Monthly Archives: October 2011

MTI Asks How Backdrops Can Help

Music Theatre International Asks Us How Our Backdrops Can Help A Variety Of Theatre Companies

Earlier this week, a very active member of the Music Theatre International (MTI) show space community asked us a question that we get on a regular basis from our customers. So much so, that we thought we’d re-post the thread here:

MTI Showspace Logo

MTI ShowSpace user, Rodney Robbins, asked: How can a smaller commercial theater or even a high school use backdrops to economically liven up their shows?

TheatreWorld Backdrops response: Rodney, thanks for your question. This is a very succinct question that we get asked regularly and in lots of ways.

Many community theatres as well as regional theatres or entertainment groups who perform in smaller venues oftentimes do so with without all the advantages enjoyed by the larger venues, (i.e., equipment, stage size, budgets, fly systems, etc.). Therefore, there is no ?one size fits all answer.? Ultimately, creativity, flexibility, planning and ?how can I make a limitation look like a conscious artistic choice to my audience?? become king.

With over a decade of being performers, producers, theatre owners, directors, etc. ourselves, we have intentionally developed our customer services and product offerings to help in these areas.

Traditionally, backdrops were available in sizes (40? ? 50? x 18? ? 23?) designed for larger venues; and, unfortunately, the only options available to smaller venues were to fold backdrops to fit, losing much of the visual impact; or, in many cases, not use a drop at all.

With that in mind, TheatreWorld Backdrops has created a suite of backdrops virtually identical to our full size drops, but scaled down to 25? wide x 15? high. This backdrop selection is designed to target the smaller venue size issue in a budget-friendly fashion which helps smaller theatres achieve greater production values. With this suite of TheatreWorld?s backdrops offerings, the entire image is scaled to size, maintaining the artistic vision and detail of our larger drops while delivering the full audience impact in a smaller venue in an uncompromising fashion.

As for traditional venues with fly systems, many shows performed in these spaces use multiple drops in a single show which, for obvious reasons, increase the cost related to using backdrops. Toward that end, we have intentionally created a number of designs that, with a little directorial creativity, can allow a director to use one drop for the entire performance, be it for full-length traditional musical productions, junior/youth versions or concert productions.

Over the next few months, in an effort to further assist theatres and schools with practical ways to dramatically increase their production quality in an affordable fashion, TheatreWorld Backdrops will be bringing online a high-definition Projectionable Digital Image library of all of our backdrops. Our PDI library is being designed for smaller venues, touring companies and groups with budget constraints that have opted to employ projection equipment as an alternative to full size backdrops.

Thanks again, Rodney. All of us at TheatreWorld Backdrops welcome calls or written questions from your readers and would be more than happy to answer questions or provide suggestions and alternatives specific to their venue, budget and artistic vision.