Broadway Goes Green

Volume 114, No. 4April, 2014

Rebekah Sale


Broadway Green Alliance

The Broadway Green Alliance educates, motivates and inspires the theatre community to keep it green. One of its projects (see above) is a collection drive in Times Square to recycle used clothing and textiles. Another is a project to convert used guitar strings into cool bracelets (see below left), which are then sold for charity. See for all they do and how to get involved.

Green is good! We’re happy to report a milestone: the Broadway Green Alliance has now been around for five years. To celebrate, we have planned several activities for Earth Day (April 22) and Earth Week (April 21 to April 27).

The mission of the Broadway Green Alliance is to educate, motivate and inspire the entire theatre community and its patrons to adopt environmentally friendlier practices. The alliance operates as a fiscal program of Broadway Cares/Equity Fights Aids and as an ad hoc committee of the Broadway League. We have a web site – at – full of greening resources and links. We also venture to find the answer to any “green” theatre question if you e-mail us at

Currently, all Broadway theatres are participating in the Broadway Green Alliance. There is a “Green Captain” at nearly every Broadway show, and we have over 1,300 members. We also have Green Captains at all of the major theatrical unions. (Local 802 is represented by Marisa Friedman, who can be reached at (212) 245-4802, ext. 130 or We also have representatives at almost 50 theatres Off Broadway as well as many colleges and regional theatres around the country.


Previously played guitar string bracelet

Here at our headquarters (1560 Broadway, Suite 1312), we collect textiles and shoes, electronic waste, corks, batteries, cell phones and iPods for reuse and recycling. We hold quarterly collection drives in Duffy Square that draw contributions from dozens of shows and theatre companies, and result in the recycling of thousands of pounds of electronic waste and textiles each year.

We also operate a “binder exchange” where any number of binders can be borrowed for any length of time for free. (Yes, these are just what they sound like – binders, like the kind you might buy at Staples. Actors and musicians often need binders for various projects, and this is a way to reduce, reuse and recycle!) For details, start at and search for the binder project.

Thanks to our close partnership with the Natural Resources Defense Council, the Broadway Green Alliance has become a leading resource for information about greening in the theatre world and ideas for better practices in each area of theatre production. We have teamed up to create the NRDC Theatre Greening Advisor – an online guide to help theatres across the country implement eco-intelligent practices. (See This free tool provides valuable and detailed information on all elements of greener theatres and productions.

This year, we also launched the Greener Lighting Guide, which allows theatre professionals to find out the performance, cost and environmental specifications of stage lighting instruments for easy comparison.

I’d like to call out two Local 802 members for the exceptional work they’re doing. Dave Roth helps organize the iPod donation project, where used iPods are donated to patients with Alzheimer’s and dementia to help soothe and relax. For more information, see And kudos to Carmel Dean for helping turn used guitar strings on Broadway into cool bracelets that are sold for charity. For more info about buying a bracelet or donating your Broadway guitar strings, e-mail me directly at

To celebrate Earth Week, we’re holding a Green Theatre symposium on April 22, a Textile Drive on April 23, and much more. For more information on all of the activities, see There is always a way to work on greening. The Broadway Green Alliance has a simple message for musicians: join us!

Rebekah Sale is the coordinator of the Broadway Green Alliance. You can reach her at