Where Was I? NYTW and ecoTheater

While I’m glad that I was able to get the word out on the trouble at New York Theatre Workshop (NYTW) over the weekend — and flattered that people (bloggers are people too) have actually used the phrase “scooped the NY Times” to describe my original post on April 12 (twice) — and amazed that views of my site have been absolutely through the roof this week (on Monday I had hits equaling nearly 15 times my previous record) — the fact remains that I’m not a news blogger per se.

While I’m bothered immensely that NYTW fired six hardworking tech theater artists, I have to admit that what bothers me most about the whole affair is the loss of Michael Casselli and what he could have done with those eco-friendly shop facilities that NYTW is about to build. He was, by far in my estimation, the single most green theater practitioner that I know of. That is, while there are plenty others out there making moves in the right direction, most are doing so theoretically (such as yours truly), and while many have had a hand in various acts of sustainability, Casselli was committed to the idea, and committed to doing everything he could to make NYTW the most sustainable theater operation in the country.

But that hope has been dashed along with others in the last week.

Another admittedly self-indulgent disappointment of mine during this NYTW affair has been the realization that while I have increased my readership (albeit probably briefly) in a flash, none of the increased traffic has anything to do with my purpose here on ecoTheater: to promote eco-responsibile, sustainable theater production practices. My hope is that while many of the NYTW gossip hounds were here, they managed to have a look around and see what this ecoTheater thing is really all about.

If, in fact, you are one of those readers, here to see what all the fuss is about over NYTW, and have never thought about what sustainable, green, eco-friendly theater means, I’d suggest you check out ecoTheater’s greenList, or take a look at this post on theatrical lighting in all of its power hog-ness, or this one about how London’s theater scene seems to be way ahead of the U.S. in greening up their operations, or this entry detailing part of a conversation I had with Larry Fried and Thersa May, co-authors of the book Greening Up Our Houses — or, check out their book! Those posts are just a taste of what I’ve been trying to get American theater artists to discuss since I started this blog last summer.

Soon, I will get back to the task at hand and put up some useful posts that I was working on when the NYTW news broke in my email-box. For now, to all of you new readers, I hope you enjoy the blog, and please do let me know what you think.


4 Responses to “Where Was I? NYTW and ecoTheater”

  1. 1 Abigail Katz
    April 16, 2008 at 10:45 am

    Hi Mike- While I became aware of your website because of the NYTW bloodbath, rest assured that I signed on to the email list because of your commitment to environmental issues in the theatre world. This is an issue that really interests me, and I’m glad you have provided a resource where people can learn more about it! I look forward to reading your blogs and investigating the various links on this issue.

    Thanks and keep up the good work!

    Abby Katz
    Literary Associate
    The Civilians

  2. 2 Dan Healey
    April 17, 2008 at 9:40 am

    Hi there – Like a lot of people, I found your blog due to the NYTW firings. Over the past couple days I’ve spent far too much time going through your posts. I’ve always had a nagging concern about how wasteful theatre as an industry is, but I’ve never really done anything about it, or even thought about it all that much. Reading your blog has inspired me to start looking for ways to change what I do.

    Thanks for what you do – hopefully your increased readership will be as inspired as I am and we will begin to see some national change towards an environmentally friendly, sustainable theatre industry.

    Dan Healey
    Pasadena Playhouse

  3. 3 John Gromada
    April 17, 2008 at 8:48 pm

    I too visited your site about the NYTW affair, but am very interested in the green theatre movement. I was thrilled to find your blog.

  4. April 18, 2008 at 7:03 am

    WELCOME! Thanks for sticking around and taking a look at my posts. I can’t tell you how great it is to have you guys here…

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