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COCA Announces 2020–2021 COCA Presents Performance Season

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Grand Opening season features in-person and virtual opportunities for audiences to engage in theatre and dance.

COCA Announces 2020–2021 COCA Presents Performance Season

COCA has announced its 2020-2021 COCA Presents performance season, offering innovative performances that transform the way audiences think about the world, as part of the organization's Grand Opening season following the conclusion of its Create Our Future campaign. Focused on the next generation, the COCA Presents season will begin a new chapter of performing arts in St. Louis with opportunities for multi-generational audiences to witness theatre and dance both in-person at COCA's recently expanded University City campus and virtually.

Beginning the season is a workshop for Suffer the Children, a new play by Mariah Richardson and directed by Jacqueline Thompson, featuring COCA students onstage and behind the scenes as a part of the COCAwrites program. This play will receive a full production in February alongside a professional play reading and select student work.

Audience members can experience a holiday classic like never before in Manual Cinema's Christmas Carol. Co-commissioned by COCA, the production will be performed live in Chicago and can be livestreamed from home or at the Berges Theatre for this world-premiere event.

In the spring, COCA's student dancers will share the stage-for the first time ever-with the professional artists of EVIDENCE, A Dance Company. Audiences will be inspired by the talent displayed during this weekend-long celebration and culmination of Ronald K. Brown's Artist-in-Residence engagement at COCA. Under the leadership of Co-Artistic Directors of Dance Antonio and Kirven Douthit-Boyd, and Artistic Director Anthony Redd Williams, COCA's Dance Ensembles: Ballet Eclectica, COCAdance, and the COCA Hip-Hop Crew will be featured in TRIumphant.

The COCA Presents season closes with the premiere of Billy Elliot, a musical by Elton John and Lee Hall and directed for COCA by Nancy Bell. Originally slated for summer 2020 and canceled amidst the coronavirus pandemic, this musical marks a new beginning for the COCA Summer Musical.

Throughout the season, audience members will have the chance to hear from professional artists across arts disciplines who share their experiences, the stories behind their work, and their visions for the future of performing arts in our city and around the world. COCA's Speaker Series: Who's Keeping the Light On is a unique opportunity to bring thought-provoking and inspiring work and conversation to the stage.

"This season, COCA is choosing to lead with new commissions in theatre and dance," said COCA's Artistic Director of Theatre Jennifer Wintzer. "Our students will connect with leading professional artists in St. Louis and beyond, gaining invaluable learning opportunities and experiences that reflect our hope for a bright future."

In-person performances will be presented at COCA's new Catherine B. Berges Theatre and Staenberg Performance Lab on COCA's expanded campus. The Black Rep and The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis will each showcase a selection of their season in Berges Theatre.

General tickets go on sale on October 14 for Suffer the Children: A COCAwrites Workshop and Manual Cinema's Christmas Carol. The COCA Presents Season Pass, a risk-free pass to build your season, your way, is also available. The Season Pass offers early access to tickets, no ticketing fees, risk-free purchases, and the ability to build your season with virtual or in-person options. For more information on the season and tickets, visit

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