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.
Bailey Rose Steinke first stepped onto the stage when she was 11 years old and never looked back. She is a graduate of Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota with a BA in Theatre and Marketing. Collegiate credits include Next to Normal, Two Rooms, and The Drowsy Chaperone. She in Kansas City she was seen in Defying Gravity at Metropolitan Ensemble Theatre.
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 has been a teaching artist with The Coterie since 2015. Brittany has a Bachelor's degree in Theatre and a Master's degree in Education from Avila University in Kansas City. She is a certified speech and theatre instructor in Missouri. Before teaching with The Coterie, Brittany was an adjunct professor at Avila University in the Intensive Language and Culture program, and served on a Teaching Advisory Board for The Nelson-Adkins Museum of Art. Brittany has performed with the Independence Messiah Chorus since 2010.
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, playwright, producer, and the head of the Theatre department at Kansas City Academy (grades 6-12). Some favorite roles include Carrie's mother in Egads Theatre's Carrie the Musical, Agnes in I Do! I Do!, Percy in Spitfire Grill, Sister Hubert in Nunsense, and Agnes in Dancing at Lughnasa. She has written and directed shows each year for the Kansas City Fringe Festival since 2008, including KHAAAAAN! The Musical, the original opera Red Death, and Voyage to Voyager. Tara is the recipent of an ArtsKC Inspiration Grant, had a four-month-long experimental exhibit at the Nelson-Atkins Museum, and has been a Dickens Caroler for over a decade. Tara has been a teaching artist for The Coterie since 2007.
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!
Vincent Wagner has been seen at The Coterie as Schroeder in both of the sold-out runs of A Charlie Brown Christmas. He made his debut many years ago as Jem Finch in To Kill a Mockingbird, directed by Cynthia Levin, and as a youhg actor also worked at the KC Rep and Heart of America Shakespeare Festival.
Grant Wayman is a teaching artist, facilitator, and performer who recently received his MFA in Theatre for Youth and Communities at Arizona State University. Grant's interests include devising original work with and for young people as well as arts and culture-based community development. As part of Grant's thesis project, he devised Mr. Dave's Treasure Chest, an imaginative solo performance that offers young children, ages 3-5, a unique and hands-on theatrical experience exploring interactive play, empathy, and imagination. While in Arizona, Grant worked with the young artists of Rising Youth Theatre to devise The Kid's Table, an original production in grown up conversations. He performed and facilitated in Sojurn Theatre's The Race, a movement-based and interactive performance held on the campus of Arizona State University during the election of 2016. While at ASU, Grant worked on a partnership with the city of Phoenix to create a Youth Arts and Cultural Council comprised of teen artists that created arts advocacy programming including a devised performance that advocated at Phoenix city budget hearings for greater arts funding. Grant is excited to be back in Kansas City and create with young artists in the area.