The playbill is often one of the most admired aspects of the theater. Guests love to enter the theater, get comfortable, get associated with the backdrop, and read what is in store for them. The printed playbill is one of the most traditional elements of theater that still rings true today.
An article by Laura Collins in the New York Times online theater section explains this perfectly.
She explains that when you go to the theater, and your usher guides you to your seat, you almost expect to receive something from him. Perhaps the house doesn’t want the audience distracted? Perhaps they would rather you read about the show after the show?
Maybe this is a money-saving move on the theater’s part, but is this worth compromising our beloved in-hand playbills? It is expected that the audience will tune in to the digital version of the playbill on their phone. When you don’t receive a program directly, how likely are you to do this? And how do you see and analyze the reader’s response?
Here’s an excerpt from the article:
“When I admire something I’ve seen onstage, I often spend my subway ride home scouring the artists’ bios, my paper program in full view of fellow riders — advertising that doubles, sometimes, as a conversation starter. But honestly (and I’m talking here about shows I’m not writing about), if the onus is on me to track that information down, there’s an excellent chance I won’t do it. When I turn on my phone, I’ll probably use it to read the news.”
We think this is a great point. With a physical playbill, you can relive the moments you saw on stage, and almost continuously enjoy them after the show, just by looking back to the piece of paper. Some people even save playbills as mementos for shows, self-proclaimed ‘Playbill Hoarders’. We know that it’s important for theatergoers to look back on these playbills, as Playbill the company has found much value in archiving their shows in past history.
What do you think about receiving programs or playbills? Do you like the nature of the paper, or do you think the program is superfluous to your theater experience? Let us know, we want to hear from you. Share this blog to your Facebook feed and see how your fellow theater lovers feel.
Backdrops by Charles H. Stewart has been your leading edge scenic design and backdrop rental company for over 120 years! Come to us with your theatrical needs to enhance your production with well over 1,500 backdrops, drapes, lames and scrims to choose from in our inventory. We are here to serve all your backdrop and scenic design needs.