CourseStorm Case Study: East West Players

Los Angeles, California

by CourseStorm

CourseStorm helped a professional theatre improve its educational program registration process, allowing staff the time to create new programs and focus on growth.

The Background

East West Players is the longest-running theater of color in the nation, occupying its own space in Los Angeles since its inception in 1965. They raise the visibility of the Asian American experience by presenting world-class theatrical productions, developing artists of color, and providing impactful youth education programs. 

It also serves as a pipeline of talent to the mainstream theatre and film industry, and its education program plays heavily into that. The classes offered by East West players include everything from playwriting to professional presentation skills and acting classes for people of all ages.

The Challenge

The class registration process for East West Players was a complicated one for students and staff alike. East West Players used a leading software product, PatronManager, for ticketing and audience, donor, and sponsor management. However, since classes have different needs than single-ticket events, they required a manual process to make it work for education programs.

Because classes in the other system were treated like ticketed events, the class registration process was cumbersome and time-consuming. “A lot of what I had to do before took up a lot of my time. Some of these things would take up my entire day,” noted Arts Education Manager Jade Cagalawan. 

Payment plans, for example, required special notes in the CRM and individual contracts for each plan. Managing staff needed to create reminders in external calendars to follow up on the payment plan. And the finances were hard to keep track of too. 

“If someone called to make a payment over the phone or to talk about the payment plan, the staff would have to stop everything.” 

East West Players wanted a smooth class registration experience that worked well for registrants and administrators alike. It needed to include payment plans, student accounts, and custom forms: easy class communication, friends and family registration, mobile registration, and an online catalog would also make a big difference.

The Solution

East West Players started using CourseStorm for class registration, which streamlined the process by making class creation and payment process much more manageable

“I really felt like it cut down my duties by half, maybe more than that,” said Jade. “I’ve even seen an increase in people who are registering for the class too. Because it’s so user friendly.”

CourseStorm’s online catalog has also helped boost enrollment and encouraged more people to register. Explains Jade, “All the information is right there, and they don’t have to contact anyone.” 

“People can be pretty shy about reaching out in regards to classes if the information isn’t all laid out there,” said Jade. “With CourseStorm and being able to have all the information there for them —and seeing how easy and seamless it’s been to create things, even as little as payment plans— that has been really helpful.”

She’s appreciated being able to share responsibilities for class management with instructors and payment information with other staff members. The class communication tools have come in handy for sending students updates and class postponements. 

And, because CourseStorm integrates with PatronManager, all of the most critical information about class attendees seamlessly appears in the PatronManager system for tracking. Everything that East West Players needs to know about classes, patrons, and finances is accessible in one convenient place.

The Results

With the time she’s saved, Jade has been able to refocus on the acting and writing curriculum. She’s also been able to spend more time on the youth theatre tour program and even start writing arts education grants.

“CourseStorm made it so much easier for me to be able to do what I really needed to do and to focus on the things that I needed to have done. It has been a huge help!”

— Jade Cagalawan, Arts Education Manager

East West Players CourseStorm site as seen on a laptop

Download the CourseStorm East West Players Case Study

CourseStorm is an excellent solution for class registration for arts organizations. It is uniquely well suited to programs using PatronManager, a leading ticketing, fundraising, and marketing solution for the arts. Information gathered in CourseStorm can be seamlessly shared with PatronManager, enabling arts programs to have the best of both worlds.