Sustainability is important for everyone working in design today, but to be sustainable is also often required by your clients. What is real sustainability and can the energy saving in theatrical lighting save the world? Exploring what to do, and what not to.
Donyale Werle, who started out as a painter, began to reexamine routine theatre practices after working for 13 months on the set for High Fidelity, a 2006 Broadway musical that closed after only 13 performances, she told American Theatre Magazine in Fall 2012.
Seeing her work trashed seemed a waste in more ways than one.
This session will focus on producing greener theatre. Donyale Werle has gained much acclaim for her use of salvaged materials in her sets and for her creative designs; she won her recent Tony for Peter and the Starcatcher, whose set was made entirely of recycled materials. Werle serves as pre-production co-chair for the Broadway Green Alliance.
What are the aesthetics of sustainable design? New ways are needed of appreciating ecologically valid design that can incorporate the artistic dimensions with the material effects. This presentation will explore the application of ecological design in the Performing Arts as it creates new sensibilities, new dramaturgies and new forms of experience throughout a range of theatre productions. These aesthetics expand on existing design critiques and offer ways to consider the relations between the content of what is performed to the ecological and artistic dimensions of stage design. Starting with a philosophical perspective, this session will talk through examples with focus on the emerging paradigm of ‘eco-scenography’ – a movement that seeks to integrate ecological principles into all stages of scenographic thinking and production. Taking a holistic approach to materials and resources, this approach asks “can we create designs that enrich our environment and community, as well as our audience?”
The presentation includes a live and interactive showing of Tanja Beer’s “STRUNG”, an eco-scenographic investigation that merges the boundaries between performer and designer, installation and costume, site and material.
Drawing on practical examples and research into sustainable production practice, Sholeh Johnston from pioneering group Julie’s Bicycle will discuss how designers and makers are developing new ways of working, using new materials and technologies, and engaging their supply chain to green their work.
Sholeh will be joined by expert speakers to explore what “eco design” means in practical terms, as well as the wider role of designers and makers in shaping a more sustainable performing arts sector.
Ian Garrett, Sustainability Programme Coordinator, Assistant Professor of Ecological Design for Performance (York University, Toronto) and Co-Director of the Centre for Sustainable Practice in the Arts and World Stage Design 2013 Programme Assistant Kevin Smith to discuss how sustainability is being addressed at World Stage Design.
This multi-sensory theatrical adaptation of Jean Giono’s environmental classic tells the inspiring story of a shepherd who plants a forest, acorn by acorn, transforming a barren wasteland.
As much a touching tale as it is a hilarious puppet show, The Man Who Planted Trees shows us the difference one man (and his dog!) can make to the world. Touring since 2006 in the UK and internationally including repeat seasons at the Sydney Opera House and New York’s Lincoln Centre Institute.
“Laughs, heartbreak, war, regeneration, scented breezes, sparkling wit and the best dog puppet ever. Perfect for children and grown-ups. Terrific.” (The Guardian)
We’re learning how to design shows, stages and buildings for sustainability – but what about our networks? How can we design festivals, conferences, action groups, federations – all of art’s ecosystems – for social change and sustainability? We’ll discuss what it might take to change a community, a sector and a world – and how art’s unique power to infect and inspire can and must be a vital driver of change.
In this seminar, we will have a closer look behind the scenes of a theatre with a strong focus on an environmental management approach. Life-cycle-analyses are one of the major topics, including background information and practical examples of their application in theatres. Doing (environmentally) good in a theatre is important but it helps (the theatre world) even more to talk about it!
Environmental reporting being the tool of choice, we will scrutinize it for application in a theatre environment.
The appropriation of old buildings for the arts has produced some of the most inspiring and dynamic spaces for live performance in the world. From Bochum to Brooklyn, old buildings have proven that they make ideal spaces for theatrical innovation. Adaptive reuse has also been recognized as a key component of sustainable development and green building. In this session, we’ll bring together three of the world’s foremost practitioners in adaptive reuse for live performance for a far-reaching discussion about this complex phenomenon.
Who should attend?
Open to all: especially directors, designers and architects.
The Sustainable Theatre competition winner will showcase their winning designs.
World Stage Design 2013 opened up a unique opportunity to design a temporal alternative sustainable theatre. The competition was open to professionals and emerging practitioners from across all related disciplines and received over 100 entries from 26 countries.
The Willow Theatre, designed by architect Tim Lai and theatre designer Brad Steinmetz, both of Columbus, Ohio, USA was voted as the winning design and has been built for the event.
Ian Evans, WSD2013’s technical director and a senior lecturer at RWCMD, said: “The design brief was a tough one. We asked for a venue that was eco-conscious, could seat up to 150 people, host a variety of events and be self-built, all for an outlay of less than £20,000. Yet the response has been magnificent, many using highly original approaches and suggesting a wide variety of materials, including hay bales, cardboard boxes and packing crates. The entry from Brad and Tim was everyone’s favourite, though, because as well as meeting the technical brief, it is going to look and feel very interesting – an innovative blueprint that can be copied for other settings.”
The building’s strength will come from hired and returnable industrial scaffolding while the decorative fronds and interior walls will be made from UK-produced horticultural fleece, a re-usable material which can also be recycled to make more of the same fabric.
Internal fittings, including the floor and wooden seating will also be re-usable, recyclable and/or reclaimed and the roof will be retractable to take advantage of natural light and ventilation.
Volunteers will build the temporary venue in time for a full programme of events which will see a series of talks, workshops, debates and shows exploring environmental sustainability and the arts. The programme is titled People, Profit, Planet and you can read about it in full here.
You can follow the build of the theatre with the live webcam here.