10 Ways to green your show or theater. Come up with an 11th and win $100.

It ain’t easy bein’ green, as Kermit would sing.

It takes extra effort and sometimes some extra bucks.  It’s just like joining a gym!  But it’s time we all got together to make sure our planet has some rock-hard abs.

And that’s why I set out to write this post giving you 10 ways to green your show or theater, until I realized . . . the Broadway Green Alliance had already written it!

What?  Don’t know what the BGA is?  From their website:

The BGA (formerly Broadway Goes Green) was launched in 2008 as an ad hoc committee of The Broadway League. The BGA brings together all segments of the theatre community, including producers, theatres in New York and around the country, theatrical unions and their members, and related businesses. Working closely with the Natural Resources Defense Council, the BGA identifies and disseminates better practices for theatre professionals and reaches out to theatre fans throughout the country.

On their site, they list several ways that your designers, shops, office mates, etc. can green the work that we do.

Some suggestions:

  • Shop from local vendors instead of having items shipped across the country.
  • Design with LED lights (or other energy efficient instruments) whenever possible.
  • Reuse set and costume pieces from previous productions

For more ideas, visit their site here.

But wait . . . you don’t get off that easy.  Why don’t we use this forum to come up with some more super specific ideas to green your shows, theater or workplace.  Comment below on something you do or can do to get on the green train.

Extra credit if your idea saves money and saves the environment.

Ok, I’ll kick it off.

Everyone recycles paper, right?  Right?  But before you put it in the bin, make sure you’ve used the second side of the page.  Use it as scrap paper, fax machine paper, or I have a second “draft printer” that I fill with only half-used paper.  We don’t go through life drinking half a cup of coffee or living in half a house, right?  Why use only half the paper?

Alright, your turn.  And come up with something better than mine, will ya?  In fact, lets up the stakes.

The environment is priceless, but let’s put a prize on it anyway.

$100 (or 100 “green” backs) goes to the best idea commented below. My staff will be the judge.

We close the polls on Sunday at 11:59 PM EST, and I’ll announce the winner on Monday morning’s blog.  Comment away!  (Email subscribers, click here to get to the blog and register your potential winning comment.)

  • KB says:

    Don’t provide bottled water for the cast and crew, it’s just bad for the environment and a waste of money. Instead, give everyone an eco-friendly aluminum water bottle so they can refill it over and over again. Better yet, add the logo and website of your show to the aluminum bottle and make sure the bottle has a a carabiner clip on it. The cast/crew can clip it to their bags and backpacks. It becomes passive advertising on the subway, the streets, and all throughout the city. Marketing and environmentalism all in one aluminum bottle.

  • mk says:

    How about a go-green incentives/reward program for theater audiences; maybe something like a loyalty card that gets stamped or punched every time you do something green that is theater related, or an on-line account where you rack up green-points: sign up for e-mail newsletter/advertising; take mass transit to the show; return one Playbill at the end of show; print out e-tickets on the second side of a sheet of paper; buy a green product at the concession stand; attend some kind of promotional event with a green theme. After so many stamps or punches or points, you get some kind of reward.

  • Mae says:

    Why not cut back paper altogether! We could use less paper by converting most handouts like schedules and such to an online source. That way we would not even have to start to use paper at all.

  • DG says:

    Press agents should send all photos, scripts, and of course press releases via email only. I can not imagine a journalist that does not have email and would need materials by snail mail. And in addition to the benefit for the earth, think about the savings in costs for the production.

  • Uke Jackson says:

    Kindle scripts and, especially, side for auditions.

  • Use a scrim and projector to project your set onto the stage rather than building a set and generating the resultant waste both during construction and when the show closes. Theaters should provide the material to do this automatically (the scrim and high quality projectors) as part of their space rental, with individual shows just providing the desired set images on CD.

  • R.J. Lowe says:

    Have recycle receptacles in the lobby for people to put their plastic intermission beverage cups, ticket stubs, un-reusable programs, and any other recyclable materials in.

  • Constance says:

    WE had to trow away 3 sets of 3 productions we were not going to tour. I called young set designers and a School of theatre. They showed up and took almost everything. So nothing went to the container planned for waste. Also, I suggested less on stage, less of a set, accessories, etc, for certain productions that could handle this look.
    We gave away all costumes to thrift shops and Halloween stores.
    Computers are closed every night at work.
    I learned to wash dishes differently; let them sit in soapy water and then, scrub and rinse, instead of having the water run while washing for minutes.
    And walk everywhere, or mass transit. No car
    No lights opened in empty rooms
    Less take outs ( so no containers being wasted)
    At the end, recycling is good, but less is better. Less consuming is the best, so everytime I trow away something, I think, would I want this piled up in my apt, because it has to be processed or buried, it just does not disapear, so the key is to think about every object or food container we buy, and be conscious of its future outcome.

  • Chris Leavy says:

    One local theater encourages patrons to view the show program on their website. They also have a computer station in the lobby with the program copy available for browsing. (I’m old fashioned – I still like to hold a paper ticket and take home my playbill, but hey – not everyone does, and this gives people access to the show credits both at the theater and later, at home.)

  • Joe K says:

    Recycle the paper Playbills that are left over or behind and any paper goods that are used in the theater.. Also plastic cups from the bar can be recycled. Ban water bottles fomr the theater and use water coolers or just filter the tap water. I don’t think you can do soday cans do a insect issue. People in NYC are used to recycling so this would be a simple start.

  • RS says:

    The Producers should try to get Equity to come up with a way to stop requiring stuffers, without having to announce the changes in cast – there are already too many announcements before a show. Either allow us to just post the changes at the entrance or even allow for postings near each entrance to the aisles – the amount of paper we waste in stuffing is beyond imagination. Also if we still have to continue to stuff Playbills – shows really need to do one page all encompassing stuffers.even if this means that the stage managers end up producing the stuffer on the day.

  • Andrew says:

    Theater marquees, signage, actor boards, ticket price boards, etc. should switch over from printed posters to computer screens. This would eliminate having to print new promotional posters, ticket price signs, etc. every time something changes. Here’s some specific examples below:
    – When a theater changes shows
    – When ticket prices change
    – When an understudy goes on
    – Advertisements
    – Screens can be LED which is energy-efficient.
    – Eliminates use of ink when printing.
    – Eliminates use of paper.
    – Eliminates use of plastic.
    – Reduces trash.
    – Removing labor costs (and the time it takes) to changeover these signage boards.
    – Eliminates cost of printing.
    – Allows for animated displays which is more of an attention-draw.
    -Eliminates need to block off street parking to replace marquee signage.
    – Allows theater to insert advertisements whenever they are in-between shows.

  • Malini says:

    For the last couple of productions we’ve produced, I’ve printed all the scripts on double-sided. Not only our the scripts lighter but also lighter for me to carry. I’ve also designed programs as they relate to the show. For eg, we did a 1 sheet program for our very short run of Much Ado About Nothing, posting bios and pics on our site. We’ll do a longer one for our next show which has a longer run.
    Wasting paper kills me.

  • Allison says:

    Make sure you also offer to sell the eco-friendly aluminum water bottles with the show’s logo in the lobby during the run!

  • Jason says:

    Encourage designers working on a show to incorporate recycled goods into their work and/or be more energy efficient. Costume designers can borrow bits and pieces from other costumes in their work and can even get creative with using things like cans, bottles and thrown away paper to create masks, accessories and other costume pieces. The same can be said of an inventive set designer and so on.
    Then it’s up to the Tony Committee to create a “Best Eco-friendly designer” award to motivate these individuals to use recyclable goods or cut energy/costs back (minimalist style) as much as possible. Criteria for judging can include amount of compostible materials were used versus brand new and how much money was saved (even lighting/sound designers are eligible by using less lighting and special effects to cut back on energy usage and electric costs, etc.)

  • Pamela V says:

    How about setting up a ‘Craigslist for Theaters’ which would allow theaters to more easily share surplus building materials, equipment, props, costumes, even office machines and supplies with other theatres? This would not only allow for items to be re-used (which beats recycling) but would also encourage the production of more live theatre by making it a more affordable enterprise.
    The production of more live theatre would mean the creation of more fans of live theatre. We human beings may be born with a sense of play, but we aren’t born with the instinct to go see a play. We must be given the chance to attend live theatre before we can fall in love with it. (I am from a very small town and was in my teens before I got the opportunity to see any live theatre other than my grade school pageants. But then I saw Romeo and Juliet… I liked it so much that not only did I work hard at getting the chance to see more live theatre– working with actors eventually became my career.)

  • Scott says:

    How about a fun contest where we challenge theatres and schools all over America, including broadway and tours to all do a night where everyone gives up their pay and all money taken in for that night goes towards something that benefits everyone in our efforts to help with the green projects. Every theatre could not print programs that night, and after the shows during curtain calls, cast members, crews, directors, and house managers could share and encourage audiences to go green.

  • MacKenzie says:

    I like this post, Ken. Thanks!
    Here’s mine. It’s a little step, but I think its overall impact would green-up the Broadway community quite a bit. You know those little envelopes that they put your tickets in at the box office? I think they should be gone for good. Or at least optional. Whenever I buy my tickets at the B.O., I hand my envelope back to the person, and they’re always quite surprised. I know that those envelopes are great for keeping track of will-call tickets, but if I’m buying my tickets at the box office, chances are, I’m seeing the show that day, and I, for one, have no need for an envelope. Maybe instead of automatically putting tickets in an envelope as they hand you them through the window, they could ask, “Would you like and envelope?” I think, though I may be wrong, that quite a few envelopes (aka trees) could be saved with one easy act.

  • Good one! I used to do the same thing with payroll envelopes when I was a Company Manager. I’d deliver checks without the envelopes unless an envelope was requested. 100 envelopes a week that are used for about 30 seconds is quite a waste.

  • Starr says:

    What about offering a Smart Playbill App that would send all the information to a smartphone. And that way we wouldn’t need paper playbills.
    Make viral website marketing that will entertain and inform. Websites are green.
    Have a set list of platforms and flats that can be reused and retooled for many different productions.
    Recycle bins at the back of the theatre as well as trash bins.

  • Ann Sachs says:

    At the concession stands before/after the show and during intermission:
    Offer a discount on a drink to anyone who brings their own aluminum drinking container. And offer a discount combo for buying the drink and the theatre’s aluminum container together.

  • Ann Sachs says:

    For more substantial tips, see our Sachs Morgan Studio Newsletter from February 2009: http://bit.ly/6txBiH
    Scroll down to my column THE VIEW FROM HERE: “It’s Not Easy Being Green”

  • 1) With shows that don’t demand a lot of special makeup effects, take out half the bulbs around the mirrors in the dressing rooms — saves double by not using the electricity for the bulbs, keeps the rooms (& actors) cooler, air conditioning runs less!
    2) Provide electronic scripts for actors – they can use it with I Pads, Kindles, etc and always have it at their finger tips with book marks for their sections, etc.

  • Mark Graham says:

    Your ticket stub has a number that allows you to access the playbill site for your show with exclusive whatevers…creating once and future playbill for each show only accessed by ticket holders…
    And recycling bins at back of theater for the return of playbills…each playbill returned is counted and results in a contribution to Broadway Cares..sponsored by local restaurants,businesses or the theater owners etc…

  • Kristi R-C says:

    Playbills are a source of revenue for many theatres and a big selling point for businesses buying ad space is the fact they are kept as souvenirs, so I doubt they’ll go paperless anytime soon. Using the supertitle screen to announce cast changes is a great idea. Run the crawl as soon as the house opens.
    There is already an online “Craigslist” for people who want to recycle sets. Most theatre companies rent, sell or donate costumes.
    Many regional theatres are cutting costs by “co-producing” shows where the set and costumes are used by two companies.
    Some shows have already started to use rechargable batteries in the mic packs instead of traditonal ones: 2 AA batteries per mic pack per person per show adds up fast!
    But the biggest “green” opportunity for theatres is in lighting. All LED lights in the house and onstage will save thousands of dollars in energy costs monthly and substantially reduce the carbon footprint. They also generate almost no heat which saves on HVAC costs. LED stage lights produce far better quality of light now than they used to and my “spies” in the industry tell me there’s another amazing generation of products waiting to be unveiled in the next year. Therefore, I think within the next year, we’ll have a Broadway show that’s totally LED. An additional savings is that you don’t need to “gel” each light with a material that does not degrade in the landfull. LEDS rarely need to be replaced, so there’s less waste headed to the landfull and that also saves manpower. Once the initial cost of the instruments is recouped, this will provide a HUGE cost savings. Think of it this way… the traditional Source-four lamp uses 575 watts of power – similar to 10 of the 60 watt bulbs you would have in a house. Typical musical has a couple hundred Source-fours – that’s a lot of power being consumed, a lot of gel being used, a lot of expensive bulbs to replace every couple of months and a lot of heat being generated!
    The good news for producers on and off Broadway is that light packages for shows are rented, so they can take advantage of the LED power and manpower savings immediately!

  • Randy says:

    Whether you purchase a ticket via phone, email, or print at home option, (do we still buy at the box office??) the bottom line is that your ticket is now reduced to the UPC bar-code. Theater’s then use this bar-code at entry point to confirm entry, provide all sorts of data reporting, detect duplicated orders, etc.
    With the huge shift to online ticket sales, many of us are printing tickets at home. For those not printing at home, we’re receiving hard tickets, in an envelope, usually with other papered items, through the mail. Regardless which avenue used to receive the tickets, the bar-code is the actual ticket when it comes to entry. (stick with me here, I’m getting to it)
    Additionally, email confirmations are the norm – and they can and/or do include the all important distinct bar-code that refers to your sale, and your sale only.
    The idea: As the theater and patrons and reliant on the bar-code to enter the theater, we should eliminate tickets all together, and offer bar-coding entry through smart-phone technology. Displaying your bar-code on your smart phone at point-of-theater entry would completely eliminate waste on many levels:
    For the print at home user: cutting out paper usage, cutting down on ink (and ink cartridge waste), etc.
    For the mail-order patron – envelopes, tickets, papered inserts, postal fees would all be a thing of the past.
    Best of all – nothing needs to be created, changed, dumped, etc. This is already available to go. It just needs to be an option and promoted.
    Worldwide, smart-phone usage is on the rise – just last year, the worldwide smart-phone market grew by 50% (msnbc.com – 8/6/2010) – as a side note, I was surprised to learn the iPhone is not the number one smart phone used – Nokia holds that title.
    We’ve got the world in our pocket – let’s not fill it with paper!

  • Michael DiGaetano says:

    Having done Fringe the past two years, I did not see a bigger waste than postcards. If each Fringe show bought 2000 times 200 shows equals 40, 000 postcards. Now multiply that by every off broadway show or cabaret each yer and we are talking aobut millions of postcards. And we all know most of those get thown away. My Fringe shows happened to have their last performance on the final day of the festival and there were lobby tables with thousands of postcards tht would be tossed. Of course we need the publicity for our shows, so how about using only business card sized handouts? You can get the pertinent info on them, they are easier to hand out and put in wallets and the green part is a business card is less than one third the size of a postcard. PS If I win, yoou can pay me in quarters to save the paper money.

  • Danielle says:

    A great way to recycle sets and provide more resources for smaller theatre companies would be to organize some sort of recycling program for discarded scenery. I once designed a full production with $7 (and this was last year, not ages ago) using recycled and found costumes and props and built the set by reconstructing lumber from that we snagged from the strike of a local university production of “Romeo and Juliet.” If there was a reciprocal set recycling program in our area (Los Angeles) then we wouldn’t have had to wait so long to build. :]
    Another (more immediate) green idea would be to reduce Playbill printing by half (or more) and begin distributing one Playbill per party rather than per person. A recycling bin (like others have mentioned) could be placed at the back of the theatre for those who do not wish to take the Playbill home may leave them. Those who wish to pick up a Playbill as a souvenir (because someone else in their group it taking the communal one home) may do so by simply picking up a copy at the recycling bin as they exit the theatre. Those recycled Playbills can be distributed at other performances that month since Playbills don’t change from day to day.
    I recently attended a production of “Othello” presented by Commonwealth Shakespeare where my group of four was given one program for the evening. The system worked wonderfully.

  • Elaina Remin says:

    Rock of Ages serves drinks throughout the entire show. Well, what if at 10 minutes before curtain call the ushers come around with plastic bags and collect all of the empty bottles/cans and then put them in recycling. This way, they can assure that all of those cans/bottles have been recycled instead of going in the garbage where many people dispose of them.
    Furthermore, what if more shows started serving drinks and then collecting all of the empty bottles/cans. This will not only allow for a huge increase in recycling, but also in revenue!!
    Perhaps this will encourage people to begin recycling in their own homes..

  • Ian Garrett says:

    I”m taking myself out of the run, since this is my job. But I did want to respond to some of the ideas. And I will say that a “playbill” app and cooperative scenic recycling are both in the works in many forms right now. If you’re in the New York area and interested in Scenic reuse, you should talk to Showman Fabricators, which runs a tak back program for any of it’s projects.
    Some things to put out there though:
    Electronic Signage, or any digital conversion ALSO has a carbon footprint. One of the unspoken secrets of “greening” is that serving data requires energy. A digital sign may seem like it will save paper and ink, but if you source 100% post consumer paper and use plant based no-voc inks you have a single, greener item that you make once and then you have it and it will not continually need to be powered day and night, like a large LED sign. And, f you light it was high efficiency lights at night you’re probably going to use a lot less energy that powering a fully digital screen 24/7.
    Projecting Sets, this also uses power and requires a heavy capital investment in technology specifically to a single space and may not be the right solution for a show. If you are running a projector all the time you need energy constantly, if you can reuse scenic elements with some labor every so often, you’ll save more money and use less resources.
    On theatrical lighting. Studies in the UK show that lighting in theater accounts for about 5-9% of the carbon footprint of a production. Whereas 60-80% of the theater’s foorprint tends to be offices and front of house. And, on the production, you can bet about 40% will be due to transportation to and from the theater. In fact, the theatres trust has found that the time of lowest energy usage in most theaters is during performances because it’s all in one room and most of the building is off. LEDs can be a great solution, but if you have an old tungsten source four that gets used for a few minutes, dimmed it can last just as long and ue as little energy as newer more efficient sources, just because of how you use it.
    Some of the biggest changes that can be made, depending on the size of your organization are:
    – put occupancy sensors in your not performance spaces like offices, bathrooms, hallways etc.
    – Increase efficiency of non-performance space lighting
    – Compact you trash to decrease hauling expense
    – Invest in a water purification system to replace delivered or bottled water
    – Communicate to your audience about public and alternative transportation options, including providing bike racks (highly visible)
    – Eliminate disposable concessions serving ware and purchase re-usable and washable serving ware instead
    For those interested in going to the extreme, I would encourage you to get rid of your printer. Our office doesn’t have one. We print offsite when utterly necessary, and since our computers are on anyway, we aren’t drawing additional power or using paper. We actually don’t have a recycling program, because we don’t have anything to recycle.
    I also encourage you to follow us around the web, We’re the Center for Sustainable Practice in the Arts and can be found at http://www.sustainablepractice.org.
    And to the point on the Fringe, we just hosted a session at the Edinburgh Fringe which can be found online on blip.tv and features many suggestions from UK leaders in the greening of theater. Also be sure to look at the work done by the Arcola Theatre, White Light LTD (lighting), Julie’s Bicycle, The Theatres Trust, Showman Fabricators, Mo’olelo Performing Arts, the Ashden Directory and others!

  • Theo says:

    Perhaps for ticket purchases, you could get them sent to your phone instead of having a tangible piece of paper printed from a computer or a ticket stub from the box office. More and more airports are slowly allowing your phone to be your boarding pass and they scan the bar code on your phone’s screen. As this becomes more popular and the use of smart phones keep increasing, this could be a great way to reduce printing off a tangible ticket.
    I understand that some people like to keep their ticket stub and such, which is why it can be an option. Having the option can also raise awareness that ticket offices are pursuing green initiatives.

  • Theo says:

    Just realize someone already made the suggestion. If anything, looking into what Airports use is a great place to start to implement the idea.

  • Ziska says:

    To segue into the next post of a producer with a strong vision – check out Ted Turner and James Cameron at the Aspen Renewable Energy conference.
    FYI- my paint shop in Colorado has saved 145K lbs of carbon so far- which will *almost* offset my air travel.
    Recycling is great- reusable and sustainable product purchases are great- but at a certain point we need to have a concerted effort to redirect the building of the infrastructure. This will not happen with “hobbyists” like me who put solar on the roof one at a time. This will only happen with a sea change in the way energy is produced and distributed for the entire country (world). Perhaps the most useful thing anyone can do is to become politically active and write their Representatives in favor of a carbon tax; in favor of “freebates” and in favor of incentives for sustainable practices.

  • Emily Acosta says:

    I read an article about green nightclubs a while ago, and specifically remember being fascinated by the idea of a dance floor that absorbs the energy from everyone dancing through a special shock-absorbing floor (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sprung_floor#Generating_power_from_dance). How awesome (how expensive?) would it be to create a floor of this sort in front of some of the theaters with a lot of foot traffic, or even on the street itself where a million taxis drive everyday. The energy could light some of the theater marquees, or even that ridiculously bright McDonald’s sign on 42nd St (maybe they can sponsor it with the city as a green marketing initiative!).
    But since that idea is only indirectly associated with greening the theaters themselves, and since I have no idea the mechanics of this technology or how energy efficient if might be, another idea: while reusuable sippy cups filled with wine/cocktails are awesome, they’re also more expensive, so theatregoers don’t always opt for the greener option. How about replacing the plastic cups with compostable ones made from renewable plant starch? Or even making sure the food options themselves are as green as possible – Twizzlers vs. organic red licorice. OR maybe combining Ian Garrett’s comment about theatergoer transportation and an earlier blog entry about the theater and restaurant businesses creating synergies — how about creating some sort of joint venture with restaurants that supports local, organic food systems (less pesticide/fertilizer/transportation = less fossil fuels), and maybe going a step further and offering some kind of discount on the meal or the ticket price (or maybe a free sippy cup at the theatre?), with proof that the audience member used public transportation to get there.
    The idea of a world with rock-hard abs is an exciting/necessary one – so many ways to go about it, each example being one “sit-up” in a long set… or something…

  • tf says:

    downloadable cast albums at the theatre via a kiosk you can plug your ipod into. 🙂

  • Web Begole says:

    Shift Playbills & ticketing to being online only.
    You buy a ticket to a show online, you input your payment information and contact information, you are emailed a unique pass code to the Playbill for that show which you can read at any time. When you arrive at the theatre there will be a kiosk where you put in your information/confirmation and get a hand-stamp/token/etc to indicate you’ve bought a ticket. These kiosks will also work for those who are buying tickets at the venue.
    This system not only encourages audience members to read the Playbill before the show, or after the show, but also allows for new interactive media to be shared with the audience — cast/crew interviews, director/playwright talk backs, hyper-linked bios, etc. Audience members could also have an account with Playbill where they have a collection of Playbills they’ve gained access to (show’s they’ve seen) which will encourage people to get more and grow their collection.
    Audience members could print a PDF version of the Playbill if they so choose, or pay a nominal fee for a hardcopy at the door to the venue.
    Advertisers would also be able to keep track of how their ads reach their audience this way as well as be able to target ads to the individual audience member.
    Going paperless for tickets / Playbills would be a massive way to save money, go green, and prepare our community for new ways to reach our audience.

  • Abhishek Duggal says:

    Switch to low VOC paints & coatings, LED lighting fixtures and modern HID followspots to replace aging incandescent units.
    Great contest with a purpose! Keep up the good work!

  • Peter says:

    This is an idea that can be implemented immediately. I often see Playbills strewn in the aisles or in the streets following a performance. This increases the amount of paper-waste and does not help to minimize the number of trees being cut down each year. Like theatres in the West End, a small fee (e.g., $2) should be charged for the Playbill. If a small fee is charged, theatre-goers will think twice before taking a Playbill and throwing it away because it will be treated as a souvenir. This will reduce the amount of paper-waste, which is green.
    While this will likely reduce the number of Playbills handed out at each performance, this should not be seen as a negative for advertisers. The extra cash infusion can be used to enhance the material included in and the quality of the Playbill. Another alternative would be that the funds could be put towards green projects.

  • Andrea says:

    A way to “greenify” theaters is to not have theaters at all! Actors+Audience=Theater. See: Bread and Puppet Theater. Of course, this isn’t the easiest or most logical answer for most commercial theaters, however, the outdoors provides an alternative and unique way to get the word out about a show.

  • Lap3 says:

    Email receipts (ala Apple computer stores) while also curtailing the use of envelopes to only be used when mailing tickets to consumers. Placing “recycle bins” for playbills and inserts might also keep down on producers having to purchase 1000’s of new playbills or the amount of actual trash produced at theaters.

  • Ian says:

    Actually, theaters are more green than being at home. CSPA Research shows that even if you turned every light on at full for the entire show, it still would use 15% or more less energy than that used by an audience at home. So it would be better to get more people in one space than to have them dispersed.

  • Ian says:

    While I agree with the paints. Due to the way theatrical lighting is used, LED fixtures that can reproduce current incandescent and tungsten fixtures (which excludes the prevalent Source4 whose closed LED replacement lists for over $20K) use about the same about of power and last about as long as many incandescent and tungsten fixtures. A traditional light may only get used for minutes during a performance and dimming it below 100% also prolongs it’s life.
    On HID fixtures, you also have the issue that they are always drawing full power as they aren’t dimmable. When an incandescent light isn’t on, it doesn’t draw power. So in the scheme of things, incandescent lights like the 575w HPL lamped source four remain the more sustainable option.
    Not to mention that nearly the entire light is recyclable with easily replaced parts, whereas LEDs would require replacing elements with heavy metals and other toxic components used to make solid state electronics useful.

  • Ian says:

    I don’t think it’s been suggested, but I’ll add another few ideas.
    – Structure theater more like opera. With longer design periods and repertory intentions operas are often designed better and built for a future life. This helps in many ways. On the lighting end, it allows the designer to be more specific with lighting choices. So instead of throwing systems of lights in the air based on a quick look at the ground plan and section, which will include lights that aren’t as necessary. A longer design period would allow unnecessary lights to be eliminated from the plot.
    – Set an upward limit on the lighting board. A light at 90% vs. 100% will actually use less than 10% as much power and last more than 10% longer. And the human eye will not know the difference.
    – Ask you lighting designer to start adding lights from the bottom and adding brightness as opposed to calling it at 100% and making it dimmer. The eye adjusts for brightness, so if you start brighter, it’s likely to stay brighter since your eye adjusts to it.
    – Provide discounts for smarter transportation. Transportation of the audience accounts for 40% or more of the carbon footprint of any given show.

  • Ian says:

    The best LED on skin tones, the new Selador washes from ETC, use nearly the same amount of power as a source4 to produce white at brightness. Not to mention the expense.
    The only led focusable ellipsodial, made by Robert Juliat, doesn’t match the source four in output and costs almost 100x as much….

  • Ben says:

    Develop an iphone/blackberry App that let’s the scanner at the theater scan your phone instead of a paper ticket to save paper!

  • Marie says:

    Replace the cork board backstage with white boards. Instead of making paper copies of schedules, notes, and other info the cast needs, you can write and erase it thereby saving paper. You can have the marketing company, company mgmt, and others combine and cut down on the amount of paper product they generate – does everyone need a copy of it or can one be posted in a central location where people can read and sign off on it?

  • Why not run the theatre with solar panels? I work in a theatre that is completly off the grid. By 4:00 it has collected enough power to run the lights for the evening and everything gathered after that they sell back to the power company. So they are making money instead of spending it. Yes it will cost a bit on the upfront bit you’ll make your money back in no time.

  • You can probably just use wifi or bluetooth with no need for plug in.

  • Myra says:

    Most Broadway stars get car service. I think all the Theatrical Producing and Managing companies should utilize car services that provide electric, hybrid, or alternative energy transportation for their clients.

  • Elisa Clayton says:

    Utilize the File Transfer Protocol (FTP) on your website for ‘Musical’ script submissions. By doing so, both the script and music can be uploaded onto your server — saving paper and preventing the further use of plastic (CD’s and DVD’s).

  • On a related note…
    For those unfamiliar with it, the Wild Project is a green 89-seat performance venue on the LES. I believe it’s the first entirely green theatre built in NYC. For more details on its eco-friendly architecture, go here: http://www.greenroofs.com/projects/pview.php?id=699
    – Tim Childs

  • Max Weinstein says:

    Many smaller shows do not have a way to recycle or store sets. Take the City Harvest Model and pick up scenery and supplies from shows during load out.

  • Keni Fine says:

    Nude theater – no costumes, no clothing!

  • D>P> Quinn says:

    Edisble tickets—which might lessen refund requests !!!

  • Robb J says:

    I won’t go so far as to say move playbills to digital only, or charge for them. there is a large collectibility to them, and it is somethig fans can take to the stage door for autographs, etc.
    A simple idea might just be to have collection bins for playbill recycling in the lobby.
    and perhaps have one of those scanner codes that you can take a pic with your smart phone in the physical playbill, and get a digital copy of the show specific info. Then you wouldn’t be stepping on the toes of the magazine who does offer subscriptions after all.
    Both of these allow people who want thhe physical magazine to still get it, and those who don’ta way to recycle it, and those on the fence to kinda have it both ways

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