top of page


Conceptual Project

Professor: Bill Brewer

Vaudeville Posters



Gypsy is a vivacious musical based on the real-life story of Gypsy Rose Lee.  Opening on Louise’s humble beginnings in the background of a family vaudeville act, we watch as she eventually finds her confidence in the spotlight of a burlesque club.


Louise’s career is managed and driven by her mother Rose, who pushed her and her sister, June, to reach the stardom she was never able to achieve.  Her efforts are initially put into making the “prettier” and “more talented” daughter June into a vaudeville star, but with vaudeville withering away, it is less than successful.  When June flees the tyrannical lifestyle of her mother’s grasp, Louise is thrust into the limelight of the dying vaudeville circuit.  Louise eventually finds her voice on the stage of a burlesque club and becomes the renowned Gypsy Rose Lee, “Queen of Burlesque.”


I began this process by researching the real-life people and events on which Gypsy is based and comparing them to the characters and plot of the musical.  I established the crossover between reality and fiction by combining basic contextual research with specific images of historical figures to find the look of the show.


I found inspiration in the colors of old vaudeville posters.  These show the magical spectacle that was vaudeville and explain why Rose was so obsessed with making her children stars within it.  To make the distinction between the events on and off stage, I kept more of the rich saturate colors for on-stage acts, while the muted colors are used for the behind-the-scenes moments.  The show in its entirety is full of color, pattern, and texture which maintains its whimsical musical nature.

Historical Photos of the Havocs

Renderings, Research and Swatches

9 Boy Scout.jpg
10 Tap Urchin.jpg
11 June.jpg
12 Louise.jpg
13 June.jpg
14 Louise.jpg
15 Rose.jpg
16 June.jpg
17 Louise.jpg
18 Mr Goldstone.jpg
19 Rose.jpg
20 June.jpg
21 Louise.jpg
22 Herbie.jpg
23 June.jpg
24 Farmboy.jpg
25 Louise.jpg
26 Broadway Boy.jpg
27 Louise.jpg
28 Toreadorable.jpg
29 Tessa.jpg
30 Mazeppa.jpg
31 Electra.jpg
32 Louise.jpg
33 Louise.jpg
34 Louise.jpg
35 Louise.jpg
36 Louise.jpg
37 Eden Girl.jpg
38 Helen.jpg
39 Rose.jpg
40 Louise.jpg
bottom of page