Michael DeCoursey is a Kansas City based actor, teacher, and theatre practitioner. He has performed in theatre productions and workshops around the country from New York to San Francisco and Kansas City to Dallas. Some of his favorite roles include The Nine Who Dared: Courage In Little Rock (here at The Coterie), Finian's Rainbow (Spinning Tree Theatre), Into the Woods (PFAMily Arts), and South Pacific (Garland Summer Musicals). In 2017, Michael graduated from the Summer Training Congress at the prestigious American Conservatory Theatre in San Francisco, and he holds a BFA in Theatre Performance from Texas Christian University. He is also an accomplished commercial actor and has appeared in spots for major corporations such as Sprint, Cerner, and Tropicana. As a teacher, Michael has staffed public schools throughout the metropolitan area and teaches acting classes privately. He specializes in teaching actors to eliminate performance anxiety in actors of all ages, teaching his methods to young actors at the Kansas Thespian Festival and Jr. Festival in Wichita and he's taken his workshop to Upstate New York as well.
Shawna Downing is a 2012 graduate of Avila University with a BFA in Musical Theatre and a BA in Communications. She continuously works as a professional actor and teaching artist with various youth-centered organizations in Kansas City. Shawna has been seen on many Kansas City stages including The Coterie, Unicorn Theatre, Mesner Puppet Theater, Metropolitan Ensemble Theatre, Theatre for Young America, and KC MeltingPot Theatre. Shawna loves to spend her time, energy, and free spirit being an educator, laughing, eating, and giving back. She lives to create and perform quality work that inspires, entertains, and educates.
Ray Ettinger has worked with The Coterie Theatre for many years. He appeared on The Coterie stage in such shows as The Seven Dwarfs, Wind in the Willows, and 101 Dalmatians. He also taught the Musical Theater Skills class for several years. He has played the piano for School House Rock, Live and other shows, and accompanies Coterie musical classes.
Joseph Fournier debuted at The Coterie in The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane. Joseph has a MFA in Acting and Directing from the University of Missouri-Kansas City, an Associate of Arts degree in Liberal Arts from Schoolcraft College, and a Bachelor of Science in Theater Arts from Eastern Michigan University. Previously, Joseph has also been seen in Harvey at Kansas Repertory Theatre, Gunplay at Fishtank Performance Studio, and Stones in His Pockets at Metropolitan Ensemble Theatre.
Jordan Fox is a Springfield, MO, native and a professional actor. He moved to Kansas City in 2012 and has performed locally with many theatre companies. Jordan is a graduate of Greenville College and holds a BA in Communication: Theatre. After graduating in 2007, he moved back to his hometown and continued studies under acting coach George Cron. A lifelong learner, Jordan got his first experience working with children as a puppeteer with StoneLion Puppet Theatre.
Brian Gehrlein is very honored to be teaching for The Coterie Theatre. In the Fall of 2011, Brian had his Coterie debut performance as Johnny in The Outsiders. He is a 2010 William Jewell graduate with a BA in Theatre Education. When he isn’t acting, teaching, talking about ideas, drinking coffee, or spending time with his beautiful wife Katherine (fellow theatre teacher!) he enjoys writing plays, short stories, and blogs. He looks forward to any and all work with The Coterie Theatre, and is very grateful to be teaching students with such a hunger to learn.
Nicole Marie Greenberg made her Coterie premiere in Afflicted, Daughters of Salem. Most recently, she was seen in The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane. Her previous credits include UMKC Theatre’s productions of Almost, Maine, directed by John Rensenhouse; Big Love, performed on the Copaken Stage; and King Lear, as part of The Discovery Project. Nicole is a native of Nyack, NY, and has earned her MFA in acting at UMKC.
Jill Hemann is thrilled to be working with The Coterie and has been involved in children's theatre throughout the United States before moving to Kansas City. She has previously been seen in the national tour of The Sound of Music (Sister Berthe). She has also been seen in A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (Domina), Phantom (Carlotta), The Lovely Liebowitz Sisters (LaVonne) in Atlantic City, Nunsense (Amnesia), A Christmas Carol (Mrs. Fezziwig - National Tour), and The Pirates of Penzance (Major General) among other productions. Jill holds a B.A. in Secondary Education and also holds a Master's degree in Music from Webster University.
Nora Hennessy recently completed her BFA in Musical Theatre at Missouri State University where she appeared as Serena in Legally Blonde: The Musical and in the ensembles of Pippin and Hair. She also toured with Missouri State’s children’s theatre troupe, the In-School Players. She has performed at the Arrow Rock Lyceum Theatre in Arrow Rock, MO and Maples Repertory Theatre in Macon! She has worked with young performers all across the state with TRYPS Theatre Institute at Stephens College, Summer Expeditions at Columbia College, and the Maples Rep Education Program.