Playbill Launches PlaybillVIP.com, First-Ever Do-It-Yourself Playbill
By Adam Hetrick
Schools, colleges, amateur and community productions can now make their own Playbills and distribute them online and in theatres via PlaybillVIP.com.
Everyone remembers his or her first Broadway show: The excitement of the lights dimming, the hush that falls over the audience as the actors take the stage to sweep us away into bold new stories, and that final moment when we greet the cast with applause as they take their bows.
Part of that one-of-a-kind experience is the Playbill one receives while entering the theatre. For many professional theatre folk, seeing their name in Playbill for the first time is a validation that the skill, perseverance and passion they put into their dreams have paid off — it’s the initiation into the tribe of pros who make up the theatre community.
For close to 130 years Playbill magazine has been connecting audiences with the magic of live theatre —from the lavish Ziegfeld Follies of yesteryear through the original productions of Show Boat, Our Town, Gypsy and Oklahoma! to Rent and Angels in America, we are proud to be a theatregoer’s reliable companion.
As Playbill continues to chart new territory in the digital age, we return to the essence of our brand — providing the best in theatre programs — and expand our reach with The Virtual Internet Playbill (PlaybillVIP.com), a new online tool that allows users to create an authentic Playbill for their own productions.
We’re the experts at building an informative, engaging and accurate program of the highest caliber that captures the experience of live theatre. We also know that creating a program is a time-consuming task, which is why we have united with the most prestigious licensing companies, including Music Theatre International, Rodgers & Hammerstein and Tams-Witmark, to help streamline the process with built-in show info for hundreds of their most-produced titles.
Available to schools, universities, individuals and amateur theatre companies, the Playbill VIP — which is just like Playbills found on and Off-Broadway and in numerous professional theatres across the country — contains features identical to those used by award-winning theatre professionals for decades: from a Who’s Who in the Cast featuring headshots and bios, cover artwork, author billing, to a listing of scenes and songs, and more. Expanded online features include the ability to add photos and videos. For a charitable donation, which will benefit Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, The Actors Fund and UNICEF, The Playbill VIP can also be printed for distribution to audiences in the theatre.
PlaybillVIP.com is also a way for schools and amateur productions to leverage the power of the Playbill brand to help engage and build audiences. Customizable tools like a branded Save-the-Date help inform friends and family of ticket purchase information. And, everything is shareable through Facebook, Twitter, e-mail and more.
PlaybillVIP.com is also designed to be a fundraising tool for schools to help defray the cost of their productions. Students and faculty may now market to their local supporters and families the opportunity to advertise in their Playbill both online and in the theatre.
Playbill is thrilled to be with audiences every time the curtain goes up on Broadway and across the country and now, with PlaybillVIP.com, it is our hope that all who endeavor to put on a show will have a top-of-the-line program worthy of their own artistic dedication—The Playbill.
Playbill CEO and Publisher Philip Birsh remarked, “Playbill has spent the last 17 years building our digital presence. We’ve created close to ten websites—including Playbill.com, PlaybillVault.com. PlaybillStore.com, PlaybillClub.com, PlaybillMB.com, PlaybillPro.com and now PlaybillVIP.com—all with the goal of creating an entire universe for all different types of theatregoers and theatre professionals. At the heart of our company is and will always be our beloved magazine, which now serves close to 4 million theatregoers in over 120 theatres across the nation. We believe that PlaybillVIP will not only help introduce our brand to new generations of theatre lovers but also provide a great resource to schools to help better promote their shows and serve as an excellent new fundraising tool to help schools defray the cost of their productions.”
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