02 November 2009

Can I put Eco-Stage Manager on my resume? :)

While I'm still trying to articulate my views of socio-political theater and its interception with eco-drama, I have found other ways that I am able to incorporate granola tendencies into my theatrical adventures.

First, every stage manager must have a physical prompt book. While you may argue the merit of such a need and highlight all the ways we could get around a physical one that requires paper, I just don't believe it. I have seen too many challenges during a show that shows a necessity for having this physical book.

I worked on a show as an Assistant Stage Manager where the Stage Manager heavily relied on his computer to run the show. His action script and master cue list were on his laptop. Hmmm. Let me count all the ways something went wrong.

1. One night he forgot to charge the laptop and had left the charger somewhere else. Therefore, computer dead.
2. One day, the document just wouldn't open.
3. Another time...he left the laptop somewhere.

And whenever these mishaps would happen, low and behold...I had my prompt book that had the info we needed.

So being that I need a prompt book, I've approached the process of creating one in a granola kind of way.

Instead of preprinting most of my prompt book contents which include forms, calendars and scripts amongst other things, I have done majority of the work on my laptop until I have a final draft ready to print. The action script changes constantly. Someone was just taken off the contacts list. And so the story goes. So, if I've been able to wait to print it, I've done so. Each night I send a rehearsal report and I usually print it out and add it to the binder. The report is only one page long. So instead of printing one page each night. I wait until I have a chunk and print them double sided. (I wouldn't recommend using scrap paper. Its sort of a stage manager's portfolio and needs to be professional looking. You wouldn't print your final resume on scrap paper, would you.) When I have printed, I've also printed on 100% post consumer recycled content paper.

Sometimes I need scrap paper, just because I'm standing, I'm moving. I'm here, I'm there. The director is giving me 100 notes, an actor ask for this...and I can't hold my laptop and type it and I've tried using my cell phone to type it out too. Just doesn't work. So for scrap paper, I did something. Because I was notorious for pre-printing my prompt books and sometimes printing things that I didn't end up needing, I was able to make a stack of paper that can now be used as scrap.

Also, by purging my old SM prompt books I came across many generic forms that were blank and now I will be able to reuse them in the future. I have a stack of forms that I didn't use three shows ago, that are perfect for this show. So instead of tossing them, or letting them sit in a cabinet collecting dust and space, I'm able to actually use them.

In rehearsal there are some other things, either the performers do or the theater does that tend to be a bit more granola.

Redmoon Theater is notorious for being innovative, creative, and engineering wonder! That have all sort of contraptions and crazy things and many of them are home-made. Instead of purchasing these items, most of them are created in right in their shop, such as the swan headdresses.

Redmoon is also great with reusing items. (Theaters in general are great for this. Usually it has to do with financial reasons but its also a granola reason.) I've worked with Redmoon on numerous shows and many objects, puppets, contraptions, and things are reused, repurposed, upcycled and then used for something else.

This photo I took myself. It highlights two things. The clouds are something we may be using in this year's Winter Pageant and they were also something we used last year as well. While they are both two different shows with different moments throughout, sometimes they find ways to reuse a great object.

This photo also shows the car. You probably can't tell but that car is made of paper mache. Most of it aside from the part that makes it actually move and such. But the body of it or the outside (I don't know car vocabulary)...but the outside is made of paper mache.

And the other day on the objects/props table I came across a crazy wonderful looking puppet made from electrical tape! Its hair was made of old newspaper. (A picture will be posted of it eventually). So they are able to make objects, contraptions and puppets from regular "household" items. Tape. Newspaper, Paper, Glue.

I love that!

In this picture, a performer is experimenting during a moment in the fall. The paper on the floor represents leaves until we receive the real prop sometime soon. This rehearsal prop of ripped up paper is used pretty much each night. Instead of using new paper each night to work this moment, we sweep up the paper and reload it into the suitcase. Now sometimes some of the pieces of paper get wet..because there is water in the show and bubbles. Or sometimes they get really dirty because its the floor and the theater is inside a warehouse...so occasionally we have to throw some of them out. But, majority of it is reused each night.

So these are just some of the ways that we have been practicing granola tendencies while rehearsing for Winter Pageant at Redmoon Central. I acknowledge there are some big picture ideas on how theaters can be eco friendly such as in stage lighting, electrical use, huge scale recycling and such but that's a post for another day.

Do you have tips on other ways we can practice granola tendencies? How else can I as a stage manager incorporate green practices into my artistic work without sacrificing my professionalism or the quality of work I produce?


Eco Mama said...

Cool photos! Your job seems very exciting. And yes! Why not?
Eco Mama

SLY said...

@Eco Mama. I often sit in rehearsal wondering if they realize that I'd pay them to be in the room and am amazed that they pay me. I love working with Redmoon Theater. They actually used to do this event called All Hallow's Eve. It was a festival community thing sort of like a theatrical artistic way of celebrating the Day of the Dead. And this year, they were invited to the White House to do a smaller version of that. CRAZY!