ABOUT

COAL catalyzes and supports creative climate engagement and leadership. The heart of COAL is the musical production, which we offer in two forms:

  • the full-scale, professional, musical production and touring show; and
  • COAL in Communities: scalable, adaptable, localized DIY COAL performances

Every performance of COAL will be accompanied by a series of activities designed to build community and engineer creative spaces for dialogue and response. COAL supports us in moving from our current stance in which we are paralyzed—not knowing what to do or how to act—to seeing ourselves as part of the solution.

Musical Production

DIY COAL

COAL Sparks

COAL will have a full-scale premiere in San Francisco (October 2016) with our venue/theater partner Z Space/Theater Artaud. After years of innovative participatory book and score development, with a wide range of communities across the country and a stellar creative team, COAL is poised to be a magical experience and catalytic force for climate stability as we transition to 100% clean energy and our renewed connection to each other and our living planet.

COAL is a musical storytelling technology that can be adapted by communities. We provide partners with everything that they need to make COAL their own, including the script, musical score, and a comprehensive toolkit to assist groups developing community partnerships, convening engagement activities, and facilitating dialogue.

COAL, often called the Vagina Monologues of climate work, invites host groups, communities, cities and more to identify and express their unique contributions to climate stability through connecting and sharing efforts around the country and the world. As the scaleable, adaptable production is done around dinner tables, in churches, schools and theatres, COAL Sparks can share and connect through an online platform and feel part of the web of solutions – the Sparks that light our path ahead.

COAL is a project of Littleglobe, a New Mexico-based non-profit committed to interdisciplinary, collaborative art projects that foster life-affirming connections across the boundaries that divide us. COAL stands on the shoulders of Littleglobe’s many years of successful arts and community work.

What's Happening

Director's Statement

In 2009 I was awarded The United States Artists Fellowship. This award afforded me time and resources. My response was to delve into issues around climate change and see if there was some artistic response that would be personally meaningful and could expand our dialogue, connection, and response to the major events occurring in these times. I wanted to contribute to a movement towards positive envisioning and collective insight as opposed to simply averting disaster. COAL became a means to create spaces and opportunities for us to connect us to our shared humanity.

Frustrated by theme-based projects that oversimplify, the path to finding a starting point has not been obvious. Convinced that climate change is hard to relate to, I committed myself to creating a musical out of my belief that songs and story can foster the emotional connection so desperately needed in this conversation.

This is not a project about right and wrong—it is about what connects us to one another and to the communities with whom we share the planet. It is about what we must let go of and what we must carry with us as we create and remember regenerative relationships. I am not interested in projects that prescribe solutions but that lead us more deeply to our own personal and collective resources inherent in each individual and community. I am interested in nuance, multiplicity, inquiry, dialogue and elevating a wide range of community voices.

COAL contains within it a predicament. The answer to our central social and environmental challenges may not be found in the current language and perceptions that dominate. Rather it may be found in our collective insight—and this is what I seek to create through this musical story, a deep interaction that brings us face to face with creating our shared future through our feeling, participatory creative exchanges and shared reflection and dialogue.

Having worked with many communities around the globe I am aware of the myriad of world views and cosmologies that hold notions of climate change in radically different ways. I care about these differences and am committed to an elegant expression of this multiplicity that welcomes us into a textured global imagining of our future.

Molly Sturges, Santa Fe, NM

COAL Team

  • Creative Team

  • Engagement Team

Story & Songs

The Story of COAL

In this all-ages story of waking up to our impact on the world around us, we meet COAL, known in the story as Firerock, a 365 million year old source of power and wisdom. She sings of how she has fueled human innovation and powered their wildest dreams, but it only made them hungrier for more. Over time, humans fell under the power of the SNOOZE, a numbing slumber that prevents them from seeing their connection to all life, and from feeling their impact on the living world. They can only awaken if they open their hearts to the SPARK of awareness that helps them see and care for the world around them.

Firerock’s light illuminates Hopewell Junction.  In this mining town, the humans pull Firerock from the earth, and all but one of them, the local healer Pippa are under the power of the SNOOZE.  Pippa is the protector of the magical wildwood, where her helper, the bumbling Otter lives. Wildwood is the last pristine forest in the area and a place of magical singing trees.   Under the wildwood runs a precious vein of COAL which many in Hopewell feel, if extracted, will help the town.

In a story of difficult choices and heart-felt relationships we follow a number of compelling characters in the process of awakening from the SNOOZE.  We get to know Tai (the ambitious grandson of the owner of the mine and representative of the mining company PREM. CO), Ellis (Pippa’s estranged husband and beloved retired miner), and Anna (Pippa and Ellis’ daughter, a young woman struggling to manage  the balance of work and school, and who is trying to discover who she is and what she cares about). In the final moments of COAL we meet members from the host community who join the actors on stage and the characters challenge the audience to shake off the Snooze, wake up to their impact on the world, and join together to make sustaining changes for the better through passing the spark from heart to heart.

In this heart-felt, humorous and moving story every voice and every action matters as we celebrate the true power we have individually and together to make a difference for generations to come.

 

Connect

Inspiring a critical shift in our collective identity, COAL is the spark, the fire inside each of us, to creatively act and take our place within an emerging culture of solutions.

Stay tuned for resources coming soon to our website to support bringing COAL to communities across the county.

Please help us get this important show on the road! We welcome your donations of any size. As COAL is a project of Littleglobe, please specify that you would like your donation to go directly to support COAL.

SUPPORTERS

Compton Foundation, The Nathan Cummings Foundation, New Priorities Foundation, New World Foundation, Tyler Rigg Foundation, Santa Fe Community Foundation, Mrs. Robert B. Mayer Charitable Trust, Livingry Foundation, McCune Charitable Trust, Newton Family Fund, Tierney Family Foundation

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© 2016 COAL & Littleglobe Inc. | All Rights Reserved.
PO Box 24213 Santa Fe, New Mexico 87502