Friday, November 23, 2012

The Long Overdue Playbill Project

I've been going to to the theatre and collecting Playbills and other show memorabilia for most of my life.   Unfortunately, it's a bit of a niche hobby and there aren't a lot of options out there to organize and preserve your collection.

I know that offers some binders, but I'm not a big fan of that.   As someone who also collects comics I've always been fond of the "bag and board" method that most geeks no about.    The problem was that for the longest time it was hard to find bags that truly fit Playbills and even more impossible to find boards.

Finally, I stumbled across the website Bags and they actually had bags made for Playbills.   Unfortunately, they didn't have pre-made acid free boards to supply them.    Now, they were willing to do it for me for a price, but I decided to take matters into my own hands.    I was able to buy regular comic age boards and a paper cutter for a fraction of the cost of what I could boards custom cut.  

After some measuring I saw that I needed 9in X 5 3/4 inch boards and I went to cutting.

The project is still very much in progress as I'm trying to settle on how I want to label things and how in depth I want to get for a collection that I'm unlikely to run into a lot of people who find it interesting.  Even most musical theatre fans I know just discard their Playbills (or give them to me) and find this hobby silly - but I'm nothing if not silly.  

Once I get all of the books bagged and boarded I am planning on getting some standard size comic boxes and fabricating them to playbill size using cut foam on the sides and bottom.    

If there are other Playbill collector's out there who has excess or might be interested in some trades I will definitely have a lot of doubles and there are things that I'd love to acquire from the recent years that I've been being a daddy and not scouring the trash cans of New York once a year for discard treasures. ;)

Here is a look at the project in progress...

My workstation that also doubles as a dining table.

Stacks of the almost 200 Playbills remaining that I need to cut boards for and get bagged.

The supplies and labeler.

Dirty Rotten Scoundrels Playbill signed by Norbert Leo Butz and John Lithgow

See.  I told you that is what it was.

The much maligned Jekyll & Hyde's Opening Night Playbill.

Signed by the show's stars.

Cast signed Playbill from The Light in the Piazza.  

This was my original idea for the back side of the board and still my favorite, but for the size of the collection it requires a huge amount of work so I think I'm going with the simpler version.

Rows of the bagged and boarded Playbills that just need date labels and eventually a box.