The mission of The Forum Theatre Company is to produce and present programs in the performing arts that will entertain, educate, and enrich the lives of the citizens of the great Wichita community. The Forum Theatre Company will achieve its mission by 1) producing an innovative theatre season comprised of classic, contemporary, and newly developed musicals, dramas and comedies: and 2) educating artist and audience through a varied offering of performing arts classes, master classes, seminars and interactive lectures.
HISTORY OF FORUM THEATRE:
The Forum was founded in 2011 at an old church at 147 South Hillside. The historic building was saved from destruction by Dr Grant Rine and his wife, Janet, who wanted to save it for its beautiful architecture and stained glass windows. A for profit company was formed under the name Forum Theatre with Kathryn Page Hauptman as its volunteer Artistic Director. The sanctuary was transformed with stage, lighting and sound, and the inaugural production A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum, starring Broadway actor Karla Burns, opened the first season. The sold-out performance was a sign to continu, and work began on the original new musical version of A Christmas Carol with music and lyrics by Paul Jackson and book by Conrad Jestmore. A Christmas Carol would become a Forum annual favorite still performed ten years later. In 2014, the owners of the building decided to sell the Forum Building and the managers disbanded the LLC. The performance company was restructured and incorporated as a not-for-profit, The Forum Theatre Company Wichita, Inc., under the direction of Kathryn Page Hauptman with Aaron Profit as the Associate Producer and Paul Jackson as the first Board President. In 2015 the Forum was temporarily relocated to The Scottish Rite Center where it performed two successful seasons. A permanent home was found in 2016 at the Wilke Center at First United Methodist Church located at 330 N. Broadway. The former gymnasium is transformed each season into an intimate black box theatre with modular seating, projection screen, theatrical lighting and sound. Audiences praise the intimate setting, sightlines, sound and ease of access.
WHAT MAKES FORUM UNIQUE:
- A strong commitment to quality dramatic literature that introduces audience to both classic and contemporary selections that range from the well known to the lesser known. The Forum audiences have to come to expect he new and different from the Forum and appreciate the variety
- A strong commitment to quality aesthetics from design to performance.
- An resident acting company comprised of local professionals who are committed to The Forum and its mission.
- A commitment to the practice of EDI – Equaltiy, Diversity and Inclusion – in its management team, play selection team, artistic team and acting company.
- A commitment to community and collaborative outreach.
The Forum Theatre is committed to keeping both audience and artists safe and healthy. The Forum, along with First United Methodist Church Building managers have created a safe use policy that is aligns with recommendations of the Sedgwick County Healthy Department and the CDC. The Forum Theatre will practice the following:
- All visitors to the Forum are required to wear a mask.
- Social distancing of 6 ft in seating assignments
- Shows will be performed with no intermission to avoid congregating in groups
- Theatre and lobby are sanitized after each use.
- Audience will be dismissed a row at a time to avoid congregating at doors.
- Actors and artists wear masks when not on stage and temperatures are taken upon entrance.
For more information contact The Forum Theatre.