Theatre In The Park Contact Information

Theatre Administrative Office:

The Theatre In The Park
JCPRD Antioch Park Offices
6501 Antioch Rd, Building A
Merriam, Kansas 66202-3637

Office hours are Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

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The Theatre in the Park - Outdoor Amphitheatre:

7710 Renner Road
Shawnee, KS 66218

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Theatre In The Park Staff Contact Information

Tim Bair
Producing Artistic Director

Katie Baergen
TTIP Administrative Assistant

Joel Reinoehl
Sponsorship and Program Advertising

Office hours are Monday - Friday, 8:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Theatre In The Park Advisory Council List


Cathy Bennett is the Senior Director for Public Policy and Programs for the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce where she manages federal affairs, Kansas state affairs and government relations, international travel, and several special projects for Chamber and community leaders.

Cathy has been a supporter of Theatre in the Park since 2005 when her son was cast in his first TTIP production, Guys and Dolls.  She also serves as a board member for Girl Scouts of Northeast Kansas and Northwest Missouri, and the Climate and Energy Project.

Cathy has previously served on the Shawnee Mission Education Foundation and as PTA president or Shawnee Mission East and Westwood View Elementary school and has been a board member for CASA of Johnson County and has served on the Westwood Planning Commission.

Chip Buckner grew up in Kansas City before earning degrees from Williams College (Williamstown, MA) and the University of Kansas School of Law.  He left the private practice of law to join the Missouri Attorney General’s office, where he ran the state’s consumer fraud unit and represented the state everywhere from traffic court to the United States Supreme Court. He is currently counsel to Bartlett and Company, a Kansas City agribusiness.

Chip describes himself as being “a singing male who is unafraid of making a fool of himself in front of large numbers of people” - a characteristic that led to church choirs, Cub and Scout leadership positions and, perhaps naturally, theater.  He enjoys the stage because actors use the same skills as, but get more applause than, lawyers.  Over the past ten years, he has tried to do a show each year, except in those years in which he does three or four.  He sometimes shares a stage with his wife, Deborah, but not with his children, who figure that if their parents do it, it can't be cool.


Dena Hildebrand has worked most of her career in nonprofit management and fundraising. She has worked with The American Heart Association as the Development Director, The American Diabetes Association as the Regional Director, and The Design Industries Foundation Fighting Aids as the Development Specialist. She currently is the owner of a sales and marketing company Corporate Edge Marketing that she founded in 2005 after moving back to Kansas from Philadelphia where she lived with her family for four years.

Dena has been a supporter and contributor of TTIP since her daughter Kristin first performed at the park in 1995 in Oliver.  Her son Brett first performed at the park in the summer of 2001 in Mame and later in Peter Pan, 42nd Street, High School Musical, and 9 to 5.

Dena started performing in community theater productions in 2007 and has performed in productions at The White Theater, The Culture House, Leawood Stage Company and Theatre in the Park. Her first show at TTIP was in 2008 in Oklahoma. She has since appeared in The Wedding Singer, and The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, and was a part of the production staff for Shrek, the musical!

Dena is currently pursuing her love of acting in film and television.  She takes acting classes at The Actors Training Studio and is represented by Talent Unlimited. She lives in Overland Park with her loving husband Brent and visits her children and granddaughter in Dallas whenever possible.

Robert Hingula (Past Chair) has been actively involved with Theatre in the Park since 2006 as an actor, and has served as a Theatre in the Park Ambassador since 2010.  Robert has performed in several venues in Kansas City as an actor, as well as being an advocate for local arts support through involvement in local arts groups including formerly serving as Secretary of the Young Friends of Art and currently serving on the Board of Spinning Tree Theatre.

When not performing, Robert spends his days practicing employment law as a Shareholder at Polsinelli Shughart, PC, and spending time with his loving wife, Melissa, and talented daughter, Darcie.

Rhonda Pollard is the Superintendent of Recreation with Johnson County Park and Recreation District, and previously served as the Manager of the 50 Plus Department.


Mike Pirner is the JCPRD Board Liaison to the Theatre in the Park Council.   A lifelong Johnson County resident, Mike has served on on the JCPRD since his appointment in February of 2013.  Prior to that he served on the Johnson County Charter Commission in 2011.  As a frequent theater-goer at venues in town, Mike has a passion for theater and looks forward to bringing his ideas to the Theatre Council.  In his professional life, Mike has been a web designer since 2004 and also serves in frequent roles as a political consultant.  His web business can be found at   Mike and his wife Michelle live in Lenexa.

This is John Ras' (Vice Chair) first year to serve on the Theatre Advisory Council. He was a member of the Ambassadors/Friends Committee for 6 years serving as Chair for 2 years.  John is an enthusiastic supporter of the joys and benefits of local community theatre.  He enjoys the behind the scenes action from assisting others with the audition process to helping his wife, Julia, with costumes.

He has appeared on stage in several Theatre in the Park productions including Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, Seussical, Cinderella and Damn Yankees.  He has also appeared in other area theatres including the White Theatre, Leawood Stage and MidAmerica Nazerene University.   John earned a Bachelor of Science Degree at the University of Central Missouri in Public Relations and is employed for 27 years with Equifax as a Client Relationship Manager.  He and his wife have lived in Olathe, Kansas for 24 years and have raised three wonderful children.

New to the Advisory Council in 2015, Joy Richardson was drawn to the KC Metro initially to William Jewell where she earned degrees in Communication and Public Relations while engaging in the college’s rich choral and fine arts programs.

A lifelong singer, Joy’s first musical theatre audition was for TITP’s 2009 season where she was cast in Seven Brides for Seven Brothers. Since then, she has appeared in TITP’s Seussical the Musical, Damn Yankees, HONK! and Annie Warbucks, as well as other community theatre productions. While Joy loves to prepare and perform shows, it is the KC community theatre community that keeps her coming back to audition and expand her stage family as her own nest empties at home.

Joy is the Annual Giving Manager for Harvesters, The Community Food Network. Joy’s prior work experience includes resource development and community impact at United Way of Wyandotte County and public relations and marketing at Whitefield Academy. Joy has been married to Rob for nearly 25 lively years and they have three terrific kids; Shelby, Miranda & JT.

Jim Royer (Sertoma Club Representative) is a native “Kansan”, having been born in Topeka and raised in Johnson County.  He is a graduate of Shawnee Mission North High School and a graduate of Kansas State University.  After working in Idaho for three and one-half years in the Nuclear Engineering field, he came back to Kansas to do graduate work at Kansas State University and then started  a career with IBM in Kansas City.  In 1975, Jim became a member of the Shawnee Mission Sertoma Club and instigated the project to build a new outdoor theater in Shawnee Mission Park.  As chairman of the Theater Fund Raising Committee and with the help of my fellow Sertomans, he spent the next five years raising money to build the new theater.

In 1979, IBM moved him to a job in St. Louis and he turned over the leadership of the theater project to a fellow Sertoman, Reuben Sell.  He completed the fundraising and worked with the Johnson County Park and Recreation District during the construction of what is now The Theatre in the Park.

During this time, Jim met and married his lovely wife, Donna Knoell and moved to Atlanta, Georgia.  Jim and Donna both missed their Kansas roots and moved back to Prairie Village in 1988.   Jim is currently retired from IBM and enjoying serving on the Theatre Advisory Council, working with his church, being involved with the Johnson County Sertoma Club and traveling.

Liz Rowe joined the TTIP Theatre Advisory Council in 2014.  She is a Vice President and Private Client Advisor with The Commerce Trust Company.  Liz obtained a Bachelor of Music degree from Southern Methodist University, after which she received her JD degree from Loyola University Chicago School of Law and moved back to Kansas City to practice law.

Liz grew up in a family that fostered fine arts appreciation and enjoyed singing, playing musical instruments, and acting together.  She actively participated in theatrical productions while attending Shawnee Mission Northwest High School and SMU.  Liz’s acting debut at TTIP began when she was cast in the production of South Pacific directed by Greg Parker.

Liz is a graduate of the Centurions Leadership Program of The Greater Kansas City of Chamber of Commerce, an Ambassador for the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, and a patron of the Kansas City Symphony.

Diana Wille (Chair) is an area native and, along with her husband, Fred Spears, has called Johnson County home for the past 25 years.  Diana graduated from K-State with a BA in Journalism and from KU with an MBA and is recently retired after a 30-year career with Hallmark Cards.   While her own musical and theatre experience was limited to being in glee clubs, church choirs and in the chorus in high school musicals, Diana is a long term supporter of the performing arts and believes in their importance in enhancing the quality of our community.

Diana has regularly attended and promoted, since its earliest days in Antioch Park, the outstanding productions offered by The Theatre in the Park.  She is also a subscriber to the Kansas City Symphony and the Kansas City Ballet.

Tim Bair (Producing Artistic director) grew up in Kansas City, Kansas, and began his long theatrical career at a very early age as “Paddy the Pixie” in the not-too-well-known musical - Santa’s Elf Saves Christmas (in fact… he’s not too sure it was ever heard of again!) He went on to perform on The Theatre in the Park stage for many years, and eventually took his first step into the “production” side of things when he choreographed OKLAHOMA, SEVEN BRIDES FOR SEVEN BROTHERS, and WEST SIDE STORY for the park.

Tim left Kansas and tap danced his way around the world as a featured dancer and vocalist on a world cruise, and ended up in New York City (every Midwestern theatre boy’s dream!) where he chosen for the companies of the 42ND STREET European tour, and MY ONE AND ONLY starring Jodi Benson (the famed voice of Disney’s The Little Mermaid.) While in NYC, he danced with The Foot and Fiddle Dance Company for 10 years, and was the Artistic Director of The Millbrook Playhouse, in Mill Hall, PA, one of the county’s oldest remaining straw hat summer stock theatres.

In search of warmer weather, Tim trekked west and made his home in Phoenix, AZ, while traveling to many cities in the USA as a regional theatre Director and Choreographer.

Landing finally in San Jose, CA, Tim served as the Artistic Director of the American Musical Theatre of San Jose. While working with AMTSJ, he co-wrote (book, music and lyrics) and produced the original production Christmas Dreamland.

Tim returned home to Kansas City in 2010, where he currently serves as the Producing Artistic Director of The Theatre in the Park, a Kansas City institution, the largest outdoor community theatre in the country, and the place it all started so many years before.





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