STAGES St. Louis Launches New Brand Identity
STAGES ST. LOUIS continues to experience a steady growth in revenue while expanding its Musical Theatre programs. The 2013 Season broke all previous box office records, with nearly $2 million in ticket sales. The season saw a significant increase in box office revenue of 8% over 2012 sales, out-grossing any season in STAGES' 27-year history. Over the past five years STAGES has increased revenue by over 14%. The forecast for 2014 is looking even brighter as revenues are already up by $200,000 over 2013.
2013 marked a year of considerable growth for the 27 year old organization. In April, STAGES relocated its home for the Administrative Offices and Performing Arts Academy to the new Kent Center for Theatre Arts, located in Chesterfield, MO. The 22,000-square-foot facility enables STAGES to meet a growing need for arts education programs in a larger, more flexible, state-of-the-art facility. The building includes four dance studios, two acting studios, two voice studios, a multi-purpose student lounge, a welcome center, box office, and administrative offices, as well as a performance hall with flexible seating to be used for main stage rehearsals, dance classes, educational presentations, donor and community events and special performances.
STAGES announced in December that it would remount its critically-acclaimed and record breaking production of Always... Patsy Cline, taking the theatre into uncharted territory. During the 2014 Season, STAGES will now operate out of three theatre venues; its longtime home at the Robert G. Reim Theatre in Kirkwood, the Skip Viragh Center for the Arts at Chaminade College Preparatory School for its Theatre for Young Audiences production, and now, The Playhouse at Westport Plaza in Maryland Heights for Always... Patsy Cline, increasing its Musical Theatre footprint and its impact on St. Louis.
The new division, Emerson's American Musical Creative (launched in 2013), aims to establish St. Louis as a hub for the creation of new American Musical Theatre productions. AMC emerged as STAGES continues its upward path and works to fulfill the demand from growing and loyal audiences hungry for new works. The existing Performing Arts Academy (established in 2004), continues to expand as well, with programs such as the regionally unique Access the Arts program, consisting of classes, workshops and performance opportunities that enable area youth with physical, cognitive or developmental delays to fully participate in the Musical Theatre arts, and the teen a cappella group TeamSTAGES. These new additions began to take on their own identity and it became clear that STAGES needed to create a more cohesive brand, to further build the associations between its two main programs, STAGES the theatre and STAGES the Performing Arts Academy.
Beginning in 2013, STAGES began working with local brand strategy and creative services agency, UPBrand Collaborative, to redefine the STAGES brand and position in the marketplace. STAGES underwent the rebranding process to better position the Musical Theatre Company for long-term future success.
UPBrand's clients have included both local and national brands, including St. Louis Symphony, Paric Corporation, Rawlings, Monsanto, Virgin Hotels and The Goddard School, among many others.
Research of internal and external stakeholders and a competitive marketing analysis led to insights that helped the team reframe the brand architecture; define a new brand promise and, ultimately,create a new cohesive and compelling visual identity.
Also developed as part of the identity is the tagline, "Experience The Story," meant to highlight what so many stakeholders feel is a unique characteristic of the STAGES brand.
"It is a great time for STAGES and I could not be happier and more energized about our future," stated Executive Producer, Jack Lane. "The process of rebranding has been fascinating, taking a look at where we were in 1987 and where we are today, I am thrilled with what UpBrand has come up with. Their dedication and willingness to become ingrained in the organization, speaks to their talents and level of professionalism."
STAGES 28th year begins with Jacqueline Petroccia and Zoe Vonder Haar starring in the return engagement of the show critics called "exceptional, must see entertainment." The touching and true story of Country music legend Patsy Cline returns to STAGES at The Playhouse at Westport Plaza on April 22nd. Always... Patsy Cline combines down home country humor, and 27 of Patsy Cline's unforgettable hits such as "Crazy," "Walkin' After Midnight," and "Sweet Dreams."