Move to REST API is the Catalyst for a Whole New Digital Experience

We love the new flexibility of the site, with fabulous designs we can take and run with and a user-friendly and easy to learn CMS.

Karen AineyManager of Information and Digital Technologies, Royal & McPherson Theatres Society

Two Historical Venues with Stories to Tell

Royal & McPherson Theatres Society (RMTS) operates and maintains the historic Royal Theatre and McPherson Playhouse in Victoria, British Columbia. Together, the venues serve over 200,000 patrons annually, playing an integral role in enriching the culture life of the BC Capital Region community. The RMTS is responsible for all aspects of the two theatres, including administration, concessions, front of house, production, box office and historic building maintenance. These responsibilities including providing an exceptional experience to patrons from the initial ticket search to the closing of the curtain. Having a website that meets all of these needs is imperative.

The Why & Why Now

Like many Arts & Cultural organizations utilizing the Tessitura Network, it was time for RMTS to upgrade to the REST API to take advantage of the exciting fully web-based features of Tessitura v16. This was an ideal time to complete updates to the purchase path and build a new site fully utilizing the REST API benefits.

The initial and primary goal of the project was to implement a new and flexible content management system with shared session capabilities with the REST API purchase path integration.

Strategy Workshops

The Adage redesign process started with a discovery phase including strategy workshops with multiple stakeholders across various departments at RMTS. Through a series of interactive virtual workshops, the Adage and RMTS teams identified challenges with the old site, opportunities with a new site, and an exploration and prioritization of the website user groups. These exercises helped build a shared understanding of the priorities, scope, and overall expectations for the project.

The following key goals were identified and solutions implemented.

Flexible and Robust Content Management System

RMTS made the switch to the Umbraco open-source CMS. Umbraco is a developer-friendly software allowing for extreme flexibility and customization for complex sites such as Arts & Culture institutions. A CMS must meet two primary criteria: ease of use for developers and ease of use for the end-user. Adage’s strong partnership and years of experience with Umbraco made the implementation and training of the RMTS team a straightforward process.

Best in Class Approach with TN Express Web (TNEW)

RMTS opted to partner with Tessitura Network Express Web (TNEW) for their commerce site. TNEW is a pre-built commerce path allowing clients to leverage their Tessitura system and the web with minimal cost, time, and overhead. Following the strategy workshops, Adage and RMTS went through a Technical Discovery to uncover feature and functionality requirements. Carefully documenting all Tessitura and TNEW integration questions allowed for the team to uncover areas where TNEW out-of-the-box would be the best fit and where customization was needed.

Telling the RMTS Story

The project Discovery Phase also helped the team to realize a need for a more robust community engagement area on the new site. From the rich history of the two venues to all of the responsibilities and community activity of the RMTS, a whole plethora of content could be presented on the site to further engage patrons and supporters. This was the birth of the new “Our Story” portion of the website and the launch of the “OffStage Blog,” both easily populated with content through the Umbraco CMS.

Project planning also compelled us to commit an extensive amount of time to review existing content and to create new content to better speak to who we are at the RMTS and what we offer at the Royal Theatre and McPherson Playhouse.

Karen AineyManager of Information and Digital Technologies, Royal & McPherson Theatres Society
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