If you are looking for inspired gifts for the theater lover on your list, here is a curated list of gift ideas to get you started. On Tuesday (Giving Tuesday), we will be spotlighting five ways to support local and regional theaters this holiday season. In the meantime, remember that you may have to shift your mindset when supporting small businesses like those listed here. Coloring Broadway’s Andrea Koehler says to be mindful that small businesses may not be able to give steep discounts or guarantee two day delivery like the bigger retailers due to higher production costs. She adds that purchasing directly from a small business’ website is a win-win for both the buyer and seller.
Mindfulness and Self-Help
Coloring Sheets – Studies have shown that coloring can reduce stress and improve creativity. In fact, a study at the University of West England found that, after coloring for 20 minutes, participants reported being more contented, more energetic and calmer than after reading. They also reported higher levels of mindfulness (attending to what is happening in the present moment) and flow. Coloring Broadway combines coloring and creativity with the transformative messages of musical theatre. From Newsies to Hamilton to Hadestown, these Broadway inspired coloring sheets, stickers, and pins celebrate favorite musical moments. Bundle some coloring sets with a new set of Sharpies and you have a gift that will keep the creatives on your list busy all season long. And the best part, Coloring Broadway is offering a 20% discount to RDU on Stage followers. Learn more about Andrea Koehler and how she made the connection between coloring and musical theater to start her small business in this live chat.
Aroma Therapy – Little Shop of Rose Gold has a variety of candles to awaken the mind, body, and spirit. Pick your scent, candle, and top (including Audition Morning, Pre-Show Ritual, or Opening Night).
Coaching – There are many professional actors offering coaching services, however, Broadway Life Coach Bret Shuford (Wicked, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang) fuses together life coaching and performance skills. Shuford is a certified life coach and offers a free session plus a free 14-day Actor Mindset Reset (which includes some Coloring Broadway coloring pages).
Who knew that masks would be the must-have item for 2020? There are several small businesses selling theater inspired masks, including Thespian Swag, Little Shop of Broadway, redesign Broadway, and Little Shop of Geeks, but we are partial to the RDU on Stage face masks featuring our signature phrase, I’ll see you at the theater. Our masks are made by a local artist and feature a filter pocket. Check out our merch shop for more info.
“In Patti We Trust” Tee – Patti Lupone has been a delight to follow on social media during this pandemic. From tours of her basement to a duet with Randy Rainbow, we can’t get enough of this Broadway Diva. So, we are here for this In Patti We Trust appreciation baseball tee from Broadway Life Apparel. From triple threat tees to baseball caps, check out this shop run by Broadway Husbands’ Bret Shuford and Stephen Hanna.
Hadestown Inspired Tee – You don’t have to go way down to Hadestown to know that this show is one of the hottest tickets on Broadway. While we are loving this ampersand design from redesign Broadway, fans of this show should also check out the holiday album, If the Fates Allow and Anais Mitchell’s new book Working on a Song.
Custom Kicks – From custom boxes to hold your ticket stubs, to a canvas to get signed at the stage door, or your own pair of theatre themed shoes (pictured above), Custom Broadway can customize the perfect gift for any theater fan. Little Shop of Geeks also has Broadway inspired apparel, including slip-on canvas shoes and hightops.
Bookish Gifts & Journals
Bookmarks – Booked Broadway’s Catherine Truskolawski upcycles theater programs to create colorful bookmarks. Each one is handmade and is unique. Mighty with all Trades has magnetic bookmarks designed to look like mini Samuel French and Dramatist scripts.
Audition Log – Tracking auditions is essential to becoming a successful musical theater performer. Little Shop of Rose Gold has created an audition log to track which casting directors you are performing for and what material is working for you.
Ticket Albums – Do you have a collection of ticket stubs you want to save? Mochi Things has some beautiful ticket albums, journals, and planners. Each ticket album holds 100 tickets.
Holiday and Home
Commemorative Ornaments – We love the idea of commemorating a special theater memory with a custom ornament, and Broadway Up Close delivers just the ticket (literally). Customize these ornaments by turning the details of your last show (seat number, date and time, theater…) into a wooden keepsake ornament, key chain, or magnet. Little Shop of Geeks also has a line theater and pop culture inspired ornaments that can be customized. We are also loving the crocheted ornaments from Broadway Dolls and Guys.
Hostess Gifts – The holidays may feel a little bit different this year, BUT if you are invited to a socially distant party, you would be hard-pressed to find a better hostess gift than a musical inspired cutting board like the ones from Thespian Swag. The Thespian Swag shop has a little bit of everything from apparel to masks to ugly holiday sweaters. MK and Alison (two out of work performers) are shaving off 20% off your purchase through Cyber Monday. In addition. the Broadway Wine Club pairs Broadway inspired wines with (virtual) theater experiences. Gift memberships are available.
Room Sprays – After Caskey Hunsader lost his job as the stage manager on the national tour of Miss Saigon, he (like the rest of us) pivoted and launched Stage Door Candles, a line of artisan candles, room sprays, and diffusers inspired by various Broadway characters. All the products are made in New York City, and a portion of proceeds benefits Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS.
Maddie Jantzi, the founder of Nailing Broadway, is a Canadian-based artist who loves to paint Broadway shows on paper and nails. If you are looking for that perfect Broadway inspired manicure, check out Jantzi’s waterslide nail decals. And if you are looking for Broadway inspired polish, check out Curtain Call Cosmetics, designed by Wendy Watt, a professional singer/actor. Finally, Intermission Beauty’s Broadway Diva Series of lipsticks are named after, created, and hand picked by a Broadway icon or show. The products listed in this category are cruelty-free.
Founded by former Broadway stage manager Jennifer Wheeler Kahn, the mission of SCENERY Bags is to decrease waste, save art, and foster a new generation of theatergoers. Who can’t get behind that? SCENERY bags and accessories are made from retired theatre backdrops, and a minimum of 10% of proceeds from every sale is donated to TDF to take kids to see theatre. To date, Kahn has collected and upcycled over 27,000 pounds of theatrical material. Another one of our favorite makers who gives a percentage of her profits to charity is Broadway Scrunchies. Read more about Rebecca Haydock and her hair ties here. And finally, Broadway inspired pins make a great gift or stocking stuffer, and Coloring Broadway has pins inspired by the hottest tickets in town, including Six, Hadestown, and Beetlejuice.
Planner Stickers – Let’s face it, who isn’t ready to scratch 2020 and start planning ahead to 2021? Started by Chicago-based actor Melissa Crabtree who was tired of writing in the word “Rehearsal” on her calendar too many times, the An Actor Plans shop features a variety of both functional and decorative stickers, washi tape, and pins inspired by the theater (and her cat Mabel). Triple Threat Planner also has a variety of theater inspired functional stickers for your planning needs.
Looking for ways to support local theaters? Check out our list of local gift ideas.