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This week may be your last chance to purchase tickets for Burning Coal Theatre Company's production of The Mound Builders, which begins its run Oct. 18 at the BTI Center in Raleigh. Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Lanford Wilson (who also wrote HOT L Baltimore, which was recently put on by UNC-Chapel Hill's Lab! Theatre) considered the play his best and most significant (not to mention least-produced) work. It involves a group of archeologists on a dig of burial grounds in Southern Illinois, who discover something that could cause a shift in thinking about previous North American civilizations. When the archeologists' egos clash, the veneer of civilization they had maintained is removed, and the discoverers become the discovered. "This is a many- leveled play that deals with the need of mankind to investigate the minutiae of previous societies," Burning Coal's artistic director Jerome Davis says. "The need of these scientists to know about a past civilization often supersedes their need to know about their own wives and children." Davis also says that the play is about "why human beings need to build things larger and larger, and why other people need to dissect that." The production runs through Nov. 4. Call 388-0066 for details.

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