CMU School of Drama

Friday, April 14, 2017

The Broadway Green Alliance Announces the Winner of Its College Green Captain Contest

Lighting&Sound America Online - News: The Broadway Green Alliance (BGA) announced the winner of its annual College Green Captain contest. Hamilton green captain Seth Stewart announced the prize at the United States Institute for Theatre Technology (USITT) Annual Conference & Stage Expo on March 9, 2017. This year's prize includes two tickets to Hamilton, and a backstage tour.

8 comments:

Delaney Johnson said...

I think using something influential, like theatre, to help the environment is a huge leap forward in using art to impact more than the usual crowd but inspire everyone to take initiative to leave their mark. It is a genius idea. Change starts on a small scale and grows to reach out. Unfortunately, people do not often take their own initiative to make a change or peruse a change. Recognizing and rewarding those who do will not only inspire others to contribute, but it also raises awareness of the cause. It also gives opportunity for bright young minds to come up with ideas to “go green”. This broadens the spectrum of ideas, opportunities, and people impacting the environment. The fact that this year’s panel selected two students to recognize for their work shows that this program is efficiently working. Theatre uses a wide range of materials and creating ways reuse and teach not to waste said materials will become a trend that will help positively impact the environment.

Emma Reichard said...

I’m very excited that the professional and educational theatre communities have come together in this way. Obviously we cannot simply rely on industrial and governmental change to save our planet. Theatre is a naturally wasteful art form, and we should be doing anything we can to maximize our efficiency. I know that just this year we began this program at CMU. Sadly, I haven’t seen much effort on the part of our ‘Green Captains’ or related faculty. I think mostly because the Green Captains on our shows are entirely actors, and the majority of the negative environmental impact in theatre comes from the technical production side of things. I would like to see our Green Captains reaching out to TDs, MEs, and even designers to encourage a greener production process. I think each department could make a few changes in order to make their process more environmentally friendly. Hopefully our Green Captain program will become more effective over time.

Tahirah K. Agbamuche said...

I remember hearing about this at the beginning of the year. I was thrilled to hear just how successful the Green Captain program was on Broadway and the impact it was able to make. To my knowledge, our Green Captain has not appeared to been able to make much of a change and although I do not know the concrete reason why, I suspect that there is one thing missing from our case, and the winners listed. I do not feel like we had the support of the university let alone the funding to do something substantial other than recycle, which I think we already do at Carnegie Mellon University in the first place. I also do not think that there is much awareness about the program itself in general.It would be really nice if we could incorporate this here at Carnegie Mellon School of Drama. I hope that the program is successful, I would hate for it all to fall through due to lack of participation.

Julien Sat-Vollhardt said...

I do think that waste is a serious problem in the construction of scenery in theatre in general. Whenever we build a show, except for when the budget is tight, we often order more than we need, and the efficiency of our methods of fabrication are based much more on the budget than it is on being environmentally conscious. I do praise our switch from environmentally endangered Lauan to the temperate hardwood revolution ply, but the majority of our waste comes not from production of shows but rather in the strike. I understand that the nature of our educational program precludes the keeping of sets for long times, and I know that it is not common practice even in our industry to be very environmentally conscious. But it would perhaps behooce us to recycle the vast amounts of wood we throw out.

Vanessa Ramon said...

Before reading this article i had herd of things like the green captains because of the fact that we have them at our school, but I never knew that they were connected to such a big organization of green captains and Broadway shows. I think this initiative sounds really cool. It's pretty neat that Broadway is able to set such a green example with this program and encourage other theater makers to do the same. Personally, at our school I'm not sure it's all that effective. Like I said before, I have herd of this initiative at our school, which certainly means something, but I have not really seen the influence that clearly. I think our green captains need to find a way to bring their impact more into the production aspect of our school. I know that that is easier said than done, but there are ways. I would love know more about the project an whether this alliance has any resources that can help educate other programs.

Megan Jones said...

Theatre is an amazing and important art form but it is hard to ignore how wasteful it can be. For the most part everything we make for a show, at least in terms of scenery, gets tossed out at the end of the show. I do understand that it would be hard to recycle or give away some things that we make. Look at Mr. Marmalade: How would you reuse or give away one hundred toys covered in paint? Although that show had a beautiful design it all ultimately ended up in the dumpster. I agree with Emma that I would like our Green Captains to be more involved outside of the rehearsal room. For the most part it seems like Green Captains have been actors in the company, or in the case of the show I worked on didn't exist at all. Perhaps we should make the role of Green Captain more official and have them join the team the same time that the designers do. Maybe there could be one Green Captain on the design team and one that's always present in the rehearsal room.

Stage management is an inherently wasteful production department as we have to print so many things out. How many times did I put up a daily call that I knew no one would read, only to replace it with another 24 hours later? Obviously I would recycle that paper but it just felt silly throwing it away day after day when it was up on the website. Perhaps a show in the future could try and have a paperless (or as close to it as possible) rehearsal process. I think if nothing else it would be an interesting experiment to see if it's really something that's possible. Going Green is great in theory but sometimes harder in practice so we all need to do our part no matter which member of the team we are.

Claire Farrokh said...

I am a big fan of the Broadway Green Alliance and I'm so glad it is being brought to college campuses. The amount of paper theatrical productions go through is pretty ridiculous. When paper wasting is brought up in theatre, everyone likes to immediately attack management. But then when people don't have every little thing printed out for them, they also like to attack management, but oh well. I think there are definitely many steps theatrical teams can make to reduce paper waste, but it would require everyone working together, and not just pointing fingers at management. I remember when my stage manager and I were prepping actor packets for our first rehearsal of Edward, we printed the scripts out the day of, so that we had the most updated version of the script. A couple hours later, the dramaturg sent us the latest version of the script and said oh can you use this one instead?? Because of this we had no choice but to throw out 12ish 50 page scripts and reprint everything. This could have been avoided if we had been given the most updated script more than a few hours before first rehearsal. I really think it would be wonderful if we can reduce paper waste in theatre, but it has to be a collaborative effort.

Sarah Battaglia said...

I love that the Broadway Green Alliance is becoming a bigger part of the general theater community and that we are working with them at CMU to help to educate everyone on what we can do to be more considerate creators of art. I think in the next few years there is going to be a big push for more sustainable theater. The nature of the business is that we create something, use it for a little bit and then throw it all out and move on. And while I understand that that is a necessity I think as a community we are to start thinking more about what we waste and the effect that it is having on the environment. It is funny that Claire mentioned scripts above because I have printed a lot of paper for WIfe U that quickly become obsolete and it was such an incredible waste I was in disbelief that we weren't thinking about it. So from now on I am going to make it my goal to think about it, to try and make small changes as best as I can, and hope that others do the same.