Originally conceived on April 21, 1950 as a not-for-profit theatrical organization, the Springfield Municipal Opera Association transformed a 55-acre wheat field into an outdoor amphitheater. On June 17, 1950, thousands of people viewed the opening night performance of our first production, 'The Merry Widow'.

The Muni flourished until a series of setbacks in the mid-1950's and a major fire in 1963 destroyed part of the facilities. A second fire the following year destroyed what was left.

With hopes for a rebirth, a test production of "Bye Bye Birdie" was staged in Douglas Park in 1964. The Springfield community responded with such enthusiasm that the Muni was able to rebuild its facility and return to the lake site theater in 1965. That year, patrons showed their support of The Muni when they saw "The Music Man" and "South Pacific".

In 1967, the Muni produced three shows: "Brigadoon", "Guys and Dolls" and "Camelot", and attendance grew. The Muni bravely staged its first four-production season in 1972: "You're A Good Man, Charlie Brown", "1776", "Most Happy Fella", "The Sound of Music", and attendance jumped again showing us it was the right decision to make.

In the summer of 2006, the Muni welcomed its one millionth patron with a special celebration during the run of "Aida".

The Muni continues to produce four shows a season and each summer the Muni audience continues to grow. With support from our sponsors, enthusiastic audiences, and a dedicated and talented corps of volunteers onstage and backstage, the Muni has become one of the largest community theaters in the Midwest. We believe that we are the largest organization of our type in the country that is completely self-supporting, dependent neither on grants nor tax dollars.

For more than 60 years, we entertain thousands of people each summer with the best in musical theatre. The Muni is a unique jewel in Springfield's landscape, a beautiful site tucked away at the lake that offers families and friends a venue to spend time together, volunteer, perform, direct and enjoy quality entertainment.

Each year, great thought and consideration are given to developing the season. It is our goal not only to provide you with shows that are familiar but also new productions. We are proud to be part of this community and grateful for your continued support.

Shows of the Muni

2017 Willy Wonka; Mary Poppins; White Christmas; Grease
2016 South Pacific; Sweeney Todd; Nice Work if You Can Get It; Disney's Little Mermaid
2015 Spamalot; Suessical; West Side Story; Cabaret;
2014 Sound of Music; All Shook Up; Shrek the Musical; Jekyll & Hyde
2013 Les Misérables; Dreamgirls; Peter Pan; RENT
2012 Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat; Crazy for You; Once On This Island; Beauty and the Beast
2011 Big River; Guys and Dolls; Hairspray; The Wizard of Oz
2010 Seussical; Into The Woods; Jesus Christ Superstar; Annie
2009 Oliver!; The Producers; Fiddler on the Roof; Disney High School Musical
2008 Hello, Dolly!; All Shook Up; The Secret Garden; The Music Man
2007 Miss Saigon; Peter Pan; Grease; Oklahoma!
2006 Annie Warbucks; Chicago; Elton John & Tim Rice’s Aida; The King and I
2005 The Sound of Music; Ragtime; Annie Get Your Gun; Disney’s Beauty And The Beast
2004 Honk!; Seven Brides for Seven Brothers; A Chorus Line; Big River
2003 Titanic; Big; My Fair Lady; The Wizard of Oz
2002 Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat; Anything Goes; Mame; South Pacific
2001 How To Succeed in Business Without Really Trying; A Little Night Music; West Side Story; Peter Pan
2000 Cinderella; Grease; Children of Eden; The Music Man
1999 State Fair; 42nd Street; The Goodbye Girl; The Sound of Music
1998 Fiddler on the Roof; Bye, Bye, Birdie!; Godspell; Annie
1997 Guys and Dolls; Crazy for You; The Secret Garden; Kiss Me, Kate
1996 Phantom; The Will Rogers Follies; Little Me; The Wizard of Oz
1995 The King and I; Meet Me in St. Louis; City of Angels; Gypsy
1994 Peter Pan; Hello, Dolly!; Big River; Carousel
1993 Hans Christian Andersen; Sugar; Pirates of Penzance; Brigadoon
1992 Man of LaMancha; Dreamgirls; Me and My Girl; The Unsinkable Molly Brown
1991 Oliver!; My One and Only; Into the Woods; Show Boat
1990 Oklahoma!; Teddy & Alice; Anything Goes; Camelot
1989 Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat; Fiddler on the Roof; Singing in the Rain; My Fair Lady
1988 Peter Pan; South Pacific; 42nd Street; Mame
1987 Annie Get Your Gun; The Wiz; Promises, Promises; Gigi
1986 The Sound of Music; Jesus Christ Superstar; Cabaret; Seven Brides for Seven Brothers
1985 Annie; Damn Yankees; You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown; Evita
1984 Peter Pan; Funny Girl; Two Gentlemen of Verona; The Music Man
1983 The King and I; Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat; The Student Prince; Hello, Dolly!
1982 Kismet; George M!; Oliver!; Follies
1981 Camelot; Grease; Oklahoma!; A Little Night Music
1980 South Pacific; Good News; Gypsy; Show Boat
1979 Shenandoah; No, No, Nanette; Pajama Game; Carousel
1978 Sweet Charity; Brigadoon; Paint Your Wagon; I Do! I Do!
1977 Cinderella; The Desert Song; West Side Story; My Fair Lady
1976 1776; Irene; Bye, Bye, Birdie!; Calamity Jane
1975 Guys and Dolls; How To Succeed in Business Without Really Trying; Fiddler on the Roof; Mame
1974 On a Clear Day You Can See Forever; Hello, Dolly!; Applause; The Music Man
1973 Once Upon a Mattress; Carnival;Promises, Promises; Oklahoma!
1972 You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown; 1776; Most Happy Fella; The Sound of Music
1971 Funny Girl; The King and I; Fiddler on the Roof
1970 Li’l Abner; A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum; Man of LaMancha
1969 Bells Are Ringing; Gypsy; Annie Get Your Gun
1968 The Unsinkable Molly Brown; Oliver!;Kiss Me, Kate
1967 Brigadoon; Guys and Dolls; Camelot
1966 My Fair Lady; Pajama Game
1965 The Music Man; South Pacific