Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Electricity and the Theatre

You don’t often think of electric utilities and the theatre industry as sharing a common goal. However, during a recent D.C. theatre showcase, the desire to educate children, their parents and teachers about renewable energy and the realities of climate change brought the two together. As a former teacher, I was excited to learn that PCG landed the opportunity to work on a project that would mix my past classroom experience with the work I do now.

Last month, two acting troupes from the National Theatre for Children (NTC) descended upon 18 Washington, D.C., and Maryland elementary and middle schools to teach these important lessons. The week-long event was sponsored by Pepco in support of Gov. Martin O'Malley's “EmPOWER Maryland” initiative, an effort to reduce Maryland’s energy consumption 15 percent by the year 2015.

From identifying schools early on, to securing media coverage and organizing a cocktail event, we had a hand in bringing it all together.

The reactions of the nearly 6,000 students that experienced the performances were priceless. Roaring chants like “go green, keep energy clean” and laughing students made for a fun-filled educational experience.

D.C. and Maryland state officials, education and energy leaders, Pepco employees, and a host of others got their own opportunity to view the performance about climate change during an executive reception hosted by Pepco President Thomas Graham at the Renaissance Washington Hotel. Several kids were there too, and they got a chance to be a part of the evening’s sketches. It was amazing to see their faces light up and to watch them absorb some pretty complicated information that the actors made interesting and entertaining.

It was a great experience. We had an amazing turnout at the cocktail event, and we secured coverage on WJLA-TV - Washington’s ABC affiliate, News Channel 8 and in the Maryland Gazette papers. But most importantly, we helped to inspire young minds and to encourage them to be good stewards of our environment.

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