off-Broadway.
  • Speaking of Earle, he released a studio album in 2020 called Ghosts of West Virginia, which includes some songs from the Coal Country musical.
  • Though Blank and Jensen arranged and edited their interviews with the West Virginians for the stage, they didn't have to write many themselves. Many of the lines in Coal Country are verbatim transcripts of their interviewees' recollections.
  • Coal Country shares similarities with other popular docudramas that shed a sympathetic light on tragic events. Aside from The Exonerated, there's 2000's The Laramie Project, another ensemble docudrama based on interviews with Laramie, Wyoming residents after the murder of Matthew Shepard. The show put writer/director Moisés Kaufman and the Tectonic Theater Project on the map. More recently, there's the hit Broadway musical Come From Away, about the Newfoundland town that welcomed displaced plane passengers after 9/11. All these shows feature characters directly based on the real people who were present for these events and interviewed about them.
  • Coal Country is also one of multiple New York shows this season to shed light on working-class communities in turmoil. One other example is the Broadway premiere of Skeleton Crew, Dominique Morisseau's play about Detroit auto plant workers facing the imminent loss of their jobs. That show, too, received near-universal praise.
Run time

90 Mins

Start date

March 4th, 2022

End date

April 17th, 2022




Cherry Lane Theatre


Tickets are not currently available. Set an alert and we'll tell you when more tickets go on sale.

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