Ellen Jones to deliver fall’s first Honors Council lecture on sustainable theater productions

BEMIDJI, Minn. (Oct. 5, 2010) — The visual elements of a theater production create the world characters inhabit during a performance. Theater performances are fleeting, and the theater industry traditionally has a reputation for generating a great deal of waste. Industy leaders have recognized the need for “greener” theater productions, and have begun pursuing more sustainable productions.

Dr. Ellen Jones, assistant professor of theatre at Bemidji State University, will lecure about the increasing role of sustainability in theater production during the University’s first Honors Council Lecture. The lecture, which is free and open to the public, will be held at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 13, in Bangsberg Hall 119 on the Bemidji State campus.

Jones will present an overview of the function of visual design in play production, and how set design choices control the rhythm of a performance and establish the style of a production. She also will show how sets communicate important information about plot and characters to the audience.

Jones also will focus on how the theatre program at Bemidji State has found ways to more effectively use resources over the last two years without compromising a play’s production values. She will outline the sustainable practices the program has adopted, how those practices have led to a reduction of the program’s carbon footprint, and how those changes reflect an industry-wide movement to make theater production more environmentally responsible.

Jones joined Bemidji State’s theatre program faculty in Aug. 2008. Jones specializes in scenic design, lighting design, scene painting and faux finishes. Her production work includes designs and painting in regional theatres including Chicago, New York City, New England and the Southeast as well as at various academic institutions. Her work at Bemidji State includes scenery and lighting for “Cabaret” and “The Crucible” and the scenery and costumes for “The Man of La Mancha.”

Jones will be delivering the first of three Honors Council lectures offered as part of the Fall 2010 schedule.

2010 Fall Honors Council Lecture Series remaining schedule
• Oct. 13, 7 p.m.: Ellen Jones, assistant professor of theatre, “Design for the Theatre Production: Meeting Artistic Goals While Creating Sustainable Practices.” Bangsberg Hall 119.
• Oct. 27, 7 p.m.: Larry Swain, assistant professor of English, “Texts of Terror: Theo-Literary Responses to the Vikings and King Aetheired’s Viking Policy.” Hagg-Sauer 112.
• Nov. 16, 6 p.m.: Film: “Baatan,” introduced by Tom Murphy, professor of history. Hagg-Sauer 112.
• Nov. 17, 7 p.m.: Tom Murphy, “Inevitable Triumph: World War II Films and the Idea of Victory.” Hagg-Sauer 112.

For more information about the Honors Council Lecture Series, please contact the honors program at (218) 755-3984.

Oct. 13 – 7 p.m.
– Honors Council Lecture Series: Ellen Jones, assistant professor of theatre, presents “Design for the Theatre Production: Meeting Artistic Goals While Creating Sustainable Practices.” Location: Bangsberg Hall 119. Admission: free. Information: (218) 755-3984.