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11th May, 2022

Greening Theatre Production through the Sustainable Use of Materials


Event Details

11th May, 2022
18:00 - 19:30

This talk will summarize current practices and attitudes related to the sustainable use of materials in (predominantly) UK theatre, a term that here also embraces opera, dance, circus and site-specific and outdoor performance. It will present some of the findings of a year-long scoping study – entitled ‘Sustainable Materials in the Creative Industries’ – which explored the sourcing, use, disposal, reuse, recycling, and upcycling of materials, in order to better understand the creative sector’s ongoing responses and contribution to the development of a circular economy.

Key sustainability issues in the performing arts will be identified, which broadly align with UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) numbers 4 (Quality Education), 8 (Decent Work and Economic Growth), 9 (Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure), and 12 (Responsible Consumption and Production). With a focus on production processes, it will work through the challenges and concerns of creating low carbon/low waste performances, as well as examples of actions and initiatives taken in response. This includes the publication of the first volume of the Theatre Green Book in March 2021, which draws together existing best practice in sustainable theatre-making and effectively represents the UK theatre industry’s aspirations and collective commitment in response to climate crisis by setting out tiered standards for achieving change.

The presentation will end with a set of recommendations for investment and investigation in order to build and deepen infrastructures to enable sustainable theatre practice.

Roberta Mock (@roberta_mock) is Professor of Performance and Executive Dean of the School of Performing and Digital Arts at Royal Holloway, University of London. She was the Co-investigator responsible for Performing Arts for the AHRC-funded project, ‘Sustainable Materials in the Creative Industries’ (2020-21, led by Royal College of Art) and is the Principal Investigator of the ‘Transitioning to Sustainable Production Across the UK Theatre Sector’ project (2022), co-commissioned by the Creative Industries Policy and Evidence Centre (PEC) and ACE (@GreenUKTheatre). Roberta has written or edited 5 books, most recently Joshua Sofaer: Performance / Objects / Participation (Intellect Live, 2020), and is the Chair of the Theatre & Performance Research Association (TaPRA).

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