LOS ANGELES — The Center for Sustainable Practice in the Arts (CSPA) awarded the first CSPA Fringe Award for Sustainable Production to Presque Pret a Porter, produced by Dreams by Machine on Sunday night at the Hollywood Fringe Festival Awards Ceremony. The award was designed to reward ecologically sustainable practice in the production of a fringe performance.
The award was adjudicated by the CSPA Directors, Ian Garrett and Miranda Wright, along with select CSPA affiliates. The recipient was chosen based on an online data form created by the CSPA, and informed by the Mo’olelo Green Theater Choices Toolkit.
“The CSPA is not just another ‘go green’ organization,” said Wright at the ceremony Sunday night. “We hope to gather and distribute information that aids in the sustainability of the earth, the sustainability of our communities, and the sustainability of our art. And so, the purpose of this award is not to recognize the greenest production. Our objective in offering this award is to ask questions of ourselves, as theater artists, about the greater impact of our work on the world around us. The winner of this year’s award not only limited material waste in production, but asked audience members to consider sustainability in their lives.”
Laura Brody, this year’s winner, stated the primary goal of her project as “to create awareness of and to encourage re-use through entertaining and participatory demonstration.” In the performance, materials were re-purposed from thrift stores and cutting room floors. Materials were donated by friends and colleagues of the project. And, the musician’s set up was made of found objects strung together to create a percussion rig.
While debuting at the Hollywood Fringe, the CSPA Fringe Award for Sustainable Production will also be offered at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival this August, where the CSPA will be presenting a panel on sustainability in theater at Fringe Central in Edinburgh on Monday Morning, August the 16th.
“We’ve been working since we started the CSPA on how to provide resources and guidelines for sustainable production to the theatrical community. Both Miranda and myself come from theatrical backgrounds and it is important to us. The fringe festival model provides an ideal platform to introduce these ideas and the award due to the expectations and scale of the shows. It is easier to start the conversation at a fringe level of production than Broadway. By starting with the Hollywood Fringe, our local and the newest fringe festival, and immediately moving to the Edinburgh Fringe, the largest and oldest fringe in the world, we are looking to create the greatest visibility and excitement around the introduction of ideas of sustainability to the largest number of theater artists at home and away,” says Executive Director Ian Garrett.
“Even more so than we want someone to score perfectly on the questionnaire we use to evaluate shows, we want theater artists to look at the questions and think about how it helps to guide their thinking about sustainability in the their art. There may be questions asked in ways they hadn’t thought, and we hope they ask these questions of their next project and the project after that.”
The CSPA was founded by Ian Garrett and Miranda Wright in early 2008 after individually working on each of the programs that now make up the multi-faceted approach to sustainability separately. The organization provides a network of resources to arts organizations, which enables them to be ecologically and economically sustainable while maintaining artistic excellence. Past and Present partnerships have included the University of Oregon, Ashden Directory, Arcola Theater, Diverseworks Artspace, Indy Convergence, York University, LA Stage Alliance and others