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Perfecting a Poster

This is a guest post written by Digital Marketing Assistant Kate Casner in association with fellow intern Michael Rocco. She details the process of designing parody posters that imitate some famous and not-so-appropriate plays to incorporate into the set of The Thanksgiving Play.

One of the main characters in the The Thanksgiving Play is Logan, a high school drama teacher who is notorious for mounting very mature plays with casts of high schoolers (much to the anger of her student’s parents). When Stephanie Hettrick, our Production Manager, approached me and my fellow intern Michael about creating parody posters of iconic, mature plays that featured high school-aged stars to be used as set dressing, we were very excited to run a bit wild while making them.  

Before we began, we asked ourselves, “just how far can we push the traditional boundaries of these shows?”. The answer, dear reader, is a lot.

Brainstorming

The Iceman Cometh parody poster

Michael and I were given a list of some plays that are wildly inappropriate for teens to put on such as Angels in America, The Motherf*cker with the Hat, and The Iceman Cometh. We researched the concept of each show for inspiration, then brainstormed how to create posters for them that both encompassed the main themes and looked like they were made by a high schooler who was really trying to show off their Photoshop skills. 

“Just how far can we push the traditional boundaries of these shows?”

Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? parody poster

Execution
and Results

Our goal was to create shockingly funny juxtapositions between the teenagers featured on the posters and the adult content of the shows. We parodied some iconic posters, and even recreated the poster from our own production of Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, directed by Scott Edmiston during our 2016-2017 season. We absolutely support non-traditional casting at the Lyric, but featuring an African American woman as Martha on the high school poster of Who’s Afraid not only contradicts the playwright’s intentions, it fundamentally changes the message of the play. That specific choice make Who’s Afraid even more shockingly inappropriate for a high school production!

Check out some side-by-side comparisons of these iconic posters and our parody creations for The Thanksgiving Play below!

About The Thanksgiving Play

Four well-intentioned white high school teachers scramble to create a pageant that somehow manages to celebrate both Turkey Day and Native American Heritage Month. What could possibly go wrong?

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