The Muny began in 1916 in Forest Park with a tribute to William Shakespeare. As You Like It, produced by Shakespearean actress Margaret Walsh Anglin featured over 200 St. Louisians playing a variety of roles on a gently sloping hill.
In 1917, concrete was poured for the production of Aida by Guy Golterman of the St. Louis Grand Opera Committee. The success of that event prompted St. Louis Mayor Henry Kiel to formally establish the Municipal Theatre Association of St. Louis in 1919.
From the beginning, The Muny set aside 1,456 free seats at the back of the theatre in order for the shows to be affordable to all. During its history, The Muny has produced and presented grand operas, concerts, operettas and ballet troupes.
In 1998, The Muny completed the renovation of the stage area and backstage area as part of it Capital Improvement Campaign. Over $3 million was spent on new concession stands and doubling the number of womens bathrooms.
In 2000, nearly 12,000 seats were replaced at the outdoor amphitheatre and the parking lots were resurfaced. A plaza was added east of the entrance. The area surrounding the Pagoda and the entrance was landscaped with plants, antique lights, sidewalks and bridges featuring decorative columns.
In 2019, the audience enjoyed opening night for The Muny's 101st season with an engagine performance of "Guys and Dolls" on the new stage featuring a majestic Art Deco design, new light bridge and surrounding structures.
After a remarkable inaugural season of its Second Century, which welcomed more than 350,000 theatregoers, The Muny has adjusted its lineup for its 102nd Season due to the COVID-19. Ushering in the second season of The Muny's Second Century is Kander and Ebb's six-time Tony Award-winning Chicago (July 20 - 26). From Gaslight Square to the hills of Forest Park, The Sound of Music (July 29 - August 4) makes its high-spirited return after a decade. Next, audiences will head to Miami for the Midwestern regional premiere of the international sensation On Your Feet! (August 7 - 13). Continuing the blockbuster season, a Muny premiere with Broadway's longest running musical revue, Smokey Joe's Cafe (August 15 - 21), set in St. Louis' historic Gaslight Square. Closing out the epic season is the Golden Age Muny favorite, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (August 24 - 31).
The Muny is located on Theatre Drive, just north of the Jewel Box. In front of the entrance to The Muny, patrons and visitors to the park can enjoy the serene beauty of The Nathan Frank Bandstand on Pagoda Island which is surrounded by water. For more information, please call the box office 314-361-1900. (The Muny is closed until further notice.)