At the Abuja premiere of We Almost Forgot also debuted an ideology of a sustainable production – the green stage – in the creatives and entertainment industry.
Lost in the magnificence of the performance and costumes, spectators paid less attention to the set (nor its significance), which featured individual jute bags sown together to form the stage’s backdrop, while feet deep, brown-dried leaves, densely carpeted the stage.
But Sobayo Abolore (of Oreapparels) set pioneered a reference point of what a green stage would look like in Nigeria, as a means of encouraging sustainable productions.
What is a green stage or a green production, one might ask?
Green stage is a set that prioritizes environmental sustainability, by recycling as much as possible materials used on set, to track the project’s carbon footprint.
Drawing inspiration from Ghanaian Artist, Ibrahim Mahama’s building- sized, jute-crafted art pieces, Abolore not only cut production costs, but, unwittingly, dualized the set’s functions, effectively enriching the back story of the production.
The feet inch leaves blending beautifully with the backdrop and yellow stage lights provides the non-identifiable space, yet universal emotions sought by choreographer, Qudus Onikeku. It further proved a soft-landing for the extensive tumbles and rolling movements of the performers.
Viewers saw diversified functions of microphones from sound enhancers to props. Its wires representing chains, deterrents, to the character’s freedom in the production’s sub plot.
Adding to the overall appeal of the performance, is the ‘story’ behind the set. Artistic director and choreographer, Onikeku notes the leaves represent different cultures, just as the performance is enriched by different dance forms.
“The combined leaves, we picked from Berlin, Lagos and Abuja. With these leaves we carry bits of cultures, of places we performed at with us.”
With such pioneering moves, the creative industry is enlightened of avenues it can promote environmental sustainability, in small doses.
In Hollywood, on the set of the Amazing Spider Man 2, plastics bottled water were swapped for re-usable bottles. Use of Ipads and printing on both sides of a paper, were applied to minimize waste, and recyclable construction materials salvaged for future production. These practices are in line with its ‘green set’ eco-friendly movement, reports greenproductionguide.com.
As in Hollywood, We Almost Forgot’s subliminal messages of a sustainable lifestyle are noted by ‘sustainability’ advocates, and with time, unconsciously embedded in the minds of sceptics.