The Ecostage journey

The story of how Ecostage evolved, its launch during COP26, and the people that have helped to make it happen.

Ecostage launched its new website and initiative at COP26 People’s Summit for Climate Justice at the Centre for Contemporary Arts, Glasgow in 2021, and sits alongside other activist groups working tenaciously towards system change. Ecostage is built on the pioneering 2015 Ecostage Pledge, originally co-founded by Tanja Beer, Andrea Carr and Alice Hoult (Malia), to promote a commitment to work sustainably.

Since then it has evolved, re-envisioned by a new team to address the accelerating climate crisis, Andrea Carr is joined by Ecostage 2021 founders and co-directors Mona Kastell, Ruth Stringer and Paul Burgess.

Ecostage is developing into a wide-ranging initiative and a comprehensive online tool, playing a significant role in global conversations about ecological thinking in the performing arts.

How we met

One thing led to another; in 2019 Andrea and Mona connected over their passion for developing Ecostage. Inspired by the conversation, Andrea facilitated a session on Future Thinking in Design at Prague Quadrennial (PQ19), hosted by The Society of British Theatre Designers (SBTD), introducing Ecostage’s ethos to international practitioners.

An animated, designer-led roundtable discussion on sustainability took place in 2020 during SBTD’s Staging Places exhibition at the V&A in London. An important catalyst for a number of new collaborations and initiatives, Ecostage and its offer of shared objectives was a central part of that discussion. As a result, Paul and Ruth joined the Ecostage team. As the initiative progressed, Hannah Myers, Laura Sedgwick and Serena Treppiedi joined to develop the website content and social media.

As Ecostage, we conducted a survey which demonstrated that a great many of our peers wanted, like us, to make work sustainably. This directly informed our development, showing that Ecostage could be the go-to place to meet a number of needs in our sector: support in getting started, practical know-how, inspiring case studies, unified ecological thinking, a shared statement of intent, and a way to make a public commitment.

Ecostage continues to evolve as we grow and learn together.

Acknowledgements

Special thanks to our advisory group of peer reviewers, who road-tested the Seven Intersecting Guiding Principles and usability of the site: members of the SBTD Sustainable Design Working Group, including Hamish Muir, Simon Daw, Alison Neighbour and Blue Bradfield; Tanja Beer (Ecoscenography); Andrew Evans (ASE consulting); David Evans (National Theatre Wales); Saras Feijo (Playfulness Festival); Ian Garret (CSPA); Stuart Graham; Archana Kumar; and Jono Chant Stevens.

The website development was made possible thanks to the generous donations to our crowdfunding campaign. Thanks also to Creative Scotland and Stop Climate Chaos Scotland for funding outreach work. Website design is by Stefano Terranova, who worked with the team to create its lively presence and accessible reach. The site is hosted by Kualo and powered by 100% green energy. In line with our ethos, our marketing material has been responsibly sourced.

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