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Jul 19 — Jul 21

The Color Purple

COCA Summer Musical

This musical adaptation of The Color Purple, Alice Walker’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel and the popular 1985 Steven Spielberg film, spotlights Celie, a downtrodden young woman whose personal awakening over the course of 40 years forms the arc of this epic story.  

Prepare to be spellbound by the powerful voices and unforgettable characters who take you on a heartwarming odyssey of love, empowerment, and redemption. Featuring a Grammy Award-winning score infused with jazz, ragtime, gospel, and African blues, this moving tale is a testament to the healing power of love, faith, resilience, and sisterhood.  

To celebrate 20 years of COCA summer musicals, we are welcoming back COCA Alumni from past summer musicals to join our current students in a production of The Color Purple you won’t want to miss! 

Director: Duane Foster  |  Music Director: Dr. Philip A. Woodmore  |  Choreographer: Christopher Page-Sanders

Alumni are invited to join us for a special Alumni Reunion and the opening night performance of The Color Purple on Friday, July 19. More Information

Audio description is provided by MindsEye Radio for the 1:00PM performance on Saturday, July 20.

ASL interpretation is provided by DEAF, Inc. for the 7:00PM performance on Saturday, July 20. To access reserved seating in view of the interpreters, contact COCA’s Box Office at boxoffice@cocastl.org or 314.561.4873. A limited number of seats near the interpreters are reserved for patrons using this service: Orchestra, Row F, Seats 24–32. Interpreters will be sat in the aisle in front of these seats.

The Color Purple is recommended for ages 13+. 

The show’s run time is 2 hours and 30 minutes with a 15-minute intermission.

Content Transparency: The Color Purple contains mature themes and situations, including violence, abuse, incest, sexual promiscuity, and strong language. However, this production ultimately tells a narrative of resilience in the face of adversity, redemption, and hope. The Color Purple is best suited for mature teens and adults.


Tickets for the 7:00PM performance on Friday, July 19 are SOLD OUT. 

The Color Purple

Jul 19 — Jul 21

The Color Purple

COCA Summer Musical

July 19 @ 12:00 pm July 21 @ 12:00 pm

6880 Washington Avenue
Saint Louis, Missouri 63130
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Director – Duane Foster

Choreographer – Chris Page-Sanders

Musical Director – Phil Woodmore

Scenic Designer – Seth Howard

Lighting Designer – Jayson Lawshee

Costume Designer – Shevaré Perry

Technical Director/Charge Artist – Cameron Tesson

Stage Manager – Caroline John

Assistant Stage Manager – Ginny Pisoni

Sound Design – Justin Foster

Props Manager – Julia Nelson

Assistant Lighting Designer – Jonathan Scully

Assistant Music Director – Noah Van Ess

Celie – Emara Neymour

Shug – Jailyn Genyse

Nettie – Nadia Rawlins

Mister Gheremi Clay

Harpo Stephan Griffin

Squeak – DeKylah Epps

Sofia – Kenya Nash

Pa – Rayquan Strickland

Church Lady – Kaitlin Oliver, Shaniya Perry, Nayomi Shackelford

AJ Bentley

Jaron Bentley

Raina Bentley

Sarah Bentley

Ehsan Bey

Cameron Billingsley

Arushus Coleman

Alisa Cooper

MJ Easley

Ieshah Edwards

Christopher Evans

Quentin Farquharson

Kameron Henry

Naomi Hollis

Patrick Howard

Kennedy Jenkins

Alexander Johnson

Dajaun Johnson

Jayden Jones

Shyneice Keys-Hill

Kaelyn McCurtis

Nyna Moore

Rian Page

Haylin Travis

SAT, JUL 20 | 6:00PM | Staenberg Performance Lab | Free & Open to the Public

COCA is partnering with Forward Through Ferguson (FTF) to host a pre-show panel that connects the themes of The Color Purple with reflections on the 10-year anniversary of the Ferguson Uprising. The panel will take place on Saturday, July 20 at 6:00PM.

Featured panelists:

  • Duane Martin Foster, Director of The Color Purple
  • Indigo K. Sams, President & CEO of COCA
  • Riisa Rawlins, CEO of the St. Louis Regional Health Commission and Board Member of COCA & FTF
  • Annissa McCaskill, Executive Director of FTF
  • Faybra Jabulani, Lead Racial Equity Capacity Catalyst of FTF

Forward Through Ferguson is an anti-racist systems change organization whose mission is to center impacted communities and mobilize accountable bodies to advance racially equitable systems and policies that ensure all people in the St. Louis region can thrive.





THE COLOR PURPLE was produced on Broadway at the Broadway Theater by Oprah Winfrey, Scott Sanders, Roy Furman and Quincy Jones. The world premiere of THE COLOR PURPLE was produced by the Alliance Theatre, Atlanta, Georgia.

THE COLOR PURPLE is presented through special arrangement with and all authorized performance materials are supplied by Theatrical Rights Worldwide 1180 Avenue of the Americas, Suite 640, New York, NY 10036. www.theatricalrights.com 


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