Northern Colorado's Longest Running Live Theatre
In 1973, 5 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 50 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. 50 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 this 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 by providing mentoring, advice, and resources.