Vanessa Severo has appeared in numerous Coterie productions including The Miracle Worker, Science Fiction Triple Feature, Holes, Selkie: Between Land and Sea, The Strange Case Of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, The B.F.G., Gatherings In Graveyards, Sarah Plain and Tall, and the Young Playwrights’ Festival. She also served as choreographer for The Wiz.
Emily Shackelford returns to The Coterie stage in Schoolhouse Rock Live! after thrilling audiences in Afflicted: Daughters of Salem and The Wiz... twice! She is a former Coterie teaching artist and has previously appeared in Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day – The Musical, Seussical, Spring Awakening, and Lucky Duck at the New Victory Theatre.
Brad Shaw is a Coterie mainstay. He has directed, designed costumes and sets, house managed, and served as a Coterie Resident Artist for over 14 years. Brad’s recent Coterie credits include No Talking, The Wiz; Bud, Not Buddy; and Once On This Island. Other recent credits include An Otherwise Hopeless Evening at the Jewel Box Lounge. Brad is affiliated with MCC Spirit of Hope and has been a contract teacher for KCYA since 1986.
Julie Shaw has appeared at The Coterie in Once Upon a Mattress and Lucky Duck at The Coterie and off Broadway at The New Victory a Theatre in NYC. Local credits include productions at Spinning Tree Theatre, Musical Theatre Heritage, Quality Hill Playhouse, Unicorn Theatre, American Heartland Theatre and Chestnut Fine Arts. Julie resides in Overland Park with her two kids, Jack and Caroline and wonderful husband, who still has a full, luscious head of hair.
Cindy K. Siefers is proud to make Rosa Parks and the Montgomery Bus Boycott her debut production at The Coterie, where she and her family have been long-time supporters and fans. Elsewhere in Kansas City, Cindy has appeared in Where the Hell’s the Bridesmaid????? in the KC Fringe, The Frowning Vajayjays of Shady Pines for KC Melting Pot, and Fox on the Fairway for Paradise Playhouse. Cindy started out singing in her father’s church and went on to study voice at Palomar College in San Marcos, CA. After spending some time doing T.V.
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.