Student Ensembles & Placements
Theatre Artist Program students select one (or more) performance and production opportunity in the form of ensembles and pre-professional placements.
Improv Troupe students practice long-form and short-form improvisation, sketch comedy, and activities that involve audience participation—vital skills for every versatile screen actor, director, and writer.
Improv Troupe is a placement for students in the Stage & Screen and Design-Tech tracks. It is an ensemble for Junior Division and Senior Division students.
Each semester includes a public performance at COCA.
Director: Ed Reggi
COCA’s vocal companies are designed for students to expand their vocal technique and repertoire, and dive deeply into acting for musical theatre.
COCA’s vocal companies are placements for students in the Musical Theatre and Design-Tech tracks. There are two ensembles comprised of a Junior Division and Senior Division, based on age, with performance opportunities each semester, including a fully cast and staged concert version of a musical.
Music Director: Colin Healy
Assistant Director: Alicia Revé Like
COCAwrites students 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.
COCAwrites is an open placement available to all three theatre tracks and both Junior Division and Senior Division students. Each spring, select student works receive staged readings alongside professional productions and readings in the COCAwrites Festival. Design-Tech students also have the chance to experiment with theatrical design in support of the new works.
COCAwrites Producer: Delaney Piggins
Performance placement in A Christmas Carol with The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis
COCA will cast students for the student company of A Christmas Carol as part of a partnership with The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis (The Rep). Students selected through auditions rehearse with Jennifer Wintzer, Youth Company Director and COCA Artistic Director of Theatre. This intensive training experience begins annually in October at COCA. In November, the youth company will join The Rep’s professional cast in rehearsals and performances.
Design-Tech Placement with The Black Rep
This Design-Tech placement with The Black Rep at the Edison Theatre (Washington University) and the Catherine B. Berges Theatre at COCA is for self-motivated, curious high school students with an interest in the fields of technical theatre and/or theatrical design. Students who interview for and are placed in apprenticeships have the opportunity to learn from leading professionals in the St. Louis theatre community in one of the following disciplines: Costume Design and Construction, Wardrobe, Stage Management, Lighting Design and Operation, Sound Design and Operation, Set Design and Construction, and Set Projections.
Summer Rep Placement
Summer Rep uses a professional workshop model for students in all areas of theatre artistry to practice their training onstage in lead and ensemble roles with collaboration and guidance from professional actors, directors, designers, and more. Each summer, COCA selects a play and a musical that centers around young characters and stories.
Summer Rep is a placement available to all three Theatre Artist Program tracks and both Junior Division and Senior Division students. Auditions take place every Winter/Spring to cast the play and musical.