The season ahead is one of firsts – TWO world premieres! – and offers you three rich sensory experiences. Choir Boy, by Academy Award-winner Tarell Alvin McCraney, literally sings with newly arranged gospel and R&B music, The Garbologists, by Lindsay Joelle, is a slyly off-beat buddy comedy housed in a 19-ton garbage truck, and Where We Belong, Madeline Sayet’s poetic and deep solo journey in our globalized but fractured world, takes us through a tactile, sound- and light-filled personal exploration of her people’s cultural history.
by Lindsay Joelle
A Co-World Premiere with City Theatre
November 11 – December 5
Danny’s a white, blue-collar mansplainer hiding a heart of gold. Marlowe’s a Black, Ivy League-educated newbie who just joined his route. When these two polar opposites are thrown together on Marlowe’s first day at the city sanitation department, they’re forced to find a steady rhythm, despite their differences. This odd couple starts their 6 a.m. shift trading barbs, but along the route Danny slowly earns Marlowe’s trust by sharing hard-earned tricks of the trade.
How do you spot a standard mattress upgrade from a casualty of a bed bug infestation? When do house rules outweigh union rules? What the hell is “mongo”?! Verb: To Scavenge. Noun: Junk. As Marlowe and Danny’s lives become increasingly entwined, their initial bickering gives way to a reluctant bond over the broken, beautiful things we discard. In Lindsay Joelle’s fresh, off-beat buddy comedy The Garbologists, two essential workers from different worlds discover there’s more that binds them than taking out the trash.
by Tarell Alvin McCraney
Directed by Resident Artist Jeffrey Page
February 18 – March 13
Honor. Legacy. Pride. Taking his place out front as the choir leader at an elite all-boys, all-Black prep school, Pharus Young is determined to make his mark by challenging expectations in a world steeped in deep-rooted traditions. Can Pharus find harmony among his peers while staying true to his own voice? From Tarell Alvin McCraney, the Academy Award®-winning writer of MOONLIGHT, Choir Boy electrified Broadway with its soaring gospel, spiritual, and R&B performances.
Where We Belong
by Madeline Sayet
A World Premiere
April 15 – May 8
In 2015, Mohegan theatre-maker Madeline Sayet travels to England to pursue a PhD in Shakespeare. Madeline finds a country that refuses to acknowledge its ongoing role in colonialism, just as the Brexit vote threatens to further disengage the UK from the wider world. In this intimate and exhilarating solo piece, Madeline echoes a journey to England braved by Native ancestors in the 1700s following treatise betrayals – and forces us to consider what it means to belong in an increasingly globalized world.
Also in store this season…
Behind the Art of the Season
Philadelphia native Alloyius Mcilwaine is a self-taught artist who’s work is our 2021-22 Season key art. Learn more about his experience as an artist and his style of art here
See & Be Scene
See & Be Scene showcases selections from several plays and musicals under consideration for future seasons. See & Be Scene will invites our audience members to offer feedback in response to the excerpts presented throughout the event.
New this season, the Company is exploring ways to use the See & Be Scene platform to highlight some of the Philly playwrights who submitted work to the McNally New Play Award. Stay tuned for a one-time-only digital July event showcasing New Voices in Philly!
(Currently, we’re planning for SEE & BE SCENE to be back (in person!) in December, 2021. Stay tuned for updates.
The Tattooed Lady
The Tattooed Lady, a developing new musical from Max Vernon and Erin Courtney, along with director and co-developer Ellie Heyman, is coming Fall 2022! A mini-documentary about the making of the musical is here: watch the teaser or watch the 20-minute documentary.
The new musical has been supported by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage. Read more HERE.
The Tattooed Lady will be introduced to our audiences in a 30-minute mini-documentary called “The Tattooed Lady: Make Your Mark.” This mini-doc reveals what it’s like for a creative team to make a new musical during “pandemic times.” Featuring a mix of behind the scenes collaboration, musical segments from Joe’s Pub, and other surprises from Philly artists, this teaser will make its mark on audiences, and show you why we were so excited to commission these artists.
The story of The Tattooed Lady highlights one of sideshow’s biggest stars, Ida Gibson, in a moving, fantastical tale that reveals the ultimate bond between mother and daughter. Featuring a parade of beguiling characters with both visible and invisible marks, the musical celebrates the resilience of women whose choices have the potential to liberate them. The Tattooed Lady is a musical meditation on beauty, perversity, shattering of taboos, and a woman’s right to control her body and choose her destiny.
The Tattooed Lady will be Philadelphia Theatre Company’s first commission under Artistic Director Paige Price’s leadership. Here’s the show page.
The Terrence McNally New Play Award
The 2021 new Terrence McNally Award winner was Donja R. Love for his play What Will Happen to All That Beauty? This season, PTC will present a virtual reading of work by the 2021 Terrence McNally New Play Award winner and will also offer dramaturgical support to our PTC Playwriting Fellow Paige Zubel for her submission Actually, Honestly Going to Fucking Die. Honorable mentions went to Jarrett McCreary (Dirt, Ash, Dead Tree) and Lori Felipe-Barkin (Flor Underwater).
The Terrence McNally Award celebrates themes central to McNally’s work; social justice, queer rights, and the transformative power of art, but is now awarded to a Philadelphia playwright, promising to further the Company’s commitment to artists, developmental theatre, and equitable opportunities for years to come.