Jeff Church

J. Robert Schraeder / Courtesy the Coterie Theatre

For more than three centuries, Salem, Mass., has been linked to the infamous witch trials. In 1692, at least 20 men and women died after being convicted of witchcraft; it was then considered a crime punishable by death. Hundreds more faced accusations.

A new production at the Coterie Theatre, Afflicted: Daughters of Salem, provides the story behind the girls — the accusers, who started it all.

Afflicted is written by Laurie Brooks, a longtime Coterie collaborator. She says the play is "not easy. It’s subtle, it’s complex. It's about relationships."

Courtesy of The Coterie

One in four Americans who test positive for HIV at present is 20 years old or younger.

courtesy of Zachary Weaver

Thirty years ago, legendary Broadway composer Stephen Sondheim might have sensed that the pool of up-and-coming playwrights was a bit lacking and founded Young Playwrights Inc. Based in New York,  the program’s mission is to foster and mentor promising writers 18 and under. For the second year in a row, an Overland Park, Kan. teenager has made the cut.


Update March 2012: The Coterie brought the show to New York for a run at the New Victory Theater. Reviews: Kansas City Star, New York Post, and  New York Times.