Theatre in the Park begins 2022 season this week at Shawnee Mission Park

Theater performers in costumes and performing, in a variety of colors

On Friday, June 3, Theatre in the Park (TIP) will kick off its 53rd season on the stage at Shawnee Mission Park as Johnson County’s popular outdoor live entertainment program.

The 2022 season features five premiere productions, beginning with “Something Rotten,” a musical comedy set in the 1590s with William Shakespeare as a rock singer, this weekend (June 3-5) and next week (June 8-11). TIP shows run two consecutive weekends: Friday through Sunday and Wednesday through Saturday.

Other summer productions include:

  • “Disney’s the Descendants,” June 17-25
  • “School of Rock,” July 1-9
  • “Zombie Prom,” July 15-23
  • “The SpongeBob Musical,” July 29-Aug. 6

Show time for all outdoor productions is 8:30 p.m. The box office opens at 7:00pm p.m. followed by the gates to the seating bowl at 7:30 p.m. Performances last about 2½ hours with a 15-minute intermission, except for "Disney’s the Descendants," which lasts 90 minutes with one 15-minute intermission.

Entrance to TIP’s  amphitheater in Shawnee Mission Park is at 7700 Renner Road, Shawnee. Note: Please visit the theatre’s website for detour route due to Renner Road Bridge crossing at I-435 closure.

Ticket prices for outdoor productions are adult admission $10, youth $6, and children ages three and under free (but require a ticket for entrance). Tickets may be purchased at the box offices or online through TIP’s website.

The idea of presenting a live theater in a Johnson County park was launched in 1969, leading to the first performance, “Mame,” the following year on a small wooden stage in Antioch Park, 6501 Antioch Rd., Merriam. Since that first curtain call, Theatre in the Park, a program of the Johnson County Park and Recreation District, has presented 200 productions with the majority being for audiences of all ages.

Historically, “The Music Man” has been the most popular production at TIP, appearing on stage eight times over the years. “The Wizard of Oz” and “Annie” have been performed six times.

For the first two TIP seasons, productions took place at Antioch Park as plans were developed to relocate the outdoor theater to Shawnee Mission Park and to expand the stage facility to include restrooms, concessions and parking. 

A wooden temporary stage was constructed in the Small Lakes Area of Shawnee Mission Park in time for performances in 1972 with a plan to eventually construct a permanent facility. With the fund-raising support of the Shawnee Mission Sertoma Club, construction of a permanent stage at the present location of TIP began on ten acres in 1979 and was dedicated on June 20, 1980.

The rest is history.

Park and Recreation