Iconic theater posters

I saw a theater poster the other day — just an image with no words. Yet I knew in an instant that the play was A Streetcar Named Desire.

To me this means that the poster was successful. It managed to boil down the essence of the play into a single image.

For some plays this is easy. A poster for Hamlet pretty much just needs a guy talking to a skull he’s holding in one hand.

In fact, it can be a gal holding the skull. Hamlet is so iconic, that we would know immediately that what is being advertised is a production of Hamlet with a female lead.

I wonder whether we could rank plays this way: For a given play, how amenable is it to being recognized by a single iconic image?

Let’s posit, for any given play, that we could come up with a poster consisting only of the optimal image to represent that play. Let’s further posit that are showing that poster only to people who have already seen the play.

Could we rate every play in order from “most iconic” to “least iconic”? It would be an interesting exercise.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *