The Coterie moves forward with holiday show


Posted by Bob Evans

The Coterie Celebrates Winter with
All Masked, Socially Distanced, Live
Performance of Award-Winning Book with
Online Streaming Option Available

The Snowy Day
and other stories by Ezra Jack Keats


WHAT: The Snowy Day and other stories by Ezra Jack Keats

                       Adapted by Jerome Hairston
                       Based on the Caldecott Award-winning book by Ezra Jack Keats

          WHEN: November 27, 2020 – January 3, 2021
Press / Opening Night: Friday, November 27, at 6:30 p.m.    

WHERE: The Coterie Theatre, Level one of Crown Center, 2450 Grand Blvd., Kansas City, MO

PRICE: $13.00-$15.00 for youth under 18, students, & seniors 60 & older;
$17.00-$19.00 for adults

INFO / RESERVATIONS: The Coterie Box Office
Phone: (816) 474-6552     Online:

This holiday season, The Coterie presents Mesner Puppet Theater’s production of The Snowy Day and other stories by Ezra Jack Keats, an all masked, socially distanced, live show running at The Coterie Theatre with an online streaming option available for those who are unable to attend in person. The endearing adaptation of Ezra Jack Keats’ award-winning book for families with ages three and older will be performed live on The Coterie’s stage in Crown Center, November 27, 2020 – January 3, 2021, with the streaming version available for families and virtual school field trips beginning December 1, 2020.

The Snowy Day and other stories by Ezra Jack Keats celebrates the magic and boundless possibilities of the first snowfall. The story follows Peter and his friends as they romp and play, starting snowball fights, and making snow angels in this uplifting musical play about childhood joys and living life to the fullest each day. Told through inventive puppetry and charming songs, Keats’ little boy in the red coat comes to life for families with ages three and older in a collection of the stories Whistle for WillieGoggles!A Letter to Amy, and The Snowy Day, all originally written by children’s author and illustrator, Ezra Jack Keats.

Keats’ The Snowy Day was originally published in 1962 as a children’s picture book that featured Peter, a young African American boy exploring his neighborhood as the season’s first snowfall signals the beginning of winter. The book received the 1963 Caldecott Medal for Keats’ collage artwork, making The Snowy Day the first picture book with an African American protagonist to win a major children’s award. In 2016, Jerome Hairston created a captivating stage adaptation featuring puppets that received its world premiere at Children’s Theatre Company in Minneapolis, MN. Star Tribune hailed the show as, “a quiet joy.” Subsequent productions around the country have been called, “…delightful… the comforting and fun-loving songs create a sense of home…” (DCTheatreScene) and have been credited for “…bring[ing] Keats’ characters and stories to life with imagination and heartfelt emotion that endures…” ( The Coterie’s producing artistic director Jeff Church says, “In 2017, Mesner Puppet Theater mounted an irresistible version of The Snowy Day — so we are excited to invite them to remount the show for Coterie audiences this winter, with the dialogue recorded and the charming puppetry live.”

The Snowy Day and other stories by Ezra Jack Keats at The Coterie will run approximately 45 minutes and is recommended for families ages three and older. The Coterie is funded in part by Missouri Arts Council, ArtsKC Fund, Theater League, and Neighborhood Tourist Development Fund. The production is sponsored by Compass Minerals, which can be found online at

The Snowy Day and other stories by Ezra Jack Keats will be performed live at The Coterie Theatre in Crown Center. If ticket holders are unable to attend in person, the performance will be available to stream at home at no additional cost. Patrons may indicate their choice to view virtually when purchasing tickets or by contacting The Coterie’s box office to make arrangements prior to their selected performance date. The Snowy Day is also available to educators as a virtual field trip for PreK – 3rd grades. Virtual field trips are booking now for performances December 1, 2020 – January 3, 2021. Booking details are available at

For those attending in person, masks and social distancing are required of all staff, performers, and patrons, including children of any age. Patrons whose accompanying children are unable to wear a mask – or whose children are two years or younger and cannot wear a mask for safety reasons – should choose the virtual option when purchasing. In-person attendance is limited to 100 people or one-third of The Coterie’s normal capacity. The puppetry in The Snowy Day will be performed live, but all dialogue and music will be pre-recorded to avoid talking and respiratory droplets inside the theatre. The Coterie’s theater HVAC system has been optimized to exceed ASHRAE air change recommendations and the theater will receive a complete surface disinfection after every performance. Detailed information about safety and ticketing information for patrons is available at

The Snowy Day and other stories by Ezra Jack Keats is a ticketless, socially distanced event for families with ages three and older. Families who would like to view the performance at home virtually should indicate their preference at check out. Whether attending live or streaming online, admission to The Snowy Day is $13.00-$15.00 for youth under 18, students, and seniors 60 or older; and adults are $17.00-$19.00, depending on performance date. Purchase admission through The Coterie’s box office at 816.474.6552 or

Unlike past Coterie productions, seating is not General Admission. Instead, socially distanced seating pods will be assigned so patrons are asked not to congregate in The Coterie lobby prior to the show. The theater will open for seating 30 minutes prior to the performance.

The Coterie Theatre was designated by TIME magazine in the top three theaters for young audiences in Nov. 2004, calling it “groundbreaking… one of the nation’s most respected.” The Coterie, located in Kansas City, Missouri, has been at the forefront of commissioning new works or adaptations that contribute to the field of theatre for young audiences. More than 50 world or American premieres for all ages have been produced by The Coterie over the last 25 years, during Artistic Director Jeff Church’s tenure, including hosting multiple major Broadway composers and lyricists to shape quality musicals for youth and families. The Coterie is interested in intergenerational conversation, and consistently includes teen programming in its season and outreach efforts. The Coterie’s community programming redefines traditional notions of work for young audiences with its unique dramatic writing programs, teen LGBTQ work, as well as its AIDS/STD education/prevention program, free of charge to 8,000 teens per year, overseen by Executive Director Joette Pelster and a dedicated staff. All these components serve an average of 80,000 per year through over 350 performances. The Coterie Theatre School has drama class locations throughout greater Kansas City. Donate at

Internationally recognized puppeteer, Paul Mesner, established Mesner Puppet Theater (MPT) in 1987 to provide, “Innovative storytelling that captures children’s imagination and inspires communities.” Over the past 3 decades, the organization has captivated nearly two million people through their productions and educational programming. Audiences delight in the craftsmanship of the puppets, which range from glove puppets to marionettes, to innovative shadow and object-based puppetry. MPT holds the distinction of receiving three Union Internationale de la Marionette (UNIMA-USA) Citations of Excellence, which was created by Jim Henson to promote high-quality puppetry in the United States and is considered the “Academy Award” of puppetry. MPT uses humor and heart to present stories that connect to the complex social-emotional experiences of our young audience. Each year the company engages more than 30,000 young people and adults in its programs. The organization is currently led by Producing Artistic Director, Meghann Henry; Mike Horner, Director of Puppetry Arts; and Alex Espy, Director of Education. This team’s knowledge and experience in theatre for young audiences, puppetry, and arts integration is ensuring MPT’s history of excellence will continue while they evolve to meet and inspire today’s audiences. Find out more at


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