Nora Hennessy recently completed her BFA in Musical Theatre at Missouri State University where she appeared as Serena in Legally Blonde: The Musical and in the ensembles of Pippin and Hair. She also toured with Missouri State’s children’s theatre troupe, the In-School Players. She has performed at the Arrow Rock Lyceum Theatre in Arrow Rock, MO and Maples Repertory Theatre in Macon. She has worked with young performers all across the state with TRYPS Theatre Institute at Stephens College, Summer Expeditions at Columbia College, and the Maples Rep Education Program. Her wildest dream is to have her own show on PBS Kids!
Becca Hudgins originally hails from the Land of Enchantment in Albuquerque, NM, and went to school at Stephen's College in Columbia, MO earning her BFA in Theatre Arts with an emphasis in acting. New to Kansas City, she is excited for all the wonderful artistic opportunities the city has to offer and is honored to be a part of The Coterie's teaching artist family.
Laura Jane Irwin-Henrickson has been an actress every since she can remember. She has taken classes in just about every aspect of theater you can imagine, from Shakespeare to Sword Fighting, and from Mime to Meisner. She graduated from Drury University in Springfield, MO, with an Bachelors in theatre under the direction of Robert Westenberg. In her spare time she loves to dance, sing, bake and crochet.
Erin Ivanov is a teaching artist, performer, and director who graduated from Missouri State University in 2004 with a BA in Theatre and Communication and an emphasis in Children’s Theatre. She was involved in the theatre from a very young age performing in church plays and then plays and musicals in high school and college. In college, she was the leader for a traveling drama ministry group and was also a part of a children’s storytelling troupe. Her biggest theatre passion lies in directing and teaching. She has directed one-acts in both high school and college and directed a musical for the Robidoux Resident Theatre in St Joseph. She has years of experience teaching theatre classes and directing intensive musical camps for Robidoux Resident Theatre, CYT Kansas City, and ACT1KC. She is currently an English/Theatre Arts teacher for Frontier STEM High School in KC. Her favorite roles include Miss Lynch in Grease and Wife in The Problem. She is beyond excited to begin her teaching journey with The Coterie, inspiring students to explore their creative sides and to imagine the unthinkable!
Michael James received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Production Design from the Savannah College of Art and Design. After discovering his love for teaching, Michael shifted his focus from technical theatre to children's theatre, teaching both dance and theatre classes. He has worked as a musical theatre director, choreographer, stage manager, and production assistant in several Kansas City locations including The Coterie, The Culture House, Theatre in the Park, Kansas City Actors Theatre, and Olathe Civic Theatre Association.
Saya Jenks (she/her) is a teaching artist, performer, and theatre maker from the San Francisco Bay Area. Saya earned her B.A. in Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity from Stanford University in 2016 and is working towards her master's degree in Educational Theatre at New York University. Saya has taught theatre and movement to children and teens at The Nueva School in the Bay Area, Chicago's Goodman Theatre, and NYU's Youth Theatre Ensemble. She also teaches applied improvisation and leadership development in both professional corporate and nonprofit settings.
Dee Jimenez is an actor, writer, and director who is pursuing his MFA in acting at the University of Missouri, Kansas City. He will be playing Arturo in his school's upcoming production of The Resistable Rise of Arturo Ui. He has taught acting at schools in the Denver-Metro area, and will continue to teach in Kansas City this summer with The Coterie Theatre. He loves hip hop and reading great works of Latin American literature.
Haley Johnson is a recent graduate of Graceland University with a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre. Before joining The Coterie; Johnson appeared in shows such as 39 Steps, Speech and Debate, Ghost: The Musical and Lend Me a Tenor. Her undergraduate achievements include receiving the 2018 Irene Ryan Acting Scholarship followed by the Mark Twain Prize for Best Comedic Performance. She is thrilled to be making art with future theatre-makers.
Ashley Jones is so excited to make her Music Directing debut with The Coterie Theatre's education department. She is a graduate of The University of Missouri Kansas City Conservatory and holds her Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education. She previously worked at Grain Valley South Middle School as the Vocal Music Teacher. During her time at Grain Valley, she also choreographed the Middle School Musicals Schoolhouse Rock Live Jr., The Musical Adventures of Flat Stanley., Alice in Wonderland Jr., High School Musical Jr., and Aladdin Jr. as well as the High School Women’s Show Choir Amplified. She has appeared as a performer in several productions around Kansas City including Lula Buffington in Violet (OCTA), June Perry in Story of the Century (Fringe KC), From Broadway with Love (Leawood Stage Co.), and several performances with Shawnee Mission Theatre in the Park including Trix in The Drowsy Chaperone and Judine (Dynamite) in Hairspray. Her most recent role is Madam/F4/Gargoyle in The Culture House’s Production of The Hunchback of Notre Dame. She is currently working to grow her private voice studio, KC Songbirds (email@example.com) and also enjoys singing with her band The Ashley Jones Band (www.ashleyjonesband.com).