Andrew Theatre

For the Victor J. Andrew H.S. Theatre Department
January 2016

This project has been a long time coming! Andrew Theatre is the public face of Victor J. Andrew High School’s theatre program. There are a lot of really amazing things that happen there (in my opinion), and while I was still a student at Andrew I had wanted to update their old website for them. That was my very first foray into HTML and CSS, and years later, with more experience under my belt, I finally completed that very “first” project that got me started in web coding and design!

The design for the logo stemmed from the first few attempts to create the Andrew Theatre website. Back then, I had stylized the site as “the performing arts center @ VJA,” with a distinctive icon depicting a curtain opening up and a light revealing a stage. It was a placeholder narrowed down from an exploration of different logos. While a lot of the old HTML/CSS designs were scrapped, this little bit of design stayed. I still felt, as I had years ago, that I wanted this website to be modern, bright, and optimistic. I loved doing theatre, and I wanted to convey that appeal and delight visually. The lights-and-curtain motif was just too magical to ignore, so I soon adopted it and reworked it a little to show some of Andrew High School’s identity—the school’s team is the Thunderbolts—and the result turned out to be ideal for heading the site.

I wanted the design for the site to be flexible and, most importantly, able to be captained by anyone, even people with not a lot of background in HTML/CSS. I considered multiple ways of accomplishing this (A CMS like Drupal or Wordpress?) when I finally decided on PHP for the level of control. What I did was consolidate the “dynamic” content into one PHP file, so that future webmasters could simply enter in the new season’s information or change out the month’s Drama Club announcements. It was simpler than wading through HTML tags and less intrusive than having all the bells and whistles of a CMS to deal with. It was perfect for a site where there would be lots of new people taking the helm of the site, people potentially interested in code.