If you enjoy the “smell of the greasepaint and the roar of the crowds,” a theatre-themed party may be your box office success. Whether your thing is musicals, dramas or comedies, you’ll find a variety of ways to entertain party guests. By keeping theatre in mind as you plan your party, you’re sure to get every attendee to “play” along.
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The Play’s the Thing
Excite your guests about the party before they even arrive at the event by making a Playbill-style invitation. Playbills, the yellow and black mastheaded program distributed at Broadway, off-Broadway and other shows, contain information about the play including the title, photos and biographies of the cast and crew, a listing of the musical numbers and a breakdown of the scenes. While you won’t have or need all of that information, you can create a Playbill invitation on the computer. Your system may have a graphics program such as Windows Paint, Adobe Photoshop or Microsoft Publisher, where you can quickly lay out an invitation that looks like a Playbill. Instead of the graphic and logo for the play in the centre of the card, add an image of a theatre, masks or spotlights. On the back, write “Cast List,” and instead of actors’ roles and names, make a list of important party details such as the date, time and place of the party; what to wear and what to bring.
Make Your Own Masks
The frozen facial expression comedy and tragedy masks have been associated with the theatre for thousands of years, where Greeks wore them through the streets of the towns they visited to drum up audiences. Get your party attendees into the comic or tragic spirits by making their own masks. Purchase plain white masks from a craft shop or mask reseller and set up a “buffet” of craft supplies, such as beads, feathers, glitter, sequins, paint and stick-on gems. Let guests’ creativity run wild as they decorate their masks and have a competition to judge the most comic, the most tragic, the most original, the prettiest and the scariest masks of the bunch.
Help guests get into the theme of your theatre party by assigning them a famous theatrical character to come as to the event. Choose outrageous characters for the best costume options, such as the Phantom from “Phantom of the Opera,” Grizabella from “Cats” or one of the puppets from “Avenue Q.” You can also mine some of the dramas such as Shakespeare’s “As You Like It” or “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” to ensure your guests are able to be extra creative with their costumes. When you create the invitations, make up a little “cheat sheet” for each character, letting the attendee know the play the character hails from, as well as a bit of information about typical style of dress, attitude, conflicts with other characters and the way the character may comport him- or herself. As guests arrive, you’ll have an instant mixer game as everyone tries to figure out the characters at the party.
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