A means for growth & creative expression, the Barstow performing arts programs provide a common ground for uniting the skills and subject areas fundamental to the educational system.

The drama program at Barstow offers students the chance to learn fundamentals, find self-expression and learn the cultural and technical knowledge of the theater.  Working with faculty, students, parents and administrators, Barstow produces shows that entertain, educate, provoke and provide an environment of community building and outreach. From sixth to twelfth grade, students can explore performance opportunities in plays and musicals, from classics to contemporary. Auditions for the musicals and plays are open to every student in the Middle and Upper Schools and these productions provide a wonderful chance to learn about structuring time, working cooperatively, discipline and in some cases, handling rejection.

Shows vary from OKLAHOMA! and CINDERELLA, to THE DIARY OF ANNE FRANK and RUMORS, to METAMORPHOSES and RENT  The Middle School presents a musical play every year, in an attempt to ready students for theatre in the Upper School, building our program and our talent pool. MTI’s Broadway Junior collection and the Rogers and Hammerstein’s Getting to Know… series have been invaluable in this endeavor. It also balances out the offerings we produce; providing more family-friendly fare and taking the heat off of the sometimes more adult-themed shows the Upper School yearns to perform.

Students at The Barstow School read a Shakespeare play a year, starting in sixth grade. All English classes include some drama as part of their reading list, and theatre field trips are an annual occurrence. In 2008, the Theatre and English departments teamed up to teach and present Mary Zimmerman’s METAMORPHOSES. Sophomores read the play that would be produced on the small stage complete with the water-filled swimming pool. This was so successful and drew the interest of so many, that in 2009 the entire Upper School ventured to the Kansas City Repertory Theatre to see THE ARABIAN NIGHTS, written and directed by Mary Zimmerman, at our local professional regional theatre.

Preparing for a play or musical takes time, energy, patience, creativity, planning, sleep, no sleep, and above all else, dedication. Community outreach programs provide an opportunity for the Barstow families to share much needed resources with such organizations as the Kansas City Free Health Clinic, Synergy Youth Services, Harvesters’ Food Bank, and GiveWhatYouGot.

Here at Barstow, the experience of theatre means different things to the different people involved—the cast, crew, directors, parents, administration, student body; crossing curriculum, crossing age groups, crossing communities.

Current Production

Peter and the Starcatcher

Tony-winning Peter and the Starcatcher upends the century-old story of how a miserable orphan comes to be The Boy Who Would Not Grow Up (a.k.a. Peter Pan). A wildly theatrical adaptation of Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson’s best-selling novels, the play was conceived for the stage by directors, Roger Rees and Alex Timbers, and written by Rick Elice, with music by Wayne Barker. From marauding pirates and jungle tyrants to unwilling comrades and unlikely heroes, Peter and the Starcatcher playfully explores the depths of greed and despair... and the bonds of friendship, duty and love.

A young orphan and his mates are shipped off from Victorian England to a distant island ruled by the evil King Zarboff. They know nothing of the mysterious trunk in the captain’s cabin, which contains a precious, otherworldly cargo. At sea, the boys are discovered by a precocious young girl named Molly, a Starcatcher-in-training who realizes that the trunk’s precious cargo is starstuff, a celestial substance so powerful that it must never fall into the wrong hands. When the ship is taken over by pirates – led by the fearsome Black Stache, a villain determined to claim the trunk and its treasure for his own – the journey quickly becomes a thrilling adventure.
A Play By
Rick Elice
Based on the Novel by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson

Music By
Wayne Barker 
Originally produced on Broadway by Nancy Nagel Gibbs, Greg Schaffert,
Eva Price, Tom Smedes, and Disney Theatrical Productions.

Rated G
Show dates: April 26, 27, 28 at 7:00PM

For reservations, click the link to the right.

Directed By   
Mr. Bob Kohler

Costume and Prop Design By
Whitney Estes '17

Performing Arts Calendar

purchase instructions

The upper school play, Peter and the Starcatcher, is Wednesday, April 26, Thursday, April 27, and Friday, April 28, at 7:00 p.m. Presale tickets are available for FoTA members until Friday, April 14, at noon. General ticket sales will then be open. Barstow students may receive one complimentary ticket per performance. 
To reserve tickets: 
  • Click the ticket link above.
  • Choose a performance date. Click "Select Seats."
  • Choose your tickets for that performance. 
  • Click "Go To Shopping Cart." 
  • You will see the price of $8 next to each ticket as a default. You also may reserve one ticket per performance for Barstow students at this time, as "Barstow Student Comp."
  • If you have other performance dates to select, click "Return To Event Listing" and repeat steps 1-5.
  • When you finish selecting seats for each preferred all performance, click "Shipping/Payment Information."  
  • Finish your order!

Into the Woods

Performing Arts Faculty

List of 3 members.

  • Robert Kohler Jr. 

    The Barstow School
    Director of Theatre LS/MS/US
    (816) 277-0430
    Creighton University - B.A.
    Southern Oregon University - Master of Theatre Studies
  • Bruce  Dickerson 

    Director of MS/US Choral Music
    (816) 277-0332
    University of Illinois - Urbana/Champaign - M.S.E.
  • Kristi Mitchell 

    The Barstow School
    LS Music 1-5
    (816) 277-0330
    Kansas State University - B.M.E.
    Univeristy of Missouri - Kansas City - M.M.E.

The Barstow School

11511 State Line Road • Kansas City, MO 64114
P (816) 942-3255 • F (816) 942-3227