Finding the perfect present for theatre fans can be hard. Still looking for gifts for the theatre lovers in your life? No worries! Here’s ten suggestions to get you started.
1. Rehearsal necessities/ A “Rehearsal Care Package”
Every performer should be prepared for rehearsal! You can help your theatre-loving loved one be ready for rehearsals by gifting them everything they’ll need to be successful. A “care package” is a cute, personalized present that can combine several cheaper gifts into one nice one. You might include:
- A small tote bag to serve as a dedicated “rehearsal bag”
- A reusable tumbler or water bottle
- Pencils, erasers, hi-lighters
- Light, clean snacks like nuts or granola bars
- New plain black binders for scripts and sheet music, ring protectors, sheet protectors
- Bobby pins or hairties
You could also include anything else your loved one regularly wishes for or complains about not having to make the gift a little more personal and meaningful.
2. Dance and Performance Gear
Another option that is sure to be a hit is rehearsal apparel or gear like dance or character shoes. These might prove somewhat expensive, and some research into preferred and quality brand names will definitely be worthwhile before any purchases are made. Because this gear can be expensive, many performers are hesitant to make these purchases themselves, and are likely due for upgrades.
If you’re completely unsure what they already have, it never hurts to ask what your loved one needs. Buying them brand new tap shoes after they’ve just bought a pair themselves a few months ago helps no one!
3. Sheet music
This is another cheap but potentially very meaningful option. If your loved one loves specific shows, you could find the official sheet music books for their favorites. As digital sheet music is also becoming more and more convenient, a musicnotes.com gift card can also come in handy. This is admittedly rather impersonal, but almost always useful!
A more meaningful take on this present is to hand-compile a collection of quality sheet music for beloved songs. You could print these out and gift them in a nice binder for prettiest presentation, or you could put them together on a USB or google drive for long-distance or simply more convenient digital delivery. If you decide to do this, tracking down sheet music can get tedious and expensive. Sites like Scribd.com can make the process easier. There you can get all the music you want for a comparatively small membership fee. (Should you want to sign up, you can use my referral link to get two months free, and give me a free month as well!)
4. Theatre books
If the theatre fan in your life likes to read, books about acting or theatre life as a whole will always be appreciated. You’ve got a lot of options here! Broadway star autobiographies, books about musicals, or the adapted source material of favorite musicals are all great ideas if you happen to know the shows your loved one loves best. At a slightly higher price point, “coffee table” books for shows (like the “Hamiltome” or the Wicked “Grimmerie“) make especially fantastic gifts.
5. Play Scripts
Scripts are great present ideas for theatre people whether you’re buying a keepsake copy of a loved one’s favorite play or simply gifting new reading material to help them expand their libraries. You could do research into which shows local theatre companies will be producing in their upcoming seasons and gift these scripts to the actor in your life in the name of supporting their audition prospects. If you know your loved one’s reading tastes, you can probably find plays catering to these as well. For instance, fantasy geeks will adore a copy of She Kills Monsters.
6. A Personal Steamer
This is the most specific suggestion on this list, and definitely one of the most expensive. For hardcore performers interested in maintaining their vocal health, a personal steamer is a highly useful tool. A personal steamer is handheld device that creates steam to soothe sore throats or blocked sinuses. It’s the sickness-soothing power of a refreshing, steamy shower, in a handy mobile package! For busy performers, it can be an absolute lifesaver.
If you’re looking for specific brand suggestions, here’s a guide from WeLoveSinging.
7. Show Tickets
Though a trip to Broadway or West End might be out of your grasp, tickets to Broadway tours and professional productions in regional or local theaters will never go unappreciated.
If you’re looking to spend a little less, tickets to any local production can also be easily dressed up as a date-night deal. Package tickets to a show and a pre-performance dinner on you, and you’ve got a lovely gift!
At a higher price point, you could also consider season passes to a regional theatre. Often these involve seeing several shows throughout the year, and first pick at seats for particularly popular productions. These make great gifts, and you can enjoy them with your loved one!
8. Autographs, Playbills, and Other Keepsakes
There is a wide market for Playbill buying and selling. Theatre fans are interested in getting their hands on souvenirs that might feature their favorite actors or shows. An autographed playbill from their favorite production or a non-signed playbill in a nice frame both make meaningful gifts. Records of golden age shows or CDs can make fun keepsakes as well, along with any sort of autograph from their favorite actors.
You could also go the extra mile and create personalized packages out of these types of keepsakes– for instance, a scrapbook filled with tickets from shows you’ve seen together or a collection of Broadway playbills for all the shows your loved has performed in. These are high-effort presents, but will mean a lot to the person receiving them.
9. Official Merch
The Playbill Store is your one-stop shop for all things Broadway merchandise. Theatre-Shop.com is also a popular source! Any show currently running or that has run on Broadway tends to run their own online stores connected to their official sites. For instance, here’s the Wicked store. Basically, if you search “[show name] on broadway”, find their site, and click “Shop”, you’re set.
Official merch tends to be pricy as a rule. If you’re looking to spend a little less and get something a little more personal, you can also try…
10. Unofficial Merch
Sites like Redbubble, Society6, and Teepublic are wellsprings for unlicensed merchandise of your favorite shows. Whereas official merch tends to be relatively generic, you can find beautifully designed and highly specific fan creations on these sites. For instance, does your loved one adore certain lines or quotes from certain shows? You might a product with exactly that quote from these sites. These sites also support small creators!
Incidentally, I run my own Redbubble and Teepublic stores, with a variety of works related to all kinds of shows and theatre life as a whole. If you’re looking for gifts on these sites, why not start in my shops?