A Practical Guide to Greener Theatre : Introduce Sustainability Into Your Productions book cover
1st Edition

A Practical Guide to Greener Theatre
Introduce Sustainability Into Your Productions

ISBN 9780415663243
Published December 20, 2013 by Routledge
304 Pages

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USD $49.95

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Book Description

Protecting the environment should be a priority of every theatrical production, but it can be challenging to mount an environmentally-friendly show with limited time, resources, and information. A Practical Guide to Greener Theatre: Introduce Sustainability Into Your Productions not only gives you the information you need to make greener decisions, but provides you with practical, workable solutions. You will learn how to assess and improve every production area – from costuming and painting, lighting and technical direction, to administrative offices and the rehearsal process. Checklists, examples of successful strategies, and step-by-step instructions will show you how to identify areas where manageable, sustainable changes can make your productions greener, and advice from working professionals, with experience greening their own productions, will leave you confident that your processes are environmentally sound. Even non-technical people who find themselves responsible for supervising productions will find green solutions that can be instituted with a staff of volunteers or students. Remember: every step toward sustainability is a step forward.

  • Discover small fixes that will make your theatre productions greener.
  • Examine ways to introduce greener practices in the design, execution, and strike process.
  • Explore how introducing sustainability into your theatre productions can save your company time and money.
  • Learn how sustainability and safety intersect to help protect your workers and volunteers.

Table of Contents

Section 1: Introduction

  • Chapter 1: An Introduction to Sustainability
  • Chapter 2: Existing Resources to Access

Section 2: The Forest View

  • Chapter 3: Support Areas

  • Offices
  • Front-of-House Operations
  • Concessions

Chapter 4: Assessing The Facilities

  • Production Areas
  • The Stage
  • The Auditorium and Lobby

Section 3: Designing for a More Sustainable Production

Chapter 5: The Intersection of Sustainability and Safety

  • Industrial Hygiene Basics
  • Safety Basics
  • Sidebars: at least two on specific safety topics

  • Chapter 6:Approaching the Design
  • Scene Design
  • Sidebars: at least two examples; Focus on a "Green" Scene Design Process
  • Costume Design
  • Sidebars: at least one example; Focus on a "Green" Costume Design Process
  • Recycle, Reduce, Reuse
    • Consortiums

    • Professional Shops that Recycle
    • Sidebar: at least two examples; Focus on scene shops or organizations that recycle scenery

Section 4: Executing the Designs

  • Chapter 7: The Scene Shop

  • Materials
  • Construction Techniques
  • Technical Direction Focus (contribution by Paul Brunner)
    • Building for Deconstruction
    • Adopting New Construction Templates
    • Building for Reuse

  • Props

  • Chapter 8: The Paint Shop
  • Paints and Coatings
  • Flame Retardant
  • Clean-Up

  • Chapter 9:Strike Process
  • Preparation
  • Sidebar: Strike Process with Sustainability in Mind (contribution by Paul Brunner)

  • Chapter 10: Lighting
  • The Stage
    • Focus on Conventional Fixtures
    • Focus on LEDs: A Study of One Show (contribution by Maja White)

  • Architectural and Task Lighting Options

  • Chapter 11:The Costume Shop
  • Construction and Materials
  • Laundry
  • Actor Stations

Section 5: Rehearsal and Performance

  • Chapter 12: Rehearsal and Performance
  • The Rehearsal Process
  • Programs and Posters
  • Concessions

Section 6: Outside Resources

Chapter 13: Helpful Resources

  • Potential Partners
  • Collection of Online Resources
  • Suggestions for Grant Proposals and Focuses
  • Sidebars on four organizations that won grants for improving sustainability

  • Chapter 14: Conclusion


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Ellen E. Jones holds USA Local 829 credentials as a lighting designer, scenic designer, and scenic artist. She has held numerous academic posts as well as working for theatrical vendors. Her twenty-plus year career in the industry has included designing and painting scores of productions for various theatre companies and shops in the US.


"The book was enticing and infectious. It is for the beginning student and the seasoned veteran. After you finish, I don’t think you will wait to get started on your own sustainability analysis of your own productions…To quote the author, ‘protecting the environment should be a priority of theatrical production’ and ‘every step toward sustainability is a step forward.’" - Robin Jaffer, Production Manager and Technical Director for the Auburn Department of Theatre