show posters for 2023 season
25th annual putnum county spelling bee show poster
 

Indoor at the JOCO arts and heritage center





The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee
March 10 - 26, 2023

Directed by Reed Uthe

Winner of the Tony and the Drama Desk Awards for Best Book, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee has charmed audiences across the country with its effortless wit and humor. Featuring a fast-paced, wildly funny and touching book by Rachel Sheinkin and a truly fresh and vibrant score by William Finn, this bee is one unforgettable experience.

An eclectic group of six mid-pubescents vie for the spelling championship of a lifetime. While candidly disclosing hilarious and touching stories from their home lives, the tweens spell their way through a series of (potentially made-up) words, hoping never to hear the soul-crushing, pout-inducing, life un-affirming "ding" of the bell that signals a spelling mistake. Six spellers enter; one speller leaves! At least the losers get a juice box.

A riotous ride, complete with audience participation, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee is a delightful den of comedic genius. The small cast and unit set make this a perfect option for high schools or community theatres. The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee is a fast-paced crowd pleaser and an instant theatre patron favorite.

RATED: PG16
Runs  approximately 2.5 hours with a 15 minute intermission.
full show information click here

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Freaky Friday show Poster
 

outdoor at shawnee mission park

Theatre in the Park's Production of
Disney's Freaky Friday, A New Musical
JUNE 2 - 10, 2023

Directed by Mark Swezey
 

The new musical, Freaky Friday, based on the beloved 1972 novel by Mary Rodgers and the hit Disney films (and developed by Disney Theatrical Productions expressly for licensing to theatres), features a book by Bridget Carpenter - the co-executive producer and writer on the beloved TV hits, "Friday Night Lights" and "Parenthood" - and music and lyrics by Tom Kitt and Brian Yorkey - the Pulitzer Prize-winning composers of Next to Normal and If/Then.

When an overworked mother and her teenage daughter magically swap bodies, they have just one day to put things right again. Freaky Friday, a new musical based on the celebrated novel by Mary Rodgers and the hit Disney films, is a heartfelt, comedic, and unexpectedly emotional update on an American classic. By spending a day in each other's shoes, Katherine and Ellie come to appreciate one another's struggles, learn self-acceptance, and realize the immeasurable love and mutual respect that bond a mother and daughter.


RATED: G
Runs approximately 2 hours with one 15 minute intermission.

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Meet Me In St Louis show poster
 

outdoor at shawnee mission park
Meet Me In St Louis
JUNE 16 - 24, 2023

Directed by Chris McCoy
 

It is the summer of 1903, and everyone in the Smith family eagerly anticipates the opening of the 1904 World’s Fair. Over the course of a year, the family's mutual respect, tempered with good-natured humor, helps them through romance, opportunity, and heartbreaks.

The musical includes seven of the best-loved songs from the film, plus ten additional Martin and Blane songs written specially for the stage. Memorable musical numbers include "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas," "The Boy Next Door," "The Trolley Song," and "Whenever I’m with You."  The MGM film Meet Me in St. Louis premiered on November 28, 1944, starring Judy Garland, Margaret O'Brien, Mary Astor, Lucille Bremer, Tom Drake and Marjorie Main. The stage version opened on Broadway at the Gershwin Theatre on November 2, 1989, starring Betty Garrett, George Hearn, Charlotte Moore and Milo O'Shea.


RATED: G
Runs approximately 2 hours with one 15 minute intermission.

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13 the musical show poster
 

 

outdoor at shawnee mission park

13
JUNE 30 - JULY 8, 2023

Directed by Amy Sander

Geek. Poser. Jock. Beauty Queen. Wannabe. These are the labels that can last a lifetime. With an unforgettable rock score from Tony Award-winning composer, Jason Robert Brown, (Parade, The Last Five Years, Bridges of Madison County) 13 is a musical about fitting in – and standing out!

Evan Goldman is plucked from his fast-paced, preteen New York City life and plopped into a sleepy Indiana town following his parents divorce. Surrounded by an array of simpleminded middle school students, he needs to establish his place in the popularity pecking order. Can he situate himself on a comfortable link of the food chain... or will he dangle at the end with the outcasts?!?

Composed of a precocious cast, no character in 13 is older than the show's title, making it wonderful for theatre companies that feature young artists. The cast is comprised entirely of teenagers, but the stories that come to life here are ageless, the emotions they explore timeless, the laughter and the memories they provide priceless.


RATED: PG
Runs approximately 2 hours with one 15 minute intermission.

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white christmas show poster
 

 

outdoor at shawnee mission park
White Christmas
JULY 14 - 22, 2023

Directed by Kacy Christensen

Veterans Bob Wallace and Phil Davis have a successful song-and-dance act after World War II. With romance in mind, the two follow a duo of beautiful singing sisters en route to their Christmas show at a Vermont lodge, which just happens to be owned by Bob and Phil's former army commander. With a dazzling score featuring well-known standards including “Blue Skies,” “I Love A Piano,” “How Deep Is the Ocean” and the perennial title song, White Christmas is an uplifting musical worthy of year-round productions.

Paramount Pictures released the movie musical White Christmas in 1954. Directed by Michael Curtiz, the film starred Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Rosemary Clooney and Vera-Ellen, and featured 17 songs by Irving Berlin. The top moneymaker of 1954, White Christmas set a new record as Hollywood’s all-time highest-grossing musical.

The stage adaptation of White Christmas opened on Broadway at the Marquis Theatre on November 4, 2008, after several successful engagements throughout the United States. Directed by Walter Bobbie and starring Stephen Bogardus, Jeffry Denman, Kerry O’Malley and Meredith Patterson, the show was an audience favorite; it returned to Broadway the following year, starring James Clow, Tony Yazbeck, Melissa Errico and Mara Davi.


RATED: G
Runs approximately 2.5 hours with one 15 minute intermission.

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footloose show poster
 

outdoor at shawnee mission park
Footloose
JULY 28 - AUGUST 5, 2023

Directed by Guy Gardner
 

When Ren and his mother move from Chicago to a small farming town, he is prepared for the inevitable adjustment period at his new high school. But he’s not prepared for the rigorous local edicts, including a ban on dancing instituted by the local preacher, who is determined to exercise control over the town’s youth. When the reverend’s rebellious daughter sets her sights on Ren, her roughneck boyfriend tries to sabotage Ren’s reputation, with many of the locals eager to believe the worst about the new kid. The heartfelt story that emerges pins a father longing for the son he lost against a young man aching for the father who walked out on him.

To the rockin’ rhythm of its Oscar and Tony-nominated Top 40 score, augmented with dynamic new songs, Footloose celebrates the wisdom of listening to young people while guiding them with a warm heart and open mind.


RATED: PG
Runs approximately 2 hours with one 15 minute intermission.

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Little shop of horrors show poster
 

indoor at JOCO arts and heritage center
Little Shop of Horrors
OCTOBER 6 - 22, 2023

Directed by Ile Haggins

A deviously delicious Broadway and Hollywood sci-fi smash musical, Little Shop Of Horrors has devoured the hearts of theatre-goers for over 30 years. Howard Ashman and Alan Menken (Disney's The Little Mermaid, Beauty And The Beast, and Aladdin) are the creative geniuses behind what has become one of the most popular shows in the world.

The meek floral assistant Seymour Krelborn stumbles across a new breed of plant he names "Audrey II" - after his coworker crush. This foul-mouthed, R&B-singing carnivore promises unending fame and fortune to the down and out Krelborn as long as he keeps feeding it, BLOOD. Over time, though, Seymour discovers Audrey II's out of this world origins and intent towards global domination!


RATED: PG
Runs approximately 2.5 hours with one 15 minute intermission.

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seussical the musical show poster
 

indoor at JOCO arts and heritage center
Seussical the Musical
DECEMBER 8 - 23, 2023

A NEW Theatre in the Park Holiday Tradition!

Directed by Zane Champie


Now one of the most performed shows in America, Seussical is a fantastical, magical, musical extravaganza! Tony winners, Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty (Lucky Stiff, My Favorite Year, Once on This Island, Ragtime), have lovingly brought to life all of our favorite Dr. Seuss characters, including Horton the Elephant, The Cat in the Hat, Gertrude McFuzz, lazy Mayzie and a little boy with a big imagination – Jojo. The colorful characters transport us from the Jungle of Nool to the Circus McGurkus to the invisible world of the Whos.

The Cat in the Hat tells the story of Horton, an elephant who discovers a speck of dust that contains the Whos, including Jojo, a Who child sent off to military school for thinking too many "thinks." Horton faces a double challenge: not only must he protect the Whos from a world of naysayers and dangers, but he must guard an abandoned egg, left in his care by the irresponsible Mayzie La Bird. Although Horton faces ridicule, danger, kidnapping and a trial, the intrepid Gertrude McFuzz never loses faith in him. Ultimately, the powers of friendship, loyalty, family and community are challenged and emerge triumphant. Seussical is fun for the whole family! 

RATED: G
Runs approximately 2 hours with one 15 minute intermission.