Bay Area is Fertile Ground for Sprouting Green Theaters

Reprinted from SF Performing Arts Examiner: “East Bay Theatre Goes Green” by Dyane Hendricks, October 3, 2009 Aurora Theatre Company in Berkeley was certified on September 29 by the Alameda County Green Business and the Bay Area Green Business programs as the first certified “green” professional residential theater company in the San Francisco Bay Area. Aurora Theatre Company Technical Director and Production Coordinator Chris Killion, spearheaded the company’s efforts to go green, Aurora made the decision to go green because “the staff and administration felt it was the right thing to do. There were also systems in place, like the Bay Area Green Business Association, that enabled us and helped us meet that goal.” Other certified green performing art centers in the Bay Area include the Lesher Center in Walnut Creek and Lincoln Theater in Yountville. Both venues play host to a variety of performances and companies throughout the year. In San Francisco, Eth-No-Tec is a green-certified business, but does not have a regular theater performance venue. Aurora Theatre Company is a green-certified business that also has a resident theater. In order to meet qualifications to be green-certified, Aurora Theatre Company set up in-house recycling and composting. The company also began utilizing paper that contained as much post-consumer content as possible, changed all cleaning products used in the facility to biodegradable, less harmful green cleaners and soaps, installed restrictions of water flow on all faucets, and reduced gallons per flush in restrooms. All facility lighting meets Title 24 standards and all exit signs are now LED lights; there is a time-of-use meter on Aurora’s electrical service. Certified green materials were also used in the construction of the company’s recently-opened Nell and Jules Dashow wing. As a result of Aurora’s greening efforts, the company has significantly reduced its carbon footprint and is generating significantly less trash. Additionally, Aurora’s decision to go green provides an opportunity for audiences visiting the theater to participate in being environmentally friendly. Aurora Theatre Company continues its 18th season in October with Neil LaBute’s Fat Pig, and will stage The Coverlettes Christmas in December, The First Grade in conjunction with the GAP new works festival in January, and John Gabriel Borkman in April. Closing the season in June is the Bay Area premiere of the comedy Speech & Debate. For more information about Aurora Theatre Company or for tickets call 510. 843.4822 or visit


Go to the Green Theater Initiative