Show History



Chris Miller and Nathan Tysen set out to write an adventure story that took place in West Virginia. Pete, one of the main characters in the show, frequently loses himself in fantasy sequences inspired by the 1960 film, The Alamo, starring John Wayne as Davy Crockett. Hailing from Kansas, Tysen has remarked that he feels as though he wrote The Burnt Part Boys "for the community [that he] grew up in." Despite the show's heavy themes of loss and grief, The Burnt Part Boys focuses upon the exuberance of friendship. Miller says of the show, "it's a joyous, fun journey, and [while] there is the gravitas about the mining accident, it's really about finding each other in this ghostly landscape. ...It excited us about writing the piece and I feel like, in terms of subsequent productions, that would be exciting to other people as well."


The Burnt Part Boys had an innovative production and development schedule on the way to its Off-Broadway premiere. The show received its first developmental production at the Barrington Stage Company in 2006, followed by a developmental Lab Production at Vineyard Theatre in Spring 2009. In the summer of 2009, it was presented at New York Stage and Film at Vassar College. The unique developmental track of the show comes in part under the aegis of the Playwrights Horizons Musicals in Partnership Initiative, funded by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Funding for the development of The Burnt Part Boys at Vineyard Theatre was also provided by The National Endowment for the Arts and The Maurer Family Foundation.

The Burnt Part Boys ran Off-Broadway at Playwrights Horizons from April 30, 2010, to June 13, 2010. The show was produced in conjunction with the Vineyard Theatre. Joe Calarco provided direction and musical staging.