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Event Description

This spring, join us for the inaugural COCAwrites Festival highlighting the innovative development and work of our student theatre artists. The COCAwrites Festival features a production of Suffer the Children, a reading of a new local piece, and student plays developed over the course of COCAwrites in collaboration with professional artists.

Suffer the Children
By Mariah Richardson
This Spring performance builds on the work of the fall reading—learn more about the fall reading here—and is the perfect opportunity to follow a play from development to a full production staged in The Berges Theatre. Student designers, performers, and dramaturgs will showcase their work with professional artists as they share inspiration and stories from St. Louis artists.

The Story:
Suffer the Children is part of a series of plays about Delilah, a young girl exploring questions of community and coming-of-age in St. Louis.  This dramatic piece looks at issues of race, white supremacy, gun violence, and immigration, highlighting the real fears that children, and adults, face today. The play asks St. Louis audiences to lean in and listen to the words and seek restoration through the ideas of our young people. For more information on the show’s content guidelines, click here.

New Play Reading: More to Come!
Be among the first to experience a brand-new work from a professional St. Louis playwright! Students and professionals will collaborate together on this new work to bring it to The Berges Theatre and your home. More details to come!

Student Plays
Experience the homegrown future voices of theatre in these companion pieces to Suffer the Children. These plays will future students taking on the roles of playwright, director, performer and designer under the mentorship of some of St. Louis’ leading theatre artists.


Ticket on-sale date for spring 2021 performances to be announced. Please check back.

About COCAwrites:

COCAwrites promotes the writing and development of new plays for multi-generational theatre audiences through collaboration and mentorship among professional and student playwrights, directors, actors, designers and dramaturgs. Students in this program workshop new plays and musicals written by professional composers and playwrights from around the country while having the chance to develop their own new plays and musicals with the mentorship of these leaders. This program combines directing, playwriting, acting, dramaturgy, design-tech, and stage management to bring professional and student written plays to life. COCA is thrilled to offer this training to students as new work gains attention and priority on all stages across America’s theatres.