The Coterie’s 44th season encourages, empowers across the theatrical spectrum

Composed of three plays and three musicals, the season will deliver a few fresh takes on classics, as well as a world premiere.
Coterie 2223 Lineup

Courtesy of The Coterie Theatre

The Coterie Theatre is excited to announce its 44th season lineup.  Composed of three plays and three musicals, the season will deliver a few fresh takes on classics, as well as a world premiere.

Starting Sept. 20, Akeelah and the Bee, based on the 2006 drama film featuring Keke Palmer, tells the tale of young Akeelah Anderson, a spelling genie from Southside Chicago, who is forced to confront her potential by participating in a spelling bee. 

And if confrontation of one’s potential is not scary enough, the Coterie’s annual Tell-Tale Electric Poe promises to frighten audiences with its return to theaters on Oct. 20. RH Wilhoit hauntingly delivers Poe stories and poems, accompanied by local rock musician Rex Hobart’s strategic insertion of electric guitar.  

Of the season’s lineup,  perhaps the most anticipated show is Michelle Tyrene Johnson’s Only One Day a Year, a Coterie-commissioned, National Endowment for the Arts award-winning play. The play exposes a long-overlooked history of racial segregation in Kansas City with a micro-focus on racist policy at historic Fairyland Park, World of Fun’s predecessor.

Only One Day a Year intertwines past and present with parallel stories of Rose James and her granddaughter, Ella. In the early 1960s, Rose attempts to defeat racist policy that allows black people to visit Fairyland Park once a year. In the present,  Ella channels her grandmother’s spirit to navigate bullying at her school.

In alignment with the themes of this season’s stage productions (minus Tell-Tale Electric Poe), the Coterie will continue educational and community outreach with acting classes for students ages 3 through high school, an LGBTQ acting troupe, and a teen playwriting program in May. The Coterie has also paired with the UMKC School of Social Work to create Project Daylight, which offers interactive theater workshops for middle schoolers to address mental wellness.

Visit Coterie’s box office at 816.474.6552 or hop online at www.thecoterie.org to purchase tickets in advance.

Categories: Culture