Inside JCPRD: Dance! Sing! Act! Audition!

A view from the stage looking out at a Theatre in the Park crowd in Shawnee Mission Park.

By Tim Bair

Well, even though it is later than usual… it’s THAT time of year again at Theatre in the Park! That’s right, it’s time for auditions! This year we’ve moved auditions as late as we could, and as far into the new year as we could so that maybe (just maybe) we would all find ourselves in a better place where the pandemic is concerned. And it seems as though we have. DON’T WORRY though, we still have a whole lot of safety protocols in place. Everyone will need to wear masks into our facility, and we are utilizing larger rooms to accommodate folks and allow for social distancing. Lots of cleaning will be taking place before and after auditions too. We’re doing a lot to ensure that we are providing as safe as possible accommodations!

This year we’re are really encouraging people to audition by video too! We’ve had this option for many years now, but this year we are really letting people know that it is a GREAT option if they feel uneasy about auditioning in person.

A group of hopefuls takes part in a Theatre in the Park dance audition.

We’ve got a terrific season planned too! We will open with “Mamma Mia”… yes that one! All your ABBA hits on stage in one evening! Then we’ve got “Curtains” up second. It’s a hilarious musical-theatre-murder-mystery. Very funny, and full of great tunes. A giant family classic, “Cinderella” takes the stage in July. And this is not just SOME Cinderella… this is the most recent Broadway revival with a new book, some new music, and LOTS of laughs. Pretty great for the entire family! Fourth up is “Half Time… Gotta Dance!” I know… you’re thinking… what? Rightly so. This is a show that is not that well known, but… honestly… a delight! It is based on a true story of a group of (let’s just say) mature dancers who try out for a dance team that will perform during half time at a professional basketball game. OK… what’s so funny about that you ask? Well… it all sounds pretty fun until the group that makes the cut finds out that the dance they will have to perform is… HIP HOP! Yep. It’s true. Something really great about this show is that it has eight roles for older female performers, and of multiple ethnicities!  We are especially looking for Asian American, African American, and Latino actresses to help us bring this delightful story to the stage. So, pass the word! And to close our season, the very, very popular “Newsies!” Full of great dancing and terrific characters. You won’t be disappointed and probably will leave the theatre singing and dancing all the way to your car!

So, if you’re interested, or know someone that is, auditions are Saturday, April 17, and Sunday, April 18, and all the details can be found on the Theatre in the Park website at

We hope we will see you… at auditions, or at the park this summer for a terrific season of theatre OUTDOORS!

Check out more news from JCPRD.