Local Theatre Companies
Many talented actors, actresses, choreographers, costumers and lighting designers call Wichita home. As a result, we've got a tremendous local theatre community. With programs that are regionally, nationally and even internationally recognized, Wichita puts on a great show! Check out these local theatre companies.
Christian Youth Theatre
Christian Youth Theatre is open to ages 5-18. The after school program serves to train students in all aspects of performing arts, while also promoting the high ethical, moral, technical and artistic standards. CYT is not affiliated with any specific church and children of all faiths are invited to participate. CYT Wichita is a local branch of a program that stretches across the country. Through this program, students have the opportunity to audition for a broadway-style production during each session. CYT's instructors are qualified professionals with backgrounds in teaching and/or performing.
Children can participate in CYT programs during the fall, winter and spring. Sessions consist of weekly classes addressing topics such as dance, drama, improvisation, music, theatre, voice and more. At the end of each session, each of the classes will give a performance that family and friends are invited to attend. Check out CYT online.
Founded by Patrick Duegaw, John Ernatt, Eric Schmidt and Kent Williams in 1990, Fisch Haus is an artist collaborative producing fine art exhibitions, music, theater, dance, film, festivals, community events, readings, workshops, artist residencies and more. All of Fisch Haus's events are offered to the public free of charge, or by a suggested donation.
Producing several large-scale shows each year, Fisch Haus maintains a pretty busy schedule. The facility currently accommodates five full-time local artists and several regional and international artists, actors and musicians. Learn more about Fisch Haus.
Performing in the Wilke Center at the First United Methodist Church at 330 N. Broadway, the Forum Theatre offers an intimate, black box-style setting where attendees can sit comfortably and enjoy great views no matter where they're seated. The Forum produces a new season each year, highlighting classic and contemporary comedies, dramas, musicals and new works.
The Forum Theatre presents and produces high-quality, professional theatre at affordable prices so that everyone can enjoy the talents of The Forum's local actors and actresses. More information about the Forum Theatre is available online.
Guild Hall Players
The Guild Hall Players community theatre call St. James Episcopal Church home. This theatre highlights the talent of local actors from all over the Wichita area and offers quality productions that address issues of faith and reason. In its seven seasons, the Guild Hall Players has showcased the work of more than 400 local performing artists in all areas of theatre.
Guild Hall Players typically hosts up to five shows per season. Some of the Guild Hall players recent productions include “The Christians”, “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” and “Ring of Fire”. Find the Guild Hall Players on Facebook.
Guinea Pig Lab
The Guinea Pig Lab was founded in 2015 and strives to showcase the work of local playwrights. Dedicated to Kansas writers, the small group seeks out our state's playwrights and promotes and produces their works, whether that means holding table reads, intimate black box performances or fully-staged plays.
The Guinea Pig Lab is housed in the fellowship hall and theatre of College Hill United Methodist Church. The organization's literary board is comprised of Shakespeare experts, screenwriters, former actors and more. Check out the Guinea Pig Lab on Facebook.
Running for 34 years, the Kechi Playhouse opened on June 16, 1983, debuting “The Fantasticks” as its very first production. Fast-forward to today, and the small theatre has housed 150 productions and highlighted the talents of 434 local actors and actresses. Owned and operated by Misty Maynard, the Kechi Playhouse is active from June to October and produces five shows each year.
The Kechi Playhouse offers the community not only an opportunity to support their friends and neighbors, but also an affordable way to see a quality production. Tickets are priced at $10 for Thursday and Sunday shows and at $11 for Friday and Saturday shows. Due to the theatre’s size, reservations are recommended. In its last season, the Kechi Playhouse offered productions of “Over the River and Through the Woods”, “Charley’s Aunt”, “Tons of Money”, “Moon Over Brewery” and “Proof”. For Details on the Kechi Playhouse, visit its Facebook page.
Mosley Street Melodrama
Wichita's only audience participation theatre, Mosley Street Melodrama pulls you right into the story! Mosley Street features a variety of highly local performances. Producing original shows focused on Wichita and the surrounding area, Mosley Street Melodrama teaches us the importance of laughing at ourselves.
Each production is followed by a musical revue, typically with a theme that ties into the production. At every Mosley Street Melodrama production, guests have the option to purchase tickets to the performance only, or for dinner and a show. Learn more about Mosley Street Melodrama.
The Murdock Theatre was named for prominent local figure and founder of the 20th Century Club, Louise C. Murdock. The theatre was built in 1931 as an addition to the 20th Century Center building.
The theatre was acquired by Wichita Film Festivals, Inc. in 2004. Careful renovations began shortly thereafter, taking into consideration the historical integrity of the building. The Theatre re-opened in 2005 with a 25 foot by 16 foot screen, a state-of-the-art digital projector, and Dolby surround sound. The Murdock theatre now hosts a variety of events including an ambitious film program, live theatre and live music events. Details on the theatre.
Music Theatre Wichita
Founded in 1972, Music Theatre Wichita is the largest not-for-profit arts organization in Kansas. Each summer, the organization self-produces five outstanding shows. The quality of Music Theatre Wichita’s productions has afforded the organization an international reputation for excellence. These Broadway-quality productions draw roughly 65,000 visitors to downtown Wichita each summer. A variety of training and educational programs offered through the organization demonstrate MTWichita’s commitment to young artists. MTWichita has approximately 30 company members who are selected through a highly-competitive audition process and about 100 Wichita children are selected to perform in one or more of MTWichita’s productions each year.
This summer, MTWichita will offer performances of “Thoroughly Modern Millie” (June 14-18), “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers” (June 28-July 2), “Hairspray” (July 12-16), “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” (July 26-30) and “Disney’s Newsies” (Aug. 11-20). Learn more.
Music Theatre for Young People
Music Theatre for Young People, or MYTP, allows children to get in on the excitement of acting! Hosting three to four musical productions during each school year and special programs for summer and Christmas break camps, MTYP offers plenty of opportunities to get involved. Productions held during the school year are cast based on auditions, though one designated “enrollment show” will include all children. Summer and Christmas break camps will also perform their own shows.
This season, MTYP will hold performances of “HONK!”, March 3-5 and “Annie”, April 28-30. Auditions are currently being held for “The Addams Family” and “A Christmas Carol”. More information about Music Theatre for Young People is available online.
Prairie Pines Playhouse
The Prairie Pines Playhouse is Wichita's murder mystery theatre. Located at 4055 N. Tyler road, the shows take place at the Prairie Pines Christmas tree farm. Prairie Pines shows are combined with a four-course meal and a full bar, served directly to your table, to create a great evening out.
Prairie Pines Playhouse considers all of its shows to be rated PG-13, and advises parent discretion when it comes to bringing children, though Prairie pines requests that children under the age of five do not attend. For more information, visit Prairie Pines online.
Located at 412 1/2 E. Douglas, Roxy's Downtown has maintained the cabaret spirit that it's building is known for. Formerly the home of Cabaret Old Town, the space has been a go-to entertainment spot for decades.
The annual season at Roxy's is made up of six Main-Stage productions, blending Wichita favorites as well as brand new and exciting shows across the country. Producing locally and regionally written material as well as content from Chicago, New York and San Francisco, Roxy's brings a variety of performances to Wichita. At Roxy's performances are typically held every Friday and Saturday evening during show times, and with select Thursday Evening and Sunday Matinees. Visit the Roxy's site.
The Wichita Scottish Rite's Signature Theatre is a community-based theatre for all ages.
In 2008, the Scottish Rite donated the use of its 700-seat auditorium, sound, lighting, stage and backdrops to the Signature Theatre so that its performances could bring more local theatre entertainment and education opportunities to Wichita.
Other expenses like scripts, costumes and sets are funded almost entirely by ticket sales and donations. For more information, find the Signature Theatre on the Scottish Rite website.
Wichita Children's Theatre and Dance Center
The Wichita Children’s Theatre and Dance Company has been operating for more than 40 years. Offering a dance school in addition to its theatre program, the organization serves to provide arts opportunities to young people of all ages and backgrounds in the Wichita area. The Wichita Children’s Theatre and Dance Center offers year-round courses in theatre, ballet, jazz, tap, and modern dance, a host of summer camp options, live theatre and music theatre shows, a professional traveling theatre group and more.
The Wichita Children’s Theatre’s upcoming performances include “The Stinky Cheeseman” from March 1-4, “You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown” from March 31- April 1, “The Three Billy Goats Gruff” from March 5-8 and many more. Check out the Wichita Children's Theatre and Dance Center website for further details.
Wichita Community Theatre
Offering quality productions for over 70 years, the Wichita Community Theatre (WCT) is the oldest theatre group in the area. Originally called the Little Theatre of Wichita, it began in 1927. Theatre was limited by war in the early 40’s, but a 1946 rebirth co-founded by Mary Jane Teall strengthened Wichita’s theatre community once again. Teall, the University of Wichita drama professor for which Century II’s Mary Jane Teall Theatre would later be named, utilized church facilities and, later, WSU facilities to host WCT shows. The performances continued to draw larger and larger crowds, and by the early 60s, it was time for the Wichita Community Theatre to find a permanent home. The Temple Emanu-el at 258 N. Fountain was purchased, and the theatre has called it home ever since.
Today, the Wichita Community Theatre still operates and continued support from the community has allowed for several updates to the building along the way, including new seats, concrete sidewalks and railings and ADA-compliant restrooms. To learn more about Wichita Community Theatre, visit the website.
Wichita Shakespeare Company
Wichita Shakespeare Company brings classic Shakespeare plays to Wichitans free of charge. That's right, you can see full-length performance and it won't cost you a cent. Performances are held in easily accessible areas. The Wichita Shakespeare Company produces Shakespeare in the Park each summer. During this series, each performance is given at several parks across the city, allowing several opportunities to see each show. This summer, the Company highlights performances of "Henry V" and "The Twelfth Night".
Wichita Shakespeare Company also serves to provide an opportunity for those interested in working in the arts to refine their skills through practical application. Take a look at the Wichita Shakespeare Company website for more information.