Music Theater Wichita


Music Theater Wichita

Each summer, the Music Theater Wichita (also known as MTWichita) put on five musicals during a ten week period, with performances taking place from Wednesday to Sunday each week. A resident company of college-aged performers and technicians work together with established professionals from Broadway and Hollywood to make it all come true. The year-round-staff is just eight people, but during the summer, MTWichita swells to include over 50 performers, 30 seasonal orchestra members, and 60+ seasonal technical staff.


Nowadays, the shows take place at the Concert Hall of the Century II Complex in Wichita’s Downtown area. The Concert Hall has 2,100 seats.


The auditions are held in March each year, and normally attracts over a thousand aspiring singers, dancers and actors.


Examples of musicals performed during previous seasons

Summer of 2019

  • Sound of Music
  • An American in Paris
  • A Chorus Line
  • Chicago
  • In the Heights

Summer of 2018

  • Sister Act
  • Guys and Dolls
  • Freaky Friday
  • Pippin
  • Disney’s The Little Mermaid

Music Theater Wichita wizard of oz

Summer of 2017

  • Thoroughly Modern Millie
  • Seven Brides for Seven Brothers
  • Hairspray
  • The Hunchback of Notre Dame
  • Disney’s Newsies

Summer of 2016

  • Nice Work if You Can Get It
  • Disney’s Beauty and the Beast
  • Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Oklahoma!
  • Jesus Christ Superstar
  • Mamma Mia!

Summer of 2015

  • Elton John and Tim Rice’s Aida
  • Disney’s My Son Pinocchio
  • Billy Elliot the Musical
  • Big Fish
  • Hello, Dolly!

Youth programs

The theater runs several programs for young aspiring talents, such as the intern program, the apprentice program, and the Teen Choir.

There is also the Jester Awards, an annual award ceremony celebrating high school musical productions in south-central Kansas. Since 2009, two Jester recipients have been sent each year to New York to attend the National High School Musical Theater Awards (the “Jimmys”).


The Music Theater of Whicita was founded in 1972 by a group of local business leaders who managed to raise $100,000 to get the project going.

The very first performances, in 1972, were a Rodgers & Hammerstein Concert, a Walt Disney Family Concert, From Vienna With Love, and Man of La Mancha. For the summer of 1973, the chosen musicals were The King and I, Hello, Dolly!, The Wizard of Oz, and Die Fledermaus, and there was also a Lerner & Loewe concert.

Since the beginning, three different artistic producers have been at the helm:

  • Jim Miller, the theater’s founding producing director, who was the artistic producer from the inception to 1979. During the Miller era, the theater relied on local teachers and performers.
  • John Holly, who took over after Miller in 1980. Holly shifted the company’s direction by including more non-local and professional performers.
  • Wayne Bryan, who took over after Holly in 1988 and has remained the artistic producer since then.

Performing artists

Examples of performing artists who have spent summer with the Music Theatre Wichita:

  • Ashley Park
  • Catherine Charlebois
  • Chelsea Packard
  • Danny Stiles
  • Darren Ritchie
  • Jenni Barber
  • Josh Prince
  • Karla Burns
  • Kelli O’Hara
  • Kristin Chenoweth
  • Lauren Kennedy
  • Stanley Bahorek