Category Archives: Seasonal

London Streets

Our Favorite Christmas Carol Backdrops

The sound of holiday music, the piney scent of a freshly cut Christmas tree, and the sight of cheerful seasonal decorations, are just some of the iconic things we all come to expect to see and hear when the holiday season rolls around every year.

Along with each of these quintessential holiday moments, comes the showing of one of our favorite seasonal performances – A Christmas Carol. There is something about watching a performance that exudes the true meaning of the holiday season to put us all in the holiday spirit.

The Story of the Christmas Carol

While there are many adaptations of a Christmas Carol, they all tell the story of a mean-spirited, miserly old man named Ebenezer Scrooge and his evolution from greed and avarice to joy and selflessness.

Based on a novella written by Charles Dickens and published in 1843, the story recounts one very odd evening for Ebenezer Scrooge. Set in London, Scrooge is visited in a dream by his former business partner Jacob Marley, who explains to Scrooge that he has been living a life of greed and selfishness. He also explains that Scrooge will be visited by three ghosts: Christmas Past, Present, and Yet to Come.

Each ghostly visit teaches Scrooge the errors of his ways and invites him to change, not only for his eternal future, but for the good that he can still do during his remaining years. Specifically, the ghosts show Scrooge how his generosity could make a difference in the life of his clerk, Bob Cratchit’s family.

After the three visits, Scrooge wakes up on Christmas morning with excitement and a new lease on life where he will be generous, loving, and filled with the spirit of Christmas.

Backdrops by Charles Stewart enjoys the Christmas Carol so much we have numerous backgrounds to choose from for your next theatrical performance.

Streets of London
The Streets of London

The opening scenes and scenes throughout the play show the streets of London where Scrooge spends his time living and working. We have a wide assortment of street scenes including tudor style buildings, English taverns, and snow covered streets. Dickens Street Backdrop #2310 and Dickens Backdrop #2453 or #1838 are excellent choices for these scenes.

Scrooge’s Bedroom Parlor

Ebenezer spends part of his evening whilst being visited by the three ghostly apparitions cowering in his bedroom parlor. Our Beam & Plaster House Interior (Cut Window) Backdrop #0099 with its exposed wood beams and bare walls make for an exceptional home of the miserly Scrooge.

graveyard scene

The Graveyard Scene

During Scrooge’s evening with the ghosts, they make a trip to a Christmas Yet To Come where Ebenezer sees his future if he does not change his selfish ways. The Graveyard Backdrop #2415 is perfect for this scene.

snow forest

The Snow Forest

If your school or theater group is considering choosing A Christmas Carol as your next production, talk to our team today about how we can set the stage and re-create the London of the mid 1800s on your stage.

Benefits of Being in a School Play 

Being part of a performance in high school can be amazing and provide memories for a lifetime. It can also build on a skill set that will be needed later in life. Being in the theater industry here at Backdrops by Charles H. Stewart, we may be completely biased, but here are some pretty compelling benefits of being involved in theater during your formative years. 

As a theater kid myself, I know the biggest takeaway from my years acting and, later, directing high school plays and musicals is the lifelong friendships that I made. There is nothing like the long, sometimes stressful hours blocking out a scene and reworking the lighting a million times to bond a group together. Some of my closest friendships have come from my days creating costumes at all hours of the night or painting sets days before the opening show. 

Aside from the friendships, I can tell you that I also learned (and then honed) skills that I used in college, finding a job, and now in my career. Here are just a few of them. 


Public Speaking

As a young child, I never wanted to speak in front of a group. I especially had trouble conveying my opinion in class in front of peers. After years in theater and practicing endless hours of productions, monologues, and lines galore, I learned the art of speaking in public. I learned how to deliver a line and use body language to emphasize my point. In short, I mastered the art of selling myself and whatever idea lay before me. 


Organization and Time Management

Growing up I was not exactly self-aware or cognizant of the passage of time. That meant that school projects, homework, and assignments were often late or never passed in. After becoming involved in theater, I suddenly was able to practice charting out a schedule such as a rehearsal schedule. The entire production crew was painfully aware of how many days and practices until the big opening night. We learned to do homework before practice and plan for long-term assignments. 


Increased Self-Esteem and Confidence

Not many middle school and high school students can claim that they are confident and have high self-esteem. After years in the theater, I was definitely more confident in who I was as a person and I had a really good grip on what my strengths and weaknesses were. I also had acquired the ability to advocate for myself and speak up when needed. 

As you can see, being part of a theater group may have ended when I graduated high school but it certainly left me with some amazing skills and even more amazing memories. 

The Curtain is Rising on Summer Theater

Are you ready for summer? For some people, it is a time to get ready for vacation or a trip to the beach. For theater lovers, it means the chance to see or be a part of a summer production in some of the amazing Off-Broadway theaters that come to life every summer.

If you’re looking for quality summer stock theatre, a road trip to New England should be on your summer bucket list. Some of the best summer playhouses and theaters call the six New England states home. According to New England Today Travel, the region is home to some of the oldest and most-respected summer playhouses in the country, and these theaters put on a wide range of shows – from comedies to operettas.

Let’s start our summer theater tour in the lovely state of Maine in the town of Ogunquit. The Ogunquit Playhouse is one of the oldest summer theaters in the nation and is nestled in a beach town along the rocky Maine coast. The beautifully unique playhouse, combined with the excellent productions put on within it, make for an unforgettable theater experience. Check out what they have going on this summer on their website.  

Moving from the northern coastline of New England to the sandy beaches of Cape Cod and you will find another summer theater that will take your breath away – The Cape Playhouse. Since 1927, the Cape Playhouse has been home to some of Broadway’s most famous actors who are practicing their craft. Imagine catching a show after the beach only to see actors who have been gracing the stages in Manhattan!

Swing on over to Rhode Island to find a quaint seaside summer theater aptly named Theater By the Sea. This smaller theater is just minutes from the coast and puts on many musicals and summer children performances.

Head north to Vermont and New Hampshire to find some of the summer theater festivals that will have you never wanting to leave. Located in a rustic theater, the Dorset Theatre Festival boasts some engaging summer theater from June to September. New Hampshire’s Barnstormers is one of the oldest summer theaters in the country. This will be their 89th Season of bringing live professional theater to the Lakes Region and the White Mountains.

If you are looking for some outdoor theater, head to Connecticut where the Sharon Playhouse presents acclaimed plays and musicals on its stages throughout the summer months. After each performance, late-night cabarets are offered outside on the theater’s open-air patio.


No matter where you’re headed, theater in New England is alive! Check out some of the shows when you get a chance and who knows, you may see some familiar and famous faces out there!


November Calls For Thanksgiving Productions & Parades


Thanksgiving: The holiday comes around every November, bringing together communities, families, and friends. When the season comes, we decorate: floats and stages light up with colors and designs, and streets are lined with smiling faces.

For young children and kids, Thanksgiving can be one of the most exciting, expressive and theatrical parts of the year. Parades allow for communities to come together, as people love giving thanks and showing appreciation when the season takes off.

September is the start of the school year, and students are happy to be getting into the groove of things with a new teacher and new classmates. Thanksgiving brings about themes of unity, kindness, and connecting with your roots. Students take the stage, and teachers and directors teach incorporate history lessons through productions. This educational opportunity is also an opportunity for children to be creative and express themselves.

The first Thanksgiving is always one of the most loved productions performed among children ages k-5. This play surrounds the first English settlers coming to the ‘new land’ of America. Themes of this play teach children about following their dreams, aspirations, persevering, and meeting goals.

Thanksgiving School Play

Plymouth Rock is said to be the first piece of land in which the English settlers touched down. This is always a favorite element of Thanksgiving productions in schools. This is often taught by highlighting the interactions between the English and the Native people of this land. This aims to teach people about working together, acceptance, and coexisting. Many Thanksgiving productions also include elements of the Mayflower, the ship in which the English settlers traveled.

When it comes to Thanksgiving parades, there is so much decorating to do on your float! Look to backdrops, interesting props and a cool set design for your float to really capture the essence of the holiday, and still represent your organization. When your family and friends line the street in excitement, you’ll want to showcase your group, club, or your communities hard work in the best way possible. If you’re looking for ideas/inspiration for this year’s float, check out our catalog.

The props, set designs, and costumes for Thanksgiving productions and parades can be extensive and colorful. Children and community members love getting involved, and learning something along the way. No matter what you’re looking for, let Backdrops by Charles H. Stewart inspire your Thanksgiving festivities this year.