A Greener (and easier!) Approach to Stuffers

This post comes to you from the Broadway Green Alliance

Post by Jennifer Marik, Wicked Stage Manager

Printing your own stuffers in house as needed, rather than ordering them in bulk in advance, saves a lot of money, is very eco-friendly and is very easy!  At Wicked, we have a high-speed copier, an industrial paper cutter and a cabinet full of 100% recycled paper.  With just these tools, we are able to generate a stuffer for each performance – including bios and headshots for new performers and all of the necessary cast replacements.  If it is just a bio, or two or three replacements, we are able to print eight inserts to a page (which at the Gershwin is 225 copies per show).  If we need to include more information, we can generally put it on a four-up (450 copies per show).  On very rare occasions, we need to print three stuffers to a page to accommodate multiple bios, headshots and replacements. Depending on the number of copies, we can usually print the stuffers in about ten minutes and cutting the stuffers takes less than five.  We have templates set up in the computer (which prints directly to the copier), so we are able to quickly modify the stuffer each evening when we do our paperwork at hour before half hour. Our ushers generally have the inserts in hand 15 minutes after that.

WICKED has been a partner of the BGA since its founding.

WICKED has been a partner of the BGA since its founding.

What if the copier goes down at an inopportune moment?  Or what if an actor calls out at the last minute?  We keep one show of each cast replacement option in our emergency stuffer stash, so we are able to cover these contingencies.  And if the copier were to go down on a two-show day, or over the weekend (which has happened almost never), we would use Staples or Kinko’s for subsequent shows.

In an effort to be even greener, we do not cut the emergency stuffers ahead of time.  With the paper cutter, if we need to use them, we can cut them very quickly.  If we don’t use them and the actor leaves the company, we end up recycling only a total of 200-500 pieces of paper per actor leaving the company – we can use them for printing in/outs, scrap paper, etc.  What used to happen instead was that we’d have to get rid of 7200 small pieces of paper per actor leaving – and more if they covered multiple parts.  One bonus of this system is that we no longer need to store hundreds of stacks of stuffers that might never be used.

In addition to being a greener way to do stuffers, and being much easier for the stage managers, printing your own stuffers saves money – a lot of it.  Wicked saves about $5000 a month: just by making a one-time purchase of that industrial paper cutter and a monthly rental of the high-speed copier.  And an added bonus to having the high speed copier – we can generate scripts and scores on demand in-house as well, which even saves us more money.

Broadway Shows using GREENER Stuffers:

The Broadway Green Alliance was founded in 2008 in collaboration with the Natural Resources Defense Council. The Broadway Green Alliance (BGA) is an ad hoc committee of The Broadway League and a fiscal program of Broadway Cares/Equity Fights Aids. Along with Julie’s Bicycle in the UK, the BGA is a founding member of the International Green Theatre Alliance. The BGA has reached tens of thousands of fans through Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and other media.

At the BGA, we recognize that it is impossible to be 100% “green” while continuing activity and – as there is no litmus test for green activity – we ask instead that our members commit to being greener and doing better each day. As climate change does not result from one large negative action, but rather from the cumulative effect of billions of small actions, progress comes from millions of us doing a bit better each day. To become a member of the Broadway Green Alliance we ask only that you commit to becoming greener, that you name a point person to be our liaison, and that you will tell us about your green-er journey.

The BGA is co-chaired by Susan Sampliner, Company Manager of the Broadway company of WICKED, and Charlie Deull, Executive Vice President at Clark Transfer<. Rebekah Sale is the BGA’s full-time Coordinator.

Go to the Broadway Green Alliance

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