Storycatchers Theatre guides young people to transform their traumatic experiences into powerful musical theatre, developing the courage and vision to become leaders and mentors. By creating support for youth within the criminal justice system, Storycatchers prepares them to change their lives and emerge successfully from court involvement.
Storycatchers accomplishes its mission through the following methods:
- Conducting writing and performance-skills workshops in, and developing strong partnerships with, educational, correctional, arts, social service, and health organizations with similar philosophies of youth development, allowing youth exposure to programs over significant time;
- Preparing artists to conduct storytelling, scriptwriting, and performance-skills residencies that focus on individual as well as artistic growth; including a process of assessing day-to-day personal growth of youth and program needs;
- Exposing the community to life stories and issues from a youth perspective, providing a forum for examining and embracing social and personal change.
Storycatchers’ programs seek to promote change in four arenas:
- personal growth and self-knowledge
- peer relations and team work
- healthier family interactions
- community knowledge
Working in cooperative groups, participants share and discuss their writing, looking for common themes and life challenges. Based on this group experience, writers create composite characters, outline and create a musical play. By examining themselves as characters with a fixed past but a fluid future, the young people grasp the power of their own decision-making skills. The process reinforces their recognition of choices and consequences, enhancing the ability and desire of participants to make choices that lead to positive outcomes.