Storycatchers Theatre offers two programs: one that works inside three juvenile detention centers in or near Chicago with 13- to 21-year-olds, and Changing Voices, which employs 21 young people between the ages of 17 and 24 who are on parole, probation, or post-release. Through Changing Voices, the young people receive wraparound services and work with both case managers and artist educators for 30 hours a week while being paid at Chicago’s minimum wage.
Meade Palidofsky, Storycatchers Theatre Founder and Artistic Director, will describe the writing methodology she has developed over years of working with justice involved youth. She will detail the process of creating a safe space with a coach and mentor, how guided by their coach, the young people journey through their past experiences, their relationships, and their environment to write an important story about their life, first as a narrative then as a scene with songs.
Shawn Wallace, Storycatchers Composer/Music Director, will relate how the power of music and melody can turn painful memories into beautiful songs creating a universality of shared life experiences. Youth learn to understand and empathize with one another, to become a circle of support.