fanSHEN are a theatre company whose work promotes ideas of environmental, social and financial sustain-agility.
fanSHEN also seek to embed these ideas in their making process. They have teamed up with pedal power specialists Magnificent Revolution to rethink how to power their productions – and to raise awareness about energy among their audiences.
fanSHEN’s project GreenandPleasantLand was an outdoor show for families about the search for a more sustainable future. The sound for the show was powered by bicycle generators, pedaled by children from the audience. These bicycle generators, provided by Magnificent Revolution, provided a way of engaging people’s interest in alternatives to traditional energy sources and also support the message of the show. Part of the decision behind performing the play outdoors was that it could be lit directly by sunlight – avoiding the need for electric light.
Inspired by the success of their collaboration and the warmth of people’s response to it, fanSHEN and Magnificent Revolution have decided to collaborate on a new project this September (2013), which focuses on how to capture and store energy sustainably for a theatre production, Cheese (by Nikki Schreiber). This production will take place indoors, powered by capturing energy from people working out in local gyms during the daytime, storing it and using it to power the sound and lighting for the theatre production in the evening. The machines (exercise bikes) will generate energy in a similar way to the bicycle generators used in Greenandpleasantland, using permanent magnet motors with rollers attached. The rollers will be turned by the motion of the gym machines, which in turn will generate an electrical current The electricity generated will be stored in an ultra capacitor (a type of battery that has a higher power density than a conventional battery).
fanSHEN’s aim is that all of the electricity for the production will be generated by the gym machines so that no mains electricity is used in the production. This will complement the play which explores the financial crisis and the challenges of creating a genuinely sustainable economy. For more about the machines click here.
Following the success of GreenandPleasantLand, fanSHEN will make a new outdoor show for touring in summer 2014, called Bandstanding, click here for more details.