Playbill is a monthly U.S. magazine for theatregoers. Although there is a subscription issue available for home delivery, most copies of Playbill are printed for particular productions and distributed at the door. Each issue features articles focusing on artists, new plays and musicals or special attractions. This "wraparound" section is the same for all Playbills at all venues each month. Within this wraparound, the Playbill contains listings, photos and biographies of the cast; biographies of authors, composers and production staff; a list of scenes, as songs and their performers (for musicals); and a brief description of the setting for the particular show. It also lists the number of intermissions and information for the theatre housing the production.
In lieu of the cast and show information, the subscription edition of Playbill contains listings of Broadway and Off-Broadway productions and news from London productions and North American touring companies.
Playbill was first printed in 1884 for a single theatre on 21st Street in New York City. The magazine is now used at nearly every Broadway theatre, as well as many Off-Broadway productions. Outside New York City, Playbill is used at theatres throughout the United States, including in Baltimore; Birmingham, Alabama; Boston; Chicago; Cincinnati; Columbus, Ohio; Dallas; East Lansing, Michigan; Houston; Indianapolis; Los Angeles; Miami; Minneapolis; New Orleans; Philadelphia; Phoenix; Pittsburgh; St. Louis; San Diego; San Francisco; and Washington, D.C.. Circulation as of September 2012 was 4,073,680.
The Playbill distributed on opening night of a Broadway show is stamped with a seal on the cover and the date appears on the title page within the magazine. These "Opening Night" Playbills can be purchased on the Playbill website sealed in a wrapper.
The Playbill banner is yellow with black writing. As of June 1, 2014, the Playbill banner has only changed the yellow to another color on six occasions in its history:
October 2008 – green for the fifth anniversary of Wicked
October 2011 – royal blue for the tenth anniversary of Mamma Mia!
October 2013 – green for the tenth anniversary of Wicked
Every June since 2014 – rainbow for LGBT Pride Month
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