Stages St. Louis
Stages St. Louis is the region’s foremost not-for-profit company committed to preserving and advancing the art form of Musical Theatre through excellence in performance and education. In 2014, Stages will be enterting its 28th Season of producing Broadway-quality theatre, presenting 127 performances from May through October to nearly 50,000 patrons.
Stages employs the best musical theatre artists available regionally and nationally for all productions. By holding auditions in St. Louis and New York, Stages is able to attract not only Broadway talent, but also further its commitment to support professional St. Louis actors, providing nearly 450 union work weeks annually. In addition to being the top regional employer of local union actors, Stages educates thousands of students each year at its Performing Arts Academy, the region’s only year-round arts school with a comprehensive curriculum run by a professional theatre company.
Commitment to Artistic Excellence
Stages opened in 1987 with a budget of $50,000 and a part-time seasonal staff of eight. Today, the company employs a full-time staff of 28 overseeing a budget of nearly $4 million. During the performance season, an additional 150 actors, designers, and technicians bring the productions to life. To date, Stages has produced 93 musicals, given over 2,940 performances, and played to more than 931,500 patrons. The Stages audience includes patrons from a spectrum of ages and socio-economic levels from more than 238 cities located in 30 states. Audience members represent over 160 zip codes from the state of Missouri alone. All productions are fully accessible to individuals with disabilities and each season Stages provides hundreds of complimentary tickets to underserved populations. Stages annual Theatre for Young Audiences production is a regional treasure that encourages multiple generations to attend professional, live musical theatre together on family-friendly schedules.
Performing Arts Academy & Outreach Programs
During the 2013-2014 School year, the Stages Performing Arts Academy will mark its 10th year of delivering exceptional theatre arts programming. Regardless of individual ability, aspiring performing artists throughout the St. Louis region have the opportunity to explore and cultivate their talents at Stages. Annually, Academy programs reach more than 3,200 students with direct instruction in the musical theatre arts. Since 2004, Stages Urban Arts Initiative has conducted more than 160 programs ranging from one-hour workshops to full-semester residencies, for free or at reduced cost, to over 3,000 underserved students. Thousands of additional students are reached through public performances at partner sites. Created in response to parents concerned about the limited opportunities for instruction and participation in the performing arts available to their children with special needs, Access the Arts was introduced in the summer of 2005, and now serves more than 575 students annually.
In April of 2013, the Stages Performing Arts Academy and the administrative offices relocated to a new 22,000-square-foot-facility in Chesterfield, which will enable Stages to meet a growing need for arts education programs in a larger, more flexible state-of-the-art facility. The Kent Center for Theatre Arts includes four dance studios, two acting studios, two vocal studios, a multi-purpose student lounge, a welcome center and box office, administrative offices, as well as a performance hall with flexible seating to be used for mainstage rehearsals, dance classes, educational presentations, donor and community events, and special performances.
In 2013, Stages received a generous grant through the Regional Arts Commission Innovation Fund to research and to begin the initial stages of establishing a new artistic division: American Musical Creative (AMC). Dedicated to creating new American musicals and cultivating the next generation of musical theatre actors, designers and directors, Stages began the journey to establish this new division in late 2012. The recent acquisition of the Kent Center for Theatre Arts has provided a creative home for AMC and projects from artists across the country have been submitted.
Stages’ record of excellence is evidenced by multiple awards. Stages’ productions have garnered 127 Kevin Kline Award nominations for Outstanding Achievement in Professional Theatre in the Greater St. Louis Area, 28 of which resulted in wins. Stages’ 2010 production of Promises, Promises not only garnered three Klines, but also the prestigious 2011 Excellence in Theatre Production, National Live Design Excellence Award in recognition of its novel approach to lighting design. Other recent accolades include the regionally prestigious Arts & Education Council’s Award for Excellence in the Arts in 2008. Stages is an ongoing, multi-year recipient of operating support from the Regional Arts Commission, the Missouri Arts Council, and the Arts & Education Council, as well as from more than 40 corporations and foundations. In addition, more than 800 families annually contribute to Backstagers, our individual giving program.