Wichita Live Theatre Guide: Fall & Holiday 2021
Sure, we all love watching the holiday classics on TV ("you'll shoot your eye out!") but for something different, Wichita's live theatres are the place to be. This holiday season has a large portion of original shows by local playwrights, many making their premiere! Whether you're a regular theatre-goer or are looking for things to do with visiting family, you'll find a show that fits the (play)bill.
A tip: Holiday theatre in Wichita is very popular, and shows tend to sell out early and often. Make sure to book early!
Kechi Playhouse closes out its season with two originals! In "An Improbable Pride and Prejudice," a troupe of actors rehearse a production of Jane Austen's masterpiece, oblivious to how it reflects their own lives. This favorite by Kechi Playhouse's own Misty Maynard runs through September 26. Then, see the world premiere of a brand new comedic mystery by Storme Maynard: "Elementary, My Dear Holmes" runs October 1–24.
Crown Uptown Theatre
The new Crown Arts Collaborative returns theatre and art to the historic Crown Uptown Theatre with a pre-season of three shows this year!
Winner of the 2010 Pulitzer Prize in Drama, "Next to Normal" is a contemporary pop-rock musical that explores the effects of mental illness. This show will take you through the gamut of emotions to discover the liberation that comes with knowing where it hurts and believing there will be light. It runs September 10–October 3.
In October, get ready to do the Time Warp again with Richard O'Brian's "The Rocky Horror Show!" In this live theatrical experience, you'll travel with wholesome couple Brad and Janet as they encounter libidinous mad scientist Dr. Frank-N-Furter for an unforgettable night of creation, adventure, lust and rock n' roll. This cult classic musical runs just in time for Halloween from October 21–31.
Spectacular circus acts in a holiday show? Why not! See something all-new and completely different for the holidays with "Inverno: The Great Holiday Circus," running December 3–19. This original musical by Wichita's own Andrew Bowers and Ryan Schafer tells the story of a ringleader and his troupe of circus performers who remind him of the importance of family, community and love.
Mosley Street Melodrama
Two new holiday-themed shows at Mosley Street Melodrama are sure to sell out quickly, so don't wait to snag your tickets! Each Mosley show features an audience-interactive comedy in the first act, followed by a musical comedy revue after intermission.
"Halloween: The Melodrama," running September 17–October 31, is a brand new parody of the classic horror film by Wichita comedy duo Kyle Vespestad and Monte Wheeler. It's paired with a vaudeville style show by your favorite Silver Screen Slashers.
Whether you love those sappy holiday TV movies or love to hate them, you won't want to miss "The Hallmork Channel Christmas Melodrama" by Wichita playwrights Molly Tolly and Ryan Schafer! It's playing November 13–December 23.
It would be a "Disaster!" if you missed Roxy's production of this jukebox musical comedy by Seth Rudesky, which pays homage to 70s disaster movies. It's running through September 26, so you still have time to relive the music and cheesy films!
The camp continues with "The Toxic Avenger," playing October 7 through Halloween. Based on the 1984 film, this silly and hilarious rock musical takes place in the most traditional of music theatre settings—a toxic waste dump off the New Jersey Turnpike.
Roxy's holiday shows are always sell-outs, and "Away in the Basement: A Church Basement Ladies Musical" is sure to continue the trend. Join a group of Lutheran ladies for a charming and funny look at holiday traditions and life in rural America. The show runs November 18–December 19.
Forum Theatre Wichita
"It was a dark and stormy night…"
If you love the cult classic film or just love to laugh, you can't miss the live stage version of "Clue!" Join Miss Scarlet, Professor Plum, Colonel Mustard, Mrs. Peacock and all the rest for a very unusual dinner party where murder and blackmail are on the menu. The show runs September 23–October 10.
Featuring reimagined holiday hits new and old, "Cool Yule" is a new Wichita Christmas tradition. The Forum Theatre Company presents this dazzling Christmas spectacular from November 26–December 19.
Wichita Community Theatre
What's better than a good mystery on a spooky fall night? And who does mystery better than Agatha Christie? Wichita Community Theatre presents Christie's classic "Murder on the Nile" October 14–24.
What would happen if the Angel of Death came to your family Christmas party? That's the premise of "The Christmas Spirit" by Frederick Stroppel, playing at WCT December 2–12. Moments of farce, drama, fantasy and even romance collide in this comedic take on the classic film "Death Takes a Holiday."
"The Father: A Tragic Farce" by the Guild Hall Players
The Guild Hall Players at St. James Episcopal Church continue their season with a thought-provoking tragic farce. "The Father," written by Florian Zeller and translated by Christopher Hampton, tells the story of an independent elderly man who struggles with the challenges of aging and identity. It runs November 4–7.
"Peril at the North Pole" at Prairie Pines Playhouse
Yule die laughing at "Peril at the North Pole," running November 19–December 23 at Prairie Pines Playhouse Mystery Theatre. Written by Wichita favorites Scott Noah and Christie Moore, this murder mystery comedy is sure to delight. When the pressure's on and the game is afoot, will Santa make it on time to save Christmas?
Prairie Pines offers an all-inclusive evening of entertainment, with the high-energy interactive murder mystery played between courses of a holiday meal. Tickets go fast, so schedule ahead!
What do you want to see?
What shows are you looking forward to most this fall and holiday season? Any recommendations? Share in the comments!