Blood and Coal Dust
by Arthur M. Jolly

Featured image for “Blood and Coal Dust”
Arthur M.





Two miners struggle to survive a cave-in.




Arthur M. Jolly (he/him) shares the typical writer background of starting in NY as a stunt performer, snake wrangler and special effects artist; then becoming a helicopter pilot in Oakland, training Army pilots in Alabama; and later flying tourists into the Grand Canyon. Given such a predictable trajectory, his decision to move to Los Angeles to write is all too familiar. Jolly was recognized by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences with a Nicholl Fellowship in Screenwriting. Feature screenplays include Where We Disappear on Amazon Prime. The playwright of 75 produced plays, Jolly won the McNerney National Playwriting Award, the KCACTF Region IV Cohen Playwriting Award and was a finalist for the Woodward/Newman Drama Award. Best known for A Gulag Mouse and The Lady Demands Satisfaction.




How did you come to write your OOB play? Was there a particular inspiration behind its creation? How has it developed?

Blood and Coal Dust started as an exercise in the Loft Ensemble Theatre’s Writer’s Group where we wrote for 10 minutes inspired by a narrative painting. After the others had chosen their pictures, I was left with one of a man being carried out of a mine to a crowd of waiting people. The next week, I hadn’t done any further work on my current full length WIP, and I didn’t want to turn up empty handed – so I took my exercise piece and finished it up!


What are five words that describe who you are as a playwright?

Versatile, multidisciplinary, damn liberal, erudite.


What/who are some of the major influences on your writing?

I was born in England and grew up in Madagascar, Zambia and France before moving to New York City at 11. Since then I’ve lived in San Francisco, Dothan, Las Vegas, Medford, Houston and Los Angeles… and I still have an English accent. My influences have been everyone I’ve met along the way.


What’s one fact someone would never guess about you?

I have been set on fire more than any other living playwright. (Former stunt performer!)


What are some of your favorite plays?

Copenhagen, Jumpers, Posh and Breath, Boom.


Any new projects you’re working on or shameless plugs?

The Lady Demands Satisfaction seems to be taking off. Upcoming productions listed at!

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