Consider hanging a 360 degree track from which to suspend black legs or a small cyc.
you're going to need either platforms for a somewhat raised stage or risers for the audience lest you suffer significant sightline problems. The more flexible the better of course.
you will also need a raised area (howeverTemporary) for your lighting and sound folks to see what they're doing.Take advantage of the offer for a vendor to advise you even if your budget is too small for what they do. Good suggestions here from others on sound and lighting.
Make sure you're not violating any fire code regs if you want to remove the ceiling tiles, which may indeed give you a bunch more height.