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The Broadway League
729 Seventh Avenue, 5th Floor
New York, NY 10019
CONTACT: Elisa Shevitz
Telephone: 212-764-1122
Email: EShevitz@broadway.org


Broadway Goes Green
November 25, 2008
In the quest to be more environmentally responsible in the production of entertainment, the Broadway theatre community announces "Broadway Goes Green."



New industry-wide initiative commits to raising awareness and
implementing greener practices both within the
theatre community and among theatregoers

Visit GreenBroadway.com

(November 25, 2008 – New York, NY) – In the quest to be more environmentally responsible in the production of entertainment, the Broadway theatre community announced today the launch of BROADWAY GOES GREEN, an industry-wide initiative to reduce Broadway's carbon footprint, adopt environmentally sustainable practices and promote environmental awareness in the creation and presentation of Broadway shows.

In collaboration with the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), an early goal of the initiative is to assess current practices and to disseminate information regarding greener practices to the Broadway theatre community. All segments of the industry – including producers, theatre owners, designers, managers, design shops and others – have developed goals for the first year of this long-term initiative and have already adopted better practices to enhance Broadway’s role as a leader in environmental sustainability.

With the support of Mayor Bloomberg’s office and guidance by the NRDC, leaders of the Broadway theatre community have organized unique groups to focus on the three primary phases of Broadway shows. 1) theatre venue operations; 2) the day-to-day running of shows, and; 3) the creation of shows from concept to stage. These groups will continue to develop and enhance its action plan to adopt greener practices for Broadway theatre and to promote greener practices to Broadway audiences.

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg said, “There’s no question that New York owes much of its greatness to Broadway.  These stages fuel dreams … they fuel our city’s economy by attracting tourists from far and wide … and they also fuel a spirit of civic pride and social activism that dates all the way back to the early 1900s, when performers put on shows to support the soldiers in World War I. Today, Broadway producers, theater owners, and performers are joining another historic fight: to keep our city and our planet healthy."

Dr. Allen Hershkowitz, Senior Scientist at the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), commented, “As Broadway shifts its theatre productions toward environmentally preferable operations, its influence and leadership will reverberate throughout the entertainment world.  Broadway’s unique global visibility and unparalleled cultural influence offers a rare opportunity to move the marketplace towards environmentally intelligent products and, at the same time, help theaters save money and inspire their patrons.  Bravo to Broadway for its leadership on this critical issue.”

Shows in pre-production, long-running shows, and theatre owners have designated the following goals to achieve within one year:

  • To review opportunities that will provide greener alternatives for new shows, from the initial design stage through the disposition of scenery at the close of production; to develop educational initiatives and begin the process of providing information for producers, creatives, and vendors designed to reduce the environmental impact of sets, costumes, lighting and transportation
  • To disseminate to running shows information about proven techniques to reduce their carbon emissions, waste, and other ecological impacts, including more efficient use of energy, water & paper; to begin the development of a website, linking industry & audience members to lists of ecologically better practices; to create community forums to share news & ideas
  • Theaters will be encouraged to conduct a carbon impact inventory and to set up an action plan to lower their carbon footprint using a wide range of actions, including the conversion of all exterior theatre marquee lights to more efficient bulbs  
  • To implement and share better practices with theatre production and show venues across the country.

Charlotte St. Martin, Executive Director of The Broadway League said, "This initiative and this commitment brings together the entire Broadway community. We've established three committees and they have begun practice and the adoption of better practices as the first step of an ongoing process in making Broadway greener. More task forces will be developed as more people get involved."

David Stone, Wicked Producer, said, “I’d always believed that the environmental movement didn’t require my attention and was being handled by professionals and activists, until I saw An Inconvenient Truth.  I decided that night to challenge all of the companies of Wicked across North America to take a stand to protect our planet.  I urge every show, theatre, union and vendor to support Broadway’s commitment to this very important plan to reduce individual consumption as well as the industry’s collective carbon footprint.”

Some community members are already taking action.  Examples include:

  • PLAYBILL is working with NRDC to enhance their environmental practices, which are already extensive, and will be supporting the initiative by periodically reporting on the Broadway Goes Green efforts and regularly printing theatre related eco-tips in PLAYBILL Magazines throughout the year.
  • A long-running show, Wicked, has reviewed and revised its behind-the-scenes production activity to adopt greener practices.
  • Out of 39 Broadway theatres, 10 have already replaced their marquee lights with more efficient lighting and an additional 14 conversions are underway. To date, over 10,000 exterior + interior bulbs have already been changed.
  • Production shops are offering environmentally preferable materials and are developing plans to recycle or reuse scenery.
  • Costumes are being washed in cold water whenever feasible.
  • Re-chargeable batteries are used in sound equipment whenever possible.
  • Many touring shows are offsetting the carbon emissions from transporting their equipment through investments in renewal energy and have purchased nearly 1,900 tons of offsets through the Touring Green program.

To illuminate what Broadway does best, Nell Benjamin and Seth Rudetsky have written an original song to symbolize how the theatre community will work together and spread the message. At today’s press event at the Eugene O’Neill Theatre, the new song was performed for the very first time by representatives of Broadway casts including: Christian Anderson (Avenue Q), Collin Baja (Equus), Jim Borstelmann (The New Mel Brooks Musical Young Frankenstein), Rob Breckenridge (The 39 Steps), Allison Case (Hair), Charlotte d’Amboise   (Chicago), Marcie Dodd (Wicked), Paige Davis (Boeing-Boeing), Janine DiVita (Grease), Sami Gayle (Gypsy), Garrett Long (South Pacific), Aaron Kaburick (Billy Elliot, the musical), Lauren Kennedy (Vanities), Brian Kerwin (August: Osage County), Doreen Montalvo (In the Heights), Eloise Mumford (Speed-the-Plow), Patrick Page (A Man for All Seasons), Marnie Raab (The Phantom of the Opera), Constantine Rousouli (Hairspray), Alexandra Socha (Spring Awakening), Jarrod Spector (Jersey Boys), Heather Spore (Wicked), Rachel Stern (Shrek, the musical), and Brynn Williams (13, a new musical).

Nell Benjamin: Tony Nominated composer / lyricist of Legally Blonde, The Musical, which is currently on tour across the country; and is the book and lyric writer for the new adaptation of Pirates of Penzance and lyricist for Sarah Plain and Tall.

Seth Rudetsky: Sirius XM Radio "Live on Broadway" host and Broadway personality.

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The Broadway League, founded in 1930, is the national trade association for the Broadway industry.  The League’s 600-plus members include theatre owners and operators, producers, presenters, and general managers in over 240 North American cities, as well as suppliers of goods and services to the theatre industry.  Each year, League members bring Broadway to nearly 30 million people in New York and on tour across the U.S. and Canada. Visit www.BroadwayLeague.com.

The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) is a national, nonprofit organization of scientists, lawyers and environmental specialists dedicated to protecting public health and the environment. Founded in 1970, NRDC has 1.2 million members and online activists nationwide, served from offices in New York, Washington, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago and Beijing. For more information on how to green and event or organization, go to www.nrdc.org.

Visit: www.GreenBroadway.com

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