Who is it for?
Performance makers, directors, designers, choreographers, producers, administrators, technicians, video and sound artists, performers and playwrights. Essentially anyone who is passionate about sustainability in the performing arts. The ecostage pledge is free to join.
As creatives we are engaged in the act of storytelling. We may not be making work about climate change or participating in plays that have an environmental theme or social agenda, but our work is still situated in a rapidly transforming geological age of the Anthropocene. The stories that we tell – through the making and presentation of performance – are part of this overarching ecological narrative. In the search for new ways of doing things, constructing a paradigm that both acknowledges and engages with the more-than-human world is an exciting prospect. The ecostage pledge is about commitment and values, because with a conscious set of shared values we have a greater capacity to take action. This, we believe is one of the fundamental steps in building a movement of ecologically aware performance makers.
The idea of the pledge is to share your ecological commitment with others. It is an initiative to help clarify values and facilitate discussions within your performing arts network and amongst your colleagues and friends. By making the pledge and adding your name to the ecostage pledge site, your values will be made visible. You will automatically become part of the global ecostage network and be able to recognise other ecostage pledgers through this process. You will also be emailed an ecostage pledge stamp which you can use on your website, email signature, drawings and social media. By showing and sharing the stamp you will automatically help raise awareness of ecologically conscious practices.
Who are we?
This initiative has been created by a team of three voluntary and independent eco-scenographers (Tanja Beer, Andrea Carr, Alice Hoult) in collaboration with web designer, Samuel Overington. Over the last few years we have witnessed a rise in ecological awareness in the performing arts. This has inspired us to gather like-minded individuals and organisations to advocate and support each other in facilitating change. Our peer advisory group includes independent performing arts practitioners, sustainability groups, organisations.
Why was ecostage initiated?
With this new age of ecological awareness comes responsibility but also possibility. Climate change has provided cultural sectors with the opportunity to embark on a new course—to re-imagine and cultivate stronger relationships with politics, communities, ecosystems, and our future. In the search for new ways of doing things, constructing a paradigm that both acknowledges and engages with the more-than-human world is an exciting prospect. At the same time, confronting the realities of climate change, environmental and social degradation requires courage and a support network of like-minded people. To empower and catalyse change we need to find imaginative ways to engage leaders, peers and audiences. We have initiated this project because we feel that we need to work together as theatre makers to confront the issue. Every industry must engage with the reality of ecological consequences and the performing arts can be a unique and powerful platform to imagine and inspire new realities.
How were the pledge points chosen?
Our points are centred upon three main values inspired by the Millennium Declaration: consideration, solidarity and contribution. The pledge points have been formed over the course of several working group sessions and consultations with our peers.
What if I don’t know how to turn these values into action?
You don’t have to know exactly where to begin or how to make it happen yet. Opportunities often start to unfold in the very act of committing to the process. The only thing we ask is that your pledge is done sincerely and in good faith, with an intention of these values turning into practice – one step at a time. We have also linked this site to a wonderful selection of resources available for theatre professionals to begin turning these values into practice.
What are the expectations of using the ecostage pledge? What if I have trouble maintaining the pledge points in my practice?
Central to the task of pursuing sustainable practice is the understanding that change is incremental. We know that addressing sustainability can be challenging, confusing and frustrating. We want to invite you to start the intention: to begin questioning current practices, engaging others in ecological integrity and forging new pathways.
What am I committing to by pledging to ecostage?
This project is about committing to the conversation and engaging in your work with an awareness of ecological connection and consequence. We invite you to pledge that an ecological ethic is important to you and that you want to be part of this new movement of theatre making. By pledging, you will be demonstrating that you are committed to making changes in some tangible ways, and that you, like us, want to be a part of a community who seeks to nurture the environment through creative practices.
How is ecostage different from other sustainability initiatives in the performing arts?
We do not offer a checklist for action on sustainability. The ecostage pledge is about commitment and values, because without a conscious set of values we have no hope of taking action. This, we believe is the fundamental step to creating a movement of ecologically and socially aware theatre makers.
The Culture and Ecology Network, Sholeh Johnston, Ian Garrett, Andy Purves, Lisa Woynarski, Rosie Leach, Chantal Bilodeau, Jeremy Pickard, Lani Fu, Annett Baumast, Dr Dominique Hes, Dr Geoffrey Heard, Ayesha Tansey, Judy Ling Wong, Art of Nature Network, Peter Williams, Joe Malia, Bethany Wells, Philipa Reed, Tim Reed, Marie Le Sourd.