Studio Series
Culture, Poster, Print

The Studio Series are short-run, promotional posters created for the NIU School of Theatre and Dance. Each piece is created with a limited color palette that can be executed with simple analog or digital means. These pieces are also scaled and double as playbill covers during the performance.

First of the Corner Theater series, The Marriage of Bette and Boo by Christopher Durang is a satirical comedy about 1950’s American marriage and family. The story of Bette and Boo’s marriage is told through the humor found in the darkest of life’s horrors, weaving through three decades of divorce, alcoholism, madness, and fatal illness.

The poster’s conceptual image presents the farcical interpretation of the 1950’s marriage. The literal butting of heads between husband and wife is absurd and points to the obvious while ignoring the nuance found in a marriage. As the play is narrated by the son, the speech bubbles further this fallacy by highlighting the comic book quality that parents inhabit in their children’s minds. The pointed conversations that are observed and define the adult are dynamic and hero-like, yet tragically flawed. The muted color calls upon the marriage quip: something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue.

The second of the Corner Theater series, Boy by Anna Ziegler is inspired by a true story, and explores the complicated terrain of finding love, sexuality, gender. The story also explores the complicated relationship between doctor and patient, when a well-intentioned doctor convinces the parents of a male infant to raise their son as a girl after a terrible circumcision accident; and, twenty years later, the repercussions of that choice continue to unfold.

The poster’s conceptual image presents a flower’s beauty and fragility. The beauty lives in the parts—not passively observed as masculine or feminine—but as a holistic identity dependent upon nature versus nurture dichotomy. Color is divided and represents a clear division of gender identity norms. Typographic qualities juxtapose our understood meaning of elementary words and classifications.


Client — NIU School of Theatre & Dance
Design & Direction — Johnathon Strube

© Johnathon Strube, 1982–2020.