A funeral is an emotional experience that helps participants grapple with both the good and the bad.
That’s what artists worked to capture in “Calling Hours,” a play about the closing of the Conesville Coal-fired Power Plant which operated for over a half-century and was both a major employer and significant polluter in Conesville, Ohio.
“There was a real sense of loss and a real sense of grief,” said Tom Dugdale, a theater professor at Ohio State University who helped to put the project together.
Ohio Coal Communities Project, an Ohio State University group of faculty, staff, and students, is working to document Appalachia’s transition away from coal economies. The intention is to have a clear-eyed view of both the importance of coal to these communities along with the harm they have caused, and the mixed future in front of those communities as they transition without certainty of a strong economic period ahead.