Amateur theater has been alive and well in Kearney for at least 100 years. Historical newspaper archives often contain stories about local actors presenting plays of all kinds at local theaters, in parks and on the stages of schools.
Kearney Community Theatre grew from a core group of Kearneyites that had been presenting one or two shows a year from the late 50’s into the mid- 1970s. KCT was formally organized in 1977.
From 1977 to 1984, KCT began presenting 4 to 5 shows a year and, since there was no permanent home stage, the productions were staged in a variety of venues around town – The courtroom of the old Buffalo County Courthouse (“Twelve Angry Men”), the ballroom of the old Elks Club (22nd and 1st Avenue), the Fort Kearney Hotel (also 22nd and 1st), the First Methodist Church (“Amal and the Night Visitors”), and the Miriam Drake Theater at the University of Nebraska at Kearney.