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Kansas City’s Coterie Theatre selects shows for upcoming season

The Coterie announces its lineup for 2014-15.
The Coterie announces its lineup for 2014-15.
Courtesty of The Coterie Theatre in Kansas City

Kansas City’s famous Coterie Theatre announces its 2014-15 season for the young and the young at heart with a line-up of six plays destined to entertain the variety of audiences that come to the theater, located on the lower level of Crown Center, and just adjacent from Kansas City’s historic Union Station.

The Coterie prides itself in the notion that there are no small parts, just enormous talent in its offerings that are targeted to younger audiences but charming enough to entertain the oldest of attendees. The Coterie, under the leadership of Artistic Director Jeff Church carefully studies and selects plays that have both meaning and substance for their audiences.

Season tickets sales continue, and for some shows (previews) tickets cost as little as $5 per person. Not a bad deal for those on a budget and want to still experience live theater and/or introduce the young fry to live action productions.

“Rosa Parks and The Montgomery Bus Boycott”
Written by Sue Greenberg
Directed by Brad Shaw

Sept.23- Oct.19, 2014

Cultures and tradition collide when Black vs White issues in Montgomery Ala. erupt after a now seemingly small situation escalated into the Civil Rights movement in the early 1960s. A Black woman, Rosa Parks did not give up her seat on a bus to a white man and was jailed setting off a firestorm let by a new pastor, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. King organized and lead a boycott that stirred the controversy over equality amongst different skin colors. By using several period songs of the time, the cast reveals the story of the beginning of a major step in America’s history.

The show appropriate for 4th-12th grades is considered appropriate for most ages and runs just over an hour. An interactive forum for school groups will be built into the performance to explore what was really at stake, as well as strategic thinking. Curriculum extensions: Analyze how and why individuals and events develop and interact; analyze historical events and their impact on present-day society. Find Resources at

“Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” ™
Based on the animated television special "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer"
and the stage production directed and conceived by Jeff Frank and First Stage.
Script adaptation by Robert Penola. Arrangements and orchestrations by Timothy Splain.

Scenic and puppet designs by Brandon Kirkham.
Directed by Jeff Church
Nov. 4, 2014 - Jan. 4, 2015

The beloved stop-motion classic "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" ™ and his friends soar off the screen and onto the stage this holiday season. From fleeing the Abominable Snow Monster™ to saving Christmas, join Rudolph™ and his friends Clarice™, Hermey the Elf™, and Yukon Cornelius™ as their adventures teach us that what makes you different can be what makes you special. The holiday message instills that everyone is special and has worth.

The show aims to please everyone from five and up. It runs just under an hour. Curriculum extensions: Analyze how two or more texts/media sources address similar themes/topics ("Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" lyrics & story); assess how point-of-view shapes the content of a story and the emotional development of a character. Find Resources at

“Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” animated television special adapted from a story by Robert L. May and the song by Johnny Marks, music and lyrics by Johnny Marks.
All elements © and ™ under license to Character Arts, LLC.

“The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane”
A Coterie Theatre & UMKC Theatre Co-Production
Written by Dwayne Hartford | From the book by Kate DiCamillo (author of Because of Winn-Dixie and The Tale of Despereaux)
Directed by David Saar
January 27 - March 1, 2015

A motionless china rabbit that possesses the ability to think, Edward Tulane, undergoes a journey that teaches the selfish bunny that fancy clothes do not make a fancy rabbit. Edward, a three-foot tall toy rabbit, beautifully made, with a wardrobe of exquisite clothes is very much loved but does not know how to return love. He doesn't love anyone but himself. On a cruise ship, Edward is thrown overboard by mean boys, thus begins his unexpected journey that carries him through many years to different owners. Edward, the china rabbit, discovers that even a heart of the most breakable kind can learn to love, to lose, and to love again.

The show is targeted to grades 3-8 but entertains all ages. The show runs about 1 hour and 15 minutes. Curriculum extensions: Analyze how two or more texts/media sources address similar themes/topics (The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo); assess how point-of view shapes the content of a story and emotional development of a character. Find Resources at

“To Whom It May Inspire”
[in letters, stories & song]
Conceived & directed by Coterie Artistic Director Jeff Church

At The Coterie March 3 - March 8, 2015
Touring K.C. area schools Jan. 21 – Feb. 27, 2015
Call 816-474-4241 to book a tour performance

The Coterie brings the inspirational words of historical and contemporary authors, statesmen, explorers, teachers, scientists, inventors - even kids themselves - together in this premiere created and directed by Coterie Artistic Director Jeff Church. Masterfully shaped speeches, letters, accounts, poems, song, and more cover everything from career advice to rousing words of powerful persuasion from past and present. Both uplifting and enlightening the pieces take aim at the hearts nd minds of the audience.

Targeted for grades 6th-12th, the show is for everyone age 10 years old and up, with a running time of about 60 minutes. Curriculum extensions: Analyze historical events and their impact on present-day society; evaluate character’s point-of-view, reasoning, and use of evidence and rhetoric. Find Resources at

“Dr. Seuss' The Cat In The Hat”

Written by Katie Mitchell and based on the book by Dr. Seuss
Directed by Heidi Van

March 31 - May 17, 2015

“It is fun to have fun, but you have to know how!” says the Cat in the tall red and white hat. Featuring Sally and her brother, their pet Fish, Thing 1 and Thing 2, and all of the favorite moments from the classic Dr. Seuss tale. Zany fun and adventures abound, with the trickiest of tricks and craziest of ideas. He can turn a rainy afternoon into an amazing adventure.

The show is targeted to K-5th grades and is appropriate for ages 5 years old and up with running time of about 50 minutes. The show includes an interactive Forum: A pre- & post-show experience built into the performance that explores Dr. Seuss' world and engages kids physically and cognitively. Curriculum extensions: Analyze how two or more texts/media sources address similar themes/topics (The Cat in the Hat by Dr. Seuss); connect a relationship between words and visuals to tell a story. Find Resources at

“A Year With Frog And Toad”
Book and lyrics by Willie Reale with music by Robert Reale
Based on the books by Arnold Lobel
Directed and Choreographed by Jerry Jay Cranford

June 16 - Aug. 2, 2015

Well-loved characters hop from the page to the stage in this Tony-nominated musical following two great friends - the cheerful, popular Frog and the rather grumpy Toad - through four, fun-filled seasons. Part vaudeville, part make-believe, all charm, A Year with Frog and Toad tells the story of a friendship that endures, weathering all seasons. The jazzy upbeat score bubbles with melody and wit; an inventive, exuberant, and enchanting musical for the whole family, the Coterie said. The show is targeted to K-5 and will entertain everyone 5 years old and up with a running time of 65 minutes.

Season and individual tickets are on sale now. Save up to 66% off individual ticket prices when bringing a group of 20 or more from a school, community organization, religious institution, senior center, birthday party, or book club.

During the first week of each show, save on tickets by attending those previews before opening night. Preview prices are available the 1st Tuesday through Sunday of each show except Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer ™ and To Whom It May Inspire. The special prices are:
Special Preview rate: $5.00 per ticket; weekdays: $5.50 per ticket; weekends: $6.50 per ticket. For the holiday production of “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer ™” Nov 4 - Jan. 4, prices are: weekdays, $6 per ticket; and weekends: $7 per ticket.

Buy now and secure your seats by contacting: Make your group reservation by contacting: The Coterie Box Office, Kevin Albert, Asst. Box Office Manager,, or telephone the box office at 816.474.6552.

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