Open Forum

Virtual programs

  • 1.  Virtual programs

    Posted 07-02-2020 10:44
    Considering the fact that it is highly likely, if not assured, that we will be doing virtual productions in the fall, has anyone thought about how you're going to handle the show program? We had considered doing a virtual program this past winter, but there were privacy concerns about having student pictures in the program. Has anyone else run into something like this? I know it's as simple as eliminating the photos, but the community loves attaching a face with a name.

    "Even when the dark comes crashing through-
    when you need a friend to carry you-
    when you're broken on the ground-
    you will be found."
    -Dear Evan Hansen

    Jodi Disario
    Google Certified Educator- Levels 1 and 2
    Stay-at-Home Teacher
    Willow Glen High School
    San Jose, CA

  • 2.  RE: Virtual programs

    Posted 07-06-2020 13:30
    Hi Jodi! Are your programs accessible to the public or only available to a select audience? To be extra cautious in a virtual world, I would recommend seeking permission from parents before sharing the photos. Then you can clearly see who is and is not comfortable with the idea.

    Ginny Butsch
    Community Engagement Manager
    Educational Theatre Association
    Cincinnati OH

  • 3.  RE: Virtual programs

    Posted 07-06-2020 13:52
    Thanks Ginny! The programs would be available to anyone who has the link, and the link could end up being shared by someone who has it, and they could share, and so on. My worry is that now we haven't controlled who has the image, who can see the image, and who can manipulate the image.

    We do have an "opt out" in our student/parent handbook where parents can say they don't want their kids to be photographed, but of the small percentage that actually read the handbook--without just skimming to get to the parts they think are most important--don't opt out.

    I require a signed contract from every student and parent participating in our productions, so it would be pretty easy to just add this in. I'm just wondering if anyone has a different solution or has experienced an issue.

    Jodi Disario
    Director of Theatre Arts
    Willow Glen High School
    San Jose, CA

  • 4.  RE: Virtual programs

    Posted 07-06-2020 14:04
    Jodi, we really liked using's playbuilder service for our virtual production. It was free to use since we didn't need any printed and our families loved it. We did include photos of the students that they chose and only shared the link with our school community. Hope this helps!

    Christina Vincent
    Director of Theatre
    The Woodhall School
    Bethlehem, CT

  • 5.  RE: Virtual programs

    Posted 07-15-2020 15:01
    Have you checked with your district?  With everything on the web now, I believe that our district has a release as part of the registration packet.

    Scott Bier
    Whittier, CA

    "Your fear of looking stupid is holding you back."

  • 6.  RE: Virtual programs

    Posted 07-15-2020 15:54
    Edited by Rosemary Bucher 07-15-2020 15:57
    I've used Playbillder in conjunction with physical programs in the past, which has worked great! Here are some examples:

    Guys and Dolls at Palmyra High School
    Amelie: High School Edition at Palmyra High School (and virtual ITF 2020)
    Heathers: High School Edition at Central Dauphin East High School (postponed production)

    When the cast of  Amelie: High School Edition performed at the PA State Thespian Conference, we also used a folded sheet of paper with a QR code to guide them to the Playbillder site (saved printing costs for sure). I'm sure this could also work in an all-digital format!

    Regarding photos, I always recommend including a photo signoff in your audition packet. That way, you're covered and the parents/students consent to any marketing usage of their image.

    Rosemary Bucher
    Educational Theatre Licensing Coordinator
    Concord Theatricals
    New York, NY

  • 7.  RE: Virtual programs

    Posted 07-16-2020 18:41
    You might explore composing your program as a LOCKED .pdf file and making that available to ticketed patrons.  Although the file can be shared (and certainly hacked), it will be shared as an entire document.  I speculate that the hacking hazard is no greater than the danger of someone scanning and manipulating a hard-copy program.

    Rodney James
    Technical Theatre Director
    Forney Independent School district
    Forney TX