OpenStage Theatre & Company

A nonprofit organization

Founded in 1973, OpenStage has led the cultural development of Northern Colorado while remaining true to its grassroots origins. An OpenStage season brings the best of the national theatre scene to Fort Collins, including comedies, classics, and cutting-edge dramas. In addition to being the primary presenter at the Fort Collins Lincoln Center Magnolia Theatre, OpenStage performs Theatre in the Park and in intimate non-traditional spaces, reaching 10,000 patrons annually. As an independent non-profit, OpenStage works with 150+ local theatre artists each year to deliver exceptional theatre to Northern Colorado, driven by the belief that theatre is vital to a community's creative and economic health.


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.

Background Statement

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 over 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. 49 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.

Organization Data


Organization name

OpenStage Theatre & Company

other names


Year Established


Tax id (EIN)



Arts, Culture & Humanities

Organization Size

Medium Organization


P.O. Box 617
Fort Collins, CO 80522

Service areas

Larimer County, CO, US





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