Sustainable Design: Peter and the Starcatcher

Julie’s Bicycle is a UK theatre company dedicated to the concept of sustainable design. Their website includes a case study about the scenic design for the Tony-winning production of Peter and the Starcatcher, for which set designer Donyale Werle worked toward sustainability and saved money in the use of recycled materials. The show is out on a national tour through June 2014.

One excerpt from the case study states: “Donyale firmly believes that there is so much to find, but the key is to knowing how to find it.  Here are some examples of where she found her materials:

Disney: One of the most interesting salvaging locations Donyale used was at the Disney’s warehouse hangar in Rochester, New York. This is Disney’s storage facility, where current tours and past productions are stored. They allowed Donyale access to some of the productions that were no longer in use. Materials sourced from here included a 2,156 square foot RP screen, 660 yards of Mermaid fabric from the stage production of The Little Mermaid, hooks from Tarzan, zippers and Velcro. 

New York Theatre Workshop: NYTW also donated materials. For example, lumber leftover from a deck build on a previous show. The optimum aim for salvaging materials is to find ones that have been flame proofed already, or can be flame proofed.

Dumpster Diving: Donyale describes her set building process as fun, as it is not just restricted to the studio. The team would regularly go dumpster diving. One of the most successful finds were the doors of a bodega, which had caught fire.  The partially burnt doors were put on the street and the team was able to grab them.  The team began their search at the end of the Christmas season and took much of Macy’s department store’s old window display materials.”

Read the entire case study here: Sustainable Design: Peter and the Starcatcher