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Bones, an aspiring country singer, lives in a small mining community in West Virginia where coal is king. When a mine collapse leaves him and his crew trapped, Bones struggles to survive his own guilt and impenetrable darkness as the clock ticks away on their oxygen and their lives.

Cast Requirements

5 men
2 women

Set Description



"If you haven’t thought of coal miners and the sacrifices they and their families make on a daily basis, McManus' Underground will take care of that in short order. There is optimism and innocence throughout that makes this a very compelling play"
—Laurie Lawson, Electronticnet.com

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“Playwright James McManus, in this new play, has found the emotional essence of the West Virginia mine culture… with rough gesture, rural romance, and religious and family bonds. One cannot leave the theatre without a deep concern for the future fate of the coal miners of West Virginia, whose employers outfit them with faulty oxygen tanks and antiquated rescue rituals. When the miners write final notes to their wives on the back of a deck of cards, the drama could be set a century ago.”
—Roberta Zlokower, Roberta on the Arts

Production and Development History

Produced: The Clockwork Theatre (2009).