About the Project
In 2019, I worked closely with Teak and redeveloped the Geffen Playhouse website. The previous website had become severely outdated, did not use responsive design and became difficult for editors to maintain.
Geffen Playhouse underwent a complete visual rebranding by Base Design and now they wanted to focus their attention on completely overhauling their website, from the design to the platform.
Content Management System
Geffen Playhouse's previous website was based on a custom content management system that they had outgrown after nearly a decade of use. The new platform had to have strong data modeling capabilities, ease of use for editors, an excellent record with regards to security, exceptional performance and longevity. ProcessWire easily fit these requirements and convincing Geffen Playhouse on this fundamental decision went smoothly after demonstrating advanced capabilities of ProcessWire and comparing it to other solutions.
Data Model and Migrations
Geffen Playhouse had a number of interrelated data structures including Seasons, Shows, Performances, People (actors, producers, etc.), Videos, Galleries, Press Release, Documents and many more. These data structures were modeled in ProcessWire and custom interfaces were developed to help explore and manage the content in the backend. Furthermore, Geffen Playhouse's previous data, provided via raw database exports, was cleaned, deduped and imported after developing custom import scripts that maintained existing data relationships. Editors then further updated and organized the imported content.
The ability to create rich content pages was critical for website editors. Therefore, a page builder using section templates with dynamic data capability was created that allowed for a high level of flexibility for content presentation. A live preview feature allows for editors to view their changes in real time (no refreshing necessary to see updated changes).
The calendar was a key feature as it served as the primary gateway from which visitors would begin their purchase after identifying a date and time for their desired show. A custom monthly calendar was developed using HTMX that automatically pulls show performances into their respective dates. The calendar also adapts to small device screens and utilizes modals to present available performance times.
Geffen Playhouse uses Tessitura (formerly used AudienceView) as their ticketing platform. A custom integration was developed using the Tessitura API that ties shows created in ProcessWire with the shows created in Tessitura. Performances for each show are automatically imported and updated multiple times a day. Furthermore, the Tessitura checkout flow was modified to use the Geffen Playhouse branding.
Jonathan Lahijani is a first rate web developer. When Geffen Playhouse relaunched its website in 2019, Jonathan not only built a beautiful public facing site, but also a powerful backend system that is more flexible and easy-to-use than any system than our team has ever experienced.
Director of Marketing, Geffen Playhouse