- What We’re Doing
- Get Involved
- 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
The Phantom of the Opera Makes the Battery Switch
By Molly McQuilkin
|The Phantom of the Opera on Broadway
(Photo by Joan Marcus)
About two years ago, The Phantom of the Opera officially switched to using rechargeable batteries, instead of disposable batteries, in their continued effort to make their enduring show green and sustainable. Paul Verity, the head of the sound department at Phantom, says “The biggest issue we had to overcome was space. As in all Broadway theatres, space is always a premium. That was certainly compounded by the fact that Phantom has been running for twenty-five years. Other than space, we just needed to lay out the routine for storage and recharging.” He continues, “It certainly is more effort. With disposable batteries you open a box and toss them in another box after they are used. Dealing with rechargeables is neither time-consuming nor difficult, but it takes more effort.”
To get the rechargeable program up and running, the sound department had to purchase chargers, the rechargeable batteries (about 144), storage cabinets and some more power strips. The total of these purchases was approximately $1,516. Paul says they have had to replace a couple of chargers, but overall, these investments should last about eighteen months until the batteries need to be replaced. Compare this to the $14,775 the show would’ve spent on 39,936 disposable batteries during this same eighteen-month period – a huge savings in cost and a huge reduction of waste!
The Broadway Green Alliance Continued to Help Keep Landfills E-Waste Free at our Annual Summer Recycling Drive!
Disposing of the many electronic items in our lives when they are no longer working or we upgrade our equipment continues to be a huge problem. Though it is not yet illegal to throw away e-waste it is always a terrible idea.E-waste is full of toxic materials and heavy metals. Although they are a small portion of the waste stream by volume, computers and electronics constitute the fastest growing component of the municipal waste stream and contribute at least 40% of the toxicity found in landfills. And even when people seek out places to take their e-waste, much of it is sent to other countries where responsible oversight is non-existent and children are often involved in the collection of materials from the waste.
To help with this enormous problem the BGA has been holding twice annual e-waste recycling collection drives for several years. We held our annual summer E-Waste recycling Collection Event on Wednesday, July 17th in Father Duffy Square (46th & Broadway) from 11:00am to 1:00pm.
Once again, we partnered with the e-Steward certified company, WeRecycle!, to responsibly and domestically recycle all of the e-waste that we collected. The E-Steward certification holds recycling companies to the highest standard of environmental responsibility and worker protection and prohibits any export of e-waste (see e-stewards.org for more information).
This year the BGA is also participating in the Broadway Alzheimer’s iPod Drive (July 1st through August 19th) by collecting iPods for the Alzheimer’s Association. Inspired by the documentary Alive Inside, that follows the work of Dan Cohen and Music And Memory, Broadway musician Dave Roth (Evita) is asking for donations of music players to help those who suffer from Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia through the gift of music. Donations of a used iPod, charger, or any Apple listening device will enrich the lives of many that have this terrible disease. Dave Roth will be at the BGA table in Duffy Square on Wednesday collecting for this important cause, or iPods can be dropped off at the AFM Local 802 at 322 West 48th Street.To find out more about this inspiring program please see Musicandmemory.org.
Free screening of “Alive Inside” film (for those in NYC) – Filmmaker Michael Rossato-Bennett has been gracious enough to offer another FREE screening this year for only the Broadway Alzheimer’s iPod Drive. This is a very exclusive offer and we encourage all to attend. It will be shown at 5:00 pm on Wednesday, July 24th at Local 802’s membership room (322 West 48th Street between 8th & 9th Avenues). Please feel free to bring food into the viewing as we know those in the theater industry will be on break. It is truly an inspirational film and has not yet been shown publicly so this is a rare chance to see it.
Cell phones are also accepted and will be donated to Verizon’s HopeLine program, which supports domestic violence prevention and awareness programs. You can find out more about this important programhere: http://aboutus.verizonwireless.com/commitment/community_programs/hopeline/.
The BGA also gave unused electronics a new life by offering any still-working items for re-use by others in return for a $5 to $10 donation.
If you have any specific questions please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
HOW TO THINK GREEN-ER AS A LIGHTING DESIGNER
Always design with greener lighting in mind.
Always rehearse under energy-efficient lighting (exceptions for tech and dress rehearsals).
Keep all dimmers, instruments and control gear clean and dust-free.
Shut down all dimming gear at the source at the end of rehearsal/performance day.
Power down moving heads & LED power supplies if they won’t be in use for more than one hour.
Make sure all back-of-house, dressing room, and corridor lighting is energy-efficient (LED recommended) and operated by motion sensors.
All running and marker lights should be LED.
Install dimmable energy efficient sources for all of your front-of-house areas.
Use the BGA’s Gel Project for donating and reusing lighting gels where feasible.
Join the Broadway Green Alliance!
HOW TO THINK GREEN-ER AS A SET DESIGNER
Create a greener studio: For model-making, choose cardboard over foam core, pulp board over illustration board, white glue over Twin Tak or other adhesive sheets.
Printing: Ink cartridges are often over-packaged with plastic. Choose a printer that uses less or no plastic packaging for their inks. Recycle all ink cartridges. Use recycled paper, print front and back, or review documents digitally and don’t print at all!
Build models out of packing materials like cereal boxes, pulp board & cardboard inserts, plastic packaging and cardboard boxes.
Recycle all paper & cardboard used in the studio. Break down old models and reuse materials. Save models that can’t be broken down to be used as base structures for new models.
Designing Greener: When approaching a project, think of the type of materials you want to use. Is there a more sustainable option for this material? What is the sheet-size of this material? Choose sizes that more closely resemble size of sheet goods so as to produce less waste.
Spend some time researching sustainable material options. There are lots of options out there, so this will be an ongoing adventure. Start with one material and build your references slowly as greening can be an ongoing process as opposed to a major overhaul. This will help you incorporate sustainability into your current working process & schedule.
Try to incorporate used materials into your designs. Look through shop stock materials, search groups like Artcube and Craig’s List for materials, shop at places like Build-It-Green and Film Biz Recycling. Include a visit to Materials-for-the-Arts if you are working with a not-for-profit organization. (see the BGA’s website for all of these resources and more or you can “Ask the BGA” @ green@Broadway.org)
Recycle your set. When your show is struck you can post it on the Artcube list serve for others to claim. Or donate directly to Film Biz Recycling. Other productions, particularly off-off Broadway shows with limited budgets, could really use these materials. Reuse encourages creativity. The BGA can help you facilitate this.
Reach out to others. Sustainability in theatrical design is a new & ongoing area of exploration. We can all learn from each other. Share your experiences with friends, colleagues and students. Twitter, Facebook and blogs are a great way to share greening tips.
Join the Broadway Green Alliance! You will learn new ways you can improve your greening efforts. Attend workshops and meet others who have a passion for theater and a passion for the environment!
|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/
by Jennifer Marik, Wicked Stage Manager
Printing your own stuffers in house as needed, rather than ordering them in bulk in advance, saves a lot of money, is very eco-friendly and is very easy! At Wicked, we have a high-speed copier, an industrial paper cutter and a cabinet full of 100% recycled paper. With just these tools, we are able to generate a stuffer for each performance – including bios and headshots for new performers and all of the necessary cast replacements. If it is just a bio, or two or three replacements, we are able to print eight inserts to a page (which at the Gershwin is 225 copies per show). If we need to include more information, we can generally put it on a four-up (450 copies per show). On very rare occasions, we need to print three stuffers to a page to accommodate multiple bios, headshots and replacements. Depending on the number of copies, we can usually print the stuffers in about ten minutes and cutting the stuffers takes less than five. We have templates set up in the computer (which prints directly to the copier), so we are able to quickly modify the stuffer each evening when we do our paperwork at hour before half hour. Our ushers generally have the inserts in hand 15 minutes after that.
What if the copier goes down at an inopportune moment? Or what if an actor calls out at the last minute? We keep one show of each cast replacement option in our emergency stuffer stash, so we are able to cover these contingencies. And if the copier were to go down on a two-show day, or over the weekend (which has happened almost never), we would use Staples or Kinko’s for subsequent shows.
|WICKED has been a partner of the BGA since its founding.|
In an effort to be even greener, we do not cut the emergency stuffers ahead of time. With the paper cutter, if we need to use them, we can cut them very quickly. If we don’t use them and the actor leaves the company, we end up recycling only a total of 200-500 pieces of paper per actor leaving the company – we can use them for printing in/outs, scrap paper, etc. What used to happen instead was that we’d have to get rid of 7200 small pieces of paper per actor leaving – and more if they covered multiple parts. One bonus of this system is that we no longer need to store hundreds of stacks of stuffers that might never be used.
In addition to being a greener way to do stuffers, and being much easier for the stage managers, printing your own stuffers saves money – a lot of it. Wicked saves about $5000 a month: just by making a one-time purchase of that industrial paper cutter and a monthly rental of the high-speed copier. And an added bonus to having the high speed copier – we can generate scripts and scores on demand in-house as well, which even saves us more money.
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.