The Barn Players create theatre for the community by the community which nurtures theatre artists in practicing their craft.
The Barn Players Theatre was founded in 1955 and was originally located at a renovated barn at the Woolf Farm near 83rd in Mission Road in Prairie Village. In 1971 the theater’s building was sold to make way for commercial development and a new home was found at The Manor Barn at Metcalf and 91st. However, this location turned out to be only an interim home and in 1972 Johnson County Community College became our home for the next 18 years. As the community college grew, in 1990 we were again without a home. For the next 12 years, our performances were staged at various venues, including Shawnee Mission High Schools, the Old Shawnee Town Hall, the Shawnee Civic Center, and the Roeland Park Community Center.
In 2004, thanks to the help of the NE Johnson County Chamber of Commerce, we moved to our current location at 6219 Martway in Mission, Kansas. The Chamber believed that the presence of a theatre in Mission and the North East Johnson County area would improve the quality of life for the residents and bring additional patrons to the area. In 2006, the Credit Union of Johnson County (now Mainstreet Credit Union) purchased the land and building where we are located. The credit union also recognized the value of the arts to a community and agreed to partner with us for continued use of the building. In 2008, we signed a long-term lease agreement with the credit union. In 2013, The Barn re-branded itself, became more strategic in choosing board members, show selection and in setting goals for performance quality and audience numbers.
The Barn's significant improvement was recognized by being voted as the Northeast Johnson County Chamber of Commerce Small Business of the Year in 2015. The Barn Kids summer programs are very popular, typically resulting in sold out performances. Our Six By Ten Original Play Festival, in its 10th season, continues to improve in number of playwright applicants as well as quality. Since its inception, many other theaters have begun similar opportunities for playwrights.
At the end of 2017, as the lease of the Martway building with the Credit Union ended after fourteen amazing seasons, The Barn came to an agreement to move it's mainstage season and offices to the The Arts Asylum in Kansas City, Missouri. After 62 years in Johnson County, The Barn is excited to bring our unique blend of plays and musicals to a thriving downtown arts community in the vibrant and creative Arts Asylum space at 9th and Harrison in downtown Kansas City, MO.
Despite our many moves and inevitable changes in personnel, we continue to offer quality theatre for the entire metropolitan area. The Barn Players, Inc., is a 501(c)(3) organization.