About The Phantom Tollbooth TYA

“The most important reason for going from one place to another is to see what's in between.”
― Norton Juster, The Phantom Tollbooth

Synopsis: The exceptional tale of Milo, Tock and a certain magic tollbooth is brought splendidly to life on stage in The Phantom Tollbooth TYA (Theatre for Young Audiences). Adapted from Norton Juster's beloved, award-winning children's book, this inventive musical features a melodious score by Arnold Black and witty lyrics full of wordplay by Pulitzer Prize and three-time-Tony-winner, Sheldon Harnick.

Even surrounded by dozens of toys, Milo is bored. Nothing interests him at all... until he takes a trip through the Phantom Tollbooth. Transported to the Land of Wisdom, Milo is thrust into adventure when Princesses Rhyme and Reason need rescuing in order to bring peace between two kings. The kings, from Dictionopolis and Digitopolis, are feuding over whether “words” or “numbers” are most important in their kingdoms. Knee-deep in danger, language and math along the way, Milo learns everything has a purpose. Upon his return home, he realizes there is never a reason to be bored in a world full of hidden discoveries.

“So many things are possible just as long as you don't know they're impossible.”
― Norton Juster, The Phantom Tollbooth

Tribute to Norman Juster (1929 - 2021)

Norton Juster, acclaimed children’s book author, passed away in March 2021 at the age of 91. He is best known for the 1961 book, The Phantom Toolbooth. The main character of this book is a ten year old boy named Milo who is traveling through the Kingdom of Wisdom after a magical tollbooth appears at his house. Juster said the premise of this book was developed when he was working at an architectural firm in New York City. He wondered how children related to some of the most confusing and obscure concepts of the world.

In his own words Juster commented:

“I started to compose what I thought would be about a child’s confrontation with numbers and words and meanings and other strange concepts that are imposed on children. I loved the opportunity to turns things upside down and inside out and indulge in all the bad jokes and puns and wordplay that my father had introduced me to when I was growing up.”

The Phantom Tollbooth was made into a movie in 1970's and was also adapted into the musical format you will get to see presented here. He wrote 12 children’s books in total. Rest in peace Norman Juster.

Valley Musical Theatre

Valley Musical Theatre was established in 1999. We strive to bring quality live musical theater to the Kittitas Valley area, providing talented area residents of all ages with opportunities for performance and artistic growth in a positive, supportive environment.

In a typical year, we produce 3-4 shows, and 1-2 smaller events. This Rising Stars Production highlights the talent of local middle-school students in cast and crew roles.

2021 Season

Rising Stars Production:
The Phantom Tollbooth TYA
May 20-23, 2021
The Ramsay Center Ballroom

Summer Mainstage Production:
Greater Tuna
July 7 - 11, 2021
Hotel Windrow, Elks Ballroom

Fall Production
Cabernet Cabaret
Coming Sept/October 2021

Noel: An Evening of Poetry and Prose
Coming November/December 2021


We are beyond pleased to be back open again and are hard at work rescheduling the shows we had to postpone as well as offering new and exciting shows. In order to be a covid compliant theater, our procedures look a little different than what you may be used to. We are doing it all with your safety in mind. We ask that you please thoroughly read the guidelines below before coming to the theater in order to ensure a safe environment for yourself, your family, our volunteers, and performers.

-Maximum capacity for shows in Phase 2 is 25% capacity of the facility and 50% in Phase 3. We have capped the number of tickets at 63 per show to allow for adequate social distancing. For this productions we will have reserved seating only. Groups of six or less people may be seated together and you will be socially distanced from other groups. Please ensure all members of your party arrive together, and please remain distanced from other parties as much as possible.

-If you are running a fever or feel sick in any way, we ask that you please stay home for the safety of everybody else. With a minimum 24 hours written notice, tickets may be exchanged for an alternative performance, provided there are seats available.

-Face coverings must be worn at all times, even while seated for the performance. The only exception to this is during actively eating or drinking. We will have masks available at the box office for those who do not have them, and nobody will be permitted to enter the theater without proper facial covering.

-Hand sanitizer stations will be available throughout the building, and we are sanitizing all hard surfaces in common areas before and after each show. Unfortunately, we will not be able to recycle programs at the end of the show - please keep it as a souvenir.

- There will be no cast meet and greets after the show, and we ask that if you have gifts for a performer, that you leave them in your vehicle.

- Depending upon the show and current health guidelines, concessions may or may not be offered. If concessions are allowed, lines for concessions are marked with six-foot queuing spots. Please observe the markings to ensure proper social distancing.

Valley Musical Theatre will take all measures possible to ensure the health and safety of our volunteers, patrons, and actors. However, we also make no representation regarding the effectiveness of any risk mitigation measure in preventing or reducing the risk of contracting or spreading COVID-19. Valley Musical Theatre is not responsible nor liable for any individual that develops COVID-19.