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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Window Replacement

This article is taken from about a restoration on a 1946 Spartan Manor:

One of the first restoration tasks on this trailer was to make it water tight. This meant that all water leaks from the windows had to be stopped. All the windows save the front Plexiglas picture windows were in great shape.

The other windows on the trailer are glass, therefore much more stable. Plexiglas was a fairly new technology for 1946. Plexiglas was used extensively for the first time during WWII for aviation purposes as can be seen here in the nose cone of a B17 bomber. It allowed for much lighter and complex forms.

Spartan Aircraft having had experience with this material readily adapted it to their line of trailer manufacture. It was a well suited match. When I originally found this trailer,  two of the front windows had been poorly replaced . They had been sized poorly and installed with a messy application of caulk. The curved left panel was original with heavy crazing. Most of the seal had severe dry rot and was barely holding the window in place.

Removing the old windows was a fairly easy task. The original windows were held in by a gasket sandwiched between the outer shell and an interior strip of extruded aluminum, which was screwed into the trailer frame.

This photo shows the right front window removed and the aluminum cleaned to accept

1946 Spartan window repalcement

the new window. I used large sheets of heavy paper to create templates for the new windows to be cut from.

The old windows were used as patterns. Some adjustments were required in order to get an optimal fit. 3/16 inch.

Plexiglas was used for replacements at a cost of about $150. This included them being cut to my templates. Instead of using a gasket for the window replacement I opted to use a newer product Dow Corning #795. This is an industrial grade glazing material. This close up shows the new window set in the sealant and shimmed with penny’s. The excess sealant was cleaned off with mineral spirits.

1946 Spartan window replacement Credit:

The new Plexiglas is in place. It is amazing how fresh the new windows make the trailer appear. It is nice to be able to have a clean view from this great picture window and the best part is there are no more water leaks! After almost 3 years the windows seem to be doing great. The plexi is exposed to full sun and has not discolored and the seals are still tight.

This post is part of a series documenting Sam Breen’a Spartan Restoration Project. Please see his first post here and check out the archive here. The CSPA is helping Sam by serving in an advisory role, offering modest support and featuring Sam’s Progress by syndicating his feed from as part of our CSPA Supports Program.