Believing in an ideal or way of life is a cornerstone of all thinkers, praised or unappreciated. There are the scientific, the economic, the religious, the political, and the environmental pulls of passion, but what makes every belief unique is the way in which they are folded into the fabric of every individual’s life and how those threads act in part to warm or cool the spirit of others.
To warm the fabric of other’s lives means to take their beliefs in your hands, fold it into your own, and create a message that is not only diverse, but rich with melodic harmony between two seemingly opposing forces.
This whimsical connection of individuals can be seen in all areas of livelihood. Take your mechanics, politicians, librarians, any profession, hobby, activity of any odd person on the street and what do they have in common? Every single one, no matter how outlandish or ghoulish they may be, every single ounce of stardust in them enjoys the release from reality – that portion of the day, week, year, (or if you’re very intense) every decade that you have to take a breath in of a fantastical world that you read in books, imagine in dreams, or create in spaces of thought. One’s connection to something they see as an accessory to their happiness is a powerful thing. One can live without many things, but one thing they will not easily give up is their goal of euphoria. Yes, it is the apex of happiness and hard to achieve most days, but so are the best of our goals in life. It is the individual baby steps to this grand goal which allow a person to persist; the small things that open your eyes to the possibilities all around you. That is where progression towards true enjoyment is found.
Sustainability is a mission that is true to many hearts. The goal of promoting and fostering a worldview that not only promotes, but inspires others to continue, to progress, to create a path that is widely traveled, though experienced individually, uniquely, and spiritually. The path less travelled is poetic, but the path that is travelled hand-in-hand with others, despite differences, is transcendent. Yes, it is sometimes difficult to open your imagination to include the presence of another, but what you find is that once opened, you double the chance and capacity for happiness.
Imagine a world in which everything is possible; a world in which all of your favorite little, tedious details of life are simply displayed in front of you in a medley of connections that you never previously conceived. Now picture your walking buddy on that path seeing the same compilation of stimuli, but with a different narrative. Now picture every single individual that has ever walked on that path and all the different details they perceived on the course to their destination. Now picture this path is your journey through a play, full of talented College of Charleston actors, and the path that every individual in the audience has treaded upon is sustainability. The destination? Silly, haven’t you heard? It’s the journey, that enjoyment of the whole adventure you experienced in that theatre.
On October 30th-November 7th, Center Stage presented the Crucible as a baby step in the grand goal of incorporating sustainability into theatre production. The talented cast and crew of the Crucible started on the path with the sustainable utilization of used book covers to create their whimsical set of large cubes as their stage set, minimal lighting, creative costume design from used resources to create a well known story through a sustainable narrative. The Office of Sustainability paired with the eclectic crew to provide those at the Talk Back with food that was locally sourced and waste that was composted or recycled. Yes, these steps could be perceived as small in the grand mission of accomplishing full-circle sustainability. But you forget my friend, every small step you take is bringing you that much closer to the destination and when in stride with others, the journey can become that euphoric memory never to be forgotten. As George E. Clark once remarked “theater reaches audiences in a very personal and compelling way, touching both the heart and the mind. Because theater can also impart technical information and encourage action, it addresses one of the most notorious challenges of the sustainability project: moving people from the status quo to sustainability action.” Yes, sustainable theatre production is a path less travelled, but this road is accompanied by a link of interests all coming together inthe magic of imagination and creation. And who doesn’t love a little magic? Grab your friend, enjoy your life, and saunter ever more gallantly in the direction of sustainability. And never forget that the journey never truly ends, just as this adventure of sustainable theatre production is yet not truly over.
To be continued..
-Callie Rhodin, Sustainability Intern
Photos by Stephanie Green