Company of Angels is a theatre company based in London, England which produces plays for and about young people. I received a phone call from them a few months ago asking if NativeHQ could build a custom website for Theatre Café, a pan-European festival where new texts and their translations are performed script-in-hand.
There were several aims for this website. It had last for years to come and be extensible enough to serve events in Leeds, Berlin, Frankfurt and Amsterdam in 2014 and 2015 as well as subsequent events. An event is an opportunity for anybody to preview the work of new emerging playwrights and translators. Theatre practitioners use it to find collaborators and texts for future productions. Hence an events calendar was vital. Perhaps the most distinctive feature is a Texts Library for browsing the available scripts, navigable by title, country, languages in which the text is available, and number of cast members. On top of all this the interface had to be available in four languages: English, German, Dutch and Norwegian although the variety of languages represented by the texts is far greater.
Like many of our projects Theatre Café’s website was built in WordPress, which continues to be a reliable and flexible content management system capable of handling these unorthodox features. Importantly the client retains freedom to maintain the website in the future in any way they choose, without software licence fees. This could be regarded as the ‘If you love somebody set them free’ principle of free and open source software.
If you’re wondering how the Texts Library was achieved, it makes heavy use of custom post types which is a very useful WordPress feature for when posts or pages are insufficient. On the dashboard there are now dedicated post types for texts and for authors. Texts can be viewed singly. Alternatively the text library, an author or language is then automatically rendered to the visitor according to a template using user search criteria and interface language choice. We are very pleased with the result and would like to credit Marc Heatley Design for partnering with NativeHQ on this unusual project.