2018/2019 Season

The 40th Anniversary




Becoming Martin

Becoming Martin

A Coterie World Premiere by Kevin Willmott
Directed by Chip Miller
Produced in community partnership with
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Kansas City and The Black Archives of Mid-America

September 18 - October 21, 2018

This world premiere centers on the mentorship Martin Luther King, Jr., receives when he enters Morehouse College at age 15. Through debate over civil disobedience concepts, Morehouse College President, Dr. Benjamin Mays, sets young MLK on a path towards fighting for civil rights.

In conjunction with the world premiere of Becoming Martin, The Coterie will offer In-School Workshops that will introduce students to the events in the play and help put the story into historical context. For information and reservations visit coterie.edublogs.org.

This play is a Coterie commissioned work by noted filmmaker, screenwriter, director, and playwright, Kevin Willmott, who currently serves as a professor of film studies at Kansas University and is hailed as one of the most prolific independent filmmakers today, with films such as Ninth Street, C.S.A.: The Confederate States of America, and Chi-Raq, for which he was executive producer and co-writer with Spike Lee.


Length:  75 minutes

Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Musical

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Musical

Based on the animated television special “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer”
Directed by William J. Christie | Music Direction Anthony Edwards | Choreography Marc Wayne

November 6 - December 30, 2018

Back by popular demand, the beloved television classic Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer soars off the screen and onto the stage this holiday season. Rudolph and his friends, Clarice, Hermey the Elf, and Yukon Cornelius learn what makes you different makes you special. As one reviewer put it, “If adorable is at the top of your Christmas list, save an afternoon or evening for Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Musical... as rich as eggnog!"


Length: 60 minutes

Secret Soldiers: Heroines In Disguise

Secret Soldiers:
Heroines In Disguise

A co-production with UMKC Theatre
Written by Wendy Lement

January 22 - February 10, 2019

True accounts of four women who, for different reasons, served as men in the Civil War. Woven into this unique and interactive play: early suffrage movement as well as the formation of the Massachusetts 54th Regiment (the first African American regiment in U.S. history) and Harriet Tubman.


Length: 70 minutes

Mr. Popper’s Penguins

Mr. Popper’s Penguins

Script by Robert Kauzlaric
Music & Lyrics by George Howe
A musical of the Newbery Honor Book by Richard & Florence Atwater

February 26 - March 31, 2019

In this charming musical adaptation of the beloved book, Mr. and Mrs. Popper’s lives take an adventurous turn when a mysterious box arrives on their doorstep with a penguin inside. Not long after, the local aquarium sends over a female penguin and soon, the Poppers are hearing the patter of 20 little feet. What starts for Mr. Popper as a giant bill for canned shrimp leads to an imaginative journey across America – one that ends in the Antarctic to place the penguin colony in a “life they were meant to lead.”


Length: 65 minutes

Beat Bugs

Beat Bugs:
A Musical Adventure

Based on the Netflix original series “BEAT BUGS”
Created by Josh Wakely
Written by Sean Cercone & David Abbinanti

April 16 - May 19, 2019

Inspired by music made famous by The Beatles

A brand new musical featuring five young anthropomorphized insect pals who live in an overgrown suburban backyard. Using music of The Beatles to learn life lessons while having adventures, one little independent bug learns the value of friendship with “A Little Help From My Friends.”


Length: 60 minutes

Elephant and Piggie's "We Are In A Play!"

Elephant and Piggie's "We are in a Play!"

Script and Lyrics by Mo Willems
Music by Deborah Wicks La Puma

June 11 - August 4, 2019

One of the most popular & beloved shows The Coterie has ever done returns to the stage! Gerald the Elephant is cautious and Piggie is not. Along with the three nutty Squirrelles, these “bestus” friends might get invited to a swimmy fancy costume dancey pool party or decide to spend the day playing ping-pong in silly hats.  This lively and irresistibly charming musical look at friendship has become one of the best-selling and loved young readers’ series of the past decade.


Length: 60 minutes

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