Behind the Scenes
Music Theatre Wichita, founded in 1972 and currently the largest subscribed not-for-profit arts organization in the state of Kansas, has attained an international reputation for excellence. Each summer at Century II Performing Arts Center in downtown Wichita, MTWichita self-produces five Broadway-scale musical productions, using a unique mixture of top-flight professionals from Broadway and Hollywood working hand-in-hand with talented Midwesterners. Each year eight administrative year-round staff, approximately 55 seasonal performers, 65 seasonal technical staff, and 30 seasonal orchestra members work together to design and create five Broadway-quality musicals during the months of June through August.
MTWichita annually provides employment, training, and invaluable business contacts for over 250 talented young people who work side by side leaders in their field. While producing its musicals, Music Theatre Wichita simultaneously conducts a specialized training program, geared to helping young Midwesterners prepare for professional careers. The advantages afforded by Century II (including a paint shop and a scene shop) allow for high-quality sets and costumes to be constructed each year in Wichita. Largely because of these unique programs, MTWichita can boast young alumni onstage or backstage at almost every Broadway musical currently running, and most of the national tours.
Each summer, MTWichita brings more than 65,000 visitors to downtown Wichita. The $4.1 million annual budget is funded by ticket sales (approximately 50%), costume and set rentals, and corporate, private and foundation contributions. Annually, about 70% of the MTWichita budget is returned to the local Wichita economy. Music Theatre Wichita incorporates best practices of fiscal responsibility and maintains a strong record of responsible financial management and balanced budgets.
MTWichita repeatedly demonstrates its commitment to education through several avenues of experiential training for young people. The Apprentice Program involves high school students in all aspects of production, offstage and on. The Jester Awards Program brings positive attention to high schools for the excellence of the musical shows being produced on their campuses. The Trust Company of Kansas Teen Choir involves approximately 75 middle and high school students in a performing group that performs more than 35 performances during the summer. The 30 or so company members chosen via highly competitive audition are the beneficiaries of a truly unique preparation for their careers as aspiring Broadway performers. And lastly, in a typical season nearly 100 young Wichita-area children are selected to perform in one or more of the productions.
Please explore the website to learn more about Music Theatre Wichita. Contact the office at 316.265.3253 with any questions.