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Philadelphia Theatre Company Launches Citywide Campaign To Support Sanitation Workers


The Garbologists runs from November 11th to December 5th, with opening night set for November 17th.

Philadelphia Theatre Company is celebrating essential workers and literally talking trash throughout the run of their Co-World Premiere of Lindsay Joelle's The Garbologists. PTC is supporting the unsung heroes of the pandemic with a free performance special for sanitation workers and their families on Thursday, November 11th at 2:30.

Starting the same day, PTC will launch a citywide campaign to encourage residents to support their sanitation workers through the distribution of 10,000 #supportsantiationworkers stickers for recycling and garbage bins. These will be available through local civic associations, at special events, and at the PTC box office.

The sticker used exclusive artwork from noted local artist Alloyius Mcilwaine, who is also creating and debuting five original art pieces using Philadelphia city recycling bins as a canvas. The pieces will be on display in the PTC lobby and auctioned off during the run of the show. The artwork will be available for viewing in the front windows of the Suzanne Roberts Theatre lobby starting on opening night.

The company is also partnering with Terrill "Ya Fav Trashman" Haigler and supporting several organizations around the city who are hosting trash related events. Ya Fav Trashman will be part of a special talkback on Sunday, November 14th, after the 3:00 pm performance. Admission to the talk-back is free with the purchase of a show ticket.

The Garbologists runs from November 11th to December 5th, with opening night set for November 17th. All performances will be held at PTC's home at the Suzanne Roberts Theatre, 480 South Broad Street, Philadelphia, PA.

"What's important about The Garbologists is that it dramatizes the story of not only the essential workers we didn't realize were so, well, essential to our lives and comfort, but also that it reveals the stories that our refuse tells about us," said PTC Producing Artistic Director Paige Price. "It's more than 'one man's trash...' It's that we have become a throwaway society in too many ways. As countries gather to talk about our climate crisis, it's hard not to look at the masses of garbage we create. It's not the main theme of the play, but you can't help but think about it."

PTC will be working closely with Terrill "Ya Fav Trashman" Haigler to revive and promote the hashtag #supportsantiationworkers from summer 2020, which Haiger started himself and scaled amidst all of the issues around proper PPE for sanitation workers in Philly etc. The hashtag will be on "bin stickers'' distributed throughout the community and are intended to be a visual show of appreciation and support (starting Wednesday, November 17th). Haigler is also speaking at a post-show conversation on November 14th. Anyone with a ticket to any performance of The Garbologists can attend the 4:30 discussion. Haigler has a theatre background. He studied acting and dance at Freedom Theatre, and graduated from Creative and Performing Arts High (CAPA) in 2007 as a dance major. He has danced with Danse4Nia Repertory Ensemble and formerly taught dance for the Philadelphia School District.

"The reason I'm so excited for this play is that it magnifies the human side of sanitation workers," said Haigler. "It makes you realize sanitation workers can be cool too. The Philadelphia Theatre Company has done an absolutely wonderful job of displaying real life scenarios that sanitation workers deal with. My hope is that this play touches Philadelphia the way it touched me."

PTC is using artwork by Philadelphia native Alloyius McIlwaine who has contributed to over 100 murals in the Philadelphia region for its season. His artwork can be found here: / For this show, McIllwaine will create original art on five Philadelphia City recycling bins. They will be promoted on Instagram and displayed in the lobby of the theatre beginning on Opening Night (Wednesday, November 17). The bins will be auctioned off throughout the run of the show.

PTC will be creating and circulating a #supportsantiationworkers sticker to civic associations as well as to community partners such as FABSCRAP and the Neon Museum of Philadelphia, which just opened an exhibition on The Art of Crafting from Trash. The general public can also stop by the PTC Box Office at the Suzanne Roberts Theatre during box office hours (12-6pm Monday through Friday and Saturday and Sundays through December 5th, for a free trash and recycle bin sticker starting on Opening Night and through the rest of the run.

Additionally, Haigler is helping PTC create a Resources/ How Can I Help? page on the PTC website that gives context to the hashtag, as well as tips on how to best support sanitation workers. Content will be continually updated and includes everything from: places to support and donate, a how-to on tipping workers, tips on how to properly dispose of hazardous items to make it more safe for the workers. There will also be a PTC staff volunteer cleanup day in conjunction with Haigler's organization (@Trash2Treasure on Instagram).

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