Tony J. Pulford was last seen at The Coterie in Tomás and The Library Lady, The Miracle Worker, Dr. Seuss’ The Cat in the Hat, Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Musical (2014, 2016, 2018), as well as the Dramatic Health Education Project: STDs/HIV. Previously, he appeared in West Side Story with Lyric Opera of Kansas City, Sister Act at New Theatre Restaurant, and A Soldier’s Play with The Black Repertory Theatre of Kansas City. He graduated from Northwest Missouri State University, where he earned a B.A. in Theatre. Offstage, Tony loves spending time with his family, playing hours and hours of board games and holding private dance recitals in his living room.
Mariah Roady is thrilled to join the Coterie’s slew of fantastic teaching artists. Mariah serves as a year round Teaching Artist for the Heart of America Shakespeare Festival. She teaches Shakespeare Conservatory and Team Shakespeare every weekend in addition to her full time role with the Festival, Development and Marketing Associate. Previously, Mariah served as Peer Education Coordinator at SafeHome where she directed a theatre-based educational program on teen dating violence and sexual assault.
Callie Rodina first fell in love with theatre as a young person seeing Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. She does not remember much about the show, as she was about 5 years old at the time, but Callie does remember how hard she laughed. That same passion for laughing is what brought her full circle - back to the The Coterie as a performer after graduating with a degree in Vocal Performance with minors in Theatre Arts and Gender Studies from Nebraska Wesleyan University (May 2018). Callie has been in numerous shows at The Coterie, appearing in Goosebumps: Phantom of the Auditorium- The Musical, No Talking, Madagascar: A Musical Adventure, and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. When she isn't all over KC working on projects from straight plays to musicals, teaching voice lessons, or taking a nap with her dog, you can find her here at The Coterie as a Teaching Artist! Callie joined the team in the Fall of 2018 and had a blast instilling a love for the arts in young minds. Callie is thankful for The Coterie and what it has provided her since she was a young person, and she is so happy to return the favor for kids just like her! No matter what you find Callie doing, you'll almost always hear her laughing... ESPECIALLY at The Coterie Theatre!
Lisa Miller Ross has received her Master of Arts in Education and Master of Arts in English at Truman State University. She loves teaching for The Coterie, especially the Exploratory Theatre classes for kindergarten through second graders. In the past she has taught “Folktales and Animal Stories: Act the Stories”, focusing on local folktales with animal main characters; “Commotion in the Ocean”, focusing on sea creatures; and “Stories to Bug You”, the companion class to The Coterie musical U:BUG:ME.
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 is an actor and teaching artist in KC and Lawrence. A recent graduate from University of Evansville, in Indiana, with her degree in Theatre Performance, she has performed with Fishtank Theatre on projects including Belfast Girls and Dry Land, and worked with the Unicorn Theatre as a Literary Intern and Production Assistant. In addition to teaching with The Coterie, Erdin has also taught with the Lawrence Arts Center, Kansas City Young Audiences, and Raintree Montessori School. She has trained in with SITI Company and Anne Bogart in Viewpoints and Suzuki movement for theatre, and completed a residency with Cornerstone Theatre Company on their community-engaged production of Ghost Town, in Venice, CA.
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 Audition Lab. Other recent productions include Between The Lines and Sunday in the Park with George at Kansas City Repertory Theatre, Chruch Basement Ladies and Church Basement Ladies, A Second Helping at Chestnut Fine Arts Center, The Sound of Music at Starlight Theatre, and her solo show P.S. I Love You Sondheim at Quality Hill Playhouse. 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.
Karen Slagle is a Kansas City native who recently moved back to the KC area after living on Cape Cod, MA, where she taught special education and third grade for 30+ years. She holds a B.S.Ed in Elementary/Special Education from University of Central Missouri, and a M.A.Ed in Language & Literacy from Simmons College, Boston, MA. Karen founded the Falcon Theatre Company, a 4th-8th grade theatre program in 2002, in Sandwich, MA, with the desire to encourage young people to get involved in youth drama. Her productions incude Annie, Jr., Beauty and the Beast, Jr., Enchanted Sleeping Beauty, High School Musical: On Stage, Pocahontas, Seussical, Jr., and The Little Mermaid, Jr. to name a few! Karen also writes Readers Theatre scripts, teaches Readers Theatre classes, and directs both adult and children's Readers Theatre productions.
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.