Theatre for Young America sets plans for season


Posted by Bob Evans




Theatre for Young America is excited to present our 2020-2021 Season! Theatre for Young America offers reserved seating for select performances.


Celebrating the 100-year anniversary of the founding of Negro Leagues Baseball right here in Kansas City, Missouri, this original musical play features songs composed and performed by the legendary Danny Cox. The show brings to life the dramatic history and exemplary courage of the men and women who played against all odds of racial discrimination and “Jim Crow” laws in the Negro Leagues baseball teams.  Inspired by Buck O’Neill and Kansas City’s Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, it is based on true stories from a tumultuous and richly entertaining era of baseball history.

 IF YOU GIVE A MOUSE A COOKIE October 27 – November 14, 2020

Based on the beloved book by Laura Nuneroff with illustrations by Felicia Bond, this play enacts a hilarious encounter between a boy and a mouse. The persistent mouse wants a cookie. Give him that and he wants a glass of milk. Give him that and he must have a straw! What about that milk mustache he got from drinking milk without a straw? Bring a mirror. The stage piles up with funny objects and comical antics and more laughs than a barrel of monkeys.

 THE ELVES AND THE SHOEMAKER November 28 – December 26, 2020

A new dramatization of the classic story of elfin kindness. In the quaint old shoe shop of Andrew Schumaker times are hard. It is 1918 and the Flu Pandemic threatens the entire world with illness and poverty. Andrew struggles to pay his rent to keep his small business afloat, but his hardhearted landlady Gertie Gorfaddle wants to evict him. Enter the magical, loving elves, Mimsey and Morel, who transform the grim world with music and dance and good deeds—even warming the cold heart of Gertie with the sweet spirit of Christmas.

 THE TOUGHEST KID IN THE WORLD February 2 – 6, 2021

This musical play uses humor, songs, and lively action to explore the difficult subject of violence and bullying in modern American society.  A boy named TK—short for Tough Kid—learns a new meaning of the word “tough” in his encounters with his family, his friends, his neighborhood and today’s world. Curriculum topics: Conflict Resolution, Violence Prevention.

 PETER RABBIT, THE MUSICAL  February 23 – March 27, 2021

 In this Theatre for Young America original musical based on Beatrix Potter’s classic book, Peter Rabbit’s three big sisters are aspiring artists. While his sisters pursue the finer things in life Peter sneaks off to Mr. McGregor’s garden and gets into a heap of trouble, only to be saved by his sisters and the power of art. Curriculum Topics: Art Careers, Rabbits, Gardening.


Adapted from traditional West African folk literature, these classic “trickster tales” will be done in storytelling style with African costumes, drumming, and music.  Curriculum connections: storytelling, African culture, African animals

 ELLA ENCHANTED June 15 – July 3, 2021

Based on the book by Gail Carson Levine, this exciting new musical fairy tale is a fresh, feminist take on Cinderella. The play follows the strong-willed Ella Frell as she navigates her personal destiny in a world of dramatic and humorous challenges. The music is exciting and clever, and the story remains timeless and wise. Curriculum topics: Fairytales, Goal Setting, Dramatization.

 THE WIZARD OF OZ July 14 – 24, 2021

Based on the book by L. Frank Baum, this exciting musical tells the adventure of Dorothy, a little girl from Kansas who is transported by a tornado into the magical land of Oz.  There she meets the Tinman, who needs a heart; the Cowardly Lion, who needs some courage; and the Scarecrow, who desperately needs a brain. Together they outwit the Wicked Witch of the West to get to the Wizard of Oz.  Glinda the Good and the Munchkins help the group find what they need and get Dorothy and Toto back to their home in Kansas.

 All performances take place on the City Stage, located on level B in Union Station. Union Station is located at 30 W. Pershing Road, Kansas City, MO.

 Season, single, or group rate tickets may be reserved by calling Theatre for Young America at 816.460.2083. Group and single tickets may also be purchased from Union Station at 816.460.2020 or reserved online at  The single ticket price is $12.00.  Groups of 15 or more are $5.50 per person with a reservation. For information about our season or other programming visit our website at


Seating capacity in City Stage is currently reduced to 20% of the capacity to facilitate social distancing. Masks will be available for those who do not have their own. Through-out Union Station signage reminds visitors to practice social distancing, hand washing, use face coverings, and other best-practices. Hand-sanitizing stations and products are located through-out Union Station. There is frequent sanitizing of high-touch surfaces and the use of new electrostatic spraying technology.

 Theatre for Young America History:

Theatre for Young America (TYA) began in 1974 at the Waldo Astoria Dinner Playhouse.

In 1977, the troupe became an independent organization and moved to Overland Park,

Kansas, where it performed for 17 years in a converted cinema theatre. During this time the

organization grew from 4 productions to 7 or 8 per season, added drama classes, summer

workshops and summer productions, and outreach workshops in schools. TYA operated in the Mission Center Mall from 1994 to 2003.


Today TYA performs on the City Stage at Union Station, the Wonderscope Children’s

Museum and Avila University. Since our beginning in 1974 we have worked to create each

child’s lifelong relationship with theatre. Our ultimate goal, then and now, is to encourage

the educational and emotional growth of young people through our arts-based experiences.

To reach this goal TYA has produced over 200 productions, including dozens of new

and commissioned plays, plus many of the most acclaimed plays for young audiences by

established playwrights. TYA has developed dozens of new plays and musical plays based on classic children’s literature, historical figures and current social issues, such as child sexual abuse, child care, and conflict resolution.

 TYA contracts with Actors’ Equity Association, the national guild for professional actors, and is an active participant in the American Alliance of Theatre and Education, International Association of Theatre for Children and Young People (ASSITEJ/USA), the ArtsPartners program of Young Audiences, the Arts Council of Metropolitan Kansas City, and the Arts Council of Johnson County.

 TYA, the oldest children’s theatre in Kansas City, was the first to introduce a full-time

Director of Education. This enables TYA to offer a wide range of educational components: after school enrichment classes in drama, summer drama workshops, outreach lesson plans taught in area schools and youth centers, and study guides to augment every production. Some theatres offer after-show discussions with the cast as an occasional special event. At TYA we offer these discussions after almost every show. We recognize the value of making the most out of this opportunity to build our relationship with the children in our audience.

 Theatre for Young America is a professional theater company, which primarily employs local actors, many of whom are members of Actors Equity Association.

 Theatre for Young America, Inc., is a not-for-profit 501(c) (3) corporation.  Gifts are tax-deductible.

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