LOS ANGELS/EDINBURGH – The Center for Sustainable Practice in the Arts (CSPA) has awarded the second CSPA Fringe Award for Sustainable Production at the Edinburgh Fringe to Allotment by Jules Horne and directed by Kate Nelson. The world premiere of Allotment was produced by nutshell at the Inverleith Allotments in this co-production with Assembly.
Allotment is a dark and physical tragicomedy that takes place in a real allotment. It follows green-fingered sisters Dora and Maddy as they live out their rivalry among the plants. When the unexpected rocks their uneasy balance, it’s time to do something radical.
“We chose Allotment because its successful incorporation of its location into the drama.” comments Ian Garrett, Executive Director of the CSPA. “The show’s honesty and heart is revealed in choosing to set it in a garden, and not build a facsimile on stage. Kudos to nutshell and Assembly for serving an already fantastic play so brilliantly ”
The award is determined by the submission of a questionnaire about how the show was produced along with audience response. Amongst dozens of entries, Allotment stood out in it’s minimal environmental impact, very much a result of it’s setting in the Inverlieth Allotments, requiring very little scenic construction and no additional show technology. Additionally the venue was easily accessible by public transportation, refreshments created little waste, themes of one’s relationship to the natural world were evident and it received excellent audience response. Allotment was also awarded a fringe first award by the Scotsman.
The CSPA Directors, Ian Garrett and Miranda Wright adjudicated the award, along with select CSPA affiliates. For the Edinburgh Fringe, Mhora Samuel and Tim Atkinson from The Theatres Trust’s European Regional Development Fund-backed Ecovenue project have helped the CSPA adapt the criteria for a UK audience, providing guidance on UK equivalents to US name brands, as well as providing insight on measuring conventions and policy. The award simply would not have been complete with out their assistance.
“The CSPA is not just another ‘go green’ organization,” says Wright. “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 fringe model provides an ideal platform to introduce these ideas and the award due to the expectations and scale of the shows.”
“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,” adds Garrett.
Ian Garrett and Miranda Wright founded the CSPA 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.