Creating the LSHS High School Musical Poster

When it was announced this fall that we were doing High School Musical for the spring production it created a lot of positive buzz among the students. Like every year, a lot of pieces have to fall into place to make show of this scale possible. One of those pieces is the poster for the production–the public face of show.

Unfortunately, this important piece often falls to the way side. Last year, we simply recycled the stock Pippin poster for our show.

Stock Pippin poster.

Initially, we were tempted to do the same thing again this year for High School Musical. But in class, I’m constantly preaching the importance of creating original content and not just copy / pasting an image from the web. I knew we could do better. It was time to practice what I preach.

Using the original show’s poster as inspiration, we started to create our own original piece.

Disney’s High School Musical poster

I’ve really wanted our theater production posters to have actual photos of the students on them. We’ve done it in the past but not consistently. Getting their picture isn’t hard. Getting their picture in costume is. Last year, we didn’t have the costuming ironed out for Pippin until shortly before the show making getting their picture for the poster almost impossible.

This year’s show worked to our advantage since costuming was mainly everyday street clothes.

We started by photographing the main cast individually with each person leaping into the air. Luckily, the LSHS Thespian Society has a talented photographer, Ashley Crutcher, who took all the pictures.

Shots of the cast leaping in the air similar to the traditional HSM poster.

With those images, the backgrounds were laboriously removed. Next was putting all the pieces together. The trickiest part? Making sure no one’s hand was in an inappropriate place. LOL!

The ten main characters pieced together.

I really wanted to use a picture of the school’s curtain instead of stock photo one. However the design team wanted to go with the show’s traditional red instead of our school’s dark blue. Fair enough.

Cast leaping in front of stock red curtain

With curtain and actors in place, it was time to create the iconic High School Musical logo. Slide5.PNG

I thought it would be cool to give the image a movie poster vibe by adding the names of everyone included. All in this project took about seven hours not counting the photo shoot. Hopefully, it will contribute to a successful and well attended four show performance. Slide6.PNG

The LSHS Thespian Society will be presenting High School Musical on March 2-4 at 7 pm with a matinee on Saturday, March 4 at 2 pm. I hope to see you there.


On Thursday, March 2, my poster design made the front cover of LNP’s Entertainment Lancaster section. You can see the online edition here.

Thursday, March 2 front cover the LNP’s Entertainment Lancaster section.



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