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The Coterie Theater in Kansas City announces new leadership

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Posted at 5:09 PM, Mar 13, 2023
and last updated 2023-03-13 18:09:04-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Coterie Theatre announced new changes to its leadership on Monday.

Jonathan Thomas has been appointed as the theatre for young audiences' managing director, and Heidi Van will continue as interim producing artistic director.

Thomas has been serving as the managing director for the theater since November 2022.

He stepped in after former executive director Joette Pelster died last year, according to the theater.

Thomas graduated from the University of Kansas and has performed with the Lyric Opera of Kansas City, Kansas City Chorale and Kansas City Symphony, among others.

“Fully committing to our mission of opening the lines of communication between races, genders and generations by redefining theatre for young people to include families and diverse audiences means fully committing to a more transparent and collegial internal environment,” Thomas said. “I am honored by the trust the Board has placed in me and am committed to working toward enhancing the culture of the organization so that each individual feels that their voice is heard.”

Van joined the Coterie in February after former artistic director Jeff Church resigned. He was later found dead in his home on the same day as his resignation.

She'll remain the interim artistic director until the theater completes its search process.

Van is a longtime Kansas City actor, creator and producer of live theater, according to The Croterie.

“I believe The Coterie should be the number one theatre for young audiences in the nation,” Van said. "The actors, designers and production staff who literally embody the work and mission of The Coterie are important stakeholders in the organization and I am committed to demonstrating a mutual respect and understanding for all who come through our doors. I pledge to lead in alignment with The Coterie’s values: using our voices, leading with love, and confronting injustice through storytelling and imagination.”