Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Another Kind of Green Theatre

Since it's an ephemeral art, it's too easy to make "disposable" theatre; theatre that wastes resources and winds up in the landfill at the end of the day.  If you've ever ended a strike by cramming the final pieces of a set into an overflowing dumpster, you know what I'm talking about.  Also if you've ever had to pay the electric bill. 

Sometimes we repurpose and recycle for economic reasons, not because we are trying to cut back on waste.  Maybe we don't want to use that same bar unit that has been in every play we've produced since we slapped the damn thing together.  We have to use it because it's the piece we have.  Green out of neccesity.

There's another kind of "green" if you will, a kind of conservation that it would behoove us to pay attention to.  The expense of this wastefullness isn't obvious, not at first.  But I guarantee you'll feel it over time:
For many organizations, power and growth come from the idea of having lots of customers and even more potential customers. Lots of eggs, lots of baskets. [...]

For a few organizations, the opposite is true. One basket, cared for and watched carefully. When no one else can focus on and serve that customer as well as you (because you have no choice, it's your only basket) you have a huge obligation but you also have a platform to do great work.
Is your organization wasting audience?  Wasting relationships with other companies, venues, or artists?  Seth Godin makes the pitch that individualized attention opens the door to great work.  Wasting an audience or a business contact or a fellow artist will bite you in the ass.  Eventually you will run out of eggs, and be left holding the basket.  Do great work instead.

No comments: