Community Theatres: How to Thrive

WAMEGO, Kan. (KSNT)  The city of Wamego is asking you to meet them in St. Louis. It’s all a part of their most recent community theatre, which is more than a century old.

But like many community theatres, even after 100 years, The Columbian still has its road blocks.

“Funding.” says Executive Director, Clint Stueve.

However, even with Wamego’s city population of less than 5,000, the theatre is thriving.

“The community is the key part of that. This is a collecting point for community members. This is where they get to interact with each other; this is where they come to support each other. This is where they get to show their pride in the community.” says Stueve.

Community support is present by just a stroll down Wamego’s Main Street, where almost every business owner have theatre posters in their window.

The support is here in Wamego, but in the 21st era, how do you continue to get people excited about theatre?

Technical Director, Libby Uthoff Stratton says, “You just have to find a way to reach the audience, and that’s changing right now. So it is more over the internet.”

Stueve admits that community theatres like The Columbian are uncommon in small towns, which is what makes having one so important.

“It gives people in Wamego and surrounding areas an opportunity to come and explore different areas of the arts that they may not have otherwise come in contact with, had the theatre not been here.” says Stueve.

The Columbian Theatre’s production of ‘Meet me in St. Louis’ will play this weekend.

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