Judy Simmons made her Coterie stage debut in Tomas and the Library Lady, after serving as a teaching artist for a variety of The Coterie's acting classes, including Welcome To Musical Theatre, Advanced Musical Theatre, Acting Techniques, and Audition Lab. Other recent productions include Between The Lines and Sunday in the Park with George at Kansas City Repertory Theatre, Chruch Basement Ladies and Church Basement Ladies, A Second Helping at Chestnut Fine Arts Center, The Sound of Music at Starlight Theatre, and her solo show P.S. I Love You Sondheim at Quality Hill Playhouse. She has been a cabaret performer, actress, and teacher in Washington, DC, for over 25 years. Judy taught at American and Catholic unversities and enjoyed directing numerous cabarets for local artists. She directed musicals at Montgomery College, Catholic University, and other groups. Judy was also fortunate to have coached many high school students for their college entrance auditions.

Teaching theatre and dance to children brings Emily Nicole Simpson great joy. As a child Emily danced with Somerset Ballet and Valley View Dance, and spent her summers at Camelot Academy, a performing arts camp. After earning a BFA in Dance, Emily taught for Kansas City Ballet and State Street Ballet of Santa Barbara. She directed youth theatre and ballet programs in Durango, Colorado, before returning to the KC area to work towards earning her MA in Library Science. Emily is the Lower School Library Media Specialist at Pembroke Hill, and is thrilled to work with Coterie students this summer!

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.

Taleel Smith is a performer and teaching artist from New Jersey and who has recently made Kansas City his new home.  He received a Bachelor's Degree in Theater Performance in 2017.  He has performed on the Broadway stage at Circle In the Square Theatre in New York City.  Taleel is also a dancer, writer, and poet who is driven to inspire the idea of art and performing, as well as educating. 

Michelle Staub graduated from the University of Kansas with a Bachelor of Arts in Dance. Before joining The Coterie she toured nationally with The Omaha Theatre Company, taught and directed at Performer's Edge Academy in Omaha, NE, as well as various theatrers in the Kansas City Metro. Her specialties are creative drama, musical theatre choreography, and youth musical directing. She loves learning from and creating with her students!

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.

Ali Tallman is a Miami based theatre director, writer, movement director, and producer. Ali believes that a broadly developed skill set is invaluable for artists. She has worked in many artistic capacities throughout her career, including as an actor, costume designer, stage manager, dramaturg, and fight choreographer. She is a founding Co-Artistic Director of &Sons Theatre, an ensemble-driven theatre company in Santa Fe, NM. She has been a company member at Theater Grottesco and a repertory company member at The International Shakespeare Center. Ali has also worked at Theatre Delicatessen in London, where she engaged with and was deeply inspired by the work of international nontraditional and movement-based theatre makers. Ali is a graduate of The University of Georgia (BA Theatre, Certificate British and Irish Studies) and the acting apprenticeship program at Out of Box Theatre in Atlanta, GA. She founded a children’s theatre at The University of Georgia during her time as a student, and loves creating theatre with artists of all ages.

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