And Justice for Some: The Freedom Trial of Anthony Burns [1858] marked Mariem Diaz’s Coterie debut. Previously, she appeared in Mr. Burns: A Post-Electric Playat Unicorn Theatre and The Learned Ladies and Freedom Rider at UMKC Theatre. She received her BA in Theatre Arts and Political Science at Gettysburg College and is currently a MFA Acting student at University of Missouri-Kansas City.

Nedra Dixon re-creates her role in The Wiz at The Coterie, where she also previously directed Once On This Island. In addition to the honor of performing at the White House, the Kennedy Center, Carnegie Hall, and Madison Square Garden, she has received critical acclaim as a “triple threat performer,” director, and choreographer in numerous venues on Broadway, Off Broadway, national tours, and regional theaters. She’s played roles as varied as Mary Magdalene in Jesus Christ Superstar to the ditzy gun moll, Erma, in Anything Goes.

 Lucas Zachary Dorrell has been in Seussical and Lyle the Crocodile with The Coterie. His former shows are Nuncracker at American Heartland Theatre then Peter Cottontail and Aladdin with Starlight. When Lucas is not performing he can be found playing soccer or practicing the drums.

Shawna Downing is a graduate of Avila University with a BFA in Musical Theatre and a BA in Communications.  She has worked as a teaching artist with Kansas City Young Audiences and various youth centered organizations in Kansas City.  Her stage work at The Coterie includes The Wiz, the Dramatic Health Education Project, and the Young Playwrights Festival. She lives to create and perform quality work that inspires, entertains, and educates.

Anthony Edwards returns to The Coterie after having served as music director for Lyle the Crocodile, Shrek the Musical, Spring Awakening, Once Upon a Mattress, and Lucky Duck. Nationally, Anthony has been the music director for theatres across the country including the Denver Center for the Performing Arts where he performed for four years in Always…Patsy Cline.

Alisha Espinosa got her jump start on the stage when her seventh grade teacher Mrs. Hensel cast her in Bye, Bye Birdie, her first production. Alisha has also been seen at The Coterie in To Whom it May Inspire, and Afflicted, Daughters of Salem. Past performances include Pericles at UMKC Theatre, Our Town with Kansas City Repertory Theatre, and Echoes of Octavia for KCMelting Pot. Alisha’s hometown is Canadensis, PA, and she is a MFA Acting student at UMKC.

Ray Ettinger has worked with The Coterie Theatre for many years. He appeared on The Coterie stage in such shows as The Seven Dwarfs, Wind in the Willows, and 101 Dalmatians. He also taught the Musical Theater Skills class for several years. He has played the piano for School House Rock, Live and other shows, and accompanies Coterie musical classes.

Steven Eubank returns to The Coterie for his thirteenth production, after enjoying last summer as Skipper in Madagascar- A Musical Adventure.

José Faus marked his first Coterie production in Tomas and The Library Lady. He was recently seen in Wiccans in the Hood on the Unicorn’s stage during during the Kansas City Fringe Festival. Originally from Colombia, José recieved his degrees in Studio Art with an emphasis in painting and creative writing/ journalism from the University of Missouri-Kansas City. To see more of José’s work, visit his website at

Zach Faust has been seen in Coterie productions such as No Talking and Hana’s Suitcase. His local credits include Evil Dead The Musical with Egads! Theatre, Shrek the Musical with Gladstone Theatre in the Park, and Kiss Me, Kate at Metropolitan Ensemble Theatre. Zach is a graduate of Winnetonka High School. In his spare time, Zach enjoys script writing as well as directing with his own company, Faust Theatre.