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When you visit Acts On Stage, their mission is clear: “to be a driving force behind a new era renaissance in which creativity creates change.”
As a live performance theatre, Acts On Stage exists to center the voices, talents, works of People of Color and Creatives of Faith. At the height of the pandemic, Michelle Lang-Raymond and Isiah Anderson, Jr., collaborated with the artistic minds of the community to found the organization. To bring more art into everyone’s lives, they utilized a grant for pursuing artistic outreach throughout the pandemic, and rounded up all the talent they could find. Despite the restrictions of the pandemic, they were determined to bring art to those in isolation, and to uplift the community. So they worked in a virtual format for the first two years- and they found tremendous success, and fulfilled hearts.
From the beginning, Acts On Stage has been making headway as a phenomenal performing arts organization, providing opportunities to people who have always been interested in theatre but never had the opportunity to participate until now.
When speaking with co-founder and executive producer Michelle Lang-Raymond, she shared, “Young creatives (particularly of Color) are often dissuaded from pursuing careers in the performing arts. Through our soon launching Renaissance20 programs, we’re aiming to prepare them for fulfilling and sustainable livelihoods.” And they’ve gone on to deliver on that promise, and beyond. In 2020, they made history with the first all-Black cast to perform 12 Angry Men in the United States and they continue to give opportunity to new performers in classic works like Two Trains Running, as well as their larger than life Teen Summer Musical productions in partnership with Seattle’s Park & Recreation.
When Acts On Stage was streaming their performances, they were giving their audiences a free experience. Virtual performances had little to no production costs, but when they dove into the realm of live productions, costs and expenses went up and they had to transition to charging for tickets. Being first time theatre company leaders, the task of organizing a front-of-house experience, charging for tickets, managing their patrons and tracking their revenue was extremely overwhelming. They knew they needed to partner with someone that could help them organize this whole new world, increase revenue, and expand their reach.
“We want people to have a theatrical experience, not just attend another event.“
Michelle Lang-Raymond, Acts On Stage
They began the search for something user-friendly, intuitive and professional looking that could contribute to the sustainability of their organization. When they first started searching, they found that many of these resources were too complex and had high upfront costs that were prohibitive for a new company. Also, as an organization that does more than just “Theatre,” offering choir, dance, performance art, music, and much more, Acts On Stage found it difficult to find a resource that allowed them to showcase all of the amazing talent they deliver, and that could simultaneously nourish their commitment to their community.
Eventually, after lots of research, they came across On The Stage. Our team has been thrilled to work with Acts On Stage! As a company with a similar mission to uplift communities and create a phenomenal theatre experience, we connected right away to provide a great audience experience. We quickly dedicated our efforts to their box office management and front-of-house challenges, so they could dedicate their efforts to putting on the amazing show that would follow.
Acts On Stage has attributed their growing patron base with the platform to the user-friendly experience of being able to ticket and present live. Plus, the ability to stream their performances for those who still can’t make it in person has made it more accessible to the community. On The Stage allows Acts On Stage the ability to offer performance videos on demand, as well as fundraising, all through one platform, which has allowed them to focus on their art and not worry about the logistics of software and technology.
Acts on Stage continues to provide a transmedia experience for their community with the help of On The Stage. They put on four amazing live productions over the past year, and have sold out multiple performances for each production, with increasing audience demand for show after show. They continue to see amazing success, selling out more and more performances each production and soon will be selling out runs!
Building a deeper partnership with the community has always been a dream for Acts On Stage, and thanks to their amazing success thus far, they will be able to do just that. Soon they will be opening up registration for classes, development programs, and after-school opportunities- continuing to nourish their community, their faith, and the arts.
With the robust front of house resources from OTS, Acts On Stage has been able to create a relationship with their patrons where they feel like they are meeting old friends and visiting spaces that they already know well. This is the experience Michelle has always hoped for, since the very beginning.
It has been truly special to see the community rally around the organization, and we are so grateful to have been able to lend a hand in their tremendous achievements. We look forward to what’s in store!
Be sure to check out Acts On Stage! If you’re interested in watching their record-breaking performance of 12 Angry Men, or donating to their organization, you can do so here. Stay up to date with their latest @actsonstage on Instagram and Facebook, and you can also sign up for their mailing list to stay tuned in for their news and upcoming events.
Change the game for your theatre with On The Stage. Get started by booking a personalized demo with one of our team members today, and see how we can help shape the future for your organization.