Odds and Ends

Man I’m swamped. I hate to start a post (again) with excuses, but seriously. How did this happen?

In honor of my hectic life, this post will be a hodgepodge of stuff I’d like to write about in more detail, but instead will mention in brief in hopes of writing more later…


In her August Editor’s Note Live Design editor Marian Sandberg asks “isn’t it about time we really make a concerted effort, both professionally and personally to ‘go green?'” The impetus for this green note is a short piece in the issue by Robert Usdin of Showman Fabricators unremarkably entitled “How Green is Green?”

(Sometimes I wonder how envious the other other colors must feel about our almost arbitrary use of “Green” to describe all of this — aren’t yellow, red, blue, brown equally natural colors? I mean, our planet is predominantly blue, right? But wait, I digress…)

I can’t tell you how broad my smile was as I read Sandberg’s “note.” It’s quite encouraging, knowing that other such entertainment magazines (like Stage Directions) also have editors that are concerned about this stuff. Of course, it’s one thing to have writers and editors spouting off about how crucial it all is, and quite another to have the folks out there doing the brunt of the work getting on board too. That’s where Usdin and Showman Fabricators comes in.

Although Usdin gets his short piece off to a jokey start, he moves on quickly to introduce the Environmental Management System (EMS) that Showman has in place. Unfortunately, he describes it only very briefly as a “detailed roadmap, structured in two parts, charting a course for personnel to act green.” He then explains (again too briefly) that the first part of the EMS “outlines best practices,” while the second part “provides clients with solid options to greatly lessen the environmental impact their projects have.”

While it’s a bit disappointing that Usdin goes into little detail about his company’s green program, the fact that he is in the pages of Live Design introducing the subject is fantastic. He spends the remainder of the piece introducing some steps the entertainment industry has taken in a green direction, including the town hall meeting sponsored by Wicked producers, and a few others that I haven’t noted here on ecoTheater, including:

•Broadway theaters converting marquees to LEDs, switching to CFLs, and upgrading HVAC systems

The Broadway League sponsoring a committee to recommend green changes

Usdin mentioned many more that dealt with television and film, and LDI panels as well.


In the world of LED fixtures, I also took notice of a new High End Systems product in the August issue of LIve Design. It’s called Showpix, and LD describes it as “a combination LED wash light and graphic image display fixture.” The automated fixture uses 127 3W LEDs and has an output of 24,000 RGB lumens.

Admittedly, I’ve never been much of a gearhead — an almost derogatory statement in the world of tech theater — but I am extrememly excited about the race toward LED domination. It’s coming…


The July/August issue of DramaBiz Magazine had something on page 27 that caught my eye too: In Ticketing.

For every ticket sold, In Ticketing claims to plant one tree to help offset the impact of its core business. They also offer an entire line of tickets made with alternative materials such as hemp, flax, and recycled stock. This line of environmentally friendly tickets uses soy-based inks, and chlorine-free paper.

Another way to keep your operations green.



Don’t forget to look for my essay on the green theater movement in the September issue of American Theatre

And (if I get it in on deadline) my first article in what I hope to be a series on green theater topics in the LDI issue of Stage Directions!


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what’s in a color?

"It should be about different kinds of symbols than the color green—wind farms, solar, renewable-energy laboratories, those things that are symbolic of the new energy economy. People think that we overuse the concept of green, and it could become trite in its expression.”
“This idea about green in a lot of people’s minds still conjures up this notion of a fringe or something that’s out-there. It doesn’t inspire this notion of a new America. It just seems more substantive than a color.” - Colorado governor Bill Ritter, Jr. in The New Yorker
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