Treehouse Shakers

Treehouse Shakers
Hatched, BAM Fisher, Hillman Studio

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Meet Our Company Members: Trey Coates-Mitchell

Trey Mitchell with Ashley Chavonne in Under the Tangle

Tell us about yourself and how did you become a part of Treehouse Shakers? How long have you been with the company? What is your role(s) with the company?  

I am a performer, choreographer, director, teacher, and clown living in New York City.  I have been with the company for six years.  I was working on a new play in New York when the playwright told me about Mara and all of the incredible work being done by Treehouse Shakers in both introducing theater to young audiences and also using theater as a vital educational tool.  I was initially hired to be Farmer/Rooster in Hatched (for ages 0-6) and Wolf in Let’s Talk About IT! (for 13+) and then went on to be a part of the creation of Under The Tangle as Bird Boy. 

What has been your favorite role to play?

Honestly, this was tough.  Rooster has quite an inner monologue going on…but I am going to have to say Bird Boy, in Under The Tangle. My base training is in acting, so the dance requirements of this show have definitely pushed me outside of my comfort zone. However, the best part is the synergy the five of us have together when we are telling this story. Building this production with Emily Bunning, the choreographer, and this ensemble has been so incredibly challenging and rewarding, and I feel unbelievably proud of the world we have built together.

Treehouse Shakers' Cast Post-Show Let's Talk About IT! (Show for 13+)
Tell us about a favorite audience moment you’ve had as a performer.

When Bird Boy stumbles upon Little Lost Girl near his tree, there is a great scene between the two of them that eventually lures both of these characters closer and closer to the labyrinth.  The power of the labyrinth eventually pulls them inside the adventure that lies ahead.  In deciding who will be the leader of this mission, Bird Boy holds council, not realizing Lost Girl has already entered the maze.  He nominates himself the leader, and asks for all those in favor to say “Aye.”  The theater space was exciting and cavernous, with hundreds of students in attendance that day.  And in that one moment, they all responded to Bird Boy with enthusiastic “Ayes” echoing and filling the space.  They were instantly on the team, a part of the journey, and they figuratively entered the labyrinth with us.  It is in those moments that we can all feel the true power of theater and its ability to transport our minds and

What makes Treehouse Shakers work unique or different than other companies you might have worked with?

Treehouse Shakers lives in the heart of creative town, right at the corner of young audience at the intersection of theater, dance, and imagination. The stories are built from the ground up, with a little seed of an idea becoming a fully realized artistic experience for audiences of all ages.

What does it mean to celebrate 20 years with Treehouse Shakers?

Trey with audience members during Hatched
I cannot help but feel incredibly honored to be a small part of Treehouse Shakers’ impressive twenty years of work.  Twenty years signifies perseverance and purpose, and it is clear to me the impact the company is making in the world.  This work is in important, and to see the clear voice and mission built over this time is truly an inspiration.

Anything Else You would like us to know?

Treehouse really has changed my life. I plan to spend all my years on this Earth creating theater that matters, and I learned this passion from working with this company of inspirational artists. I will be forever grateful.

Trey Coates-Mitchell is a New York City based Choreographer, Director, and Teacher, he has been a company member with Treehouse Shakers for 6 years. A Virginia native, he graduated from North Carolina School of the Arts before receiving his BFA in Musical Theatre from Shenandoah University.  Trey's acting career began on the road portraying Frank Lippencott in the National Tour of "Wonderful Town" and as The Cat in The Hat in "Seussical."  Regionally, he was seen as L.A. in "Gypsy" at North Shore Music Theatre (starring Vicki Lewis) and as Posner in the regional premiere of "The History Boys" at Northern Stage Company.  New York credits include "The Drowsy Chaperone" at The Gallery Players (Winner of four New York Innovative Theatre Awards, including Best Musical) and as Trevor in "The Jungle Fun Room" (New York International Fringe Festival). Currently, Trey is the Director/Choreographer of “Sam’s Room”, a forensics rock/pop musical experience, with Music by Mark C. Kay and Caitlin Marie Bell, with a book by Dale Sampson.

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