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Co-World Premiere of The Garbologists closes City Theatre's Season


Last updated 4/19/2022 at 8:04am

City Theatre's final production of its 2021/2022 season is Lindsay Joelle's The Garbologists, directed by Monteze Freeland. A co-world premiere with Philadelphia Theatre Company, The Garbologists runs from April 30 to May 22 on the City Theatre Main Stage. 

"The Garbologists is finally making its way to City Theatre after being held up in traffic for a few years. This funny, gritty, and uncommon play takes us into the lives of two sanitation workers, Marlowe and Danny, in such a way that it causes you to think deeper about the humans who are essential to keeping our world clean and safe," says co-artistic director of City Theatre and director of The Garbologists, Monteze Freeland. "I eagerly await the opportunity to direct hometown favorite Bria Walker and nationally-renowned Jason Babinsky through Lindsay Joelle's New York as they clean up the streets and their complex lives. Buckle up!" 

Lindsay Joelle's The Garbologists is an unconventional buddy comedy following first-time sanitation worker Marlowe and lifer Danny in the cab of a 19-ton garbage truck in New York City. Tasked with picking up what the world has discarded, they learn that some things are easier to toss than others. The play was featured in early development form as a workshop and reading as part of the 2019 MOMENTUM Festival at City Theatre. 

Audiences will also learn some things are more hazardous to toss than others. Using data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Business Insider found refuse and recyclable material collectors to be the sixth deadliest job in America, and as the Pittsburgh sanitation workers' strike of March 2020 brought to light, the threat of COVID-19 made the job even more dangerous. 

Playwright Lindsay Joelle recognized this fact when she immersed herself in the hazardous world of sanitation work to develop an unfiltered and authentic world-of-play. In a statement to City Theatre, Ms. Joelle revealed details about this immersion process and how The Garbologists was born: 

"The Garbologists is the product of six years of conversations with sanitation workers across the country who welcomed me into their garages and shared their favorite on-the-job stories.

After developing the play at City Theatre's 2019 Momentum Festival, the world premiere was postponed due to the pandemic, and sanitation workers proved yet again how truly essential they are to our daily health and safety. I'm grateful to the City Theatre team for their unwavering belief in this story, and I can't wait to finally bring The Garbologists home to Pittsburgh this spring!" 


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