A great backdrop makes a difference during a stage production, but it certainly isn’t necessary for a bit of magic to happen. Still, we like art, so we wanted to use some interesting backdrops on ReadAloudPlays.com. Unless otherwise noted, all our background images are in the Public Domain in the United States and the source for all text is Wikipedia. Those we’ve used on our site appear here just for the heck of it. Enjoy!
Beacon, Off Mount Desert Island
Oil on canvas by Frederic Edwin Church, 1851. Church was an American landscape painter born in Hartford, Connecticut. He was a central figure in the Hudson River School of American landscape painters.
Les Gorges du Saillon
Oil on canvas by Gustave Courbet, 1875. According to Wikipedia, Courbet was a French painter who led the Realist movement in 19th-century French painting (though I wouldn’t consider this particular work to be an example of realism). He occupies an important place in 19th century French painting as an innovator and as an artist willing to make bold social commentary in his work.
The Pig-faced Lady
George Cruikshank was an English caricaturist in the 1800s. His book illustrations for such authors as Charles Dickens earned him an international audience. His storybook-like caricatures of the pig-faced lady are among his best known works. According to Wikipedia, stories of pig-faced women originated roughly simultaneously in Holland, England and France in the late 1630s. The stories told of a wealthy woman whose body was of normal human appearance, but who had the face of a pig. Sounds like an idea for a new play.
Leesplankje van Hoogeveen
From what I can discern, a Leesplankje van Hoogeveen is the predecessor of such things as the See and Say I grew up with. A wooden plank with fifteen illustrations, the plank was used to build phonemic awareness. The originals were designed by Dutch educator M.B. Hoogeveen in the late 1800’s.
Journey of the Magi