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Music THEATRE Kansas City: Professional Training, Quality Theater in Kansas City!

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Music Theatre Kansas City carved its niche in the local music theater scene by offering steady, top-quality musicals performed by the city’s best youth talent. And in 2014, the theater company incorporated professional national actors who are natives of the area and often times, these professionals are former MTKC participants, making MTKC a tough act to follow.

This unique setup pairs professional actors with local youth, creating an on-the-job training situation unlike any other KC-area theater production company. “We’re so proud of the environment we’ve built at MTKC, a place where our definition of ‘fun’ is working hard with fun people,” said MTKC’s artistic director, Julie Danielson, who grew up singing and performing for MTKC. 

Her mother, Cary Danielson, is the founder and executive director. “Every single year, there are top-level singers and actors from our city performing on Broadway who’ve come through our program, and we wanted to develop an opportunity for them to return to KC to perform and shine for their hometown. Prior to this, there really wasn’t an avenue for them to do this.”

Many of the MTKC students have been successful on Broadway or in Hollywood, and hundreds are currently using their theatre and music talents to work professionally around the globe. Often these young people have such an affinity for Kansas City and MTKC that they are happy to return to teach, train and share their expertise with KC students and audiences. 

The only thing that was missing was the home theater location. That dream was fulfilled two years ago when MTKC partnered with B&B Theatres to create B&B Live! This creative partnership brings live theater to a traditional movie theater complex, building exposure around live musical theater to the traditional movie-goers while providing a beautiful theater home for MTKC. Today, all performances and events are hosted at B&B Live, inside the B&B Shawnee Movie Theater Complex, 16301 Midland Drive, Shawnee, Kansas, off 435 and
Midland Drive.

MTKC produces ten full-scale musicals per year featuring both professional adult and student performers, most of whom are 12 to 18 years old. In addition to paying professional actors and singers, MTKC prides itself on using live musicians for each production. “A live pit orchestra, whether it consists of four musicians or 20, helps bring our performances to a dramatically higher level of professionalism. We are committed to using the full orchestration, as originally intended by the composers,” said Julie. “Working with a live orchestra is an incredible opportunity for our actors and it also allows us to connect with yet another community of artists.”

Music Theatre Kansas City is a not-for-profit and relies heavily on fundraisers, individual gifts and grants to maintain the quality of programs and to control tuition costs for students. Their professional company recently concluded the Kansas City professional premiere of the Broadway musical Elf; the next student production, Disney’s Mary Poppins, runs January 3 through 5 at B&B Live. For more information about MTKC, visit

It’s Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!
Mary Poppins
Jan. 3 – 5
Tickets are $8 – $15 and available online at