Dramabiz: The Eco-Friendly Theatre of the Future

May 12, 2009

This is in the April 2009 issue of Dramabiz….

The Eco-Friendly
Theatre of the Future

“Greening” operations can reduce your carbon footprint while still delivering stellar productions—and help keep your audience and staff healthy

According to the U.S. Green Building Council, buildings are responsible for 72% of electricity consumption, consume 40% of our raw materials, spew 38% of all CO2 emissions, create 136 million tons of construction waste, and use 15 trillion gallons of water per year in the United States alone.

Green buildings, on the other hand, consume 26% less energy while emitting 33% fewer greenhouse gases. The USGBC also estimates that if “half of new commercial buildings were built to use 50% less energy, it would save over 6 million metric tons of CO2 annually for the life of the buildings—the equivalent of taking more than 1 million cars off the road every year.”

Now take a deep breath – because those are significant numbers that should give us pause. But it does not mean we should all go out and start looking for a green architect and a wealthy donor. Not yet, anyway. Rebuilding from the ground up is not the first step. Efficiency and green building experts agree that the first and most important thing you can do is improve conservation and efficiency within your current operation and facility.

What Makes It Green?

“An ecologically responsible theatre is one that does more with less,” explains Michael Crowley, Producing Manager of 9Thirty Theatre Company in New York City, one of the only companies in the country to be founded on the principle of green theatre practices.

While Crowley’s idea of a green, eco-responsible theatre company is direct, what makes a theatre green remains a complex question. “We’re still working on defining it,” says Seema Sueko, Artistic Director of the eco-friendly Mo’olelo Performing Arts Company in San Diego. Mo’olelo received a grant from Theatre Communications Group (TCG) this year to pursue their green mission and to “research and develop a tool to measure the environmental impact of theatre, helping the industry to make choices that do not damage our communities.” They are partnering with Brown & Wilmanns Environmental Consulting on the project to develop a “Green Theatre Choices Tool kit.” “Hopefully,” Sueko says, “this will help us answer that question.”

read the rest here: http://www.dramabiz.com/pulse.htm


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