Folger Theatre

Season Promotions and Play Artwork

Folger Theatre, a venerated performing arts venue and part of the Folger Shakespeare Library, was looking for innovative design solutions for their 2020 and 2021 seasons of theater. As the institution sought to build strong bonds with its subscribers during a time of transition, we built a cohesive visual narrative over two seasons that put the Folger on good footing for future seasons.

2020-21 Season Artwork

season branding

For the 20-21 season, we faced a new challenge – this would be Folger Theatre’s first season “on the road,” as they took productions on tour during an extensive renovation of the Library space. openbox9 illustrated a season brand that focused on the figure of Puck and came up with the season theme – “Seek Me in Another Place,” referencing a quote from Shakespeare.

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2019-20 Season Artwork

Theatre season design example, brochure and lobby banner
Shakespeare's quote - Raise a glass to excess

For the 2019-20 season, In addition to designing an overall theme and aesthetic, which generated multiple print and web pieces, we also worked with the Folger team to create artwork for three plays that felt, despite the range of topics and sources, visually unified. Using original illustration and a mix of textures, patterns, and typographic styles, we created a collective season-wide look that accompanied one of Folger Theatre’s most financially successful years of theater.

Printed pieces included a season preview trifold and full brochure, as well as postcards, large-scale signage, a full suite of web ads, and more. In addition to design solutions, we also worked with consultants to provide a variety of copywriting and online marketing solutions to meet the Folger’s complex marketing needs.

Concepts and ideas for the various plays

1 Henry IV

Shakespeare Henry IV Play artwork and design

For the first show of the season, we emphasized a joyful, energetic scene that called to mind the excesses and exuberance of Hal’s wasted youth. When the time came to incorporate production and pre-production photos of our celebrated lead, we created new designs that merged illustration and photography.


Peter Shaffer's Amadeus artwork and design

For Peter Shaffer’s dark masterpiece Amadeus we went for a bold, graphic look that called back to an elegant – but deadly – Viennese waltz.

The Merry Wives of Windsor

Shakespeare’s comic tribute to the power of women takes an ironic twist on the battle of the sexes formula. For our final illustration of the season, we explored a winking turn to the audience that embraces the brighter side of the Bard.