Community Theater in KC

Calling all theater kids to the stage.

Barn Players cast members performing Chicago.

Community theater is all that jazz.

Photo via Vida Bikales

Community theater is an outlet for performers of all ages + backgrounds to tap into their creative side.

From plays and musicals to workshops and classes, there are plenty of opportunities to get plugged into the theater community in KC. Not looking to be in the spotlight? Try getting your hands dirty backstage to help bring the show to life, or be a Tony-winning audience member by buying tickets to various performances. Do not throw away your shot — unleash your inner theater kid with these local organizations.

The Barn Players, 8788 Metcalf Ave., Overland Park, KS

  • The Barn Players Theater was founded in 1955 by Earl Altaire, a prominent Kansas City interior designer and theater devotee. Want to see a show? Get tickets to “Next to Normal” which runs Fri., Oct. 21-Sun., Oct. 30. A special Talk Back session will follow the Oct. 23rd matinee performance with the cast + KU Behavioral Health professionals. The Barn recently announced the upcoming 2023 season, including shows like “Little Women” and “Tick, Tick…Boom!”.

Music Theatre KC, 16301 Midland Dr., Shawnee, KS

  • MTKC celebrates the collaborative art form of musical theater through training + professional performances. The goal? Emphasize the importance of live music in an inclusive environment, honoring both individuality and community. The 2022-2023 winter season includes “Irwing Berlin’s White Christmas: The Musical” and “The Prom.”

City Theatre, Inc., 201 N. Dodgion St., Independence, MO

  • City Theatre produces five shows annually and is currently in its 43rd season. “One of our primary goals is to provide our community with opportunities to explore all aspects of theater, from attending quality shows as an audience member to volunteering in front of house, backstage, and on stage positions,” said president Lynnae Andersen. They also collaborate with two other community theatersChildren’s Performing Theatre and Encore — to produce community events like the upcoming Enchanted Forest at George Owen Nature Park.

The White Theatre at The J, 5801 W. 115 St., Overland Park, KS

  • The White Theatre is a nonprofit organization that offers high-quality theater productions and all-ages educational programs. They hold auditions right here in KC for both students + professional actors for main season productions like “Kinky Boots” and “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.”

KC Public Theatre, 2380 Independence Ave., Kansas City, MO

  • Kansas City Public Theatre is a not-for-profit performing arts company which provides access to the arts through year-round theater entertainment free of charge to the public. KCPT showcases a program “Theatre Lab” that presents new + experimental work by area artists as well as work which reflects the unique history and culture of KC.

Olathe Civic Theatre Association, 500 E. Loula St., Olathe, KS

  • Olathe Civic Theatre Association is an all-volunteer nonprofit organization since 1974. Performing in the “Buddy Rogers Family Playhouse,” OCTA produces five high-quality, engaging, and thought-provoking theater productions a year. The theater’s season is in full swing, with upcoming performances of “Rent” beginning Fri., Oct. 28.

The Little Theatre of Weston, Location varies

  • The mission of the Little Theatre of Weston is to elevate the arts + humanities by providing quality entertainment to the community. They are aiming to bridge the gap between community and professional theater with semi-pro opportunities and professional development. While the theater just opened this year, its first performance is coming up — “Music of the Night” Halloween concert on Sun., Oct. 30.

Summit Theatre Group | 180 NW Oldham Pkwy., Lee’s Summit, MO

  • Summit Theatre Group strives to provide enjoyable live theater opportunities and experiences through community involvement and education. The theater is celebrating its 10th season this year, with “Rocky Horror Picture Show” opening next week, Fri., Oct 7. The educational classes include options like “Intro to Musical Theatre” and “Adult Tap.”

Theatre in the Park, Location varies

  • Since 1970, TIP has been producing great musical theater and engaging the community in performances under the stars. Its current season features “Always, Patsy Cline,” running now through Sun., Oct. 16.

Spinning Tree Theatre, Location varies

  • Looking to get your kiddo involved? This inclusive theater for Kansas City young artists, in partnership with Variety KC, provides a community experience for actors ages 13-18.

Bell Road Barn Players, Park University, 8700 NW River Park Dr., Parkville, MO

  • Serving as one of Kansas City’s oldest community theater programs, the group’s legacy through the changeable environment of volunteer performing arts organizations is a testament to its dedicated leadership. Its 2022 season begins this December, with “Hollywood Holidays.”
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