In May, our friends at Metro Theater Company held their first ever MetroNEXT Festival of New Work where the community was able to engage in creating original theater for young people.
At the festival, three new works in progress were introduced – Unsorted by Wesley Middleton (NY) explores gender identity and self-worth; Baby Garden, a play for children (ages 2-4) about gardening and discovery of the earth and growth; and, most relevant to our mission at St. Louis Earth Day, Talkin’ Trash, by Nicholas Kryah (Metro Theater Company’s resident artist), which examines the emerging relationship between a boy fascinated with recycling and a reclusive neighbor struggling with mental illness.
Talkin’ Trash was inspired by a young St. Louis native, Sam Klein, who became fascinated with trash at the young age of 4. He befriended the trash guys when he was in Kindergarten by calling the number he found on the trash cans to compliment them on their work. From that interaction, they invited him out to tour the trash facility, he eventually got a ride on a garbage truck, and even had a birthday party at the facility. Soon, his attraction to the business of trash matured to a desire to eliminating all that waste through recycling. At the age of 9, Sam started his own recycling business called Inkcycle Group. Now, at the age of 13, his business has grown and he continues to recycle. As well as having an ambitious spirit, he has a kind and caring heart, donating the proceeds from his business to charities. His long term plan is to build a homeless shelter that is just like a hotel.
Sam is a role model that we can all learn from — small actions can have a big impact and it’s never too early to start! Thanks to Metro Theater for highlighting this story in their New Work Festival and our congratulations to them for receiving a prestigious grant from the Regional Arts Commission to make it happen!