The Coterie Theatre and UMKC are coming together to dramatize one of the most inspiring stories of human decency in history, Number the Stars, opening January 25, 2013. Number the Stars is from the Newbery Medal award-winning book written by Lois Lowry.
Number the Stars is set in World War II as citizens of Denmark learned to smuggle out as many of its Danish Jewish population as possible, often right under the noses of German soldiers and their trained dogs. In the play, the Johansen family faces Nazi interrogations, fierce dogs and the loss of loved ones to help their neighbors, the Rosens, escape across the sea to Sweden and safety. The Coterie's education partner on this production is the Midwest Center for Holocaust Education. MCHE teaches the history of the Holocaust, applying its lessons to counter indifference, intolerance, and genocide. MCHE has prepared a menu of educational resources and videos for teachers that relate to the production.
Cynthia Levin, Producing Artistic Director of the Unicorn Theatre, is returning to the Coterie Theatre to direct Number the Stars. "I'm thrilled to be back at the Coterie to direct Number the Stars," said Director Cynthia Levin. "This is such a powerful story and it's an honor being able to tell it."
Director Levin oversees a legion of designers, all from UMKC Theatre's acclaimed MFA design and stage management program. The production team will draw audiences into the unique World War II atmosphere of occupied Denmark using charcoal drawings inspired from those of war prisoners, and then both projected and animated in large scale. Authentic period costumes will also be a feature.
The professional cast of Number the Stars is comprised of several of Kansas City's most prominent actors including Martin Buchanan, Heidi Van, Manon Halliburton and Coleman Crenshaw, and additionally, Noel Collins, Jacob Cullum, Olivia Howell, Rachel Leyh, Keaton Schmidt, and Catie Wolff.
The theatrical production runs January 25 - February 21 at The Coterie, located on level one of Kansas City's Crown Center Shops. To purchase tickets, visit www.coterietheatre.org. This is appreciated by ages 10 through adult.