This preview has been provided by Burning Coal Theatre.

Burning Coal Theatre Company will present the US premiere of Lee Hall’s Spoonface Steinberg, a drama about an eight year old autistic girl. The play will run April 7 – 9, 14 – 16 and 21 – 23, 2016 at 7:30 pm and April 10, 17 and 24th at 2 pm at Burning Coal’s Murphey School Auditorium, 224 Polk Street, Raleigh, NC 27604. Tickets are $25 or $20 for seniors (65+) or $15 for students, teachers and active military. Sunday, April 10th at 2 pm is Audio Described and is the Pay What You Can day. Tickets and further information can be found at or by calling 919.834.4001.

10% of the gross ticket sales from each performance will go to a charitable organization chosen by the performer.

Following each performance, a short discussion of the play involving the performer, will take place.

Originally written as a one-hour BBC radio drama, Spoonface Steinberg has since been made into a television film and a play. It is receiving its US premiere at Burning Coal Theatre. It is about an eight year old autistic girl who is dealing with a terminal illness. Her fight to understand the questions that ultimate must be addressed by all of us, “Who am I?” “How did I get here?” and “What am I to do now that I am here?” is at the core of the play. Spoonface sees her doctor smile when he has bad news. She sees her mother scream at her father that she loves him. She sees her father connect with her, finally, for the first time in her life, through the gauze of a drunken stupor. She hears the beautiful women of the opera singing as they mourn. How can such beauty exist side by side with such darkness? Spoonface’s journey is finally one of redemption, of courage, of hope and of the indomitable human spirit.

Lee Hall is a playwright from England. He recently adapted the film Shakespeare in Love for the stage. He is the author of Billy Elliot, Cooking with Elvis and The Pitman Painters, among others.

At each performance, a different member of the community will read the role of Spoonface. Some of the community members are Barbara Goodmon (April 7), Trish Healy (April 9), Wendy Tingle (April 10), Chris Chapman (April 14), Charman Driver (April 15), Bob Geolas and Mary Miller (April 16), Mark Hewitt (April 23). Biographies of each are below. Jerome Davis, Burning Coal’s artistic director, will direct the production. Scenery is by Raleigh’s Elizabeth Newton. Lighting is by Massachusetts-based designer Matthew Adelson. The production stage manager is Raleigh’s Sophia von der Lehr and costumes are by Raleigh’s Katy Werlin.

Charman Driver is a business owner and community builder. As founder of a healthy lifestyle company — Driver Mindbody — she writes, coaches and educates women on the merits of a healthy mind, fit body and happy spirit. Charman is also the current Board Chair at CAM Raleigh. Under her leadership, CAM’s exhibitions, programs and membership have grown exponentially and have become an exemplar of culturally accessible education and community programs. She was instrumental in creating CAM’s Betty Eichenberger Adams Society (BEAS), a burgeoning group of 150 women with contemporary art, philanthropy and community building as its mission. Charman lives in Raleigh with her husband, Frank Thompson, their daughter Delaney, and Mochi the Portie.

Barbara Goodmon is an actively engaged philanthropist and advocate, supporting and promoting effective and high-quality human services for communities in need. At age 22, her career began as the head nurse in the pediatric trauma and burns unit in Memphis, TN. She obtained her nursing degree from St. Joseph’s School of Nursing in 1965 and later acquired a Bachelor of Arts in from Meredith College in 1994 (magna cum laude) and a Master of Liberal Studies from North Carolina State University in 2000. Her devotion to helping disadvantaged people and those in need has been a lifelong pursuit. She was nearby when Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated and the moment proved to be a turning point in her life. After moving to North Carolina, she began dedicating herself to civic and social change through decades of community engagement, board service, and philanthropy here in North Carolina. A passionate believer in community building, partnerships, and supporting the less fortunate, Barbara has served as President of AJ Fletcher Foundation since 2003 and was Executive Director 2003-2012. The organization is recognized for its ability to promote collaboration and capacity-building in the nonprofit sector.

Barbara has been significantly involved in several community organization boards. In 2014, the Salvation Army of Wake County named its new women’s shelter after Barbara, one of its most dedicated, tireless champions. She was named to its Advisory Board in 1981 and served as the first and only female board Chairman from 1985-1987. In the early nineties, Barbara started and led the Christmas Committee which currently involves more than 2,000 volunteers and provides over 1,200 families with new toys, clothing, and food during the holiday season. As Vice Chairman of The Healing Place of Wake County, she was committed to starting a successful substance abuse treatment center for homeless men and women in Raleigh. Opening its doors in 2001, the facilities have provided more than one million beds of shelter and days of recovery to homeless men and women. She served on the Wake County Human Services board from 1996-2005, serving as Chairman for three of those years, and helped start the Institute for Nonprofits at NC State University in 2004.

Barbara currently serves as President and Board Member of The Fletcher Academy and has previously served on the Meredith College Board of Trustees, North Carolina State University College of Humanities and Social Sciences Advisory Board, University of North Carolina School of Social Work Board of Visitors, University of North Carolina School of the Arts Board of Trustees, and the Raleigh Fine Arts Society, amongst many others. Barbara has received both the prestigious William Booth Award (1992) and Others Award (1999) from The Salvation Army, recognizing her demonstrated dedication to the organization’s goals of service to humankind as well as outstanding service to the community. Barbara was also honored in 1998 as a YWCA Academy of Women Inductee. When Barbara isn’t spending time supporting community initiatives, she is mostly traveling to all corners of the world, practicing yoga, or with the family she loves dearly. She is married to James (Jim) Fletcher Goodmon and they have three children and eight grandchildren.

Mark Hewitt is a British-born potter who has lived near Pittsboro, NC, since 1983. This is his first stage appearance since playing one of the bridesmaids in Gilbert & Sullivan’s Trial by Jury, aged seven. His pots, meanwhile, are seen in numerous museum and private collections around North Carolina the US, and his Kiln Openings are enjoyed thrice annually by his appreciative following. He was recently awarded a United States Artists Fellowship. For more information visit

Patricia R. Healy (“Trish”) Co-Founder and Principal, Hyde Street Holdings, LLC. (“HSH”), a real estate and technology investor and advisory firm. Trish also serves on the board of RREEF America III; the M&F Bank Holding Company, and Catholic Charities of Raleigh. She is on the Advisory Boards of CORE Museum and VAE. Trish has served as Chair of the Green Chair Project; Assistant Treasurer of the North Carolina Symphony and on the boards of Contemporary Art Museum/Foundation; ArtSpace; Triangle Tomorrow and Burning Coal Theatre. Trish is now serving as the Urban Land Institute Founding Chair of the Americas Trish has undergraduate (BA) from Tulane University and graduate degrees from Southern Methodist University (MBA) and The American Graduate School of International Management (MIM). Trish and her John live happily in Oakwood with t their beagle, Barclay, whom they adore.

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Burning Coal Theatre Company is one of Raleigh’s intimate, professional theatres. Burning Coal is an incorporated, non-profit [501 (c) (3)] organization. Burning Coal’s mission is to produce literate, visceral, affecting theatre that is experienced, not simply seen. Burning Coal produces explosive reexaminations of overlooked classic and modern plays, as well as new plays, whose themes and issues are of immediate concern to our audience, using the best local, national and international artists available. We work toward a theatre of high-energy performances and minimalist production values. The emphasis is on literate works that are felt and experienced viscerally, unlike more traditional linear plays, at which audiences are most often asked to observe without participating. Race and gender non-specific casting is an integral component of our perspective, as well as an international viewpoint.