“Musical, love and relationships, personal, ephemeral, spiritual, warm, disconnection, loneliness, poignant. In this musical, a young couple dealing with their very different hopes and dreams and visions for the future, crash their car into the wall surrounding an old farm house. There they meet a couple who’ve been married for over 50 years, and have some skeletons of their own, which are revealed through conversations between the two couples.”
This is what we had to work with in order to come up with the title treatment and show art for the Two River Theater’s latest show: In This House.
Starting with the title treatment, we did numerous type explorations that tried to express the words that embodied the spirit of the show. We went through an evolution of how the title should be rendered, starting with a more soft look, to a more structured look while still keeping a hand-made quality to the type. The final font was suggested by the Marketing Director of the Theater, emphasizing the architectural aspect of a house.
Once the time came to work on the show artwork, we discussed several different focuses and approaches. In a discussion with the Two River Theater group, we talked about the mood and feeling they wanted to convey with the artwork. “Pastoral, Virginia, Americana, rough, raw, hand-built, hard, real”. They mentioned the opening scene to the 1986 movie “‘night Mother”, which shows shots of a rural road, then an isolated house on that road, then several shots of the outside of that house, which makes the audience curious about what is happening inside. They wanted the same kind of intrigue with the poster. They were envisioning a house in the snow, with perhaps a light on–just enough to make one wonder what is happening inside.
We also explored the imagery of a needlepoint canvas in a distressed frame on an aged wall, with the title rendered in needlepoint.
Finally it was suggested we use old family photos scattered around. We tried a version with a more straightforward arrangement of the photos as was suggested, but we also came up with the idea of forming the shape of a house with the pictures. That solution ended up working perfectly in highlighting both the human drama and the structure of the house (a significant metaphoric element) in the play.