American Heartland Theatre to close at end of season

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Disappointing news spread through the Kansas City theater scene this week. When the curtain comes down on the 2013 season this summer, the American Heartland Theatre will close.

The current show, "Life Could Be a Dream," will be followed by two more shows before the final curtain call Aug. 25.

"The AHT's founder, Jim Assad, believed live theatre should be a love affair between the theatre and the audience," said Lilli Zarda, the AHT's longtime executive director. "We think this final trio of shows is a wonderful way to conclude what's been a remarkable love affair with Kansas City audiences."  

The American Heartland Theatre is on the third level of Crown Center. As patrons arrived for Thursday night's performance, many were saddened by the news.

"Well I'm just surprised," said longtime patron Sheila Richards. "We've been coming since it opened, which is 26 years now, and enjoyed it. It's a nice theatre."

"That bums me out," said Rachael Cunningham. "It's always been a lot of fun."

No specific reason has been given for the closing other than to say that for-profit theatres are difficult to sustain. There's been no word yet from Crown Center on what the space will be used for in the future.

For a look at American Heartland Theatre's current season, visit

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