Case Study: Behaviour Change – Bedlam Theatre

2nd February 2017

Case Study: Behaviour Change - Bedlam Theatre

Bedlam Theatre, the oldest student-run theatre in the UK, has explored a variety of behaviour change and audience engagement programmes to increase the adoption of sustainable practices.

The Bedlam Theatre has been a committed member of Green Arts Initiative ever since 2012, when it committed to its first environmental policy. The venue is home to the Edinburgh University Theatre Company, a student society which boasts several hundred members and 40 shows per year. The busy, dynamic nature of the company provided interesting avenues for engaging its members and its audiences with sustainable practices in the theatre industry.

In March 2013, the company garnered a Bronze award in the University’s Edinburgh Sustainability Awards, the first student society to participate in the awards scheme. Efforts to reduce energy consumption and encourage responsible waste management were complemented by communication efforts, highlighted by the initiation of Dramatic Impact, Bedlam’s first green theatre festival.

In their submission to the Edinburgh Sustainability Awards, the company adopted a step-by-step approach to promote behaviour change and introduce sustainable practices. By setting up a regular waste monitoring program and regularly checking electricity consumption, the committee aimed to raise awareness of opportunities for resource efficiency. Various activities such as using Switch and Save materials, promoting the use of natural lighting rather than fluorescent working lights and working with the Edinburgh College of Art to re-use set construction materials, have acted as examples of good practice for the company members and its committee to build upon each year.

In 2015, the theatre made a major move towards paperless ticketing, by becoming a client to SparkSeat, an e-ticketing system developed by members of the company itself.

Bedlam Theatre also aims to become part of the local green theatre network, by building links with organisations such as Creative Carbon Scotland, Julie’s Bicycle and the Edinburgh University Festivals Office, and equipment manufacturers such as White Light, Philips and ETC.

You can read more about Bedlam’s environment work on their website, here.

Image: Ian Mackay via Flickr

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