The topic of sustainability is currently on everyone’s lips and is almost a fad. Much of what is touted under this label is really a step in the right direction, but some is also “greenwashing”.
Nevertheless, the widespread awareness of the issue is definitely positive. Awareness of the problem is growing in almost all social and economic sectors and forms the basis for action in the sense of sustainability.
Current situation on the stage
In many theatres, awareness of sustainable action and sustainable products is already growing. However, there is still a need for action in the creation of stage sets, where the motto “build, play, throw away” is still followed in many places.
Ways to sustainability:
Use of selected, sustainable products for the creation of stage sets.
Multiple use of stage sets, for example by passing them on to other theatres or through joint productions that are designed from the outset for use in different locations.
Controlled dismantling and separation of materials into reusable components, as well as recyclable material and residual waste.
Creation of platforms on which everything from used props to discarded technology to complete stage sets can be put to a second use.
Use of stage systems that can be used again and again over a long period of time.
Sustainability through the use of stage systems
Aluminium stage systems
Aluminium? Isn’t that terribly energy-intensive to produce? Is that supposed to be sustainable?
The objection is justified.
But our experience with aluminium system components goes back 30 years. That’s exactly how long these components have been in use in some theatres. They still function without problems and will probably continue to do so for many years to come.
In view of the long service life and the number of times the system components are used (instead of special parts made of wood or steel), the idea of sustainability is obvious.
Some of the stage systems focus on creating levels and slopes, others are also able to easily build upwards in the system and create towers, bridges and multi-storey constructions on the stage.
The foldable elements save enormous storage space and transport capacity.
All in all, it should be noted that an aluminium system component has a positive impact in terms of sustainability after only a few uses.
Aluminium system turntables
Similar to the above-mentioned system components, the use of system turntables with variable diameters also offers a great advantage in terms of sustainability.
To this day, new turntables made of steel, or more rarely of wood or aluminium, have been built on stages all over the world in exactly the size needed. If a different diameter is needed, a new turntable is made. Turntables, especially when they are made of steel, sometimes have an enormous dead weight. This has an impact on the required drive power, which has to be planned much larger, and on the transport loads.
Modern turntable systems made of aluminium provide a remedy here. These have a very low dead weight. The best products weigh only approx. 140 kg for a diameter of 4 m in the aluminium base construction and for a diameter of 12 m still well under 1 t. These systems can be constructed in rings, so that different, freely selectable diameters are available. The corresponding drives are simply attached on the outside, and the driving force is transmitted to the disc via a friction ring. The constant construction of special design turntables in ever new diameters is no longer necessary, the increase in sustainability is substantial. The fact that the heaviest aluminium component in a modern aluminium construction weighs only approx. 12 kg and always has a maximum size of 1×2 m saves transport and storage capacity and can thus be seen as a further step towards sustainable use.
Mecanum system stage wagon
Similar to turntables, the motto on many stages was and still is: a new driving task, a new drive solution.
Since the introduction of the Mecanum stage wagon systems in 2017, this approach is no longer up-to-date. With the Mecanum modules, a universal tool is available for moving people and decoration up to complete stage sets. The system properties always allow for new configurations and constellations. A universal tool is available for this area.
As with the two previous examples, the system concept also contributes significantly to sustainable use on stage. The universal solution clearly beats the special solutions.
True! The acquisition of sustainable stage systems does not come for free. It’s not even cheap.
On the one hand, investing in sustainable stage systems protects the environment by avoiding waste and reducing transport and storage capacities. On the other hand, the use of systems leads to enormous savings in manpower, material, workshop space, storage space as well as in disposal costs and thus to a payback in a short time. The longer the systems are in use, the better the relationship between investment on the one hand and sustainability and amortisation on the other.
Voices from the theatres report that certain things would not have been possible in terms of time and budget if an existing system could not have been used.
Sustainability in the sense of the environment and in the sense of financial savings are inextricably linked here. A classic win-win situation.
Or: Why doesn't every theatre already work with systems?
Well, there are, of course, like everywhere else, the eternally outdated who proceed according to the motto “we’ve always done it that way”. Fortunately, this attitude is rare and the problem is usually the lack of funds for an initial investment that would enable the acquisition of a comfortable stock of components.
However, there are certainly ways to acquire these systems, even if the financial scope is limited.
VENTUM-S offers a leasing option for its Mecanum within Germany. This spreads the financial outlay over several years and opens up new financial scope.
Investment in steps
This is a good way to go for most theatres. Material is purchased for specific productions and added to over time. It helps to keep an eye on which tasks can be handled by a system instead of implementing a special solution (which may be more favourable at the moment). Many stages have gone this way successfully and now have comfortable equipment.
The time has come
Switch to sustainability now! We will be happy to help you in word and deed.
Feel free to contact us at: