Matthew Schmidli is a local AEA Actor, Director, Playwright and Professorial Director of the Theatre Program at Rockhurst University. He received his MFA in Acting from Purdue University. Matthew has worked across the country in film, television and theatre, but is a proud member of the Kansas City artistic community, a city where he was born and raised.
Erdin Schultz-Bever uses theatre to foster connection, self-discovery, community, empowerment, joy and play. She is a recent transplant to Kansas City from Indiana who graduated from University of Evansville with her degree in Theatre Performance. She has trained in Viewpoints, Suzuki movement and devised theatre composition with the SITI Theatre Company and Anne Bogart.
Judy Simmons made her Coterie stage debut in Tomas and the Library Lady, after serving as a teaching artist for a variety of The Coterie's acting classes, including Welcome to Musical Theatre, Advanced Musical Theatre, Acting Techniques, and Auditon Lab. Other recent productions include Sunday in the Park with George at Kansas City Repertory Theatre, Chruch Basement Ladies at Chestnut Fine Arts Center, and The Sound of Music at Starlight Theatre. She has been a cabaret performer, actress, and teacher in Washington, DC, for over 25 years. Judy taught at American and Catholic unversities and enjoyed directing numerous cabarets for local artists. She directed musicals at Montgomery College, Catholic University, and other groups. Judy was also fortunate to have coached many high school students for their college entrance auditions.
Anna May Smith is a teaching artist, comedian, writer and actress. She graduated from the University of Kansas with a degree in Theatre Performance and a love for comedy. She is a member of the professional cast at ComedyCity, and has been performing short and long form improv, musical and sketch comedy there since 2011. Through ComedyCity, she was able to start coaching with Operation: Show! A non-profit organization that teaches improv comedy to high school students, while raising money for their drama and forensics departments.
Kristopher Stoker’s stage credits include The Spiritualist, The 39 Steps, Noises Off, It’s a Wonderful Life, and My Father’s War (Theatresquared); An Ideal Husband, Othello, Hamlet, Timon of Athens, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Macbeth, The Seagull, Twelfth Night (Cincinnati Shakespeare Company); Love Song, Gertrude Stein Plays Paris, and Picasso At The Lapin Agile (ArkansasStaged). Film credits include: In Sickness and In Health and Paranoia. Kristopher studied improv at The Upright Citizens Brigade in NY.
Brittany Strelluf earned a Bachelor's degree in theatre and a Master's degree in education at Avila University in Kansas City. She is also a certified speech and theatre instructor in Missouri. Before teaching at The Coterie she was an adjunct professor at Avila University in the Intensive Language and Culture program. She recently served on a Teaching Advisory Board for The Nelson-Adkins Museum of Art.
Rachel Taylor earned her BA in Theatre from Missouri State University, and her Masters in Education from Avila University. She has performed with Starlight Theatre, Eubank Productions/Egads!, and various regional and community theatres. She has also dabbled in voiceover and commercial work. For the past few years Rachel has spent more time behind the scenes. She has taught/directed/choreographed for Christian Youth Theatre, St. James Academy, Grandview High School, Lee’s Summit West High School, and Summit Theatre Group.
Teddy Trice hopes he “can work in this business till he’s old and gray.” His past Coterie performances include Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Lyle the Crocodile, and The Wiz. Other recent credits include The Island with Kansas City Actors Theatre, The Brothers Size with Unicorn Theatre, and Lucky Stuff with Ozark Actors Theatre. Teddy is a graduate of Drury University where he received his BA in Theatre. He is a die hard Chiefs fan and he enjoys watching KU Men’s Basketball: Rock Chalk!
Tara Varney is an actor, singer, director, and playwright. Most recently, she portrayed Carrie’s mother in Egads Theatre’s Carrie the Musical. Other favorite roles have been Agnes in I Do! I Do!, Percy in Spitfire Grill, Sister Hubert in Nunsense, Kathy and/or Mo in The Kathy and Mo Show, and Agnes in Dancing at Lughnasa. She has co-written and directed a play at the Kansas City Fringe Festival every year since 2008, and each has been one of the top ten best-attended plays for its year.
Jessica Wagner has earned her master's degree in Vocal Performance from the University of Kansas and her bachelor's degree in Music Education from Missouri State University and is a certified music teacher in Missouri for students K-12. She has enjoyed performing in operas, musicals, and concerts on stages both locally and internationally. She cannot wait to be able to share her love of music and theatre with the students at The Coterie this summer!