News: Leading names in theatre, design and architecture head line-up at Theatres Trust Conference 21

The programme details have been announced for the Theatres Trust’s Conference 21: Making Theatre Sustainable on 4th November at the Lyric Theatre, Hammersmith. The stellar line up of speakers includes Lisa Burger (National Theatre), Lucy Davies (Royal Court Theatre), Andy Hayles (Charcoalblue), Dave Moutry (HOME/MAST), Melly Still, Alison Tickell (Julie’s Bicycle) and Steve Tompkins (Haworth Tompkins).

As the theatre sector emerges from the pandemic, it can and must play its part in responding to the climate emergency. Lockdown discussions have led to the creation of the Theatre Green Book, an industry-wide collaboration that builds on existing guidance and draws on input from across the sector to form a shared standard for environmentally responsible theatre. Conference 21: Making Theatre Sustainable will launch the Buildings volume of the Theatre Green Book and continue the industry-wide dialogue and sharing of best practice that sits at the heart of the project.

National Theatre’s Executive Director Lisa Burger and director/designer Melly Still will start the conference off, talking about their own journey toward sustainable theatre and why they support the Theatre Green Book. Across the day there will also be a series of thought-provoking debates unpicking some of the deeper challenges of, and opportunities in, making theatre sustainable. Architect Steve Tompkins and theatre consultant Andy Hayles from Charcoalblue will head up a debate on how we ensure theatres remain fit for purpose given the need to build and buy less.

Reflecting the international discussion taking place at COP26 in Glasgow, the final panel discussion will see Lucy Davies, Executive Director of Royal Court Theatre, Dave Moutrey, Chief Executive of HOME, Director of Culture for Manchester and member of Manchester Arts Sustainability Team, Alison Tickell from Julie’s Bicycle, Molly Braverman, Director of Broadway Green Alliance and Heidi Wiley, Executive Director, European Theatre convention look at the role of theatre in wider climate advocacy, and the importance of working in partnership regionally, nationally and internationally.

The conference programme features representatives from every type and scale of theatre organisation – from national institutions National Theatre of Scotland and National Theatre and West End giants Delfont Mackintosh to London fringe venue Arcola and volunteer-run Romiley Little Theatre. Likewise, the discussions will bring together participants from a wide range of theatre disciplines, from designers and heads of production to front of house, catering and building managers on the innovative and practical ways they are working to make their productions, buildings and operations much greener.

Theatres Trust Director Jon Morgan said: “The green journey is a continuous one and we all need to keep exploring, testing and discussing the best way to improve the sustainability of our sector. I hope colleagues from all parts of the theatre sector will join us at Conference 21 on 4th November and be part of that journey.”

Bursaries places sponsored by HQ Theatres and Equity will enable a number of freelancers, early career professionals and small theatres to attend free of charge and be part of these vital conversations that impact the whole sector.

Conference 21: Making Theatre Sustainable is made possible thanks to the generous support of its sponsors and partners including Gold Sponsors Bennett Associates, Charcoalblue, HQ Theatres & Hospitality (Gold and Bursary Sponsor), Stage Electrics/Northern Light, Theatreplan and Unusual (Gold and Lanyard Sponsor), Silver Sponsors 3LR, Audio Light Systems, Bristow, BuroHappold, EM Acoustics, Harlequin Floors, Haworth Tompkins, LSI Projects, LW Theatres, Plann, pointOne EPoS, Sound & Light Concepts, Theatre Projects, Triple E and Yesplan, and Bursary Sponsor Equity.

For more information visit

Photo credit: Lyric Hammersmith

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