The Coterie teams with UMKC for new production
Posted by Bob Evans
The Coterie & UMKC Theatre
Virtual Co-Production Interweaves
Science and Stories of Local Teens to
Offer Look Into Growing Teenage Minds
The Inside Life of the Teenage Mind
WHAT: BRAINSTORM: The Inside Life of the Teenage Mind
Written by Ned Glasier, Emily Lim, and Company Three
A virtual co-production with UMKC Theatre
WHEN: Streaming On Demand now through February 7, 2021
PRICE: $20.00 General Admission
WATCH NOW AT: www.thecoterie.org
The Coterie and UMKC Theatre present BRAINSTORM: The Inside Life of the Teenage Mind, a virtual co-production that combines theatre, scientific research, and the true personal experiences of local teens to create a fun and thought-provoking performance offering a unique look at why the teen mind works the way it does. Directed by Amanda Kibler and written by Ned Glasier, Emily Lim, and Company Three, along with input from students at nine Kansas City area schools, BRAINSTORM is available to stream online for families and virtual field trips for Grades 6-12, January 21 – February 7, 2021.
ABOUT THE PLAY
To create the virtual production of BRAINSTORM: The Inside Life of the Teenage Mind, The Coterie joined with UMKC Theatre and middle and high school students all over the Kansas City area. Now available to stream on demand for Grades 6-12, BRAINSTORM is a completely unique mix of theatre, science, and personal stories from local teens that transforms into an honest discussion about how teens think, feel, and experience the world as well as their relationship to their parents — all from the teens’ points of view.
“The script of BRAINSTORM has a framework that explains the science of the brain,” explains Amanda Kibler, production director and The Coterie’s director of education, “and the authors include personal stories to demonstrate how the science works. Those of us in The Coterie’s BRAINSTORM company then took that script and turned to local high school and middle school theatre students all over K.C., asking them to share their own, true experiences that were then written into our production. Everything our characters discuss about their lives comes directly from the personal stories of Kanas City teens.” BRAINSTORM incorporates stories from teens currently attending Accelerated School of Overland Park, Arrowhead Middle School, De Soto High School,
North Kansas City High School, Paseo Academy, Pembroke Hill School, Platte County High School, Rockhurst High School, and Shawnee Mission Northwest High School.
Created in collaboration with neuroscientists, BRAINSTORM includes scientific context that helps explain how the teen mind responds, questions, risks, and experiments. Featuring lively animation and the talented acting of UMKC Theatre’s MFA students, BRAINSTORM is a cross between an uplifting TEDTalk and a Zoom meeting that explodes off the screen into the real world, offering a look at the lives of young people who are quickly approaching adulthood, but who do not act or think as adults yet.
The Coterie and UMKC Theatre’s BRAINSTORM: The Inside Life of the Teenage Mind will run approximately 50 minutes and is recommended for families with ages eleven and older. The Coterie is funded in part by Missouri Arts Council, ArtsKC Fund, and Theater League.
BRAINSTORM: The Inside Life of the Teenage Mind will be presented as a co-production between The Coterie and UMKC Theatre, a collaborative relationship that has become an annual tradition for The Coterie since it began in 1992, with The Red Badge of Courage, and continued most recently with The White Rose: We Defied Hitler in 2020. Originally founded as a program that offered MFA actors the chance to work alongside established theatre professionals, the coproductions have since grown to feature both student actors as well as MFA designers and coaches from nearly every area of University of Missouri-Kansas City’s Department of Theatre. The Coterie is proud to continue its long-standing relationship with UMKC Theatre, which benefits upand-coming young professionals by providing practical, professional work experience, both on stage and behind the scenes.
Directed by Amanda Kibler, the cast of BRAINSTORM: The Inside Life of the Teenage Mind features Marisa B. Tejeda (as LK), Declan
Franey (Jude), Jessica Andrews
(Jack), Meredith Noël (Tyler),
Franklin Wagner (Michael), JT Nagle
(Clint), Sarah Ann Leahy
(Samantha), Erdin Schultz-Bever (Nicole), Hieu Ngoc Bui (Spencer), and Shannon Mastel (Isabella). The artistic and production company also includes Bailey Kirk (stage manager), Gabby Roney (visual & props designer/animation), Selena Gonzalez-Lopez (director of photography & lighting/editing), Thomas Newby (sound designer/composer), Scott Hobart (technical coordination), Joel Kipper (UMKC production management), Sadie DeSantis (UMKC production management), and Tian Hao (assistant stage manager).
WATCH ANYTIME ON DEMAND
BRAINSTORM: The Inside Life of the Teenage Mind may be viewed online anytime now through February 7, 2021. Available to families and as virtual field trips for Grades 6-12, each purchase includes a unique link that allows streaming the performance for 48 hours, beginning upon first use of the link. The convenience of watching on demand offers families and educators the ability to enjoy BRAINSTORM from the comfort and safety of home and on any schedule. Admission is $20.00 for families and classrooms.
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 30 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 www.thecoterie.org.