Jeff Church (Producing Artistic Director) joined The Coterie as Producing Artistic Director in 1990, which, during his tenure, has been named in the top five children’s theatres in the U.S. by Time Magazine, where his Great Book/Banned Books Season was nationally recognized. He started a children’s theatre in his hometown of La Junta, Colorado, at age 15, continuing it while getting his BA in Fine Arts at Colorado College. In the 1980s he was playwright-in-residence at the Kennedy Center Youth and Family Programs and taught at Duke Ellington School.
Amanda Kibler (Education Director) earned her M.F.A. in theatre for young audiences from the University of Central Florida. Before joining The Coterie, she worked as an actor, director, and teaching artist at the Omaha Theater Company in Omaha, NE, Orlando Repertory Theatre in Orlando, FL, and Visible Fictions in Glasgow, Scotland. She loves creating theatre for and with youth of all ages.
Allison Nissley (Theatre School Director) is a teaching artist, performer, director, and a lover of theatre for young audiences. She graduated from Northwest Missouri State University with a Bachelor of Science in Theatre Performance. Understanding the importance of being a well-rounded theatre artist, Allison has had experience with technical theatre focusing on scenic construction, and sound design, as well as directing and performance coaching. Some of her favorite roles as a performer have been in touring productions for elementary schools: The Snow Queen, Fishing for a Change, and Impawssible Pals.
Lindsay Adams is a performer, director, and nationally produced playwright. She was recently seen with the Fishtank Theater in Liminal Spaces, a devised dance theatre piece, and Just Puppets KC. Lindsay is currently directing Measure for Measure with Confluence Theatre Company. Lindsay has an M.F.A. in Playwriting from Catholic University of America in DC. Her play, Her Own Devices, received two awards from the Kennedy Center and the 2016 Judith Barlow Prize. Her work has been produced and developed at Women's Project Theatre (NYC), Theatre Alliance (DC), Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival (PA), Keegan Theatre (DC), Interrobang Theatre (MD), Page-to- Stage Festival (DC), This is Water Theatre (TX), The Hub Theatre (VA), The Pearl KC (MO), Westridge Middle School (KS), Westport Center for the Arts (MO), Fishtank Theater (MO), KC Public Theater (MO), and The One Minute Play Festival (DC), among many others. She is a Midwest Dramatists Center Resident Playwright, and proud member of the Dramatists Guild and Literary Managers and Dramaturgs of the Americas.
Kevin Albert has been a teaching artist for The Coterie Theatre since 2008. He has appeared on many Kansas City stages. He was last seen on The Coterie stage in their production of Frindle. He is also a singer, director, and writer who is inspired everyday by the excitement, energy, and dedication of his students.
Jeanne Averill has been a professional actress and award winning educator for more than 25 years. She has appeared in almost every professional venue in Kansas City, getting her start at our own Coterie Theater in roles such as Marmee in Little Women and Ma in the Little House on the Prairie plays. In addition to Kansas City theaters such as The Coterie, Kansas City Rep, Kansas City Actors Theater, New Theater Restaurant, and American Heartland Theater, she has also appeared in national theaters such as The Denver Performing Arts Center and the Black Hills Playhouse. She has an extensive resume in film and commercials and has appeared in national films with actors such as Martin Sheen, Patty Duke, John Hurt, Ari Graynor, Colin Hanks, and Jeffrey Tambor, among others. Commercial credits include Hallmark, Harrahs, Walmart, Applebees, Intrust Bank, and many others.
Jeanne holds a BS in education and an MA in theater, both from the University of Kansas. During her career she has been awarded the Kansas Theater Teacher of the Year, the Lawrence Secondary Teacher of the Year, and was a semi-finalist for Kansas Teacher of the Year. She was also awarded the AATE (American Alliance for Theater in Education) National Theater Teacher of the Year. Much of Jeanne’s advanced teaching artist training has been through the Kennedy Center Arts Partnership program with the Lied Center and Lawrence School District.
Jeanne is currently continuing her professional acting career and teaching acting and film classes in the Lawrence and Kansas City area. She is thrilled to return to the Coterie family as a performer and educator.
Ric Averill is a freelance director, playwright, teacher, screenwriter, actor, composer, music director, keyboard player, and conductor. Ric retired as Artistic Director, Emeritus, of the Lawrence Arts Center, the organization tha supported his artistic life for 16 years and allowed him to tour the country (37 states with his Seem-To-Be Players) and produce professional and educational theatre (including the award winning Summer Youth Theatre program, which he co-founded with actress wife, Jeanne). Averill has been commissioned by The Coterie Theatre in Kansas City, the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC, First Stage Miliwaukee, and San Diego State University's Theater of the World Festival to write plays and operas. The body of Ric's work may be found at Dramatic Publisshing. Ric's most recent work, Midnight Visit to the Grave of Poe; A Grotesque Arabesque, an opera with modern dance, rock instrumentation, and digital scneery, premiered at the Lawrence Arts Center in October of 2015.
Rasheedat "Ras" Badejo is a generative theatre artist born and raised in Kansas City. They received a BA in Theatrical Performance from UMKC in 2015. Ras has had the pleasure of working with many theatre companies in KC like Kansas City Actors Theatre, Kansas City Rep, the Unicorn Theatre, The Coterie, Fishtank Theatre, The Black Repertory Theatre of Kansas City, and The One Minute-Play Festival in positions ranging from crewing and stage managing to acting, directing, and playwriting. They are also a teaching artist for the Kansas City Repertory Theatre's Summer Youth Theatre Ensemble. Ras has been a teaching artist with The Coterie since the summer of 2016, and loves empowering children and teens through art.
Katie Bartlett began her theatre journey at a young age, and her passion has never stopped growing. She is a native of Kansas City, currently residing in Overland Park. She holds a minor in Music and a degree in Elementary Education from Avila University. Katie was in the classroom as an elementary teacher for the past 12 years before deciding to stay at home with her two young children. Katie is thrilled to be a teaching artist to help foster children’s love of theatre.
Patrick Beasley made his Coterie debut in Madagascar: A Musical Adventure, after appearing in Phantom at Circa ‘21 Dinner Playhouse, La Cage aux Folles with Cape Reperatory Theatre, and Wouldn’t It Be Loverly at Musical Theatre Heritage. Patrick is a graduate from University of South Dakota with a BFA in Musical Theatre (Magna Cum Laude).