HurrahPlayers.com homepage screenshot

The Hurrah Players is Virginia’s Leading Family Theatre Company located in Norfolk, Virginia. They are committed to providing inexpensive, high quality performing arts training for Hampton Roads residents and to providing the community with the opportunity to experience affordable, high caliber, family-friendly theatrical productions. As a non-profit organization of nearly 30 years, they have trained very talented individuals that have continued on to successful careers on Broadway and in Hollywood.

Prior to building the Hurrah Players new website, they had a rather poorly built system in WordPress and they had several challenges that we helped them solve. With the old website they were unable to visually articulate the level of excitement and glamour that their theatre company had to offer. Additionally, they were never trained on how to update the content on their own and didn’t have the time to learn. It was very important to the Hurrah Players that the new site be very easy to maintain but also exemplify the excellence of the organization.

Why Drupal was chosen: 

This client had a very small and busy staff. They are a 30-year-old family theatre with over 100 cast members and only 5 staff members. Though they understand the need to have a large robust web presence, they didn’t have the time to learn a complex system. We wanted to build them a system that felt as big as their productions but very fast and easy to maintain.

We were confident that we could build a system in Drupal that met their requests for aesthetic design and a back-end that would allow anyone to easily make updates and changes on the fly.

Describe the project (goals, requirements and outcome): 

Our team spent a lot of time learning about the Hurrah Players, and discovering ways that they could use the site to help them spread awareness about their organization, recruit more talented individuals, sell tickets, and entice sponsors to support their mission.

We built content types for “Hurrah Player Spotlights” that showcase the continued success of past Hurrah Players. We built a media gallery of past performance photos, and a YouTube Video gallery. Each show is added through a custom content type, and as shows pass from future, to present, to past, their internal ads relocate throughout the site as necessary (i.e. upcoming shows, current shows, past shows). One feature that was really exciting for the staff was the “Cast” content type. This allows the staff to upload bio information and portraits of all the cast members. Then, when a staff member is entering a new show into the system, they can easily select the relevant cast members, define their role in the play, and the Upcoming Show page will highlight those many members.

Front-End

The Hurrah players wanted a site that felt as “big” as they were. This is a very active and fully committed theatre group. They required a site that would showcase their level of professionalism as well as the amount of fun in being involved. Our team spent time at many of their rehearsals getting a “feel” for what it was like to be a Hurrah Player. Our designers developed a front-end that would celebrate the community of theatre and provide a showcase for the talent of the Hurrah Players. We designed pages that highlighted past events and advertised future ones.

Our front-end developers produced HTML and CSS reproductions of the designs that were equally as fast and aesthetically pleasing. It was important for us to balance aesthetics with functionality. We wanted a system that we could easily convert to a responsive design in the future if required.

Back-End

Our number one priority is to always build a system that our client can easily and intuitively manage on their own. It was very important for this website to be built in a fashion so that the client could easily add information about upcoming shows, news stories, photo galleries, etc.

Additionally, we needed a system that would scale very easily. We knew that soon after the Hurrah Players experienced the power of their new system they would have new ideas for things that could be done...and we were right. I

CRM and Ticket Sales Integration

We are currently working to integrate all the web-based forms and any user-related content types to the Salesforce system. Additionally we are working to replace the Hurrah Players' third-party ticketing system with something that can be easily integrated with Drupal. This will not only save the non-profit money, but will give them more control and access to essential marketing data.

Modules/Themes/Distributions
Why these modules/theme/distribution were chosen: 

Our team has found that by building custom content types and developing Views, we can build systems that are extremely easy for our clients to maintain and edit on their own. This is so important to our team and our clients.

Organizations involved: 
Community contributions: 

Several patches were contributed to the modules we have used. Additionally we used the experience of this project to grow our new Drupal distribution. We found that many of the features that this client (and others) have requested are very similar.

We are working to build a distribution that offers a fast and easy solution to address each of those requests. For example, photo galleries, video galleries, homepage carousels, testimonials, news articles, etc. These are all content types that each client asked for. We are working to build each of these as features, load them into a distribution, then release that distribution to the community.

This approach will help save tech teams much time so that they can focus on more detailed and custom tasks. If you want to learn more about our distro, let us know - http://www.artsmithmedia.com/ourdistro

Project team: 

Artsmith Media LLC - www.artsmithmedia.com
Project Manager - Josh Fischer
Web Designer - Holly Miller
Developer - Aleksey Saffin
Developer - Andrey Mikheychik

The Hurrah Players - Homepage
Hurrah Players - Lightbox Slideshow
Hurrah Players - Media Center
Hurrah Players - Upcoming Shows

Comments

Love the main menu drop-downs - very creative.

Nice to see a site upgraded from WordPress too :)

Thanks for posting this case study.