I normally build those from the ground up in MS Publisher. I just get a standard Center-Fold template up (or open the theater program template and delete everything). I usually have a center-fold insert as well, so I make two files - one for the outer page, and one for the inner page. Lots of experience with publisher really helps. I've been working with publisher for almost eight years now, and it's a great program.
A good program can take a lot of work and tedious formatting. What we always do is find a parent that can dedicate the time to it and has a good knowledge of software like Microsoft Publisher and have them do it. We have never had a problem finding a parent willing to do it.
Ah a Program template! Sorry I here program I go everywhere but front of house Never seen one specifically for Theatre programs. Shouldn't be too hard to produce though. I'll be happy to do it for $1250.00
We use Adobe Illustrator for program layout, as that seems to be the format most publishers want it in now days. Personally I'm a fan of MS publisher, and Corel. Now days most everything can be save in most anythings format. One word of caution. If you do decide to use an MS publisher or Corel format for your original layout be sure to double check your finals if you convert them to AI or any other , originally Mac based program. I've been bitten in the ass more than once by converting between formats and had graphics come back just wrong. Beleive me that's not a good thing when producing graphics for a Nike sales meeting.
I'M IN THE PROCESS OF DOING THE SAME THING FOR A THEATRE EDUCATION CLASS,,,ooops caps button was on.. Microsoft 2007 Publisher is working for me. Find some pics or other art for your front page..I'm doing A Few Good Men so Marines and American Flag are easy to insert..Plus using a Stencil style font for the verbage...So far ,,so good. I'm no PC Geek either.You're looking at a closer to 60 then 50 years young who after 20 years out of the business is going back in as an educator..I must be nuts!!
Necropost warning. This thread has been inactive since 2006.
Also, for the record, MS Publisher is the worst pagelayout software ever to grace the earth (aside from the fact that it was made by Microsoft). For the sake of all things theatre don't use it! You will be much happier and actually compatible with other software if you use something like Adobe InDesign or Quark XPress.