Gail of Green Living


“GREEN” Theatre

Creating a green business that works doesn’t happen overnight or without much thought and motivation.  Julie Ritchey, Founding and Artistic Director of The Filament Theatre Ensemble in Chicago has recently hired my daughter as the Managing Director of the theatre.  This is how I heard of their mission and motivation for being green.

The idea of a small theatre ensemble brings to my mind things like financial struggles, actors bringing in fast food purchased on the way to rehearsal after their last audition of the day elsewhere, and often times, working for less then they value themselves.  Actors dream of the day they can leave their “day job” to make a living where they are one with a community of fellow actors who stretch each other to be their best and who share in their belief system.  Well, The Filament has succeded in making this concept work!  I am presenting their mission statement for the theatre and will provide examples in future posts of how they live and work within their belief system.  Below is a portion of the mission statement from their website.

“A Note About Community, Imagination, and Sustainability These three ideas are inextricably linked to both each other  and to the values of the Filament Theatre Ensemble. One cannot build  community without celebrating the unique imaginations of the individuals who make that community. Communities are enriched when consumers support locally owned businesses, which is an important aspect of  sustainability. We strive to make theatre a sustainable lifestyle for  our community of artists, and always provide monetary compensation for  their extraordinary and imaginative work. Producing a show in an  environmentally responsible and sustainable way demands a great deal of  imagination and non-traditional approaches. With all the work we do –  whether during a production, audition, meeting, or outreach event – we  strive to make an investment in our audiences, our artists, and our  world. Through building and strengthening community, engaging and  challenging the imagination, and the use of sustainable business practices, we endeavor to leave the world a little better than the way  we found it.

Sustainability is a particularly tricky word, and one that gets  tossed around a lot these days, so we’re going to take an extra moment  here to focus on that word as we mean it. There are a couple of definitions in particular that strike a chord with the Filament Theatre Ensemble.  The United Nations World Commission on Environment and Development  describes sustainability as “meeting the needs of the current generation  without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their  own needs,” and the Center for Sustainable Communities says that  “sustainability emphasizes relationships rather than pieces in  isolation.”

The Filament Theatre Ensemble ceaselessly ventures to connect with  and explore the vast world around us. We value and honor this  interconnected web that makes up our relationships with each other and  with our world.  By emhasizing community, imagination, and  sustainability in all our work, we strive to make choices that have a  long-lasting positive impact across a broad spectrum, and not just  “pieces in isolation.””

Let me know of green businesses you own or support.  I am pleased to discover new ones more and more often these days!

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