cie TOAST: sustainability in Swiss theatre

Updated: Sep 12, 2020

We talked to artist Trân Tran from cie TOAST, a performing arts company based in Lausanne, Switzerland, about their show 'HERE & NOW' and how they are trying to be more environmentally sustainable. From using second-hand props, to making their own 3D glasses, this company is starting their sustainable journey.

What is your show about? HERE & NOW is about why are the audience here, with us.

Who’s doing it? the cie TOAST (composed of 2 friends and myself for this show).

Where are you doing it? it was created for a Festival called far° festival des arts vivants Nyon in Switzerland, and we showed it in Avignon Festival last Summer.

What stage of development are you at? At the moment, we are making some changes to our show in response to the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic.

Where did the idea come from? I was interested in the reasons why do we gather together.

How have you made your show more environmentally sustainable? A big part of the stage design is made from re-used cardboard boxes thrown away by shops. And since we are touring the show, we are making cardboard 3D glasses (from food and everyday life packagings) ourselves instead of ordering them online.

What have the highlights been of developing the show in a sustainable way? What have you learnt? I've learned that "the less, the better" and I'll try to have less props next time!

What have the difficulties been of developing the show in a sustainable way? What have you learnt? If we start to think about waste and energy, it's hard to not feel aware of what a show creates. We should have it in mind and try to do our best at our scale to make everyone sensitive to those things. Step by steps we will change our habits for better ones.

Who should carry the responsibility for making theatre more sustainable? Oh everyone: the governments, the venue, the companies, the audience.

Tips and tricks: What can emerging artists do to be more eco-friendly? Be conscious of the consequences of each choice and try to be as waste free as possible. Think about how you tour and how lunch breaks are organised; use reusable things and avoid plastic as much as possible. If possible, prioritise quality over cheapness. Take time to do things instead of trying to save time/money; slow down.

How can people find out more about you?: Follow us on Instagram @cietoast

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