COLLABORATION BRINGS NEW PLAY TO BEAUMONT
A new play that has drawn rave reviews at theater festivals across the country will open for a limited engagement in Beaumont in June through a unique collaboration between a Brooklyn-based theater group, a Beaumont independent theater group and Beaumont Community Players.
“Butcher Holler Here We Come” tells the harrowing story of five coal miners after a cave collapse in 1973 West Virginia as they struggle with dwindling oxygen, complicated relationships with each other and their own troubled psyches. The production immerses the audience in the miners’ world shifting from moments of complete darkness to the glowing lights of their headlamps.
Written by Casey Wimpee and produced by Aztec Economy, both based in Brooklyn, the 70-minute play debuted at the Cincinnati Fringe Festival in 2013 and has since been featured at the New Orleans Fringe Festival, the Out of the Loop Fringe Festival in the Dallas area and Baltimore’s EMP Collective.
The ensemble cast includes Adam Belvo, Isaac Byrne, Michael Mason, Adam Laten Willson and Cole Wimpee, twin brother of the playwright. Mason is co-founder of both Aztec Economy and Ad Hoc Beaumont, an independent theater group assisting with the production, who returned to his native Beaumont after eight years working in theater in New York.
“Both Aztec Economy and Ad Hoc Beaumont are committed to introducing new works and to making theater accessible to new audiences, so we’re thrilled to be able to bring this production to Southeast Texas,” Mason said. “We think Southeast Texans will be able to relate to these characters and this story.”
While “Butcher Holler” focuses on coal miners in West Virginia, Southeast Texas audiences may see parallels to the men and women who work in area refineries and related industries. In recognition of that connection, discounted tickets will be available for $5 at the door for employees of refineries and related industry with ID.
“Butcher Holler Here We Come” is rated R for violence and language, and is not recommended for young children or people with claustrophobia or a fear of the dark.
Performances are scheduled for 7:30 p.m. June 5-7 and June 12-14, and at 2 p.m. June 7 and June 14.
Performances will be in the Jerry L. McMillan Studio Theatre at Beaumont Community Players’ Betty Greenberg Center for the Performing Arts, 4155 Laurel Ave. in Beaumont.
Tickets are available for $15 per person online at beaumontcommunityplayers.com.