Monday, March 23, 2009

Interview with Green Theater Initiative

One Green Team member flew over the website of the Green Theater Initiative and flew down for an interview with Gideon Banner.

BGT: Where did the project idea come from?
GB: I am an actor by trade, and I've been performing with Blue Man Group for some time now. Several years ago I was an original member of their environmental committee. This encouraged me to wonder whether this type of work was happening at other theaters, and I found that it generally wasn't.

BGT: Why wasn't this happening in more places?
GB: Mostly a lack of time and information. Theater managers are very busy, and despite the environmental concerns of many, they just don't have the time to devote to taking steps to go green. Many don't know what to do or how to start: aside from using low VOC paints or installing more energy efficient lighting, what else does a theater do to be green?

BGT: Why should theaters get involved?
GB: Because going green is an opportunity for theaters to be sustainable in both senses of the word, ensuring their financial futures while working to create a sustainable future for their communities. Theaters have the opportunity to answer President Obama's call for a green economy. Also, theaters have historically been an arena for expressing social issues, yet there is a startling lack of theatrical works about the environment and our relationship to it. Change comes once we understand an issue. If we can't understand it, we won't be driven to change it. I hope to see new work that addresses this.

BGT: We see something on your site about visiting other theaters?
GB: We are gearing up to consult directly with theaters. While many theaters are struggling financially, there are steps that can save them money and will cost less. We start with the low hanging fruit items which can save money quickly. Also we are working to present at upcoming trade conferences, such as the Theater Communications Group national conference.

BGT: What is the most satisfying part of this work?
GB: Having an outlet for a passion of mine. Aside from acting, I have an ongoing concern for the environment. Through the Initiative, we are creating a network of people and building momentum. I look forward to making change on the ground by working directly with theaters.

Oh by the way, you can find Gideon as an eco-consultant with Green Irene. He likes this work because it's an opportunity to walk into someone's home and tell them easy things they can do to make their home more sustainable. Find him @ or email

Thanks Gideon. Keep up the great work.

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