GroundPlan CMS Theatre Seven

Theatre Seven has a challenge common to boot-strapped arts organizations: They need to connect with their small-but-passionate fan base and create a consistent experience for them, using the limited energy of a volunteer staff and the hard, adrenaline-fueled deadlines of opening nights. Theatre Seven needed to automate the connection between their artists and their audience so that they could focus on delivering the best work possible.

With our intimate knowledge of the clockwork that helps non-profit organizations build audience and where staffing shortages can vent organizational energy, we created a simple checklist-style Content Management System for each of Theatre Seven’s core assets: Their shows, their people, and, with an ensemble including some of Chicago’s most promising young playwrights, their writing.

Each “Form” can be filled out when the project is in its planning stages – well in advance of the actual production process, when the staff is busy building sets and rehearsing scenes. Each show’s run-dates have a built-in logic to put tickets on sale at the right moment, and even rearrange the site navigation after a show closes. Photos are uploaded through the company’s Picasa account, and sorted and attached to pages or blog posts with a few simple clicks, creating rich, interactive galleries that give fans a taste of what they’ll experience when they’re at the show.

Most importantly for fans, the website helps make the connection between Theatre Seven’s work; the artists and staff who make it possible; and the stories of where those people are now, and where they’re going in the future.

design by Rebecca McCowan

See the website.

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