Green Touring

a note

First a note on my absence from ecoTheater for the past month: I had no idea how crazy this summer was going to be. Between my work at CTM and our Summer Drama School, purchasing a new home in Madison (it’s a tiny 860 square feet, so you can be assured that my wife and I are dedicated to sustainability), and trying to stay on top of various other writing (and some non-writing) projects, I’ve simply been swamped…

So much has happened in the last month that concerns ecoTheater too! Soon I hope to have a q & a with Scott Georgeson (a participant at NATEAC’s green panel and theater designer), a how-to on scenery, and other good stuff.

My “opinion” piece on green theater will appear in the September pages of American Theatre (a surreal experience for me, I admit), and I’m working on another piece that will focus on Gideon Banner and his Green Theater Inititive (GTI) for Stage Directions (if you’re reading Gideon, I promise I’ll be in touch soon!).

Okay, one more thing, then I’ll get to the real post: The Ashden Directory has written up something very nice about ecoTheater (and me), and I’m flattered to say the least. Thanks Kellie and Robert.


the real post

While revising my essay for American Theatre recently their were lots of ideas tossed around about what to include and what to omit. In the end, we opted for less examples of ecoTheater champions so that I could focus on getting the idea of sustainable theater across to readers (I hope). One of the things that ended up never making it in was the Touring Green Initiative (TGI) of Clark Transfer, the transportation company that specializes in the entertainment industry — in other words, a major player in the game that is moving sets, lights, and all other show-related equipment and paraphernalia from town to town, country to country, on tours of all kinds.

With TGI, Clark Transfer has set up a way for its customers to offset the greenhouse gases emitted during touring. In partnership with NativeEnergy, Clarkoffers tours the ability to offset emissions resulting from transportation for $0.015 per mile. Clark states on their web site that the charge for offsetting appears seperately on the final bill and is remitted in full to NativeEnergy, which invests the funds “in a blend of projects to reduce both current and future emissions” that include new wind turbine construction, methane digesters, and gas-capture projects.

According to Clark, the projects are “intended to more than offset current year emissions over a multi-year period and be better than ‘carbon-netural.'” They claim that the combination of projects being funded by TGI is estimated to offset 64% of current year emissions, 95% over ten years, and well beyond 100% over twenty years.

What might be the most encouraging thing about this story is the long list of companies and shows that have participated in Clark’s program, including American Ballet Theater, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, The New York Philharmonic, Roundabout Theatre Company (tours of Les Liaisons Dangereuses and Twelve Angry Men), [title of show], The Lion King, Spamalot, Mamma Mia, among others.

For more information on this program, please visit Clark Transfer’s web site.


1 Response to “Green Touring”

  1. 1 Michael Crowley
    July 28, 2008 at 10:10 am

    Clark Transfers’ Touring Green Initiative is a great signal to the marketplace that we are indeed conscious of the massive amounts of energy required for touring productions. Many of the companies listed above have also utilized this service to offset truck travel related to load-in and load-out of Broadway shows, in addition to the touring offsets for their traveling productions.

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