The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama has won a 2013 Green Gown Award for work on its sustainable pilot production of the musical ‘Cabaret’.
The Green Gown Awards are an annual celebration of sustainability best practice organised by the Environmental Association for Universities and Colleges. The accolade, presented at a ceremony at Derby College on 12th November, recognised Central’s achievement in staging the production using sustainable methods and in considering and measuring the environmental impact and carbon footprint of each stage of production. The initiative, a pilot programme for Central, was undertaken in partnership with Julie’s Bicycle.
Central staff and students involved in ‘Cabaret’ collect the award at the prestigious ceremony in Derby.
Central’s Environment and Safety Manager Susanne Page said ‘As a small, specialist performing arts institution, recognition from outside our niche profession, for an Award that recognises how creativity and sustainability can complement one another, further inspires and energises the continued nurturing of sustainable practices within our theatrical community’.
The judges particularly recognised the project for its role in bringing education for sustainable development to a novel and unusual setting, and they highlighted the scheme’s capacity to shape future practice.
Research undertaken by the students throughout the pilot contributed to the Julie’s Bicycle Sustainable Production Guide, a practical toolkit now available to arts organisations globally via the Julie’s Bicycle website as a guide to reducing their environmental impacts in production and to promote sustainability. The work will also help to enable effective integration of sustainability into Central’s general curriculum and across future productions, and it has inspired the students involved to carry this knowledge and experience into their professional careers and make a wider, lasting impact on the industry.
Sholeh Johnston, Arts Manager at Julie’s Bicycle, who provided training and mentoring for students involved in the project said ‘The necessary shift towards a sustainable cultural sector is enabled through projects like Central’s Cabaret pilot. The learning and best practice explored by staff and students at Central is now providing practical information and inspiration to other student and professional practitioners. This award celebrates their commitment, and will hopefully galvanize others to get involved with this incredibly exciting movement – one that embodies the best of our sector’s creativity and ingenuity in finding and scaling up more sustainable approaches to theatre making.’
Read more about Central’s production of ‘Cabaret’ in Julie’s Bicycle case study.
Julie’s Bicycle be working with Central on their next ‘green’ production of ‘Greece’ in 2014.