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. He has been a teaching artist with Trike Theatre for Youth, TheatreSquared, and The Cincinnati Shakspare Company. Kristopher is currently an Instructor of Theatre at Park University and The Art Institute International in Kansas City.
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.
Robert John Sudhoff (B.J. to his friends) has recently graduated from the University of Wisconsin - Stevens Point with a BFA in acting. He recently played Brick in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and was also seen in Macbeth. After four years Robert is excited to be back in Kansas City, and to be working with The Coterie Theatre again.
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.
Katelyn Tormena has a Masters of Arts in Theatre from the University of Central Missouri. She is a local director directing shows with The Barn Players, The Bell Road Barn Players, Blue Springs Community Theatre, and The City Theatre of Independence. She won the award for best direction of a ten-minute play at the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Region V Festival in 2018. She also enjoys acting, dancing, and has aspirations to attend film school in the future to explore film and television directing.
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!
Melissa Trierweiler is an actor, director, and teaching artist based in Kansas City, MO. She is originally from Columbia, MO where she received a BFA in Theatre Arts from Stephens College in 2016. She has worked with kids of all ages through her work as a teaching artist at the TRYPS Children's Theatre Institute in Columbia, MO and through directing recent summer camp productions of Anne of Green Gables and A Little Princess at Presser Arts Center in Mexico, MO. Locally, she has most recently been seen performing in The Belfast Girls and Along the Line with the Fishtank Theatre and Mirrors: A Staged Reading with Louise Hyacinth Productions. She has also been seen in productions at the Okoboji Summer Theatre and Boji Bantam Children's Theatre since graduation. She works at The Coterie Theatre as a teaching artist, box office assistant, and as a peer educator for the Dramatic Health Education Project: STDs/HIV. She thanks her friends, family, and fabulous mentors for their continued support!
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.