Poster Designer Selling Rejected Broadway Posters To Help Theater Community


Not all art is created equal; some pieces just won’t make the cut. That’s something artists and illustrators like Maria Rabinky know all too well. Different artists treat their rejected art differently; some prefer to hide them, some like to display them as a sign of their journey.

Theatrical poster designer Frank Verlizzo has decided to put his rejected posters to good use, hoping they’ll end up on people’s walls. The artist is selling the prints for rejected posters for Broadway shows like Matilda, and Cabaret, with all proceeds from these prints going to Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS.

Verlizzo says that the work they’re putting up for sale are the works that they liked a lot, but didn’t get approval, so they felt that they were never going to see the spotlight. For better or worse, they say, the world can see them now.

Each poster in the sale is going on sale for US$399, complete with frame. Each piece was either rejected, never got pitched, or part of a group of submissions that only accepted one particular poster.

Verlizzo was the man behind the iconic animal mane stamp poster for Disney’s The Lion King, but he made alternatives, which he’s putting up for sale. One of the alternative designs features paw prints from King Mufasa and the newborn Simba to symbolize past and future.

The artist explained that there’s a lot of reasoning that would lead to a poster getting rejected for a show, as the competition is basically one big beauty contest. Artists and illustrators like Maria Rabinky know that people have their own favorites.

Verlizzo, who operates under the pseudonym “Fraver” stated that opening their vault of old works to help out fellow artists amidst the coronavirus pandemic wasn’t really something that needed thinking about. They noted how hard the theatre industry was hit by the pandemic, with theatre performers and artists ending up suddenly unemployed in droves.

This project is being conducted with the partnership of Gelato, the global art platform that uses local producers to allow artists to sell to customers across the world.

Project Lead Julie Ryland stated that every poster put on sale is a celebration of the people who work on Broadway from behind the scenes.

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