Andrew Kuhlman of STAGES St. Louis Shines a Light on the Power of Theater

STAGES St. Louis is gearing up for an incredible 2019 season, and Andrew Kuhlman, associate producer at STAGES and co-producer of Broadway’s “The Prom,” believes the true power of the arts comes from its ability to inspire.

“Whether you’re an audience member seeing a show come to life onstage or a student taking a class for the first time, the impact of the performing arts can be profound and truly beautiful,” he says. “It can spur communication, realization, discovery, change and beyond. The performing arts has the power to change lives through the art of storytelling. That’s an incredible thing.”

Narratives seen in plays and musicals have an ability to help change and better lives.

“The stories we see on stage ask the question ‘How are you?’ in the most relatable and varied ways,” Kuhlman says. “We follow characters on incredible adventures, and as they come across different situations or challenges, it awakens something different in each of us. We can use the experiences of these characters to gauge our own lives and reflect upon what’s going on around us. Sometimes, at least for me, I can find the answer to some very important questions I’ve been asking myself through another’s journey.”

Being a member of the theater community has had an incredibly profound effect on Kuhlman’s life.

“When I was a kid, theater was what helped define my personality,” he says. “As I grew older, it became my passion, the thing that continued to drive me and define not just my personality, but my life. And today, I consider myself very honored and lucky to live a life fully supported by the arts. I’m entering my eighth season as a team member at STAGES. It’s truly my home away from home, and the family I’ve made here has, and will, help me time and time again.”

The magic of storytelling is Kuhlman’s favorite part of his job.

“You can see yourself on any stage, anywhere,” he explains. “I’ve loved doing that here in St. Louis, and I feel so lucky to be doing that in New York as well. Serving as a Co-Producer on the new Broadway musical, ‘The Prom,’ has been an opportunity I never dreamed of. ‘The Prom’ and ‘The Boy From Oz’ both tell stories of people searching for belonging, acceptance and love. It’s wonderful to be a part of sharing both of those stories to such varied audiences.”

The 2019 season at STAGES is full of exciting shows.

“We have an amazing lineup, but I have to admit I’m most excited for the Midwest premiere of ‘The Boy From Oz,’’ Kuhlman says. “The three leading characters are Peter Allen, Judy Garland and Liza Minnelli. Throw in the glitz, glamour and glitter of old Hollywood, and you’ve got a surefire hit. I mean, what more could a 30-year old musical theatre boy ask for? I can honestly say that this is a cannot-miss show.”

Other performances on tap for this year include the audience favorite “Grease,” followed by a romantic quest for love in “Man of La Mancha.” There’s also a family production of Disney’s “101 Dalmatians.”

“And the STAGES Performing Arts Academy has some spectacular plans for 2019 with classes for students of all ages and abilities,” Kuhlman says. “We’ve really got something for everyone.”

STAGES single tickets are on sale now.

“We have one of the hardest-working box office teams in St. Louis, and they are ready to help you in getting the best tickets possible,” he explains.

Tickets are available at the STAGES office at 1023 Chesterfield Parkway in Chesterfield, by phone at 314-821-2407 or online.

“Subscriptions are still available, so why not see three amazing stories on stage at an even more amazing price?” Kuhlman says.

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Lauren Healey

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