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Theatre performance powered with exercise bikes

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Theatre performance powered with exercise bikes

An energy storage device was used to generate electricity for the entire performance called “A Play for the Living in a Time of Extinction”…

The topic of the Earth’s climate is increasingly finding its way into the world of art.

One such example is the performance A Play for the Living in a Time of Extinction, which premiered this weekend in the Lithuanian National Drama Theatre. It was powered entirely with the electricity generated and stored in two unique exercise bikes. The performance, directed by British director Katie Mitchell, was executed by a Lithuanian team and is a part of a bigger initiative taking place in 14 European theatres.

A Play for the Living in a Time of Extinction is a monologue written by the American dramatist Miranda Rose Hall. The main character narrates the history of Earth, explaining the formation and extinction of its various species. The storyline underscores the potential role of humans in causing the sixth mass extinction.

In total, 14 European theatres joined the STAGES – Sustainable Theatre Alliance for a Green Environmental Shift – initiative, localizing the play while also adhering to a few conditions that emphasize sustainability.

For instance, the show had to be off the grid, meaning that electricity had to be generated during the performance on stage. Lithuanian local director Antanas Obcarskas chose to power the performance with two exercise bikes “HR Bank”, created by a Lithuanian startup  Tukas EV, that focuses on renewable energy solutions.

With only 15 minutes of pedalling, one bike produces enough electricity to charge a smartphone, while 3 hours of pedalling generates enough energy for the entire 1,5-hour performance. During the show, two actors pedalled two bikes, providing electricity for the entire show, including the lighting. Over the year, there will be several more such performances.

“When we created the bike we never imagined that it would be used on stage during such a performance in the national Lithuanian theater. However, this performance showcases the versatility of HR Bank. It can power your laptop, smartphone or even provide energy for the whole house, regardless of where you live,”Jonas Navickas, CEO of Tukas EV.

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