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!