OpenStage Theatre & Company

A gift to OpenStage has a ripple effect throughout Northern Colorado. OpenStage is a vital part of Northern Colorado's vibrant culture scene. We create community by developing empathy and civil discourse.We invest in tomorrow by serving youth. We are an economic engine that powers local businesses.

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General Information

Official Name
OpenStage Theatre and Company​​​​​​​
DBA/Trade Name(s)
Former Name(s)
Date Established
Offers Additional Colorado State Tax Credit
Tax ID
Headquarters Address
Colorado Location
Mailing Address
P.O. Box 617
Fort Collins, CO 80522
Other Address
Main Phone Number
Fax Number
Other Phone Number
Social Media Links

Mission Statement

Our mission is to provide exceptional theatre that captivates the heart and mind. We strive to be a successful regional arts producer that consistently delivers magical and transforming experiences.

Organization History

In 1973, five members of the "Thieves' Carnival" cast sat at a picnic table in Fort Collins' City Park deliberating on a name for the new theatre company that was producing the play. Their selection of OpenStage Theatre & Company denoted a great deal more than the simple fact the troupe would be performing outside. The name also signified - and continues to signify - an openness to style and genre, concepts and ideas, and philosophical relationships with the individual artist and the community as a whole. OpenStage Theatre has been actively producing and promoting live performing arts for 45 years, making it one of the longest practicing, and indeed, one of the most prolific theatrical producers in Colorado.

From its inception, OpenStage Theatre has woven into its philosophy and purpose the enrichment of its community through the creation of shared experiences between audience and artist. 43 years later, the city is heralded as an arts town, and the City of Fort Collins, which received the 2011 Governor's Award for Excellence in the Arts, has embraced arts and culture as a hallmark of its identity. Founders Bruce and Denise Freestone have been key leaders in creating the dynamic arts environment. Over the decades they have been advocates for the role of the arts in sustaining a healthy community and regional economy and have been active in numerous citywide planning endeavors. OpenStage Theatre also has been instrumental in the creation and ongoing nurturing of numerous other art organizations through providing mentoring, advice and resources.

OpenStage has created a unique organizational culture based in the commitment, integrity and talent of its artists. Over 150 theatre artists work with OpenStage each season, and it is this ensemble family of artists that is the core of the Company's success and provides a broad pool of talent and expertise for audiences to enjoy. Over the decades, OpenStage Theatre has developed a strong reputation for distinctive artistry, a passionate connection to its community, and innovative leadership.


"OpenStage Theatre & Company - the trailblazer, the stalwart, the adventurer, almost all things to all theater people in Northern Colorado." - The Loveland Reporter Herald

"OpenStage ... can easily take its place among Colorado's best companies." - The Denver Post

"Without OpenStage a young wayward teen would not have found his first sense of self worth. I am forever indebted for that." - OST Alumni, Gordon A. Jones

"OpenStage Theatre plays a key role in nurturing the arts community in Fort Collins and, indeed, in all of Northern Colorado.... I can think of no other organizations that deserves support and recognition more than OST." - State Representative, Randy Fischer

"There can be no doubt of OpenStage's ongoing critical and popular acclaim. The City of Fort Collins is indeed fortunate to have such a capable and prolific performing arts producer in residence. Over the years the staff, board members and artists of OpenStage Theatre have contributed extensively to the cultural environment that is so much a part of the quality of life we enjoy in Fort Collins." - Former City of Fort Collins Mayor Ann Azari

"OpenStage sparked something in Fort Collins. It's made this community a better place to be." - Charlie Ferrie, OpenStage Company Artist

Winner of the 1997 Governors' Award for Excellence in the Arts

Winner of the 2011 Colorado Theatre Guild Henry Award for Outstanding Regional Theatre

Winner of the 2017 Colorado Theatre Guild Henry Award for Outstanding Season for a Theatre Company

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