World premiere of coal town production set to hit West Virginia Public Theatre stage

Denise Giardina's award-winning novel Storming Heaven has been adapted for the musical stage and is currently showing at the West Virginia University Creative Arts Center. 

The story line centers on Carrie Bishop (Alison McCartan), the mine doctor’s nurse and sister of the mine superintendent, who finds herself unwittingly in the middle of a love triangle with Albion Freeman (Luke Halferty), her husband and preacher to the miners, and Rondal Lloyd (Rick Mugrage), a charismatic Union organizer.

Carrie’s journey of self-discovery — a woman at the turn of the twentieth century struggling to find her own identity and power — parallels the miners’ struggle for basic human rights.

“I have been thrilled to see Storming Heaven come to life on the stage,” said author Denise Giardina in a recent press release. “I am especially gratified that the writers and composers understand the themes at the heart of the novel, and also have shown great respect and appreciation for Appalachian culture.”

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AWTT portrait of Denise Giardina