A Coal Creek Moment
March 28, 2004

See photos below

Knoxville Actors Co-op spent Sunday afternoon at the abandoned Fraterville Mine, Briceville Community Church, and Leach Cemetery where many of the Fraterville miners are buried. John Wright from Knoxville Metro Pulse photographed the event for an article to be published on April 8 about the original Fraterville play that will premier on April 23 at the Black Box Theatre.

According to the actors, a "moment" is that instance when a play comes together and everyone understands a particular emotion or message being portrayed.  They had such a moment when Jeff Barbra and Sarah Pirkle performed a song from the original score they wrote for the play while sitting at the abandoned entrance to the Fraterville Mine.

We’ve had many Coal Creek "moments" over the past 4 years like those we experienced during the 100th anniversary events in May 2002 and during our field trips with students from Briceville School.

No "moment" was as touching on Sunday as when Jeff and Sarah sang over the graves of the Dezern brothers whose families are central to the play.  "Shine a Little Light" is about a miner who spends 6 days a week underground, never seeing sunlight.  Sunday is different when the miner sees the light, both literally and spiritually. The miner takes comfort in the fact that others are warm in their homes due to his labor.  When he dies, he wants no stone.  His only request is to be buried in sunlight.

Sarah sang another song "a cappella" that ends with the farewell message, "Oh God, for one more breath".  Visit http://www.jeffandsarahonline.com/ for more details.

If you, too, want to experience a Coal Creek "moment",  order your tickets for the play, by visiting http://www.w3st.com/actors_coop/schedule.html and following the instructions.

Bring boxes of Kleenex when you see the play and listen to the music.  You’ll need them.

More activities planned for the 102nd anniversary of the Fraterville Mine Disaster can be seen by visiting www.coalcreekaml.com/Fraterville102nd.htm.

Read more info about the making of the play.

Read article in Knoxville Metro Pulse

Another Moment with the Actors

See photos of the afternoon tour below.  Click on image to enlarge.

Barry Thacker gives the group a history lesson about the Fraterville Mine disaster.

Dressed in their period costumes, actors pose for their Metro Pulse feature story at the entrance to the mine.

Jeff Barbra and Sarah Pirkle performed one of their original songs at the entrance to the mine during a Coal Creek "moment". Cast, crew, and friends with Mrs. Arthorine Wilson, a descendant of Taylor Pratt who died at Fraterville.
We visited the old Briceville Church where a memorial service was held at the time of the disaster and at the 100th anniversary.

View from the historic cemetery behind Briceville Church.

Our next stop was at Leach Cemetery where 89 of the Fraterville miners were laid to rest.  Jeff and Sarah "Shine a Little Light" over David Dezern's grave during another Coal Creek "moment".

The actors pose among the headstones.

Group shot of actors, director, singers, costumer, Metro Pulse, and friends at Leach Cemetery.

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