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If I Cry for You. Turning unspoken trauma into song and musical theatre

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Through a carefully guided process of sharing personal stories, Storycatchers Theatre (the new name for Music Theatre Workshop) has prepared young people to make more positive life choices through the process of writing, producing and performing original musical theatre since 1984. The Fabulous Females program for girls incarcerated at the Illinois Youth Center (IYC) in Warrenville, Illinois, began in 2002. Fabulous Females provides a safe environment for girls to reveal past traumatic experiences, often of extreme physical and sexual abuse, helping them connect their emotional reactions to subsequent negative choices and incarceration. Through the year-long process, these painful stories take on a life of their own as the girls translate them into scenes and song. Empowered by their creativity, they begin to heal and to believe in their capacity to move on with their lives. This article summarizes and highlights the amazing and powerful work of Storycatchers Theatre.

Keywords: creativity; empowerment; healing; singing; theatre; trauma

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Artistic Director, Storycatchers Theatre.

Publication date: March 1, 2010

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  • The International Journal of Community Music publishes research articles, practical discussions, timely reviews, readers' notes and special issues concerning all aspects of Community Music. The editorial board is composed of leading international scholars and practitioners spanning diverse disciplines that reflect the scope of Community Music practice and theory.
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