Stages St. Louis Posts Record Season with $1.8 million in Ticket Sales

With a possible move to a new facility in the future, the non-profit theater company is drawing its biggest crowds.

Chesterfield-based musical theater company Stages St. Louis has something to sing about after announcing that it had a record-level of ticket sales for its 2012 season. 

The non-profit organization, now in its 26th year, brought in $1.8 million from tickets, an increase of more than 4 percent over its 2011 sales, according to a press release. What started as an operation run by a handfull of employees has now grown to have 25 full-time staff members and regularly draws 47,000 theater-goers each year. 

Stages St. Louis Marketing Director Kristen Goodman said their success can attributed to a variety of factors, including drawing professional performers from St. Louis, Chicago and New York. 

"A lot of people think because we perform in Kirkwood, it's community theater," she said. "But we have a lot of Broadway performers who are at the show."

Goodman also said the three musicals performed this year -- "The Sound of Music," "Ain't Misbehavin'," and "My One and Only" -- drew audiences because they offered some fun and escapism. 

"People are still being choosy with their entertainment dollars," she said. They were good choices for the climate right now."

In addition to the live shows, the theatre company also focuses on musical education and offers classes, one-on-one instruction and outreach programs mean to foster an appreciation of the performing arts among students. 

What's Next?

As previously mentioned, Stages St. Louis currently performers all its shows at the Robert G. Reim Theater in Kirkwood and plans to do so for the 2013 season. However, paperwork filed with the city of Chesterfield suggests that it may be preparing for a big move.

According to city officials, the non-profit has a contract pending with Frontenac Bank Realty, owner of the former Congregation Kol Am on East Chesterfield Parkway. Stages has submitted plans with Chesterfield to move its administrative offices and classrooms from its existing location near the Chesterfield Mall.

The news came to light at a public hearing this week before the Chesterfield Planning Commission. On Monday, the commission heard a petition from Stages St. Louis to adjust the zoning for the building to allow administrative offices and educational facilities.

When reached last week, Stages Managing Director Ron Gibbs declined to comment until a later date, citing an agreement with a media partner.

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