Most improv posters are terrible because they try to do way too much. The image should be arresting, the text should be kept to a minimum, and it should be clear and concise. I’ve been lucky to be in shows with damn fine posters. Here’s a sampling:
Manhattan Stories – Summer 2012
I’m going to write about this show soon, because it remains my favorite improv experience to date. This show turned me from a middling improviser into a rock-solid one. And the poster, designed by Kaci Beeler and photographed by the fantastic Jon Bolden, is killer.
Arkay presents the JTS Brown – Spring 2013
This show, directed by Cody Dearing & Dave Buckman, is the revival of a mythic improv format that was originally designed in Chicago in 1999. Come see this show, and not just because the poster is beautiful.
Fandom – Winter 2013
Tricky challenge. Fandom was a show dedicated to a different genre each week, which meant the poster had to convey which weeks were which genres. Kaci Beeler‘s solution captures the fun and diversity of the show’s run. I’m just bummed I couldn’t get my hands on the full image. Still, gorgeous.
Braised in Texas – Spring 2013
This is a show about a BBQ contest. It’s funny and it features a choreographed dance. This simple and clever poster is designed by our director, Erika May McNichol. It’s got serious hipster cred.
This American Live – Summer 2012
This show, inspired by NPR’s “This American Life,” was a fun run at Salvage Vanguard Theater. This is the poster of the one show I produced. The topic was food. Which is why I went out of my way to look like Ira Glass’ fat cousin.
The Seven Eight Sevens – Winter/Spring 2012
This was the first troupe I was ever in, and this was our first poster for our first show. This was designed by author and graphic designer Deano Jones. There were eight of us in the cast, so this image is perfect. (For the record, I’m the guy pouring chalk on the guy’s afro.)
THE WINNER OF THE WORST SHOW POSTER FOR A SHOW I WAS IN…
What can I say? We decided we needed a group photo, but we had no real plan. So we showed up to rehearsal early and took the photos outside the theater. Our one shtick? We all wore Converse All-Stars (as we did in all of our shows). But this photo is a hot, hot mess. They can’t all be winners.