This is the New York Times that I reconstructed for my recent show “Life with Father” which is set in 1880’s New York. (Yes it’s upside down) Back then, they did not have color pictures or full page advertisements for cell phones. So I saved the pages that were mostly text or only had small black and white pictures and cut out blocks of text from the rejected pages. I used a glue stick to cover the pictures on the front page with those blocks of text.
It reads very well, meaning it looks real and authentic if you were sitting in the audience. But up close, you can see the discoloration from the adhesive. A glue stick is the best thing to use because it isn’t runny and won’t cause the pages to buckle.
Conveniently, the header for the New York Times has not changed much, if at all, since the 1880’s. If you need a different newspaper, that could be trickier. You may have to design one from scratch, which you can do in Photoshop or Adobe InDesign, but keep in mind, places like Staples or Kinkos usually do not print on large sheets of newsprint. You may have to go to a specialty print shop.
But if you are able to reconstruct a real newspaper, only use it for the performances. The paper is thin and wears out pretty quickly. And keep your glue stick on hand for any touch ups.
The Awesome Stage Manager