I saw a very early performance of Coal Country, so this is a brief report rather than a review.
Coal Country is a documentary theatre performance developed by Jessica Blank and Erik Jensen, the creators of Exonerated (about people wrongly convicted of capital crimes) and Aftermath (about Iraqi refugees). As with their other shows, Coal Country relies on the words of the actual people whose stories are being told--in this case, coal miners and their families--giving it a vivid and sometimes heart-breaking immediacy. In addition, Coal Country features songs written and performed by singer-songwriter Steve Earle.
Coal Country features Mary Bacon, Amelia Campbell, Michael Gaston, Ezra Knight, Thomas Kopache, Michael Laurence, Deirdre Madigan, and Melinda Tanner. It runs 90 minutes with no intermission.
Coal Country runs through March 29 at the Public Theater.