Playbill, the iconic booklet every theater aficionado receives attending any play, is synonymous with theater, music and arts. As the leader in Broadway theater promotion, Playbill has expanded its reach to over 4 million subscribers. Today, Playbill’s booklets are treasured as keepsakes and collector’s items.

Playbill EDU
The Challenge

Every year, millions of high school students applying to college rely on traditional, thick college prep guides like Princeton Review or Barron’s. Playbill was looking to break into the education space, specifically for students who were interested in Music, Dance and Theater – Playbill’s forte. The company wanted to create a network for students to be better connected to during their application process.

The Analysis

Playbill had already built a massive database that catalogues hundreds of bits of quantifiable information about thousands of colleges. Icreon analyzed the database in order to build a system that would give students, parents and college counselors the tools to compare colleges based on their desires. The system is a rich, interactive web application that we collectively titled, PlaybillEDU.

Playbill Web Development
Playbill Website Development
Students can interactively compare sets of schools using the massive amount of collected information to see how they stack up against each other.
Icreon migrated Playbill’s massive database of college information into SQL. The front end of the web application uses the latest in HTML5 technologies relying on features like Canvas, SVG, and web workers. The application itself is written in PHP, and utilizes technologies like Memchached to increase performance, especially during period of high traffic.
  • MySQL
  • PHP
  • HTML5
Key Features

    An enterprise-scale CMS that enables Playbill to rapidly change university information and immediately reflect on the frontend.


    Students, Parents, and teachers have multiple ways to compare large datasets in beautiful and engaging charts and graphics.


    As students and parents are increasingly using mobile devices to access the web, the website is viewable from all browsers and devices.


    Each university automatically gets its own microsite when admins add new colleges into the system

Playbill Subscribers
Data points available to capture for a single school
Universities in the system so far
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    New York

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