The Muny

Ushering a 100-year St. Louis tradition into its second century

Project Type: Multi-Media Design & Video Production

Designer: Neil Shastri

Tools: Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop, After Effects, and Premiere Pro

From a humble stage in 1919, The Muny has evolved into St. Louis’ premier theatre company. As America's oldest and largest outdoor musical theatre, and beyond its annual summer of shows, The Muny is inspiring the next generation of creatives, especially in the musical theatre space. The Muny provides hands-on education and training needed to help bright, young minds embrace their creative talents. They were my first full-time creative employer right out of college, and I was also raised performing on stage in front of an audience of 11,000 for nearly a decade. The Muny is an institution that champions the arts and has made me the creative I am today. For this, I will always have tremendous love for this wonderful tradition.


01/05 Building new traditions

In 2016, for The Muny's 98th season, our in-house marketing department determined that we were not maximizing our potential of connecting with our audience through merchandise. We were not leaning fully into the fact that we have had loyal patrons for almost 100 years. The St. Louis Blues have been around for half that time, yet fans still celebrate their favorite players in Blues jerseys amidst the scorching STL summer heat. It was time we gave patrons a way to celebrate The Muny year-round, no matter the place.

To accomplish this, we introduced custom t-shirt designs that summer. Each t-shirt design bears a famous quote (or reference) to a musical from that summer - giving theatre lovers a way to "rep" their favorite Muny productions. In the first summer that we introduced these custom show shirts, we were able to generate a 40% increase in merchandise revenue, while establishing a new tradition for The Muny.




02/05 Expanding digital presence

While working at The Muny, our marketing team expanded its social media presence past a website and a simple Facebook page. We brought The Muny onto platforms like YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Snapchat. As part of these efforts, our team needed to modernize The Muny's digital presence for social media - creating custom graphics, animations, and branded video content that would efficiently connect with its 21st-century audience in an engaging manner.

This allowed our team to have fun with The Muny brand and get creative- for example, like with this captivating video intro & outro animation. This was just one of the many ways our team expanded the digital content for The Muny.

03/05 Using creativity to onboard

The role of The Muny usher is one of the most important roles at this century old-institution. They are often the first face Muny patrons see, and the ones who ensure audience members have the best experience possible. It is also very common for Muny ushers to advance to full-time positions within The Muny staff. This role can be rite of passage, in fact I myself was a Muny usher. Even The Muny's CEO (and my mentor), Kwofe Coleman, started out as an usher at The Muny. Clearly, this is a role that can have a large impact on someone's career.

In 2017, the Muny house manager approached our marketing department with the idea to create a series of animated training videos for The Muny Ushers. Many employees in this role are in high school, and for them, this is their first job. Creating these training videos was a way to get them excited for their new role and also let them know that we took the extra time to make this new experience special.

Responsible for executing the creation of illustrations, animations, and video/audio editing.

Voiceover: Joy Boland

04/05 Public Service Announcement

An unfortunate issue in musical theatre can be a terrible audience member. With audiences of 11,000, there can tend to be a handful of patrons that lack proper theatre etiquette. This could be anything from talking loudly on your phone during a quiet scene to leaving during the curtain call so you can beat the traffic after the show.

In 2015, The Muny House Manager asked our marketing team to help address this issue with some type of PSA. We partnered with talented and energetic Muny Kid, Spencer D. Jones, to create this adorable video that reached over 24,000 views on The Muny's YouTube channel.

Responsible for directing, filming, producing, and editing.

Featured Actor: Spencer D. Jones

Chalk Art: Sofia Perez


05/05 Keeping the creativity in-house

For years, The Muny had outsourced the creation of its musical production show artwork. In 2013, Kwofe Coleman established The Muny's first digital marketing department and by 2014 had grown a team consisting of marketing & public relations professionals, photographers, copywriters, developers, and designers. By 2016, we determined that with a full-time team of designers, it was time that we brought the task of creating the show artwork in-house.

In doing so, our team was responsible for researching each musical, learning its history and evolution, and exploring the world in which each show takes place. This allowed us to fully understand the body of work that would inspire the fully original, one-of-a-kind custom show artwork that we produced.

Having the ability to produce these graphics in-house gave us more control over utilizing the show artwork in marketing materials like eblasts, print & digital advertisements, and even show animations.

Responsible for all show artwork featured on this page.

Tools: Adobe Illustrator & Photoshop


99th Season


99th Season


99th Season


100th Season



Atlanta, GA

Collaboration. Storytelling. Love.

© Neil Shastri 2023
Art Director & Senior Designer