Mural Project Updates

The Mural Project Story

OCTOBER 3, 2017:
Our New Face!

Gorgeous in the daylight — but wait ’til you see it at night, with the brilliant blue LED sign and the new billboard lights that spill onto the surrounding brick art work and the sidewalk.

When artist John Pugh returns in spring to install the second mural, he’ll complete the front wall with schematic drawings on the beautiful blue background — to echo the original blueprint design.


SEPTEMBER 1, 2017:

The base coat on the south wall is almost complete – you can see the main mural’s globe surrounded by brick. At the same time, the base coat of brick on the front wall is almost done. When these base coats are finished, layer after layer of glaze is applied to create a realistic 3D look.

And – fingers crossed – the new LED replica of our old neon sign should be in place in time for the opening of our season next week!




AUGUST 4, 2017:

Our iconic sign is no more. Its connections were cut and its pieces were taken away for special disposal. In the video below, you can watch the last letter being removed. For the first time since 1985, the front of our building will be dark.

Next week, a crew begins prepping the front wall for painting, mural work and, last but not least, a new sign – an LED replica of our great old neon sign!


JULY 28, 2017:

The basic globe of the main mural is up (though it’s hard to see behind all the scaffolding and netting). Artist Pugh and assistants now begin applying layers of paint and glaze to achieve the full 3D effect of a glass globe breaking through our wall (pictured are Pugh and assistant Shanna in the rehearsal room trimming a section of the mural; and an overhead shot of his assistants applying a section directly to the wall).


JULY 20, 2017:

Pugh and his assistants have put up the first section of the mural (below). When you’re leaving after performances of Red Herring Friday or Saturday, you may see them up on the scaffolding — they work overnight (when cooler temperatures are better for their materials…)


JULY 18, 2017:

Artists Needed – NOW!
Because of last-minute schedule changes, renowned 3D mural artist JOHN PUGH is in need of artists to assist with the installation and painting on the huge outdoor mural at Theatre in the Round.

“I’m reaching out to any artists that might be interested in assisting with a mural that I am painting right now. This will be a great experience for an artist already leaning toward trompe l’oeil / realistic painting…and hopefully for future opportunities to work together!”  – J.P.


  • Times: 6:00 PM to 4:00 AM (that’s right!)
  • Schedule: 3-4 nights per week for a minimum of 2 weeks
  • This is a volunteer position (past assistants have used this experience towards internship credits)
  • Perks: free parking, and a season ticket to Theatre in the Round
  • Some experience required
  • Other: minimum age of 18; must be able to work on scaffolding
  • Out-of-town artists welcome – room & board an option

The need is immediate, as the installation is already in progress. Please email John Pugh at:


JULY 11, 2017: He’s here — and at work!

John Pugh and his assistants, Terri and Elise, pulled into town Sunday night. and they’re already on the scaffolding making their plans…






JUNE 23, 2017:

Look closely along the bottom of the photo below to see the bricks of the old Nostalgia restaurant for the last time. This week they’re disappearing under the first skim coat.  Next week, the second and final layer of skim will make the entire wall smooth and ready for its mural – and, around the Fourth of July, for the arrival of artist John Pugh.


JUNE 13, 2017: The stage is set!

Workers put up scaffolding yesterday to start preparing the south wall for the main mural. Sandblasting begins tomorrow.

[UPDATE TRIVIA: TRP has never had to deal with the south exterior before because – until 1999 – we didn’t have a south exterior. A restaurant was nestled there (from The Scholar in the ‘60s to Omar’s Oasis to Nostalgia) until it went up in a three-alarm fire just before the millenium.]


MAY 29, 2017:

On Monday, June 12, contractors begin work to prepare the south wall for its mural. They’ll put up scaffolding and sand-blast the wall before “skim-coating”, to give the entire surface a smooth finish. Weather willing, their work should take about two weeks. Then, around the end of June/beginning of July, artist John Pugh should arrive from California to begin installing the main mural.


Keep watching for more updates and photos on the TRP mural project!