Category Archives: Backdrops

Fantastic Seussical The Musical Backdrops 

Seussical the Musical brings together some of our favorite Dr. Seuss book characters while exploring the themes of friendship, love and loyalty. The popular musical also looks at being comfortable with our identity and individuality as our characteristics are mirrored in the vibrant Dr. Seuss characters. 

If you love the zany and somewhat eccentric Dr. Seuss books you are in for a treat with a performance of Seussical the Musical. With characters such as The Cat, (from The Cat in the Hat), Horton (from Horton Hears a Who), the Mayor of Whoville (from The Grinch), and Gertrude McFuzz (from The Butter Battle Book), your theater group is sure to be excited about this quirky musical. 

Let’s explore some of the backdrops we have here at Charles Stewart specifically designed for this musical and how they will fit in with your group’s performance. 

seussical the musicalWhat is Seussical The Musical

Seussical The Musical is a much-loved musical stage adaptation based on the books of Dr. Seuss. The play’s story combines the characters we have come to love and the storylines from over 15 Dr. Seuss books. Seussical opened on Broadway at the Richard Rodgers Theatre on November 30, 2000, and was directed by Frank Galati with choreography by Kathleen Marshall. It ran for 198 performances before going on tour across the United States and the United Kingdom. 

The plot of the musical, although not linear by any means, loosely follows Horton the Elephant as he attempts to protect the people of Who-ville. During his journey, he encounters characters from a wide assortment of Dr. Seuss books who cause chaos and turmoil. Against all odds, Horton and Gertrude collaborate to save the Whos, free Horton, and restore peace and unity to the Jungle of Nool.

Seussical Backdrops for Rent 

Backdrops by Charles Stewart has five backdrops designed with this performance in mind. Here are a few of our favorites. 

Seussical Landscape Backdrop 

This unique backdrop is designed with Seussical in mind. The Seussical Landscape Backdrop # 2481 is 18 x 14 and displays a colorful, stylized landscape with rolling hills and a blue sky. 

Or if you are looking for something coordinating but depicting another scene for Seussical, this Seussical Landscape Backdrop #2388 shows a similar backdrop but in a variety of colors in a 14 x 35 size. 

For the scenes requiring a lush, green backdrop, our Jungle Backdrop #2277 is spectacular for Seussical. It shows a rainforest with palm trees and tropical plants. 

To view all of our options for backdrops for Seussical the Musical, visit our site and search through our suggested backdrops. 

 

Our Favorite Alice In Wonderland Backdrops 

Many of us grew up with a parent or teacher reading us the classic tale of Alice In Wonderland as we discovered Alice and her journey into the world of Wonderland. We first were introduced to Alice as she hopped down a rabbit hole and explored the fantasy world of anthropomorphic creatures such as the White Rabbit and the Cheshire Cat. This classic story will probably stay with us for the remainder of our lives as it engages and draws in the audience on many levels. 

At Backdrops By Charles H. Stewart, we have over 15 specific backdrops created with Alice In Wonderland in mind. Let’s explore this classic story and how our backdrops can help your production come to life. 

The Tale of Alice In Wonderland 

Alice in Wonderland opened on December 23, 1886, at the Prince of Wales Theatre in London and was based upon Lewis Carroll’s book of the same name. It was and is still one of the most successful children’s books of all time. 

The musical and theatrical performance chronicles the story of a young girl, Alice, who stumbles across a fantasy world on a beautiful summer day. She follows a creature, which we will later find out to be the White Rabbit, down a hole only to discover a mysterious underground world she calls Wonderland. While in the underground fantasy world, Alice encounters fabulous creatures that defy all reasonable expectations.  

After shrinking and growing with the help of a magical potion and food, she starts to encounter fantastical creatures who teach her a little more about her world including twin jabbering clowns, Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum, who teach her some manners. She also meets the Mad Hatter who plays a game of musical chairs with the young girl at the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party. She also encounters the endlessly grinning Cheshire Cat who appears and disappears in the blink of an eye. 

All of these anthropomorphic creatures frustrate and entertain young Alice until she finally awakes and realizes the entire thing has been a dream! 

Alice In Wonderland Backdrops 

Let’s review some of our more popular backdrops for this classic tale. 

This Alice in Wonderland Backdrop # 3208 is the perfect setting for your organization’s performance whether you are in a dance group, community theater, or professional organization. This backdrop depicts the Mad Hatters Tea Party with Alice and the other Wonderland characters having a party with a tea table in a grassy meadow. 

This Alice in Wonderland Show Traveler Backdrop is currently on sale and depicts a front show curtain with characters found in the story. In the curtain you can see the Tea Party set up, mushrooms, and the White Rabbit off in the distance. 

This Garden Backdrop #2250 is the perfect addition to the show as it displays a quaint 

garden patio with flowers, trees, and hedges. This would be perfect for both Alice’s world above ground and her descent into Wonderland. 

To view the full assortment of our Alice In Wonderland backdrops, visit our show suggestions page. 

 

Our Latest Backdrop Options 

Looking for something new, modern, unique, or completely out-of-the-ordinary for your next production? Backdrops By Charles H. Stewart is constantly adding to our “New Backdrops” page online. From the abstract to the specified needs of a singular theatrical performance, Charles Stewart has the widest selection and some of the best new backdrop options on the market.

Let’s explore some of our latest backdrop creations that can help your production rise to the next level with setting options. 

Themes and Shows 

The most tangible element of any production is the theatrical backdrop as it frames the performers and gives context to the audience as to where and when the scene takes place. Our backdrops come in a variety of styles and scenes including outdoors, architecture, scenes- and show-specific and everything you can imagine. Searching for your backdrop can be as easy as plugging in what theme or show you are producing this season.

Some of our most popular and new backdrops include; art deco options, abstract art, and the outdoors, such as the ocean, sky, desert, mountains, and stormy skies. We also have options such as pirate ships, soda shops, holiday scenes, Victorian Era scenes, cityscapes, palaces, libraries, schools, streets, and so much more. We invite you to explore all the options on our “Show Suggestion” pages where you can search by production and our “New Backdrop” pages where you can scroll through a variety of our latest options. 

Examples of Our New Backdrops 

Backdrops can make your performance come to life and draw your audience into the action right on the stage. Some of our new backdrops are elements of our traditional backdrops modernized for today’s performances. 

New York City Skyline Backdrop 

This art deco-style NYC Skyline #2580 is perfect for shows such as 42nd Street, Broadway, Crazy For You, The Great Gatsby, and James and the Giant Peach

The backdrop shows darkened buildings with illuminated interior lights set in the Art Deco style. It also has an illuminated purple sky to make the image pop. And it wouldn’t be New York City without the twinkling stars above. 

Forest Backdrop 

If your performance includes a show such as Addams Family, Babes In Toyland, Fantasticks, Into The Woods, Midsummer Night’s Dream, Oklahoma!, Shrek The Musical, Sleeping Beauty, Snow White, the Wiz, or the Wizard Of Oz, this Forest Backdrop #2587 is the perfect choice. It shows a dense forest and also can be ordered with matching legs #2588 and matching border #2589.

Victorian Interior Backdrop

There are so many classic musicals that incorporate the aesthetic of a Victorian-era home. These include Annie The Musical, Applause, Calamity Jane, Cinderella, Damn Yankees, Drowsy Chaperone, Kiss Me, Kate, My Fair Lady, the Nutcracker and Unsinkable Molly Brown.

This new Victorian Interior Backdrop #2584 depicts a pink, Victorian palace or mansion interior with a center fireplace and large windows left and right.

 Visit our blog again soon as we will be spotlighting new backdrops regularly and show you what amazing backdrops we offer for theater groups, dance troops, and professional theaters across the country. To view all of our new backdrops visit our “New Backdrops” page today. 

 

the wizard of oz

Follow The Yellow Brick Road in The Wizard of Oz

The Wizard of Oz is an iconic musical conceived and written by Lyman Frank Baum in 1900. For over a hundred years, this classic and modern fairy tale has taken theaters by storm as a beloved choice for professionals and amateur theater groups across the nation. 

With songs such as “Follow The Yellow Brick Road,” “Ding Dong The Witch is Dead” and “Somewhere Over the Rainbow,” it is no wonder that the Wizard of Oz is a timeless classic. Our more than 40 backdrops can help your organization create the mood and setting for your production. 

The Chronicle of Dorothy’s Trip To The Wizard

The Wizard of Oz follows the story of Dorothy, a young Kansas girl who lives with her Aunt Em and Uncle Henry. Unfortunately, Dorothy and her loyal dog, Toto, get swept up in a tornado and find themselves transported to a strange land called Oz. 

Upon crash landing her home on top of a witch, Dorothy meets the Witch of the North who thanks her for killing her sister, the Witch of the East. She also meets the inhabitants of Oz called Munchkins who advise her to follow the yellow brick road to the Wizard who may be able to get her back to Kansas. 

As she begins her trip to see the Wizard, she encounters three characters who join her on the journey – a cowardly Lion, a Scarecrow who longs for brains, and a Tinman who yearns for a heart. The group sets off to see the Wizard as they navigate their own challenges along the route. 

Upon finding the Emerald City, where the Wizard resides, they realize that even without his help, they are able to use their own strengths to help each other. This strength of friendship and kindness is a common theme as the new-found friends fight off Flying Monkeys and other trials along the way. 

Set the Stage For The Wizard of Oz

The Wizard of Oz has a certain whimsical flair and the backdrops should portray that as well. Here are a few of our favorites from the cornfields of Kansas to the castle in the Emerald City. 

This Farm Landscape Backdrop #2379 shows a rolling hill farm with corn fields, a fence and blue skies. This backdrop would be perfect for the opening act of the musical as Dorothy, unable to seek shelter in the storm cellar, gets swept up into the tornado that brings her to Oz. 

This Wizard of Oz Backdrop #3098 is an ideal depiction of the story of the Wizard of Oz including Dorothy, Toto and friends. The yellow brick road is clearly seen and the road to the Emerald City is visible in the background. 

Once the friends arrive at the Emerald City, this Emerald City Backdrop #2507 shows the land of Oz with the yellow brick road winding through poppy fields up to the Emerald City!

To view all 40 of the amazing backdrops we offer for the Wizard of Oz, please visit our website and start planning your performance today. 

 

Mary Poppins

Life Lessons of Mary Poppins the Musical 

Mary Poppins has been a popular movie and musical since it found its way into Americans’ hearts and onto screens in the 1960s. Today, the life lessons of Mary Poppins still reverberate in our world today. 

At Backdrops by Charles Stewart, we offer more than 33 backdrops perfect for your performance of Mary Poppins. Let’s take a closer look at some of our favorites and the lessons Mary Poppins can teach all of us. 

Mary Poppins Background 

Set in London during the Edwardian Age, a cheery and kind Miss Mary Poppins becomes a nanny to an upper-crust English family with two young and mischievous children, Jane and Michael Banks. 

Prior to her joining the Banks family, a series of nannies had resigned in the face of the boisterousness of the children. While the Banks family is fairly traditional, they seem to be missing the component of fun and togetherness. Mary Poppins brings them all a little fun, and some life lessons to follow, and her unique ways of managing the children quickly become a pleasant surprise to both the children and the parents. 

With serious parents, including a father who is a financial banker, Jane and Michael are accustomed to being second fiddle in the home when work and family business takes priority. Upon the arrival of Mary Poppins and her good friend Bert, the children set off on regular outings that become a series of fantastical adventures meant to teach them what really matters in the world. 

Some of the lessons Mary Poppins teaches her charges include the idea of lightening up and having a little fun, and that life is too short to be too serious. She also explains more important life lessons in songs such as “A Spoonful of Sugar,” where she teaches them that when life gives you lemons, you make lemonade and that laughter can be the best medicine for anything. 

Through the children’s adventures with their nanny, the home becomes happier and lighter. Even the preoccupied and serious parents begin to see what’s important in life – Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious

Our Favorite Mary Poppins Backdrops 

The Banks Home

Drawing Room

The iconic scene in Mary Poppins where she teaches the children the importance of cleaning up after themselves and being tidy would be well suited in this Drawing Room Backdrop #1842 which depicts a Victorian interior with a sitting room decorated with blue draperies and a large wood archway. This shows the opulence of the upper-class family and the era in London, England. 

The Gardens 

Garden

This Garden Backdrop #N0117 shows a Victorian garden with trees, hedges, urns, and flowers done in pastel tones. This backdrop is excellent for the magical horse race, the street drawings coming to life, or any of the outdoor adventures Mary Poppins takes the children on. 

The Rooftops 

European Rooftops

This European Rooftop Backdrop #2516 shows a typical London rooftop. It highlights Victorian chimneys, St Paul’s Cathedral and a magical purple sky. Imagine the scene with Bert singing “Chim Chim Cheree” as he works as a chimney sweep! 

Looking to peruse all the Mary Poppins backdrops? Visit our show suggestion page and get started – you’ll be singing along soon enough…“in the most delightful way.”

 

The Dream Lives On in Les Miserables

Les Miserables is undoubtedly one of the most popular musicals on the planet. The production can claim over 120 million spectators in 52 countries and accolades such as nominations for twelve Tony Awards and winning eight, including Best Musical and Best Original Score. Les Miz, as it is affectionately called, is known worldwide for its music, score, and engaging storyline. 

The Story Behind Les Miz 

Les Miserables was composed in 1980 by the French composer Claude-Michel Schönberg with a libretto by Alain Boublil, and lyrics by Herbert Kretzmer. Sung through, it is one of the most well-known and performed musicals worldwide. 

Les Miz chronicles the life of Jean Valjean, prisoner number 24601, who is doing hard labor on a chain gang in a French prison for stealing a loaf of bread for his sister’s starving child. Set against the backdrop of 19th-century France and the French Revolution, the audience follows the hard life of Valjean.

Even after his release from prison 19 years later, Valjean is branded a prisoner and can not find work. A local Bishop takes him in and feeds him only to find Valjean has disappeared and precious silver missing. The Bishop lies to Javert, a police inspector who pursues Valjean for most of the musical, and tells the police he gave Valjean the silver. 

The musical jumps ten years into the future, where we find Valjean has become the Mayor of Montreuil-sur-Mer and a factory owner. We meet one of his workers, Fantine, who dies, but not before Valjean promises to take care of her daughter, Cosette. As the French Revolution rages around them, we meet young revolutionaries trying to overthrow the government and learn about the love that grows between a student revolutionary (Marius)  and Cosette. Valjean manages to save an injured Marius so that he and Cosette may be wed and Valjean can complete his promise to Fantine. 

Backdrops for Les Miz 

Backdrops By Charles Stewart has a showcase of backdrops available for your theater group who plan on an epic Les Miz performance. Choose from 14 backdrops that range from European streets and villages to set the stage for France in the late 1700s or impoverished homes from this same era. Here are a few of our favorite backdrops. 

French Street

This French Street Backdrop #1283 depicts an old, European-style street showing buildings including a church and cobblestone street. It is the perfect backdrop for all outdoor scenes. 

Rustic House

For indoor scenes that show the downtrodden state of the citizens of France during this time period, this Rustic House Interior Backdrop #1297 shows a rustic interior with wood beam ceilings and a large kitchen fireplace. 

Deep Blue Palace

To show the juxtaposition of classes in France at this time, this Palace Interior Backdrop #1987 shows a deep blue interior with matching drapes, wood paneling, and large windows. The upper-class scenes show just how desperate the working class is in comparison to their upper-class contemporaries. 

For a comprehensive list and description of all our backdrops suitable for Les Miserables, visit our show suggestions page

The Sun Will Come Out for Annie Performances 

Based on the comic strip Little Orphan Annie, the Broadway musical Annie is a fan favorite for the message that life can be difficult, but to hold on to hope. Our backdrops here at Backdrops By Charles H. Stewart can help transform your stage into the Warbucks Mansion, the streets of NYC or the run-down orphanage that Annie called home. 

Let’s take a closer look at the plot and setting of Annie the Musical and see how our backdrops can help your production come to life. 

The Story of Annie 

The story of Annie chronicles the “hard knock life” of an eleven-year-old orphan girl living in a dilapidated and cruelly managed orphanage in New York City. Despite the mean antics of the home’s alcoholic operator, Miss Hannigan, Annie stays positive, upbeat, and feisty in her belief that someday she will be reunited with her parents. 

One day, Annie decides to escape and search for her parents, whom she has never met but dreams about constantly. During her time on the outside, she befriends a dog she names Sandy and is eventually apprehended by the police, who subsequently return her to the municipal orphanage. 

At the same time, Oliver Warbucks, a local millionaire, is looking for a young boy to bring to his mansion for the Christmas holiday as a treat, even if just for a short while. Warbucks’ secretary does not find a young boy to “rescue” for the holidays but instead finds Annie at the orphanage and chooses her for the visit. 

Although the cold-hearted Warbucks is slow to warm to Annie, he eventually finds her positive spirit catchy and endearing. While he is mulling over the idea of adopting Annie, Miss Hannigan hatches a plot to take her back to the orphanage with the help of her brother, Rooster. Annie recognizes Rooster from her time at home and realizes it is a plot to take her away from Warbucks.

In the end, it is discovered that Annie’s real parents died years earlier and Miss Hannigan’s plot is uncovered. Warbucks adopts Annie and takes home all of her friends from the orphanage. 

Setting The Stage For Annie 

Annie the Musical takes place in several locations throughout New York City. The locations include the Warbucks Mansion, Miss Hannigan’s orphanage, the streets of NYC, and eventually the White House, in Washington D.C., where Annie meets the President. 

Times Square Backdrop

For scenes on the street of NYC, try this Times Square Backdrop # 1503 which depicts a vintage Times Square at street level using neutral tones showing the skyline, buildings, subway stops, lamp posts, and a marquis.

New York Street Backdrop
New York Street Backdrop

Or, if you are looking for a different view of the streets of NYC, this New York Street Backdrop #2512 shows the Washington Heights neighborhood featuring an elevated train, the George Washington Bridge and the skyline of New York in the background.

wooden paneling and blue curtainsFor scenes within the Warbucks’ Mansion, this Panel Interior Backdrop #2540 shows a luxurious wood panel living room with a fireplace, two windows, and a mantle clock.

tenementThe orphanage run by Miss Hannigan is worlds away from the mansion of Warbucks and should show the “other” side of NYC. This NYC Tenements Backdrop #2366 depicts the city during the daytime with tenements in the background. 

Explore all 73 backdrops in our comprehensive inventory designed with your performance of Annie in mind. See which ones work best for your group and get started making your production come to life. 

Backdrops for Joseph & the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat is based on the “coat of many colors” story of Joseph from the Hebrew Bible’s Book of Genesis. It was written by the dynamic duo of Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice. 

While set in early Biblical times in the Middle East, Egypt and desert towns, the story of Joseph’s tumultuous and ever-changing life is still relevant today with its themes of growing up, dealing with jealousy and envy as well as the power of forgiveness. 

Backdrops By Charles H. Stewart offers more than 18 unique and fitting backdrops for this production that you are sure to love. Let’s explore the storyline and take a closer look at some of the options for your next production. 

The Story of Joseph 

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat tells the tale of Joseph, the favorite son of Jacob as told in the Old Testament’s Book of Genesis. Joseph’s twelve brothers are envious and angered by his favored status by their father. So much so that they devise a plot to sell him into slavery and convince the father that his special son has died. Their proof of his death is a tattered and bloodstained multicolored coat that Joseph was known to wear. 

Instead of facing death, Joseph was taken to Egypt where he was sold into slavery and ended up working in the home of a powerful businessman named Potiphar, who would later have Joseph jailed due to his wife’s affection for him. 

Joseph’s luck begins to turn when word spreads beyond the jail cell of his special gift of being able to interpret dreams. Eventually, talk of his special talent reaches the Egyptian Pharaoh. He is taken to the leader and explains that his dreams foretell a future time of famine for Egypt and beyond. With this warning, the Egyptian leader is able to prepare for the devastating crop failures and save his people. 

Back in Canaan, Joseph’s family is impacted by the famine as well with little food or work. The brothers travel to Egypt to find work and feed their family. They go to Joseph who recognizes them but they don’t recognize him. He tests them to see if they have changed and become humble or if they remain the cruel and jealous brothers he once knew. 

Joseph sees that his brothers have changed, so, to everyone’s great joy, he reveals his true identity.

Backdrops for Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat

Given that a majority of the performance takes place in the Middle East and more specifically, it makes sense that many of the backdrops we offer show the desert, Egyptian Sphinx, Pyramids, Middle Eastern towns as well as Arabian markets and landscape. Here are some of our favorites. 

This Arabian Market Backdrop #2311 shows a Middle Eastern street with bazaar tents and architecture along with a backdrop of a sandy desert area. 

For scenes depicting Biblical era Egypt, this Egyptian Landscape Backdrop #1970 shows the Pyramids and the Sphinx set against a light blue sky. 

Or for a different view of the splendor of Egypt during this time, this Egyptian Palace Interior Backdrop #2482 creates a scene inside of an Egyptian pyramid or Pharaoh’s lair with Hieroglyphics, columns, and Anubis guard dogs. 

For a complete viewing of all of our backdrops designed for Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, please visit our show suggestion page

 

High School Musical

Our Favorite Backdrops For High School Musical 

High School Musical is unique in that it began as a 2006 American television film created by Peter Barsocchini and directed by Kenny Ortega before becoming a Broadway hit sensation. 

It was so popular and beloved that Disney Channel produced a sequel the next year! In fact, yet another feature film High School Musical III was produced the following year to great acclaim. So, to say that the High School Musical franchise is a successful one would be a huge understatement. 

The film was adapted to a stage musical starting in early 2006 with two versions: a 70-minute one-act play and a full-length two-act musical. 

The Plot of High School Musical 

High School Musical chronicles the story of two teens who run in completely different social circles; Troy Bolton, an athletically gifted basketball player, and Gabriella Montez, an academic scholar who is smart and a true science geek. These two characters compete for roles in the high school musical and eventually develop a friendship that challenges the social pecking order at East High School. 

The story hits on many themes such as being true to yourself and who you are, having the courage to try new things, how to be a good friend, and the importance of standing up to peer pressure. 

As the two main characters try out for the musical they draw the ire of drama queen Sharpay Evans and her brother Ryan. Their actions also cause questions and resentment among the basketball players who feel the musical is distracting their top player. The Decathlon Team also feels similarly about their teammate. Troy and Gabriella resist peer pressure and rivalry, inspiring others along the way not to “stick to the status quo.”

Backdrops For High School Musical 

Most of the film and adapted Broadway musicals occur in settings typical to teenagers – a high school, the gym and outdoor areas. Here are a few of the many Charles Stewart backdrops that would work well for your production of High School Musical

East High School Exterior 

For scenes where the cast performs catchy songs, dances and engages in pithy dialog at the high school, this Building Exterior Backdrop #2224 displays a typical American high school with images of a brick building, columns and an entryway. 

Gymnasium backdrop

Gym & School Hallway Scenes

For many scenes when the main characters, Troy and Gabriella, interact with their peer groups in the gym and the school hallways the following options are also a good choice. Choose from Gym Backdrop #1457 which depicts a plain gymnasium interior with three large windows and bunting overhead or a School Corridor Backdrop #2351 which shows lockers, a checkerboard floor and classroom doors. 

Outdoor Scenes 

For scenes that take Troy, Gabriella, and the cast outdoors this Golf Course backdrop # 2341 shows a fairway looking over a putting green. 

For more options please visit the High School Musical backdrops suggestion page online.