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March 25, 2008


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Nick Keenan

I think a much more urgent problem than lighting or paper waste (not they're not a problem that needs to be tackled) is the waste of sets being summarily dumped in the trash. The amount of painted material and potentially toxic material being dumped in landfills is alarming.

There's obviously no clear cut green solution to that problem other than not building sets anymore, but we're working on that here, see project # 2:


The problem in many ways does rest on designers and producers more heavily than others. There needs to be a will to find not only a good design but a good green design will be helped by increasing the dialog in each process about designing green. On a storefront level, designing green usually also translates to designing cheap. It adds further challenge to designing a compelling look on a budget, but challenge usually yields greater creativity.

Ian Garrett

Mike Lawler and I have discussed it a number of times, but the fact that you mention the AP style guide underscores that most people in theater have some education. And if this education included ecological sustainability and maximizing resources or finding new resources for everyone including designers, it would be a big help. It seems rudimentary to those who have constructed a set, but there are designers who don't think about the second sheet of ply when something is 9 feet as opposed to 8. It comes up in my class at calarts:



Kris...I put my journalism degree away for good nine years ago. Then I read the line about the A.P. Stylebook and I had a 'Nam-style flashback. Thanks. Thanks a lot.

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  • Kris Vire
    I write about theater for Time Out Chicago. I write more about it here.

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