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Jun 23

“School of Rock” and “Zombie Prom” take the Theatre in the Park stage in July

Posted on June 23, 2022 at 12:42 PM by Becky Burnside

A substitute teacher tasked with turning his students into a mind-blowing rock band, and a girl-loves-ghoul musical set in the atomic 1950s are July musical productions that continue the Theatre in the Park’s 53rd outdoor season in Shawnee Mission Park. 

“School of Rock” based on the 2003 Jack Black movie, will be onstage July 1 through 9; while “Zombie Prom,” will be presented July 15 through 23. Each of July’s TIP musical productions are rated PG and will run approximately 2.5 hours minutes with one 15-minute intermission. 

Also during July, two more family-friendly films will be presented on the outdoor stage as part of the 2022 Movies in the Park program, which offers free admission this year, thanks to the support of The Parks & Recreation Foundation of Johnson County, Arvest Bank, and JE Dunn. 

Please note that two separate detours currently make it more challenging to reach the Theatre in the Park from the north this season. The Renner Road bridge over I-435 is closed for replacement, and traffic is being detoured using Midland Drive, Lackman Road, and 79th Street. Beginning in mid-June and lasting for approximately 30 days, the southbound I-435 exit ramp at 87th Street Parkway will also be closed, and a marked detour route is provided via southbound I-435 to the 95th Street exit to northbound Renner Boulevard.

“Rock got no reason, rock got no rhyme…You better get me to school on time!” Andrew Lloyd Webber's “School of Rock - The Musical” is based on the hit 2003 movie. The story follows Dewey Finn, a failed wannabe rock star who decides to earn an extra bit of cash by posing as a substitute teacher at a prestigious prep school. There he turns a class of straight - A pupils into a guitar-shredding, bass-slapping, mind-blowing rock band. But can he get them to the Battle of the Bands without their parents and the school’s headmistress finding out? 

"Zombie Prom" is a girl-loves-ghoul rock 'n' roll Off Broadway musical set in the atomic 1950s at Enrico Fermi High, where the law is laid down by a zany, tyrannical principal. Pretty senior Toffee has fallen for the class bad boy. Family pressure forces her to end the romance, and he charges off on his motorcycle to the nuclear waste dump. He returns glowing and determined to reclaim Toffee's heart. He still wants to graduate, but most of all he wants to take Toffee to the prom. The principal orders him to drop dead while a scandal reporter seizes on him as the freak du jour. History comes to his rescue while a tuneful selection of original songs in the style of 50s hits keeps the action rocking across the stage.

The final show in TIP’s 2022 outdoor season is “The SpongeBob Musical,” Rated PG, onstage July 29 through Aug. 6. 

Much more information about the theater and this year’s productions is available at the Theatre in the Park’s website,

For outdoor productions, gates open at 7:30 p.m., and shows begin at 8:30 p.m.  General admission is $10 for adults, $6 for youth ages four to ten, plus tax, and free for children three and under, but tickets are still required. Tickets can be purchased at the box office or online. “Anytime tickets” available via either ticket-buying method, are not specific to a certain night or performance, and can be printed out at home and scanned at the gate. A limited number of reserved tickets for outdoor chairs are also available for every performance for $20 each.

Continuing in 2022 is Thrifty Thursdays when a 20% discount is offered on Thursday night performances. This makes adult tickets $8 and children’s tickets $4.80, plus tax. The discounted tickets must be purchased at the box office for the specific show. 

Movies in the Park, through which participants can see popular films on an outdoor screen for is also continuing during July. July films, which will be shown on selected Tuesday nights when musical productions are not scheduled, are: Disney’s “Mary Poppins (1964),” rated G, on July 5; and “Elf,” rated PG, on July 19.

Other upcoming 2022 Movies in the Park presentations will include: Disney’s “Encanto,” rated PG, on Aug. 2; and a yet-to-be-named film on Sunday, Aug. 7 as part of the free Evening the Park special event; “Clifford the Big Red Dog,” rated PG on Friday, Aug. 12; and “Cars,” rated G on Friday, Aug. 19. In addition, two movies will be shown on the Great Lawn at Meadowbrook Park: “A Bug’s Life,” rated G on Friday, Aug. 26; and “ZOOTOPIA,” rated PG on Friday, Sept. 30. The final Movies in the Park presentation of the season will be “Monsters, Inc.,” which will take place on Friday, Oct. 28, near Shelter #1 in Heritage Park.

Visitors to TIP this summer will also be able to view a temporary public art installation called “Symbiosis” by Matthew Dehaemers of Shawnee. This installation is located near the south entrance to the theater bowl. Read more about Dehaemers’ work.

The Theatre in the Park’s outdoor location is north of the main entrance to Shawnee Mission Park at 7710 Renner Road in Shawnee. Meadowbrook Park is located at 9101 Nall Ave., Prairie Village. Heritage Park is located at 16050 Pflumm Road, Olathe. 

Sponsorships for specific shows are still available, and you can learn more by calling Tim Bair 913-826-3011 or at [email protected].