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- Green Captains
The Broadway Green Alliance runs an annual College Green Captain contest to reward College Green Captains for their greening efforts on campus productions.
Tonya Ingerson, Green Captain at Vassar College, and Grace Urquhart, Green Captain at William Jewell College, were our co-winners of the College Green Captain contest for 2018!
Tonya’s project was called “Environmental Education and Awareness Through Theatre.” She hosted a Climate Change Play Festival at Vassar in which she put on 8 plays from Climate Change Theatre Action’s repertoire. She wanted to festival to be as green as possible so it was zero waste, the food was all vegan, everything was paperless from the advertising to the auditions, she educated the audience and the students working on the plays, and the costumes and props were all either borrowed or made from materials they already had.
Grace started several initiatives in the theatre department to make it more environmentally friendly. She encouraged the switch to rechargeable batteries in mic packs; changed out the old incandescent bulbs to LED bulbs; recycled old screws and other metal hardware; turned old fabric from costumes into dog toys that were then donated to the local shelter; started a waste tracking system that they now use on all of their shows; encouraged the use of greener materials to build sets; and continued to use energy efficient washers and dryers.
Congratulations to Tonya and Grace!
Olivia Ranseen (Indiana University in Bloomington, IN) was our 2017 winner, and Chloe Martins (Drew University, NJ) was the runner-up. Read more about their projects here. Congratulations Olivia and Chloe!
The BGA College Green Captain program is modeled on the successful BGA Broadway Green Captain program, in which a cast or crew member of every Broadway production volunteers to serve as a BGA liaison/go-to member of the production for all things green/environmentally friendlier. College Green Captains are self-selected members of a college or university theatre department who are committed to greening one or more of the department’s productions. The BGA provides a kit of better practices, sample timelines, and links to resources and professionals to educate college Green Captains about how to green their productions. The College Green Captain program works best when there are one or more student Green Captains and faculty or staff Green Captain to ensure continuity of the greener practices.
The BGA seeks to encourage artistic growth and the highest standards of excellence in theatre, while including a growing commitment to resource and energy efficiency, reduced toxicity, and environmentally friendlier practices in the design, production, running, and striking of a college production. We are creating this award to recognize and encourage outstanding BGA College Green Captains for college theatrical productions.
Winners will have brought innovative, creative, and/or widely-applied greening and energy-efficiency methods into the design and/or production of theatre at their campus.
In short, this award seeks to
|Adinah Alexander at the opening of Kinky Boots.|
Q: When did you first hear about the Broadway Green Alliance?
A: I first heard about the Green Alliance when my PSM sent an email out saying the company was looking for a Green Captain. I just thought, sure…and then after my first meeting I realized how little I actually know and how much I can do, in my small way, to make things better in my small part of the world.
Q: Did your current theatre already have any greener practices set in place?
A: I believe The Hirschfeld Theatre had green practices already in place. There are recycling bins throughout the building. The sound department recycles batteries and I know that Jujamcyn is committed to a greener theatre environment. The company was given a reusable lunch bag with a water bottle and food containers as a welcome gift when we started our run.
Q: What things would you like to do in your everyday life that are “greener”?
A: When I went to my first Green Alliance meeting, I realized that I have only the most rudimentary knowledge of recycling practices. I was awed by some of the other Green Captains and the extent of their understanding of what can and can’t be recycled. I would like to get my company to be more conscious about using disposable water bottles, coffee cups and plastic utensils.
Q: What specifically interests you about being “green”?
A: I became more interested in being green when I realized literally how much garbage I was creating. I made a personal commitment to be more aware and use fewer prepackaged foods, etc. I discovered a website called “reusit.com” I purchased all kinds of reusable, washable items to replace disposable items and I stopped buying packaged foods. I bring my own cotton bags to the grocery store, buy in bulk and always have real utensils, food containers, cotton bags, etc. on hand so that I don’t have to rely on disposable items.
Q: What is the most frustrating thing about being a Green Captain?
A: The most frustrating thing about being Green Captain is getting people to step out of their comfort zone, just a bit, and literally walk those extra few steps to put garbage in its proper place. Also I watch people come in every day with coffee and food that they have purchased. It only takes a few extra minutes to prepare your own food in a reusable container and to carry your own coffee container, mug, water bottle.
Q: What is the best thing about being a Green Captain?
A: Well..the best thing is that I am learning so much about what is possible in terms of recycling. I volunteered at the e-waste drive in Duffy Square and was amazed at what was recyclable. I learned that there are many things that I have been putting in the trash that can be recycled. I am also excited about the upcoming Textile Drive. I can donate all my old clothes and linens and not just throw them away…I had no idea that was possible.
|Regional theatres everywhere are going green!|
Building on the success of our popular Broadway Green Captain program– where the BGA has a backstage liaison at nearly every show– we are expanding the program to include off-Broadway and regional theatres.
Last spring we brought our Green Captain program to college theatre departments by working with New York University professor Chris Jaenig and his student, Franklin Swann, to develop a “kit” of ideas for greening college productions and a sample timeline for implementation. Now we are working with our brand new off-Broadway committee (see below) to come up with an off-Broadway Green Captain kit that tweaks the Broadway model, adding things relevant to the off-Broadway world and broken down into separate venue and theatre company sections.
Going even further we are now taking our Green Captain program to regional theatres. After the BGA was asked for greening ideas by regional theatres like Studio 1 in North Carolina and the Dr. Philips Center for Performing Arts in Florida we worked to turn our Green Captain kit into a useful guide for greening regional theatres. The regional kit includes a section highlighting the terrific greening programs already in place at several regional theatres to help inspire others to start their own greening programs. Major green overhauls have taken place at theatres like La Jolla Playhouse in California where permeable pavement reduces water run-off in their parking lot and the Walton Center in Arkansas where the concessions have all been re-designed to reduce packaging.
Nearly a dozen Regional Theatre Green Captains are already in place and we have sent out an interest letter explaining the program to over 75 theatres across the country encouraging others to join. We hope to eventually gather feedback from member theatres that will allow us to better tailor the kit to the needs of regional theatres.
If you know of an off-Broadway theatre or theatre company or a regional theatre who might be interested in learning more about the BGA Green Captain program, please let us know or encourage them to reach out to green@Broadway.org.
|Backstage at BILLY ELLIOT on Broadway.|
As of October 2008, the Broadway company of WICKED switched from using regular alkaline batteries to nickel-metal hydride (NiMH) rechargeables in all of their wireless microphones. They alternate between two sets of rechargeables to allow sufficient time for recharging. These two sets of rechargeables generally last for ten months.
There are many ‘green’ benefits from using these batteries. With the old alkaline batteries, they used 38 AA’s per show. This resulted in 15,808 used batteries per year. Now they only need to dispose of 96 NiMH batteries each year. This will reduce, over the next five years, 78,560 batteries from entering the waste stream. That works out to 3,959 lbs of solid waste – just a bit less than two tons!
The new batteries are also mercury-free, cadmium-free and lead-free. They are in compliance with the European Union’s stricter RoHS standard (the Restriction of the use of certain Hazardous Substances in electrical and electronic equipment).
The last green benefit is money. They pay 29¢ for each alkaline AA battery. That works out to $4,742 every year. The NiMH batteries are $2.65 per cell, and require five rechargers for $66.97 each. Rechargeables cost $589.25 the first year and $254.40 each subsequent (each year they need new cells but not new chargers); this will save $22,103.15 over five years.
Julie’s Bicycle reports that rechargeable batteries have 32 times less impact on the environment (global warming, air & water pollution) than disposable batteries throughout their lifecycle, and that one rechargeable can replace 93 disposables. The end result, of course, is that finite natural resources are reused, and the release of harmful chemicals (such as lead, mercury and cadmium) from improper disposal is prevented.
Add up the benefits – reliability, cost savings, greener profiles, and less pollution and waste – and it’s easy to see why better batteries is one of the wisest sustainability choices a production can make – and why theatres from as far away as Australia are reaching out to the BGA for information about how they too can go greener.
by Noah Aberlin
Get ready to add all rigid plastics to your recycling bin-
NYC has expanded the residential recycling stream.
|Mayor Bloomberg at the press launch of Broadway Goes Green.|
On April 24th Mayor Bloomberg announced that NYC will now recycle all rigid plastics. These newly included items go in the same clear bag or blue bin where all glass, metal, aseptic packaging (juice boxes, soy milks), and plastic bottles currently go.
Rigid plastics include yogurt cups, toys, hangers, cookie tray inserts, plastic cups, food containers, and more. Bloomberg said at a press meeting, “Starting today, if it’s a rigid plastic – any rigid plastic – recycle it…This means that 50,000 tons of plastics that we were sending to landfills every year will now be recycled and it will save taxpayers almost $600,000 in export costs each year.”
This announcement coincides with the development of the new recycling plant being built by the Sunset Park waterfront in Brooklyn, which will be the largest household recycling plant in North America. Because it takes 70 percent less energy to make plastic from recycled plastics instead of raw materials, it’s going to help further reduce the city’s carbon footprint. New York City will not only become more sustainable but will also create 100 jobs at the new plant. Plus, it will be powered by one of the largest solar installations in the city.
Keep a lookout for new recycling decals and posters that should be mailed to residences soon and remember it is recommended that New Yorkers should rinse out all containers before sorting them in recycling bins. While these new rules do not effect commercial recycling (i.e.: at the theatres) they do include the new Solar Big Belly public recycling bins that have been sited around town. There are 30 in the Times Square area so please seek them out and use them.
To recycle plastic bags, many supermarkets and drug stores have special collection bins. Film plastic (plastic wrap) does not recycle.
For more information and a detailed list of all recyclable materials visit http://www.nyc.gov/html/
The BGA at the TD Bike NY 5-boro Bike Ride
We did it! Our wonderful BGA Team rode through 40 miles of the City on Sunday, May 5th in the TD Bike NY 5-boro Bike Ride. They had a great time and raised over $19,000 for the BGA. We would like to have an even bigger team next year so sign up to participate. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to be put on the list for next year’s ride. It is a ride –not a race — that goes through all of the boroughs and offers an amazing car-free bike journey all around the city. A big congratulations and a huge thank you to our 2013 BGA Team:
Charlie Deull, BGA Co-chair
Jennifer Hershey, Jujamcyn Theaters, BGA Venues Committee Co-chair
Bob Usdin, Showman Fabricators, BGA Pre/Post Production Committee Co-chair
Brian Hashimoto, Lincoln Center Theatre
Erich Bussing, Jujamcyn Theaters
Adam Hodzic, Jujamcyn Theaters
Kevin Fedigan, JERSEY BOYS
Jack Babin, WICKED
Liz Lee, Public Theater
Tommy McDowell, actor
Bike NY’s TD Five Boro Bike Tour is America’s largest cycling event. With more than 32,000 cyclists, this ride brings bike enthusiasts from all over the world to enjoy 40 miles of traffic-free streets in New York City. The Tour is co-produced by the Department of Transportation.
For more information and any questions please email Rebekah Sale at email@example.com.
MAMMA MIA! has acquired thousands of costume pieces over the years. Between the Broadway and various touring companies and a long list of Dynamos, Dads and Greek Grannies, we have clothed a lot of actors. The MAMMA MIA! costume storage space quickly fills up. Old costumes that will never be used again must go. Instead of tossing everything into the trash bin, we turned to the Broadway Green Alliance to help us find a green home for these retired costumes. MAMMA MIA! has now recycled over 150 pounds of costumes including shoes and accessories in the past year. Before the truck from Wearable Collections picks up a load, we donate any usable items to the TDF Costume Collection.
Does your show have old costumes to be recycled?
If so, please ask your Green Captain or contact the BGA for more information.