5 Playbill Tips And Tricks You Need To Know

Children Looking at scripts for a play

You’ve made it through rehearsals, and now it’s opening night. The theater doors open and the audience starts walking in. As they enter the theater, they receive a playbill which will be their tour guide for the show.

While rehearsing with the cast and crew, building the set, and doing costumes and makeup are all vital parts of preparing for a theater performance, so is designing and printing great playbills that guide attendees through the performance. This article will guide you through what you need to know about playbill printing, from beginning a design to sending your document off to be printed.

Tip 1: Master The Design Basics

Together with posters advertising the performance, your playbill is likely one of the first materials that audience members will see about your show. Therefore, your playbill design sets the tone for the performance.

It’s a good idea to create a design that portrays the show’s main mood or themes. If you’re putting on a musical, you can use bright colors and bold fonts that have panache. For a Shakespearean play, on the other hand, you might opt for a more classic style.

This applies to your theater poster as well. The more accurately you are able to portray your show’s tone, the better you’ll be able to find interested audience members who will enjoy the show.

When you’re thinking about what to include in your playbill, don’t forget the following parts:

  • A title page with the name of the production, the times, dates, and location of performances, the name of the theater company, and an eye-catching illustration
  • Lists of the cast and crew members
  • A synopsis of the show
  • A director’s note

You can also optionally include aspects such as cast and crew bios, messages of encouragement from family members, and advertisements from local businesses.

If you’re making your first program, consider doing so with the help of design platforms such as Canva or Adobe InDesign. These can get you started on the right foot and provide a playbill template that you can customize, or you can create a program from scratch.

Tip 2: Choose The Right Printing Method

Once you’ve designed your playbill, it’s time to print it. This means deciding whether to print at home or with a professional printing service.

Printing at home can be a simpler process, as there’s no need to find a print partner. However, the effort and research it can take to find a printing company that’s a good match for your needs often pays off in the long run.

When you work with a professional printing company, you receive printing speeds and quality that are impossible for a home or office printer to provide. A professional printing press can print more copies faster, as well as handle thicker papers which are impossible to print in home printers. The printing company also operates the machinery, so you don’t need to worry about paper jams, maintenance and repair, or buying ink.

Tip 3: Select The Best Paper And Finishing Processes

When you work with a professional printing company for your theater program printing, you can choose from a wide range of papers and special finishing processes.

Deciding which paper you want to use might feel complicated. Consider opting for a 70# uncoated text and 100# dull text paper for the interior of your playbill and a 80# or 100# gloss paper for your covers, which will help your playbills stand out and help the colors pop.

As well, consider opting for environmentally friendly papers, such as papers made of partially or entirely recycled materials. This helps you make sure your playbill printing is good for the environment.

Tip 4: Proofread And Perfect

Your playbill is a public-facing document that represents both your show and your theater company. If you’re putting on a school show, your playbill also represents your school. Therefore, it’s important to make sure your document is free of errors before you send it off to be printed. Make sure to get multiple pairs of eyes on it to catch any small typos or mistakes.

If you’re printing a playbill for the first time, it can be helpful to receive a proof of your playbill before you print the whole order. This gives you the opportunity to ensure that everything looks the way you want.

Tip 5: Add Final Touches

You’re almost done with your playbill. Now it’s time for the fun parts: deciding if you want to add any final touches that take your playbill to the next level.

Some options include:

  • Choosing between stapled binding and saddle stitch binding
  • Considering luxurious additions such as embossing
  • Opting for die-cutting

All of these additions are optional, but they help your playbills stand out from the rest and turn them into keepsakes that performers and their families will treasure for decades.

Print Playbills That Set The Stage For A Great Performance

When you’re ready to get started printing great playbills, partner with ZoePrint. With decades of expertise in theater program printing for school and community theaters alike, we can help you create the programs that bring your performance to life.

ZoePrint’s low playbill printing costs let you print great playbills cheaply, which helps you dedicate more money to other production costs, and our simple online ordering platform and quick turnaround time means that you can place an order and receive your programs in a heartbeat.

Get started with great playbill printing by ordering online, or ask ZoePrint for a custom quote!