Portland Stage Season Launch

Posted by on Apr 4, 2016 in drawing, Illustration, pastels, Portland Stage Company | 5 comments

Around a year ago, I was scrambling to finish all the posters for Portland Stage Company’s 2015-16 season. On the launch night, Social Media/Marketing Associate, JJ Peeler, and Executive and Artistic Director, Anita Stewart, happily showed my rough sketch for the final show, They Don’t Pay? We Won’t Pay!

Called again to create a cohesive look for the 2016-17 Season, I scrambled ever harder to be ALL done. Two shows remain in the current season; I felt complete seeing this one on stage at last.

Meanwhile, My Name Is Asher Lev is on stage. Based on the novel by Chaim Potok, the play tells the story of a young Hasidic boy driven to draw and paint, against the will of his parents and his religion. These were some of my rough ideas. And I do mean rough, since I was hustling several deadlines.



There’s quite a bit of discussion in the play about crucifixion, so a window with a cross hints at that symbol.



For this idea, Asher’s father looms in silhouette within an ornate museum frame.


This was the idea chosen, but with an added element from another sketch, Asher’s mother at the window.


I kept the space ambiguous, but with Asher’s paintbrush creating an incendiary swirl of color.


I’m fascinated by Hebrew lettering and found this typeface.


Here’s the banner treatment:


It popped up at the recent launch.


I saw the play on Saturday, and the spare set was the best contrast to the complex drama. Thanks to Green Design for being a sponsor; the simple wooden furniture was perfect.


Three actors played multiple roles seamlessly and lifted the story to another realm. Go see it!

I’m relieved to have finished all the plays by the launch event last Monday. It was fun to see them on stage for even a moment.

I’ve now illustrated 25 posters for Portland Stage. Thank you to Carole Harris for starting the illustrated poster direction, and all you players from box office to lighting to sets to sound to stage. You pull it off every time!


  1. Fabulous posters, Jamie. Portland Stage is so lucky to have you!

  2. I think Carole Harris deserves a shoutout for getting the illustrated poster series started in the beginning!

  3. Visually stimulating post. What a meal!

  4. Looking at the parade of your 2016-17 posters in today’s
    MAINE TODAY MAGAZINE. Another complete set of winners!
    Whoa, girl, you are something else!

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