Theatre Shadowboxes

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For Broadway and Local Theatre – it’s All in the Box (Shadowbox)


Hairspray which opened in 2002 and won 8 Tony Awards, is sadly ending its Broadway run on January 18, 2009. Monty Python’s Spamalot, the 2005 Tony Award winner for Best Musical, is also coming to an end on January 18. Even so, the reminiscences can stay alive.



Actually, whether it’s Broadway, local community theatres, or school plays, all of these venues offer unforgettable experiences for the audience (and the performers). So, putting together a few special items into a shadowbox will certainly keep these shows much more than a great memory.

Whether you live in North Carolina, Arizona, California, Connecticut, Wisconsin, New York, or elsewhere, many communities, colleges, and high schools offer theatre choices such as musicals, dramas, youth shows, and one acts. They all make their impact, and any of them could be worth making into a shadow box.

For instance, if you live in Ashville, North Carolina, you might have gone to the Ashville Community Theatre and loved its latest production as did a local newspaper: Asheville Citizen-Times says “First-rate acting and sharp direction” in Misery.



At the high school level, the magical storyline and imaginative characters of The Wizard of Oz makes it a great musical production to perform onstage. Who could forget sweet Dorothy and her friends: the Scarecrow, the Tin Man or the Cowardly Lion? That’s where a shadow box comes in handy, capturing those memorable moments.

A local theatre in southwestern Wisconsin, about 40 miles from the capital city of Madison, actually performs in an outdoor amphitheater inspired by Shakespeare’s original Globe Theatre in London. That sounds fabulous! This theatre experience could be viewed in a shadowbox by including photos, materials depicting the clothes worn from Shakespeare’s time, a program and a page of dialog from your favorite part of the play.







How would you put a Broadway show in a shadowbox? For either Spamalot or Hairspray, you could frame a Playbill, your theatre tickets, photos of the plays’ stars, and perhaps a sheet of music of your favorite song sung in the show such as “Good Morning Baltimore” from Hairspray, or Always Look on the Bright Side of Life from Spamalot. Some photos taken in front of the theatre, or a tee shirt from the show would also add to a shadow box.


As for myself, although I unfortunately haven’t gone to a Broadway show in a while, I have gone to the Goodspeed Opera House in East Haddam, CT. I’ve seen three fabulous productions there, most recently 1776, Happy Days, and Half a Sixpence. For me, the biggest impact was 1776. I can just imagine a shadow box with a facsimile of the Declaration of Independence, images of the stars of the show dressed in their characters – John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Richard Henry Lee, and Thomas Jefferson, and a photo of Independence Hall in Philadelphia, where all the action takes place. Maybe you have some other ideas.

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This past winter, I saw Patrick Stewart in Macbeth at BAM (Brooklyn Academy of Music). If I did a shadow box for this, I would have to somehow convey that I climbed a lot of steps since we sat in the very last row of the uppermost level! Thankfully the production was outstanding, so we were totally drawn into it even though the stage was far below.

A shadowbox can vividly showcase a razzle-dazzle Broadway musical or an amateur high school show. With your imagination and some keepsakes, the show will always be around for your enjoyment.

You can view the highlighted video link to see how to put together your own shadow box:

Here’s a blog about the Spamalot closing:

About the Hairspray closing:

If you are interested in shadowbox frames, these blogs may interest you as well:
Sports Shadowboxes
Wedding and Vacation Shadowboxes

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