Michael DeCoursey is a Kansas City based actor, teacher, and theatre practitioner. He has performed in theatre productions and workshops around the country from New York to San Francisco and Kansas City to Dallas. Some of his favorite roles include The Nine Who Dared: Courage In Little Rock (here at The Coterie), Finian's Rainbow (Spinning Tree Theatre), Into the Woods (PFAMily Arts), and South Pacific (Garland Summer Musicals). In 2017, Michael graduated from the Summer Training Congress at the prestigious American Conservatory Theatre in San Francisco, and he holds a BFA in Theatre Performance from Texas Christian University. He is also an accomplished commercial actor and has appeared in spots for major corporations such as Sprint, Cerner, and Tropicana. As a teacher, Michael has staffed public schools throughout the metropolitan area and teaches acting classes privately. He specializes in teaching actors to eliminate performance anxiety in actors of all ages, teaching his methods to young actors at the Kansas Thespian Festival and Jr. Festival in Wichita and he's taken his workshop to Upstate New York as well.

Jordan DeLeon started at The Coterie with the production of Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Musical. Jordan also takes acting classes at The Coterie as well as dance at Miller Marley. He was recently seen in Aladdin at Miller Marley, Peter Pan at Trilogy Cultural Arts Center, and Children of Eden at Theatre in the Park. Jordan spends his free time singing, dancing, performing… and especially, eating!

 Brittany DeMars has made her first debut on the Coterie stage in Lyle the Crocodile and has taken several classes at The Coterie. Recent credits include Johnson County, The Musical, Blondes vs. Brunettes and Shopping The Musical at Theatre of the Imagination. Brittany will be a freshman at Shawnee Mission South High School.

And Justice for Some: The Freedom Trial of Anthony Burns [1858] marked Mariem Diaz’s Coterie debut. Previously, she appeared in Mr. Burns: A Post-Electric Playat Unicorn Theatre and The Learned Ladies and Freedom Rider at UMKC Theatre. She received her BA in Theatre Arts and Political Science at Gettysburg College and is currently a MFA Acting student at University of Missouri-Kansas City.

Nedra Dixon directed The Coterie's Once On This Island and has appeared twice on its main stage as Aunt Em/Glinda in The Wiz. In addition to the honor of performing at the White House, the Kennedy Center, Carnegie Hall, and Madison Square Garden, Nedra has received critical acclaim as a “triple threat performer,” director, and choreographer in numerous venues on Broadway, Off-Broadway, national tours, and regional theaters.

 Lucas Zachary Dorrell has been in Seussical and Lyle the Crocodile with The Coterie. His former shows are Nuncracker at American Heartland Theatre then Peter Cottontail and Aladdin with Starlight. When Lucas is not performing he can be found playing soccer or practicing the drums.

Shawna Peña-Downing is a 2012 graduate of Avila University with a BFA in Musical Theatre and a BA in Communications.  She continuously works as a professional actor and teaching artist with various youth-centered organizations in Kansas City.  Shawna has been seen on many Kansas City stages including The Coterie, Unicorn Theatre, Mesner Puppet Theater, Metropolitan Ensemble Theatre, Theatre for Young America, and KC MeltingPot Theatre.  Shawna loves to spend her time, energy, and free spirit being an educator, laughing, eating, and giving back.  She lives to create and perform quality work that inspires, entertains, and educates.

Anthony T. Edwards has served as music director for a number of Coterie productions including Garfield: The Musical with Cattitude, Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Musical, Madagascar: A Musical Adventure, A Year With Frog and Toad, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, The Wiz, Lyle the Crocodile, Shrek The Musical, Spring Awakening, Once Upon A Mattress, and Lucky Duck.

Aaron Ellis made his debut as fifteen year-old Martin Luther King Jr. in The Coterie World Premiere of Becoming Martin. Originally from Omaha, Nebraska, the production was Aaron’s first at The Coterie and in Kansas City. Other credits include The Jungle Book and Mary Poppins at The Rose Theater, and Heathers with Bluebarn Theatre.

Bailey Ellis first stepped onto the stage when she was 11 years old and never looked back. She is a graduate of Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota with a BA in Theatre and Marketing. Bailey has worked with multiple theatres in Kansas City and is a company puppeteer for StoneLion Puppets. When she isn’t teaching at The Coterie, Bailey works as a local Makeup Artist. Bailey has fallen in love with KC and enjoys finding new coffee shops, going to markets, and walking her dog around the beautiful parks with her husband. 

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