NEW YORK – At the 67th annual Tony Awards nomination ceremony yesterday, the Broadway League declared it will add to the growing conservation movement by ignoring new works and solely reproducing 100% recycled material.
Speaking to CBS-TV, who will air the Tony’s on June 9th, Broadway League President Charlotte St. Martin explained that over the years, producers have noticed that the New York theatre scene was steadily increasing its carbon footprint. “For a community that takes our commitment to the environment seriously, we were dismayed to learn how the search for new musicals was damaging the Earth. Between sheet upon sheet of new music crumpled up and thrown out, to lights being burned at all hours of the night working on scores, to frustration-induced secondhand cigarette smoke, we realized we were not doing our part to make the world a greener place.”
As part of the new Great Green Way initiative, St. Martin pointed out that all of this year’s Best New Musical nominees – Kinky Boots, Bring It On: The Musical, Matilda: The Musical, and A Christmas Story: The Musical – are all based on material that was previously successful in other mediums, and enjoy a pre-formed audience. “We’d like to assure theatergoers that this year’s biggest nominees are composed of purely recycled material. Absolutely no extraneous effort was spent creating something that might add to current CO2 levels, challenge audiences, or lose money.”
With other musicals based on secondhand material, such as Motown: The Musical and Hands On A Hard Body, taking up space in Broadway theaters this season, the recycling movement has spread to Off-Broadway. Showgirls: The Musical is currently in performances and picks up the mantle of familiarization from Silence: The Musical, an adaptation of The Silence of the Lambs, which ran earlier in the year.
New York Times chief theater critic Ben Brantley commended the League on its efforts. “It’s always inspiring to see how the Broadway community comes together for causes larger than itself. And nominating new musicals that are based on source material on which someone else already took risks is what the theatrical arts are all about.”
“I use the word ‘new’ liberally, of course,” he added.
To do their part for the green movement, Disney Theatricals has announced that they have obtained the rights to turn Al Gore’s 2006 Oscar-winning documentary An Inconvenient Truth into a musical. Rehearsals will begin in the fall.