Performing ‘Green’ Arts

The issue of climate change has been weaving into every part of our lives, and many of us try to do something about it every day. The really committed ones can now even become greener while enjoying performing arts.

It may sound unusual but besides dozens of catastrophe movies, also directors, playwrites and composers have been inspired by climate change.

There have been several plays introduced on stage covering climate change-related issues in the last few years.

In 2009 there were three plays running simultaneously, all focusing on the environmental and sustainability challenges our planet faces. These were The Contingency Plan – which by many is considered the most successful of all so far , Grasses of a Thousand Colours andWhen the Rain Stops Falling, discussing the issues of rising sea levels, genetically modified food and the dangerously decreasing number of fish.

Earlier this year further plays were introduced: the National Theatre’s Greenland summarised several expert opinions on what the world may be facing, while The Heretic introduced a scientist who wonders what facts can actually prove the climate change.

Seven Angels

Besides plays, recently even an opera was staged on climate change, titled Seven Angels. It showed seven angels dreaming about a flourishing garden that used to be in the desert they now live in. The opera was taken on a tour around the UK in June and July.

Greener theatres

The theatres themselves are also doing their bit in addressing environmental challenges, focusing on energy reduction or recycling.

The Arcola Theatre for example wants to be the world’s first carbon neutral theatre by implementing a comprehensive programme, including bottle recycling and  LED lights powered by hydrogen fuel cells.

Their Green Sundays series offers an arena for those interested in environmental issues to meet similar-minded people or to discuss the most interesting and latest topics.

Another great example is the National Theatre that recently introduced several energy-saving measures: the new LED lights both inside and outside reduce energy usage by 60 and 70 per cent, respectively. The car park now uses these lights and the CO-emission extractor fans are used only when necessary, while water and paper recycling is also key.  Several energy-saving policies are now in place both for employees and during performances – for instance on how long lights are switched on or when computers should be turned off -, and further plans include improved insulation and a Combined Heat and Power solution.

How to find green performances?

It is now easy to find green entertainment thanks to some online sites.

The Ashden Directory  was first launched in 2000, and it’s a great source for performing art pieces with environmental links.

Besides that, Julie’s Bicycle [9] is an organisation supporting arts and creative industries on how to reduce their environmental impact. They work with several theatres, festivals, venues and even orchestras to help them in becoming ‘greener’. These information are all available on their website.

Enjoying “green art”

Nowadays there are countless opportunities to enjoy green plays and even opera, which are not only entertaining but can teach the audience on issues related to climate change.

And watching these in ‘green venues’ can even further add to efforts tackling climate change issues.


Written for the Energy Saving Warehouse

Image: The Opera Group




One Comment to “Performing ‘Green’ Arts”

  1. Awsome website! I am loving it!! Will come back again. I am taking your feeds also

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