The Theatre in the Park...
one of the country's largest outdoor Community Theatres!
The idea of presenting live theatre performances in a Johnson County park was launched in 1970 with the theatre's first season on a stage comprised of a few boards and bricks near a pond in Antioch Park. The early patrons were enthusiastic, supportive and so hungry for the arts that the park could not accommodate them all. After only two seasons, the stage was moved to an area in Shawnee Mission Park where the program thrived and the crowds continued to grow.
Recognizing the program's obvious appeal and growth potential, the Shawnee Mission Sertoma Club raised funds and a permanent stage was dedicated on June 20, 1980. Many additions and improvements have been made over the years including upgraded dressing rooms, public restrooms, a set construction shop, a technical bunker, concession stand and a permanent box office. In 2010, a beautiful outdoor picnic Pavilion was constructed on the Theatre grounds, serving as a perfect venue for corporate events, weddings, family reunions or any special event. In 2014, new air conditioned dressing rooms were built to accommodate the ever growing casts of our yearly outdoor musical theatre season.
Celebrating its 51st Season in 2020, The Theatre in the Park continues a summer theatre tradition that has entertained audiences for generations. With annual attendance of approximately 35,000 patrons, the Theatre shares the magic of live theatre with young and old alike and draws patrons from throughout the Greater Kansas City area.
The Theatre provides creative challenges for hundreds of performers (actors, orchestra, crew) as well as employment opportunities for area residents. The Theatre in the Park has won numerous awards and accolades, including "Best in Business" by Ingram's Magazine.
After 50 years of entertaining audiences, both young and old... we hope you'll join us as we continue to enhance the lives of everyone in the Kansas City metropolitan area!
Theatre in the Park Indoor
In June of 2017, we opened the Arts and Heritage center complete with a Blackbox theatre! Our first production was Grease directed by our Producing Artist Director Tim Bair.
Theatre in the Park had its inaugural summer session of Summer Academy. Performers in grades 3-9 performed Disney's Jungle Book Kids, Disney's Aristocrats Kids, and Disney's Sleeping Beauty Kids. There were three sessions over the summer. In six weeks, there were 9 performances by three different groups of performers.