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A Practical Guide to Greener Theatre

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

  1. Cover
  2. Half Title
  3. Title Page
  4. Copyright Page
  5. Table of Contents
  6. Foreword
  7. Preface
  8. Special Thanks and Acknowledgments
  9. Tips for Using the Book
  10. Part I Understanding Sustainability and Defining Greener Production
    1. Chapter 1 Setting the Stage for Greener Production
      1. An Introduction to Sustainability
        1. The Triple Bottom Line
        2. What is an Environmental Sustainability Initiative?
        3. Why do a Baseline Audit?
      2. Defining Sustainability
        1. The Three Rs: Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle
        2. Garnering Support for a Green Initiative
      3. Promote the Plan
        1. Establishing a Green Team
        2. The Big Picture or the Forest View
    2. Chapter 2 Understanding the Assessment Process
      1. Assessing Environmental Impact
      2. The Green Initiative
        1. The Role of a Green Team
        2. Keeping Everyone Engaged
      3. Getting Started
      4. The Process
      5. Assessment Through Onsite Observation
      6. An Example of an Assessment Process
      7. Reducing Your Carbon Footprint
        1. Carbon Calculators
        2. Julie’s Bicycle Industry Green Tools
      8. Working with a Local Green Consultant
        1. Preparing for Consultation
      9. Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle
        1. The Solid Waste Audit
        2. Deciding what to Keep
        3. Where to Put it All—Dealing with Storage Space
        4. Creative Reuse, or One Person’s Trash Can Be Your Treasure
    3. Chapter 3 Beginning the Journey
      1. The Performance Spaces
      2. Think About the Larger Impact
        1. Protecting the Water Table
        2. Take a Deep Breath
      3. Taking Stock—Creating an Inventory
        1. Scenic Elements and Drapes
      4. Lighting and Power Consumption
        1. Selecting Task and Architectural Lighting
      5. The Costume Shop
      6. Assessing the Work Process
      7. Funding Sources
    4. Chapter 4 The Forest View: Non-Technical Areas
      1. Administrative Areas
        1. Offices
          1. Save a Tree or Two
          2. Beyond the Printer
          3. Eliminate the Junk
        2. Creative Uses of Junk Mail
        3. The Marketing Conundrum
          1. Post No Bills?
      2. Low-Cost Options to Reduce Power Consumption
      3. House Management and the Intersection with Patrons
        1. Tickets
      4. The Concessions Stand
        1. Bottled Water
        2. Waste from Concession Stands
      5. Restrooms
      6. A Word on Commuting
      7. Take a Look Outside
    5. Chapter 5 The Cast, Stage Managers, and Crew
      1. Recycling at the Theatre
      2. Prior to Performance
        1. Auditions
        2. The Rehearsal Period
        3. Sustainability During Tech Week
          1. Techniques to Consider
  11. Part II Identifying Strategies for Greener Production
    1. Chapter 6 Greener Scene Design: The Cradle to Cradle Philosophy
      1. Approaching the Design
      2. Less Paper, More Art
      3. Linking Sustainability in Development and Execution of the Design
        1. A Technical Director’s Perspective
        2. Investigating Materials for Scenic Construction
          1. How to Choose the Best Materials
    2. Chapter 7 Selecting Scenery Materials and Construction Techniques
      1. Wood versus Metal
      2. How to Use Wood More Responsibly
        1. Forest Certification Systems
      3. Metals
      4. Recycling Scenery Materials
        1. Wood: A World of Choices
        2. Engineered Wood Products
          1. Veneer-Based Panels
            1. Plywood
            2. Oriented Strand Board (OSB)
          2. Particle-Based Panels
            1. Particle Board
          3. Fiberboards
            1. Medium Density Fiberboard (MDF)
            2. Hardboard (Masonite)
            3. Cellulosic Fiberboard
            4. Homasote
          4. Lauan
          5. Paperboards
            1. Cardboard
          6. Synthetic Materials
            1. Foams and Plastics
          7. Putting it all Together
            1. Fasteners
            2. Glues and Adhesives
      5. Construction Techniques for Traditional Scenic Elements
        1. Vertical Elements
        2. Decks
          1. Triscuits: One Version of Stress-Skinned Platforms
        3. Step Units
    3. Chapter 8 The Paint Shop
      1. What is Paint?
      2. Paint in a Can
        1. Scene Paint versus House Paint
        2. Low Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) Paints
      3. Spray Paint, or at Least Finding a Greener One
        1. Take Responsibility for Health and Safety
        2. Replacing Spray Paint
          1. Coatings for Nonporous Surfaces
          2. Replacement Tools for Spray Paint
      4. Eliminating Other Aerosols
      5. The Painting Process
      6. Tools and Accessories
      7. Disposal of Paint and Related Products
    4. Chapter 9 Greener Stage Lighting Design and Technology
      1. Basics of Lamps
        1. Incandescent Lamps
        2. Tungsten-Halogen Lamps
        3. Arc Lamps
        4. LED or Light-Emitting Diode Lamps
      2. A Review of Common Stage Lighting Fixtures
        1. Automated or Intelligent Fixtures
      3. Making the Most of the Equipment You Already Have
        1. The Lighting Equipment Audit
          1. Asbestos Cords
          2. Getting the Best Performance from Dimmers
        2. Design Practices
      4. Are LED Fixtures the Best Choice for Your Company?
        1. Understanding LEDs
        2. Pros and Cons of LED Units
      5. LED Profile Fixtures
      6. LED Wash Fixtures
    5. Chapter 10 Costume Design: The Crossroad of Ecology and Artistic Expression
      1. Design Philosophy
      2. Organic Design: An Alternative to the Traditional Design Process
      3. How Clothing is Made (as Simply as Possible)
        1. Cloth—The First Challenge
        2. Raw Materials and Processing
        3. After the Harvest
        4. Man-Made Materials
        5. Weaving and Dyeing
        6. Printing and Sizing
        7. Cutting and Stitching
        8. Shipping
      4. Strategies
        1. Organic Fabric
      5. Recycling Options
        1. Pulling From Stock
        2. Designing Versatility
      6. Shopping a Show
        1. Second-Hand Shopping
        2. Rentals
        3. Reciprocal Agreements
      7. The Human Connection
        1. Supporting Local Business
        2. The Community of Designers
      8. Sustainability for the Freelance Designer
        1. Travel
      9. Respecting the Practices of Others
    6. Chapter 11 Costume Construction
      1. Sustainability for the Human Element
      2. Assessing the Situation
      3. Standing on the Shoulders of Giants
      4. The Office (Briefly)
      5. Pattern Alteration: Building Costumes for Reuse
        1. Muslin: The Basics
        2. Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle Muslin
        3. Easy Alterations to Allow Reuse
        4. Building Common Garments to Accommodate Refitting
          1. Vests
          2. Jackets and Bodices
          3. Trousers and Skirts
          4. Lining and Seam Finishing
      6. Temporary Distressing: Removable Wear and Tear
        1. Distressing Products
        2. Fabric Additions
        3. Reinventing a Garment with Removable Trim
      7. Wardrobe: Caring for the Production and the Planet
        1. Dressing Rooms: Creating Sanctuary
          1. Dressing Room Lighting
        2. Laundry: Clean Clothes, Filthy Water
          1. The Laundry List
          2. Choosing the Right Detergent for You
          3. The Price of “Cleaner” Laundry
          4. Spot Cleaning
          5. Fabric Softeners
        3. Dry Cleaning: A Chemical Bath for Your Clothes
          1. Febreze®: To Spray or Not to Spray
          2. Lysol Alternatives
            1. Surface Cleaning
      8. Prioritizing
    7. Chapter 12 Costume Crafts, Make-Up, and Storage
      1. Costume Crafts
      2. Fabric Dyes
        1. Types of Natural-Fiber Synthetic Dye
        2. Natural Dyes
        3. Tea and Coffee Staining
      3. Adhesives, Aerosols, and Other Off-Gassers
        1. Adhesives
      4. Cobblers
      5. Machinery: Caring for What We Have
        1. Repairmen (or Women): The American Dream
        2. Daily and Weekly Maintenance
        3. Shop Computers
        4. Washing Machines: Traditional vs. High-Efficiency
          1. High Efficiency (HE) and Energy Star Washing Machines
        5. Dryers
          1. Recycling Appliance
      6. Cosmetics
        1. Ingredients
        2. Processing
        3. Delivery Method
        4. Packaging
      7. Working with What You Have
      8. Costume Storage: Taking Stock
        1. Organization—Put Things Where You Look for Them
        2. Preservation: Do Less Harm than Good
        3. Archiving—Document What You Have For Yourself and the Community
        4. Culling the Herd
  12. Part III Moving From the Theoretical to the Practical
    1. Chapter 13 Walking the Walk: Integrating Greener Practices into Realized Productions
      1. How Green is My Valley: The Tempest at Central Washington University: Jessica Pribble on Green Costume Design
        1. The Production Concept
          1. Group One: The Noblemen (Six Characters)
          2. Group Two: The Sailors and Passengers (Eight Characters)
          3. Group Three: The Clowns—a Skiffle Band (Six Characters)
          4. Group Four: The Islanders (Three Characters)
          5. Group Five: The Island Spirits (Eight Characters)
          6. Group Six: Ariel and Caliban (Six Characters)
        2. Wardrobe for the Show
      2. Can We Light “Green” and Still Create Art? A Real Case Study at the University of Richmond: Assistant Professor Maja E. White with Summer Research Fellow Mark Ferguson on Sustainability in Lighting Design
        1. Planning the Study
        2. The Research Process
        3. The Case Study Plan Evolves
        4. The Initial Planning Stages
        5. The Experiment Begins
        6. Project Specifics
        7. The Technical Specifications
        8. Daily Diary of the Project
          1. Day 1
          2. Day 2: Beginning of Equipment Arrival
            1. Designing with LED Technology
            2. Problem Solving
          3. Day 3
          4. Day 4
          5. Day 5
          6. Day 6
        9. Differences in Aesthetics and in Energy
      3. Man of La Mancha Pushing the Green Envelope in Every Direction: Ellen E. Jones on Greening all the Design and Technical Elements
        1. Lighting
        2. Scenery and Props
        3. Costumes
      4. In Conclusion
  13. Bibliography
  14. Appendices
    1. Appendix A: Checklists
    2. Appendix B: Construction Details
  15. Index