Cheap Theater Program and Playbill Printing

Theatre program printing

Even in today's digital age, printed theater programs inspire, commemorate, and inform all at the same time. From school plays to cabarets, the perfect playbill is the special touch that elevates your show from typical to magical. In this article, we’ll give you the scoop on playbill printing, from playbill dimensions to design tips and more.

Custom Playbill Printing

Whether your show is a middle school musical or high school production, community theater or a professional performance, there is no better way to connect with the audience than with a theater program. Every theatergoer looks forward to opening the playbill when they arrive at a play, scanning who the actors are and reading about the story’s details.

At ZoePrint, we offer cheap and convenient playbill printing services that help you make your show a success. Our easy online portal helps you get your custom playbills quickly, and our prices can’t be beat.

Playbill Dimensions Explained

Although there are no hard and fast rules, most theater programs are either full sized booklets (11x17 sheets which fold to 8.5x11) or half sized booklets (8.5x11 sheets which fold to 8.5x5.5).

Folded 8.5x11 playbills give you space to spread out. You can include full biographies of your actors and stage crew, as well as encouraging messages from performers’ families. There’s even space for community businesses to place advertisements in the theater program, which can raise some extra money.

Many Broadway theater programs are 5.375x8.5, so if you’re looking to emulate the Broadway playbill dimensions, a folded 8.5x5.5 size is the perfect match. This smaller size costs less to print than the folded 8.5x11 size, leaving you more money to spend on other production costs.

If you’re looking for a custom size, contact your printing company. A professional printing company can accommodate most sizing requests.

How To Create A Playbill

Creating a theater program is a fun process from beginning to end. Here are the steps to keep in mind as you go.

Gather Quality Images And Designs

Before designing your theater program, collect top-notch photos from rehearsals, individual headshots for bios, and a front-page feature (an illustration or photo). Grainy, unprofessional photos can make even the greatest Broadway playbill look amateurish, so include photos that will give your theater program a professional air. Even a crisp cellphone shot can do the trick!

Once you’ve assembled your images, it’s time to work on the design. Designing your theater program can be exciting but also overwhelming. If you have questions, ZoePrint is here to help. We can do anything from adjusting your design so that it fits your playbill to designing the entire playbill for you.

To Color Or Not To Color?

Full color prints are ideal to showcase a vibrant, colorful production in detail. Theater programs will look outstanding in full color since well-designed playbills include many photos and even snazzy advertising. ZoePrint’s full-color printing services will make your photographs and images pop off the page!

However, if your budget doesn’t allow for full color, ZoePrint can help you keep printing costs lower with our black and white printing option. A black and white program can still carry the same information across more economically. For black and white programs, optimize your design to work well with grayscale by creating a high contrast illustration for the cover and bio photos that are still recognizable without color.

Don’t Gloss Over Gloss and Binding Options

When you think of a traditional playbill, you probably think of a glossy booklet. This is because theater programs are typically printed on glossy paper such as 80# or 100# gloss paper that makes them shine. However, 70# uncoated text and 100# dull text papers are also great choices that help you showcase a more subtle playbill.

Playbills can be bound in many ways. Some are folded and stitched together like magazines, and some are simply stapled together. Stapling is an easy and affordable process that lowers the production cost and time. At ZoePrint, we offer stapled binding for your convenience.

What Information Should You Include?

Clear photos make a theater program pop, but the content inside is what truly tells the story. At the very least, playbills should include a brief summary of the production’s plot, a schedule broken down into acts and intermissions, cast member information, and any planned future performances. This information gives the audience a snapshot of the what, who, where, and when to follow as they’re wowed by the performance in front of them.

Most programs tell stories about both the challenges of putting on a particular production and some of the unique attributes of the story. Theatergoers are drawn to the biographies of the performers, both to read about people they know and to learn more about the backgrounds of actors who are new to them. Many programs also include inspirational anecdotes about the actors and actresses. Having all of this knowledge at your fingertips enhances the experience of watching any play!

Consider Your Audience Size

As you’re deciding how many copies of your playbill you want to print, consider the number of spectators per show and the total number of performances for the specific work. This will allow you to roughly calculate how many copies of your playbill you’ll need to order. Remember, while it’s best to estimate as best you can, it’s better to slightly overestimate than underestimate. You don’t want to run out of playbills! Cast members will gladly take any extras as souvenirs of their theatrical experience.

Combined, all of the elements we’ve discussed here will make your theater program look flawless and ready for any stage, from the middle school gymnasium to Broadway.

Playbill Examples

As you’re designing and printing your custom playbill, here are some theater program examples that can inspire you.

Quintessential Broadway Playbills

Hamilton is one of the biggest musicals of the 21st Century. This now instantly-recognizable playbill is a master of design; the image has a clear focal point, and the icon of Hamilton standing on a star is unlikely to be confused with any other playbill. Consider adding unique imagery to your theater program, which will make it recognizable for years to come.

School Theater Programs

Professionally printing your school’s theater programs elevates the entire operation’s production quality. Include student-created art on the cover to personalize the playbill for your school community.

Community Theater Playbills

Community theater programs let local artists shine. In addition to vital information such as the show’s name and performance dates, consider adding your sponsors’ logos to let community members know who made the performance possible.

If you’re looking for additional ideas, the internet is full of helpful theater program examples.

Create and Print Custom Playbills with ZoePrint

If you are looking to print theater programs that stand out, consult the design professionals at We have decades of design experience, and we have designed and printed numerous theater programs. We can use either traditional or contemporary elements to give your program flair which will be remembered for years to come.

When you’re ready to partner with ZoePrint for cheap playbill printing, order online or request a custom quote today!