Post-Production: Waste in the Theater
by Kevin He -- February 12th, 2013

First off, I will start with a quick apology. I know it’s been ages since I last posted, and I will willingly place all the blame on Cabaret.

Being involved in musical productions is always an interesting endeavor because you immerse yourself so deeply in something for a 2-3 week span, ignoring essentially every other aspect of your life (for example, this blog), and what do you get in the end? Other than the applause and vague congratulations from friends you dragged to come to your show.


For those of you less familiar with theater workings, we of Hoof ‘n’ Horn spend the Sunday evening after our final matinee performance taking apart basically everything. So while the rest of you were enthralled by the Super Bowl or the ads (although this year’s selection was quite uninspired) or purposefully doing your best to ignore it, the 30 of us equipped ourselves with table saws, drills, and sledge hammers to literally take apart our life of the past month.

The result? Many many many trashcans full of splinters, wood, screws, and old nails. Or, in a word, waste.

Of course, our little Sheafer Laboratory Theater is hardly the largest culprit you can find of waste for entertainment’s sake. The Super Bowl itself is one of the most extravagant and  wasteful, events of the year. The ads themselves probably wasted many perfectly good cars. But almost all forms of entertainment also come with its own environmental baggage. For example, the beautiful Party Tree from the Lord of the Rings series is now in its death throes. Hobbiton itself is now a permanent mark on the landscape.

Entertainment is a great enterprise. We all love to see movies, Broadway shows, sports, etc. But how often do we consider environmental waste when we enjoy the products on our TVs? Given the vast amounts of waste associated with these endeavors, they also accompany the opportunity for lots of improvement as well. The unfortunate San Francisco 49ers are making their statement to that end with the first LEED certified stadium in football. It’s a start, but it’s only relevant if we keep that aspect in our minds anytime we turn on the TV to enjoy a 9+ hour marathon of Lord of the Rings. Everything takes resources and has waste, regardless of how enjoyable the end product.

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