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When the North Carolina Arts Council gave Raleigh's Burning Coal Theatre Company a grant to develop new works for the stage, they knew what to expect: the unexpected. Burning Coal has fulfilled this expectation by creating their spring High Noon at the Rialto playreading series, which consists of three new plays presented in staged readings at Raleigh's Rialto Theatre. In an effort to professionalize the program, Burning Coal hired three early-to-mid career theatre directors from New York and Chicago to direct the readings. The American premiere of Four Scenes: A Hungarian Trilogy, the second reading in this series, will be directed by Jennifer Goodlander. "This director is one of the most intelligent and creative young directors I've run across in a while," says Jerome Davis, director of Burning Coal. "We're looking at this as a grooming opportunity to see if she likes working with us." A Hungarian Trilogy is a tragi-comedy, set in a rundown bar in Chicago, that critiques the American Dream through the voices of a group of first generation immigrants. Admission is free, but there's a $5 suggested donation at the door. The reading is at noon on May 12. Call 388-0066 for details.

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