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February 7, 2022

Bloomsburg Theatre Ensemble brings 'Patchworks: Life and Legends of the Coal Towns' on the road in April

BLOOMSBURG, Pa. – From April through May, children in Pennsylvania and neighboring states will put down their pencils and books and spend an hour mining the rich history of King Coal as the Bloomsburg Theatre Ensemble performs Patchworks: Life and Legends of the Coal Towns in their school. With BTE’s time-tested, energetic storytelling style, imaginative props, and audience involvement, three Theatre In the Classroom (TIC) actors will transform elementary and middle school cafeterias and gymnasiums into the landscape of the coal town. Patchworks, BTE's 43rd TIC tour, is an inspiring collection of stories, songs, and first-person narratives woven together to illustrate life in the mine patch and the search for the American Dream deep inside the hills and mountains of the Keystone State.

Daniel Roth, Resident Acting Company member says, "these stories are so human, lively, and spirited. The songs are a combination of sadness and humor that makes them truly beautiful. The people who lived in the patch towns and worked in the mines found a way to make their lives meaningful and joyful even under the worst possible conditions. Their stories are extraordinary, and we are so very pleased to share them with our young audience."

Patchworks, directed by James Goode, is back by popular demand after a nine-year hiatus. One of BTE’s most often requested Theatre In the Classroom shows, Patchworks is suitable for all ages and will tour schools, community centers, and libraries across the Commonwealth and beyond.

This tour follows BTE's tradition of bringing quality theatre to young people and developing and vitalizing their imagination by involving them, through active participation, in the theatrical arts. Shows are presented by actors in an animated story-theatre style followed by a lively post-performance discussion.

For schools, a comprehensive study guide written from the same material as the script, provided prior to the scheduled performance, enables educators to maximize the educational value of the theatre experience by providing discussion ideas, related classroom activities, post-performance questions, and bibliography. The study guide is provided to educators as a download from BTE's website:

Patchworks: Life and Legends of the Coal Towns tours from April 20th through May 27. Booking dates for the 2022 tour are available. Teachers, administrators, and parent-teacher organizations should call BTE's School Programs Director, Paula Henry at 570-458-4075 or e-mail for more information or to book a show.

Founded in 1978 as an artist-driven, community-based resident ensemble, BTE creates innovative work with local and national impact. Today, BTE produces a lively mix of classic and contemporary plays as well as original theatre education programs for all ages. For more information about our shows and programs, please see