Media Contact:  

Elizia Artis, Community Engagement Manager | 408.390.0135
544 W. Oak Street, #1005
Chicago, IL 60610


Chicago, IL – In partnership with Steppenwolf Theatre Company’s audio production team and Chicago Beyond, the Storycatchers staff and select youth ensemble members recorded and released a powerful protest song, accompanied by a music video highlighting activism.

“You Can’t Kill Our Song” is a reflective piece about the struggle for justice and reform following George Floyd’s death and the summer of uprisings across the world. With lyrics written by Storycatchers Theatre founder and Artistic Director, Meade Palidofsky, Tamara Drew, Artistic Manager, and Denton Arnell, Music Director/Composer, the anthem draws on the emotions of those who have experienced racism, and police harassment and deadly violence. The verses connect listeners with real-life events like Tamara making public art with the overwhelmingly long list of Black victims of police violence, and a mother of one of our youth ensemble members worrying about whether all of her sons will be safe.

The staff respected social distancing mandates when given the opportunity to record the song on the Steppenwolf Theatre Company’s stage with the help of their production team. A member of the post-release program Changing Voices, Evan Butler, joined the staff to sing and was excited to be in the recording booth. Assistant Superintendent Michael Byrd represented our Illinois Youth Center – Chicago (IYC-Chicago) youth by joining Shawn Wallace and Evan in the ‘I Am Human’ verses.

This anthem premiere was sandwiched by two additional projects – a list of 40 simple activism activities released online and a first-time audio performance of the musical “I Am Not Your Homie” which was written and performed by youth in programming at the detention facility, IYC-Chicago.

Both the anthem and the songs from the latest musical live on the Storycatchers Theatre SoundCloud account.


Song premiere from an organization working with incarcerated youth.
Opportunity for interviews with Executive Director, Founder and Artistic Director, Artistic Manager and Music Director/Composer.

Song Website: 



About Storycatchers Theatre:  

For 36 years, Storycatchers Theatre has been empowering justice involved youth to craft and perform musical theatre from their own personal stories of growing up in Illinois’ underserved neighborhoods. Using an award winning and transformational writing methodology, these youth develop the skills needed to successfully reenter society and move beyond their histories to become peer mentors, civic influencers, and agents of change in our community.