WHAT IF ONLY US Premiere & AIR World Premiere will be presented by Burning Coal Theater Company

Burning Coal Theater Company will present its production of What If If Only (US premiere) and Air (world premiere) from Caryl Churchill, directed by Ana Radulescu, June 9-26, 2022. This production, directed by Burning Coal’s Associate Artistic Director, will be presented at Burning Coal’s home, The Murphey School, 224 Polk Street, Raleigh, NC 27604. Performances have place from Thursday to Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. All tickets are $30 or $15 for students. Tickets and additional information are available at www.burningcoal.org or by calling the box office at (919) 834-4001.

About What If If Only and Air

These two short pieces, the most recent of Caryl Churchill, run 20 minutes and 15 minutes, respectively. What If If Only premieres fall 2021 in London Royal Court Theaterdirected by Jacques Macdonald. Air was originally presented as a ‘zoom play’ and did not have a live presentation until Burning Coal’s production. What if if only introduced us to a middle-aged man (Marc Filiaci, who recently did Burning Coal’s A Number). He is clearly in mourning. But for what or for whom? A woman appears to him (Jenn Suchanec, Pentecost of Burning Coal). She tries to talk to him about her despair. Then a child appears, asking to be heard.

In Air, we meet one person (four people?) who are all trying to come up for Air. Almost as if there wasn’t enough for everyone. Will they find their voice? Or will they sink, without a trace? Air originally premiered in May 2020 as part of ‘Lockdown Plays’, directed by Wilf Scolding and featuring Lydia Wilson and Tom Mothersdale. The Burning Coal cast will include Maxine Eloi (from Ashe of Burning Coal in Johannesburg).

Widely regarded as one of the world’s greatest living playwrights, Churchill remained true to her fierce political and artistic beliefs for decades, shunning easy Hollywood money for a life in the theater. She is deeply interested in form and how it affects storytelling. His works include such classics as Top Girls, Cloud 9, Mad Forest, A Number, Serious Money, The Skriker, Far Away, Three Birds Alighting on a Field, A Light Shining in Buckinghamshire, Seven Jewish Children and Love and Information. When she wrote What If If Only in the summer of 2021, she emailed the script to her friend, Vicky Featherstone, artistic director at the Royal Court in London. Vicky read it and found she had to do it right away. Fortuitously, the play which was to take place on the Court’s main stage in October 2022 required minimal decor, so Featherstone came up with the idea of ​​doing a 6 p.m. performance of Churchill’s twenty-minute play, before the curtain of 7:30 p.m. for the previously scheduled show. The play sold out and garnered the best reviews Ms Churchill had seen since A Number.

About Ana Radulescu

Ana is currently Associate Artistic Director of Burning Coal Theatre. She had the pleasure of attending Anne Bogart on the Company Siti workshop process of Aaron Poochigian’s translation of Euripides’ bacchantes in addition to assisting directors Jerome DavisSanaz Ghajar, Preston Lane, Jack Tamburri, Sarah HankinCynthia Henderson, Josephine Room, Wm. Perry Morgan and David Schram. She is currently Associate Artistic Director of the Burning Coal Theater Company. Some achievement credits include Dennis Kelly‘s Girls & Boys (Burning Coal Theater Company), Blake Taylor’s HART (National Theater of Antarctica & Pig Iron Theater Company), Sondheim and Lapine’s Into The Woods (University of Pennsylvania), Prageeta Sharma and Kate R. Morris’ On The Roof , In The Graves (Burning Coal), Susan Glasspell‘s The Verge (triad scene), John FordToo bad she’s a whore (Greensboro College), george orwellfrom the animal farm (hot coal), Idris Goodwin‘s How We Got On (Skydive Productions), Martin MoranThe tricky part (Greensboro College), Marguerite Williams‘ The Velvet Bunny (Hangar Theatre), and Edward Albeeis the death of Bessie Smith (Greensboro College). She has also directed and developed several new works, including the world premiere reading of Kallan Dana’s Playdate (National Theater Institute), Hayley St. James’ for Lenora, or Companions (Women’s Theater Festival), Arielle Boucher, Julia Donnell, Dylan Hoffman, & Drip co-designed by Grace Rodolvsky (National Theater Institute), madison millerSpencer (Kennedy Center) and the world premiere of Ben Habel’s The Dungeon Bros (National Theater Institute). Ana is a member of the Dramatist Guild and served as Youth Ambassador for North Carolina Representation within the Dramatist Guild. She is an alumnus of Greensboro College, National Theater Institute, Company Siti Anne Bogart, Hangar Theater Lab and Kennedy Center Directing Intensive. She studied with Anne Bogart and Company SitiDebate Society, Wilma TheaterElena Kuzina, Rachel JetGare St. Lazare and (London) Complicité.

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