Something Rotten!

Theatre Poster Project


The poster should represent the essence of the musical, intrigue and attract the audience, all in a single design. The combination of type and image should present a unique interpretation of the underlying theme and narrative of the musical. The intended audience for this poster are potential visitors to the performance.

Identify a theme that is prominent in the play. Avoid the use of obvious or cliche concepts found in the musical. Create imagery that support the theme chosen. Integrate the type and imagery into a cohesive narrative.

Musical Summary

Something Rotten, set in the 1590s, brothers Nick and Nigel Bottom are desperate to write a hit play but are stuck in the shadow of Shakespeare, Renaissance rock star known as “The Bard.” When a local soothsayer foretells that the future of theatre involves singing, dancing and acting at the same time, Nick and Nigel set out to write the world’s very first musical. But amidst the scandalous excitement of opening night, the Bottom Brothers realize that reaching the top over the famous Shakespeare means being true to thine own self.
— Music Theatre International

Initial Sketch Ideas

Draft Evolutions/Variations


The theme that is portrayed is “competing for fame.” Nick is trying to get ahead of Shakespeare in his musical/play writing. This is expressed through the use of the feather pen, as well as Nick trying to beat Shakespeare to the top in fame of musical/play writing, symbolically shown through the race to the top of the windy hill.


I believe my poster design represents the essence of the musical Something Rotten. A unique and unexpected interpretation of the theme of the musical is portrayed. This is done through a metaphor using the struggle of Nick trying to beat Shakespeare to the top in fame.