Program Books

Written by Charles Peacock
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Whether you're helping to produce a local theater performance, a high school play or even a Broadway production, at some point you're going to have to think about getting your program books made. Program books can be made cheaply or expensively, and the amount of time and money you want to pour into their design probably should depend on your budget. In any case, it's important to produce a program book that will reflect the theme and style of your event.

Designing Program Books

If you're involved in a small production, you might have the idea that you can produce a program book yourself. While it certainly is possible, there are many advantages to hiring someone to help you out. The first reason is that a professional designer will invariably give you something that's effective and nice to look at. Any design costs can be offset by placing ads in the program--something the designer will also be able to help you out with.

Program books range from the simple (a single page folded in half) to the complex (a Playbill-style magazine format). Graphic designers will be able to help you no matter which format you settle on. The important thing for you to do is to sit down and decide what information needs to be included in the program itself--and handing design duties over to a graphic designer will give you more time to make sure you're not leaving anything out.

Most program books contain the same central types of information: a list of people involved in the production, information about the acts or musical lineup, and credits for any sponsors who aided in the production. These are the things you should definitely never leave out, although there are quite a few other elements that you may choose to include. Things like photographs of the cast, artwork and even lyrics or quotes from the performance that can make your program unique--and make people want to bring it home as a keepsake.

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