Tag Archives: Theater

Traditional Playbills vs Electronic Playbills

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. 

Legally Blond Playbill

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.”

photo of a playbill in hand

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.

playbill avenue Q

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.

Musicals Making Their Way to the Big Screen

Les Mis Poster

Musicals are one of the oldest, most loved, and renowned forms of theatre in existence. Characterized by singsong dialogue and a show tune structure throughout the production, musicals have greatly made their mark on the social sphere of entertainment.

pitch perfect cast

The genre exploded in the 1930s when the Great Depression was weighing heavily upon the U.S. Most musicals highlighted the lives of the upper echelons of society, and weren’t as realistic as they could have been. Times have changed, and of course, musical theatre greatly reflected this. Now, by just looking at theatre, we can see how we’ve progressed through history. Musical theatre has been recognized as something we truly love for entertainment.

Into the Woods

Today, we see movies and television shows that have flourished from the rudiments of musical theatre. Musical to film adaptations are very common today. At first glance, we may not realize how much we really enjoy the musical elements in our entertainment.

Movies like Pitch Perfect, Into the Woods, Hairspray, La La Land, Les Miserables, and shows like Glee were all once musicals that were adapted to the big screen. They represent our love for the melodic tunes and show tune structure.

Glee cast

Musical to film adaptations are undoubtedly a great way to extend a timeless or older story into something relatable in present day. Adaptations are taking a classic storyline, revamping, extending characters, changing up the plot, and putting out a new piece of art. The director has much to work with. The principal characters and everything about the musical generally remain, but there is definitely room to be creative with the visuals and all other movie elements.

But why has musical theatre made its way to the big screen? What caused this change? The answer lies within the true elements of musical theatre that have stuck with us. Show tune structure, repetition and reprisal of songs, as well as the sung dialogue are all elements we still see in movies today.

Hairspray

Musicals create a cohesive feel and bring you in more than a movie does. They include tons of human elements, moments of recognition, missions, realizations, and problem solving. This paired with music and very little spoken dialogue is what we want to see. The catchy tunes get stuck in our head, and the stories take us on a ride. We invest, we get enveloped, and it works. Now in 2018, it’s safe to say that musical theatre is here to stay.

Backdrops by Charles H. Stewart has been your leading-edge scenic design and backdrop and rental company for over 100 years. If you’re hosting a production soon, check out our catalog for all of our offerings. We can answer all of your questions about your design needs for your next production. Reach out to us at (978) 682-5757 today! We want to hear from you.