The future of coal as a viable source of energy for the United States is a highly contentious subject, yet many of us are only nominally aware of the stakes involved.

The future of coal as a viable source of energy for the United States is a highly contentious subject, yet many of us are only nominally aware of the stakes involved. Jeff Biggers' multimedia theater production Welcome to the Saudi Arabia of Coal aims to put a human face on the ongoing struggle between our nation's energy policies, corporations and individual families. The one-day-only show follows a young couple dealing with conflicting interests when their century-old homestead is threatened by a mountaintop removal operation. One of several endeavors inspired by the Coal Free Future Project, the play is loosely based on a book by Biggers, a leading expert on our nation's forgotten - and unfortunately dark - history of coal mining.

-Nikki Davis