Students gathered outside of Marquis Hall

Marquis Series


The Coe College Marquis Series has a long tradition of bringing high-quality entertainment and outstanding lecturers to the Cedar Rapids community — the kinds of performances that you would typically have to travel to major metropolitan areas to experience and enjoy.

The Marquis Series brings intellectually and culturally enriching performances and presentations to the Coe campus for the benefit of the entire community. Over the decades, the series has hosted nationally renowned speakers, musicians, dancers, filmmakers, theater and comedy troupes, and more on Coe’s campus. The series was created by a gift from the estate of Sarah Marquis in honor of her father, Dr. John A. Marquis, who was president of Coe College from 1909-1920.  

Individual tickets to each Marquis Series event are available at no charge to Coe students, faculty and staff.  Tickets are $15 for the general public and $10 for senior citizens (55 and older) and non-Coe students (18 and under).  Tickets for Marquis Series events may be obtained by clicking here or by visiting or calling the Coe College Box Office at 319.399.8600 (Monday-Friday, 11 a.m.-7 p.m.). Tickets are also available at the door in Sinclair Auditorium on the night of each event.

Inquiries about the series may be directed to


After a 2020-2021 hiatus due to the pandemic, the Marquis Series will return with a complete season during the 2021-2022 academic year. Please continue to visit this site for ongoing updates about the upcoming season.

Dr. Temple Grandin, “The World Needs All Kinds of Minds”
Thursday, September 23, 2021
7:00 PM
Sinclair Auditorium

Temple Grandin.jpgDr. Temple Grandin is a prominent animal behavior scientist and autism advocate. Well-known as a professor and scholar of animal behavior who made important contributions to the livestock industry, Grandin has also spoken widely about her experiences with autism and her ability to “think in pictures.” She notes that while some people are good at art, others at math, and still others at writing, she is an extreme visual thinker for whom words narrate the pictures in her imagination. In this presentation, Grandin will discuss varied types of thinking and why the world needs diverse thinkers. She makes the case that the world needs the thinking of those on the autism spectrum, including visual, pattern, and verbal thinkers. Different kinds of minds have skills that complement each other and the world needs all kinds of minds engaged in solving its complex problems.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

Mandy Harvey and her band
Friday, November 5, 2021
7:00 PM
Sinclair Auditorium

Mandy Harvey.jpgMandy Harvey is an American jazz singer and songwriter; she is also deaf. While pursuing a vocal music education major at Colorado State University, Harvey lost her residual hearing at age 18 due to a neurological disorder. She left the program and pursued other career options but soon returned to music. Harvey quickly became a regular performer at venues in Fort Collins and Denver, including some of the world’s top jazz venues. Her first album, "Smile," was released to widespread praise in 2009. Since then, she has released additional critically acclaimed albums: "After You’ve Gone" (2010), "All of Me" (2014), "Nice To Meet You "(2019) and "Masterpiece" (2021). She was the winner of a 2015 Inspiration Award from the Invisible Disabilities Association and was a contestant during season 12 of “America’s Got Talent” (2017). Though her hearing loss is profound, Harvey’s timing, pitch and passion are perfect. Join Harvey and her full band in sensing the rhythm during this exciting musical performance.

Mad River Theater Words presents “Freedom Riders”
Wednesday, February 2, 2022
7:00 PM
Sinclair Auditorium

Mad River Theatre.jpg"Freedom Riders" is the latest addition to the series of American history plays created by Mad River Theater Works. Through original songs and music, the play explores the valiant and courageous personalities behind one of the most critical events in the Civil Rights Movement. Set in 1961, 15 years after the United States Supreme Court had outlawed segregation, bus lines and cities throughout the South still enforced a rigid system of separating black and white citizens. The Freedom Riders, a group of black and white Americans from both the North and the South, decided to travel together on buses that crossed state lines, despite the hateful segregation and racism that had a strong hold in so many parts of the United States. "Freedom Riders" depicts the unforgettable heroes behind this event and demonstrates the importance of working together to affect change.


The Second City's Greatest Hits, Vol. 59
Saturday, September 21, 2019
7:00 PM
Sinclair Auditorium

Second City Photo.jpgWhen The Second City opened its doors in Chicago in 1959, a comedy revolution began. Some of the biggest names in comedy — from Steve Carell, Keegan-Michael Key and Stephen Colbert to Tina Fey, Chris Farley and Mike Myers — began their careers at The Second City, and its imprint is all over film, television and beyond. The Second City is celebrating 60 years of producing cutting-edge satirical revues with “Greatest Hits, Vol. 59.” In this latest revue, you will see the next generation of comedy superstars put their spin on the legendary comedy company’s greatest hits, rebooted and reimagined for today. Fresh, fast and always spectacularly funny, the sketch comedy, original songs and world-famous improv of The Second City will leave you rolling in the aisles.

Teresa Walters, Pianist
Friday, October 18, 2019
7:00 PM
Sinclair Auditorium

Teresa WaltersDescribed by Austrian National Television and The New York Times as “one of the world’s most significant pianists” and “the international first lady of piano,” Teresa Walters’ mesmerizing performances on today’s international stages have earned worldwide praise. She has performed as recitalist and orchestral soloist on six continents and in most of the 50 United States. She is the first American pianist invited to perform at the Franz Liszt Academy and Museum in Budapest. A native of the American Midwest, Walters earned a doctorate from Peabody Conservatory and has lived most of her adult life in the New York City area. This year she is touring internationally with her acclaimed program “Celebrating Our World,” honoring the world’s shared heritage and common humanity.

Madonna Thunder Hawk and "Warrior Women"
Saturday, February 22, 2020
7:00 PM
Sinclair Auditorium

Madonna Thunder Hawk Headshot.jpgMadonna Thunder Hawk, an Oohenumpa Lakota, is a veteran of every modern Native American occupation from Alcatraz to Wounded Knee in 1973 to the recent NODAPL (Dakota Access Pipeline) protest at Standing Rock. An eloquent voice for Native resistance and sovereignty, Thunder Hawk has spoken throughout the United States, Central America, Europe and the Middle East and served as a delegate to the United Nations in Geneva. In the last three decades at home on the Cheyenne River, she has been restoring self-determination to reservation life. The documentary film “Warrior Women” presents the story of Thunder Hawk’s lifelong career fighting for Native liberation and the generations of activists she has inspired. This event will feature a screening of “Warrior Women” as well as remarks by and discussion with Thunder Hawk following the film.

“Secrets of My Heart”
Sarah McKenzie Jazz Vocalist
Friday, March 6, 2020
7:00 PM Sinclair Auditorium

Sarah McKenzieSarah McKenzie is an internationally celebrated jazz vocalist, pianist and composer.  Originally from Australia, McKenzie now resides in the U.S. and tours internationally, with recent performances in France, Brazil, Korea and Japan.  McKenzie is known for her brilliance interpreting 20th-century jazz standards for 21st-century audiences. Her global following multiplied with the success of her albums “Paris in the Rain'' (2017) and “Secrets of My Heart” (2019).  During her performance at Coe, McKenzie will perform selections from "Secrets of My Heart."

Cirque Zuma Zuma
Monday, March 11, 2019
7:30 PM Eby Fieldhouse

Performer in an African-style Cirque du SoleilPerformer in an African-style Cirque du Soleil described as an African-style Cirque du Soleil, Cirque Zuma Zuma packs every show with nonstop action and incredible features that keep audiences on the edges of their seats.

Comprised of 120 uniquely talented individuals from across 16 African nations, the nonstop, action-packed Zuma Zuma show features fantastic cirque acrobats who made their North American primetime television debut on America's Got Talent. You'll see African acrobats, jugglers, vocalists and comedy, plus the Limbo and Lion dances.

The cirque spectacle is wrapped in a colorfully costumed troupe of talented artists, including South African vocalists, gumboot dancers and contortionists, Zimbabwean percussionists, Egyptian limbo dancers, Gabonese tumblers, amazing pole acts and many more.

Temptation of the Fresh Voluptuous
Saturday, March 16, 2019
7:30 PM Dows Theater

Temptation of the Fresh VoluptuousTemptation of the Fresh Voluptuous the ground is toxic, the sky has gone dark. Bodies of water have been salvaged into gaudy plastic trash. Disaster’s lover searches the songlines of the last apothecary for the most coveted perfume. This performance installation is devised from the poetry and vocal art of Ruth Margraff, directed by Beth Milles.  

Ruth Margraff has been called a leader of the American avant garde for her "audaciously original" (Moscow Times) use of lyric language that provides "layer after layer of richly textured emotion...and imminent danger" (Dallas Morning News). She has been a member of Theater Without Borders, New Dramatists, Chicago Dramatists and the Playwrights' Center, and is currently Professor of Writing at the Art Institute of Chicago.

Beth Milles is a Director and Associate Professor in the Department of Performing and Media Arts at Cornell University. Last season Beth directed the world premiere of Serbian playwright Iva Brdar’s Rule of Thumb at the Cherry Artspace in Ithaca, NY, Ruth Margraff’s Locket Arias at Red Tape Theatre in Chicago and Judy Tate’s Fast Blood at the Civic Ensemble in Ithaca.

Dave Zirin
Sports and Resistance in the USA
Friday, March 22, 2019
7:30 PM Sinclair Auditorium

Dave Zirin, a sports writerDave Zirin, a sports writer named one of UTNE Reader’s “50 Visionaries Who Are Changing Our World,” Dave Zirin writes about the politics of sports for Nation Magazine. He is their first sports writer in 150 years of existence. Winner of Sport in Society and Northeastern University School of Journalism's Excellence in Sports Journalism Award, Zirin also is the host of Sirius XM Radio’s popular weekly show, Edge of Sports Radio. He has been called “the best sportswriter in the United States” by Robert Lipsyte. Zirin is, in addition, a columnist for SLAM Magazine and the Progressive.

His most recent book is the acclaimed Game Over: How Politics Has Turned the Sports World Upside Down, which Christine Brennan of USA Today called "the perfect book for our time in sports." Sports Illustrated called the book “provocative”: “It will make you think about what we're really seeing when we watch the games we love.”