COAL: The Musical … is creative community engagement for climate.

>> Can you conceive of a musical about the energy paradox of our times–-that begins when the curtains close?

>> Can you imagine together celebrating a way out of our climate mess–-into a real future for ourselves and all living communities?

>> Can you commit just few a hours a week to do what is needed?

Check out the below post with a brief video introduction my latest endeavor, COAL: The Musical.


COAL is a mythic coming-of-age story set in the present time. A boy, Olam, must reconcile his mining heritage, notions of manhood, and contemporary values with a deep-rooted love for the imperiled natural world, his home. Olam must decide what kind of man he will be.

Through his moral journey, we too are challenged to join the head and the heart, the analytical and emotional–in other words, to grow out of our consumptive adolescence into a mature society. No matter the audience, COAL is personal. Your family stars in this show.  COAL zeroes in on the central paradox of our times: that our gadgets, homes, transport and machines are fueled by poisons inking a tragic global sentencing down the fossil fuel storyline (every dig, move, and burn). This powerful, uplifting, and even funny story–yes, trust me!–is about how we are complicit and thus empowered to move forward together.

No, I wasn’t sure, either, how this story could fill a theater. But tears were running down my smiling face by the last pages of the script.  The music is snappy-catchy and the characters unforgettable.  And the story is just the beginning.  The Musical of COAL will serve to spark and boost individual and community ACTION in host towns, universities, cities and regions across the country.

The first staged reading of COAL takes place February 8, 2013 in Santa Fe, NM.  Let me know if you want to come!  Early 2014, COAL premiers in four host cities including San Francisco, CA–and from there hits the road.  Follow this blog for updates throughout our incredible journey.


This summer in Alaska I met COAL creator Molly Sturges of the non-profit organization Littleglobe. As she wrapped up her TEDx Talk I knew, sure as a lightning strike, that I needed to follow this woman. Over the past year+, Molly has delved into our moral-environmental climate crisis driven by fossil fuel use and emerged with COAL: The Musical. Since October 2012, I have been collaborating with the wonderful Adam Horowitz as a Community Engagement Strategist for COAL. In 2013 look forward to deeper work on this imaginative, invitational, and inter-generational project of immense importance. (An alliterative meld of the i’s I like best).  It is an honor to work creatively on what I believe is the biggest challenge and most beautiful opportunity you and I are faced with today.


STORY! It’s all about telling the right story: Who are we humans? What do we need? How can we do what is good? And it’s all about listening carefully to the response–so we can weave new stories together, for they create our lives just as surely as our bodies, bank accounts and blood.

As I’ve said before, I’m not the musical “type.” As a movement-builder, I see COAL as a vehicle for changemaking. To me, COAL is about using an optimistic, family-oriented, and authentically American art form to EXPAND and ACTIVATE the audience for climate action. In the production, local kids will be on stage asking the audience to step up their game–from caring to doing. This will ignite the fierce love of parents, grandparents, and communities for whom the climate crisis can no longer be distant.  Once seen for what it is–a personal problem–the reality of climate change will call forth moral strength to rectify our energy paradigm. The crisis is here, and so are rising heroes. COAL asks: How will you join them?

Solutions to climate chaos exist. The ignited will to activate them is not … yet. COAL is about lighting that fire under our collective behinds.

Vamanos ya, muchachos. El tiempo ya se acaba.


P.S. Contrary to the Indiegogo site’s funding bar, we actually came just a few $Ks short of the $12,000 goal. Thank you to all who contributed to realize this dream.  Your support goes far beyond the dollars — it fuels, grounds, and uplifts me more than anything in the world.

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