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.
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.
Lindsay Weaver is a local actor with performance credits all over the Kansas City metro. She's a Nebraska native who graduated from Emporia State University with a BFA in Theatre in 2010. While Lindsay is passionate about theatre, she also enjoys cooking and playing with her dog. Lindsay hopes to forge a career balanced equally between artistry and education here in Kansas City.
Chase Wheaton-Werle is a recent Musical Theatre graduate from the University of Tulsa where he also worked as Teaching Assistant for the Musical Theatre Performance course. In the year since his graduation, Chase has enjoyed performing in Kansas City, Missouri; Lincoln, Nebraska; Peterborough, New Hampshire; and several locations in the New England area. As an actor, Chase's top favorite roles have included Bottom in A Midsummer Night's Dream, Roy Cohn in Angels in America, and Matt in Altar Boyz.
Shelley Wyche has happily served as a Coterie Teaching Artist since 2003. Her classes have ranged from fairy tales with six year-olds to directing teenagers in Coterie performance camps. Shelley recently earned her Master's degree in Applied Theatre at University of London's Royal Central School of Speech and Drama and has made theatre with children across the UK and South Africa. A professional actress, her Kansas City roles include Romeo and Juliet, The Giver, Our Town, Spring Awakening, Vincent in Brixton, and Amadaeus. As a child, Shelley got her brothers to act out stories with her by agreeing to play flag football first. She still throws a mean spiral, but she'll tell you that theatre is way more fun.