• BIG GREEN THEATER (BGT) is an annual eco-playwriting program and green theater festival celebrating environmental education, sustainability in the arts, and community enrichment.

    For a 4 month period every year, The Bushwick Starr theater works with a group of 5th grade students, teaching a combination of playwriting and environmental education. Our program partner, Jeremy Pickard of Brooklyn based eco-theater collective Superhero Clubhouse, leads this group of young writers in creating original eco-plays, which are then presented at The Bushwick Starr's Big Green Theater Festival every April. The plays are performed by an ensemble of theater professionals using only green theater methods.

    The Bushwick Starr is committed to providing community environmental awareness, as well as creative after-school arts programs. BGT is our way of actively working toward change through a creative and interactive process.

    Please read more about BGT on our "About the Program" page.

BGT Hits the Stage!

After a productive tech week, we started our performance run with mid-week matinees for the playwrights and their classmates from PS 239 and PS 75. The plays were a hit! The young writers were thrilled to watch their friends and teachers enjoying their work. We followed up the matinees with Reflection Parties, during which we … Continue reading

BGT SHOWS ARE THIS WEEK!

This week of rehearsal was our final week before tech! Our sustainably-constructed set is nearly fully installed and awaiting finishing touches– there are lots of surprises in store! Our sound design is working with the live music played by our band to create a lively soundscape that enhances the arcs of the plays and pulls … Continue reading

Song and Dance

This week the cast learned the songs the playwrights had written with our composer, Wesely Zurick. Our musical score covers a wide variety, including a folk ballad about being stranded, a soulful blues riff from an unpopular mayor, and an epic rap battle between some ghost crabs and the president. We continued to stage the … Continue reading

ECO-CONSCIOUS REHEARSALS

This week we kickstarted rehearsals with two casts of professional actors.  We read the scripts and then got up on our feet to explore how to create sea walls and Phytoplankton and gigantic crab robot monsters with our bodies. During the breaks, we kept our commitment to eco-consciousness by providing the actors with reusable food … Continue reading

FINAL DRAFT READINGS

This week, playwrights finished final drafts of their plays and we had our first reading with actors at The Bushwick Starr! In working on our final rewrites, playwrights worked with BGT staff to make sure the rules of their plays’ worlds remained consistent, cut any lines or action where characters were not working to get … Continue reading

IMAGINATION + EFFICIENCY

We continued design workshops this week! Students were visited by The Bushwick Starr’s Technical Director Jay Maury and Set Designer Michael Minahan to discuss design and develop mini set models (using recycled cardboard!) and costume renderings for our plays. Michael emphasized the role of imagination when designing. He encouraged the students to think about how … Continue reading

GREEN DESIGN

This week we had a design workshop with BGT green designers Michael Minahan & Preesa Adeline Bullington. Students imagined what a moment from their plays might look like onstage, then built shoebox-sized models of sets and drew costume renderings. The workshop was inspiring for the rest of the week’s writing, as we completed first drafts of … Continue reading

REWRITING & SONGWRITING

This week, we began the rewriting process with the plays we’d selected last week. We worked in teams, with teachers, and individually to revisit our climate change related themes and how they played in each piece. Already, we’re seeing minor characters develop into major characters and are discovering unexpected plot twists! We were also visited … Continue reading

PLAY SELECTION

After taking a break last week for the winter vacation, we kicked off Part 2 of our classroom sessions by choosing the plays we will rewrite and ultimately see produced at The Bushwick Starr in April! Each student chose their favorites from the six different rough drafts they wrote in Part 1. By the end … Continue reading

WATER AND WEEDS

What an exciting and jam-packed week of BGT! On Wednesday we went on a field trip to the Newtown Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. We learned about the reservoirs in the Catskill Mountains where NYC gets its water, built models of a watershed, and took a tour of the plant including the great Digester … Continue reading