Where to do this
Civic Theatre has the nation's oldest, continuously running community dinner
in 1936, Topeka Civic Theatre is the oldest, continuously, running community
dinner theatre in the country. In July of 1999, Topeka Civic Theatre and
Academy completed construction of a new home in the former Gage Elementary School.
The school was built around 1929 and is rich in architecture and design. The
2009 season marks the 74th season.
TCTA also has an incredible youth academy, training young and
old actors, and growing a new crop of artists to expand the arts in northeast Kansas. The Stepping
Stones Curriculum breaks down acting technique into a group of skills including
Characterization, Scene Study, and Improvisation. Summer theatre camps round
out the year in an old elementary school bursting with budding thespians.
published a booklet with the cooperation of the American Association of
Community Theatres and the City of Detroit Department of Recreation. Community
theatres in America
were researched through a survey and conclusions were put in a book from those
that responded. The book, Millennium Theatres, Discovering Community
Theatre's Future by Exploring its Past, provided a wealth of information.
Profiles were collected
from more than 180 theatres. Eighty-seven were fifty years or older. The oldest
is Footlight club/Eliot Hall in Jamaica
It's 128 years old and was founded in 1877. Sixty are as old or older than the
Topeka Civic Theatre. However, there is no documentation that shows that any of
these community theatres double as a dinner theatre for as long and as
continuous as the Topeka Civic Theatre. In fact, it is more common for dinner
theatres to be professional theatres than community theatres.
VARIETY OF SHOWS
hit comedies, cutting-edge dramas, and beloved Broadway musicals with
year-round dinner and non-dinner shows. To get tickets, click here or call
Since 1936, our theatre has been producing heart-warming, toe-tapping, song-humming
shows. Our shows range from comedies to dramas to musicals to cutting-edge new
works. Children perform for children, and adults provide family entertainment
in Theatre for Young Audiences. Readers theatre brings back the radio plays of
the 30s, 40s and 50s. Comedy improv is performed at its best by young adults,
teens, and senior citizens.
Also, year round (at least one a month) public tours and educational
programming take place. The tours are called Stage Door Sneak Peek.
It's a one-hour presentation. People are asked to sign up in advance or these
tours can be scheduled upon request. Sometime the groups even get to see
a little bit of a rehearsal, see the backstage, or walk onstage.
QUALITY THEATRE, TOO!
Managing Director Don Bachmann's production of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's
Nest won the state community theatre festival and advanced to the regional
in Omaha. In
1979, Bachmann's production of The Good Doctor, starring Charley
Oldfather, went all the way to National, won it, and represented the United
States at an international amateur theatre festival the following spring in
Dundalk, Ireland. In 1981, P.K. Worley's production of Jacques Brel Is Alive
and Well and Living in Paris won the state festival and was performed at
the regional in Topeka.
Terrance McKerrs took two productions to nationals, I'm Getting My Act
Together and Taking It on the Road in 1985, which won third place, and The
Taffetas in 1991, which won second place, while McKerrs won the "Best