Sara Carolynn Kennedy made her Coterie debut in To Whom It May Inspire [in poetry, stories and song]. She is a graduate of The University of Kansas, holding a theatre performance degree. Other previous stage credits include The Addams Family at New Theatre Restaurant, Motherfreakinghood at Moonshine Variety Co., and Guys & Dolls at Musical Theater Heritage.
Art Kent has worked in lighting and technical design for theaters around the country, including Unicorn Theatre, a fashion show in Dallas, Shakespeare in Chicago, and the Santa Fe Opera. Art has designed more than 200 productions at The Coterie. Every show has its share of challenges. Art appreciates when shows challenge him, such as The Coterie’s productions of Dracula: The Journal of Jonathan Harker, Red Badge Variations, Spring Awakening, Once Upon a Mattress, and the original production of The Wiz.
Luci Kersting served as a Production Assistant and Deck Manager for The Coterie’s productions of Red Badge Variations; Bud, Not Buddy; Slashdance; and Shrek The Musical. Other recent credits include Gruesome Playground Injuries at The Fishtank and As You Like It, Antony & Cleopatra, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Heart of America Shakespeare Festival. Luci holds a BA in Technical Theatre from UMKC.
David Kiehl has designed numerous productions including, most recently, Ben Franklin’s Apprentice; Bridge To Terabithia; and Science Fiction Triple Feature. Other recent productions include Evil Dead: The Musical at Egads! Theatre, 1776, Kiss Me Kate, and Big River with Musical Theatre Heritage, Beirut, Talk Radio, and On an Average Day at The Living Room Theatre, and A Very Joan Crawford Christmas, In the Next Room, and Speech and Debate at Unicorn Theatre.
Jessalyn Kincaid, in addition to appearing in Lyle the Crocodile, has also appeared at The Coterie in the world premieres of The Happy Elf, Geppetto & Son, The Dinosaur Musical, and the TYA versions of Seussical, Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, Ferdinand the Bull and 101 Dalmatians. Jessalyn was also the assistant director of Lucky Duck and a director for Young Playwrights' Festival 2010.
Ellen Kirk is a Kansas City native currently teaching preschool at Clay Platte Montessori. In addition to being fortunate enough to teach for the Coterie she also spent all summer teaching Camp Shakespeare with the Heart of America Shakespeare Festival. Ellen is an actor and improviser around town playing on any stage that will allow her to do so. She graduated from Cornell College with a focus in Theater and Gender Studies in 2008. Once a full time nanny, Ellen found that being a Teaching Artist was the perfect mesh of all the things she loves most.
Whitney Klass graduated from William Jewell College in 2013 with a BA in Speech and Theatre Education and began her career at Cristo Rey Kansas City high school as the Theatre, Speech, and Debate Director. During her three years there, she directed multiple plays and one musical in addition to creating and utilizing lesson plans for the classroom. Subsequently, she went back to school and earned her MA from UMKC in Theatre History and Dramaturgy in 2017.
Chase Gutherie Knueven is a recent graduate of Nebrasksa Wesleyan University, receiving his BFA in Acting. During his time there, Chase has been blessed to be a part of many fine productions, such as: Death of a Salesman, Dancing at Lughnasa, Comedy of Errors, and many more. Chase has taken part in many musicals, including: Into the Woods, 1776, and Chicago. Right now he is overjoyed to be back on the Coterie team, teaching youngsters and having fun! Chase plans on working this entire summer to save up for the big move to New York City in the fall.
Matthew Koehler is a teaching artist, lifelong thespian, and believer in the value of artistic expression. Forged in the Omaha youth theatre scene, he went on to earn a BFA in Theatre with a concentration in acting from Kansas City's Avila University. Matthew has worked at many theaters around town, both on and off stage. Previous credits include Young Frankenstein at The White Theatre, Band Geeks with Faust Theatre, and the Kansas City Fringe Festival. Growing up in the arts taught Matthew that the lessons of theatre are inherently bound to the skills it takes to cultivate a full and forthright life. He uses this mindset - along with heaping loads of creative energy - to help inspire his students to grow both as actors and as people (and have some fun along the way).
Melissa E. Koerner's past Coterie Theatre shows include Zeus on the Loose Touring Production, Lyle the Crocodile. Other productions are The Frowning Vajayjays of Shady Pines and White Sangria at MeltingPot KC. For five years she was also an Entertainment Manager, Fireworks Manager and Special Event Manager for Walt Disney World Entertainment. She would like to give special thanks to Jeff and Bill for welcoming her back to The Coterie for this production. To her new husband Joel - I couldn't do any of this without your support, I love you mucho!