The Fabulous Females Ensemble performed its newest original one-act musical during the first week of November. Blackout. Flashback. Another Memory presented the story of Cinnamon and Naomi as they leave an extended incarceration and attempt to resolve the two dilemmas that dominate their young lives: how to be a leader when it is so much easier to follow? How to make Mom and Dad truly understand the challenges of facing the intense peer pressure of the streets?

Audiences watched as the quest for solutions took these two girls and their friends on a harrowing, nightlong journey facing life-and-death situations and the struggle to understand what it means to be family. Young women incarcerated at the Illinois Youth Center in Warrenville (IYC-Warrenville) worked on the script since January 2015. Under the guidance and direction of Storycatchers Theatre, in partnership with Negaunee Music Institute of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra (CSO), the Fabulous Females Ensemble performed the finished product in the Sheila Kalish Memorial Theatre at IYC-Warrenville.

The Ensemble was joined by Storycatchers Apprentice Teaching Actors Greg Holmes, Lovon Jordon and Jacob Clinkscales. These young men are Storycatchers veterans of Changing Voices (Holmes and Jordon) and Teens Together (Clinkscales and Jordon).

Under the musical direction of Storycatchers teaching artist Justin Callis, the following Chicago Symphony Fellows accompanied the ensemble: Melanie Erena, on French horn; Davis King, on viola; Sam Petrey, on violin; and CSO Teaching Artist Michael Riendeau on percussion. Sarah Ponder Brock, CSO Teaching Artist, served as the conductor for all performances. 

The Civic Fellows’ participation in Fabulous Females is made possible through Storycatchers’ partnership with the Negaunee Music Institute at the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.