The Temporary Lockdown Ensemble explored their experiences with “Second Chances and Do-Overs” during a 10-week program cycle that culminated in two staged readings for more than 100 people at the Cook County Juvenile Detention Center on September 17 and 18.

The collection of scenes and songs included a loving son who invites a mariachi band to breakfast on his mother’s birthday to make up for the pain his detention has caused her; a hungry boy who steals his best friend’s carry-out order of hot wings and later finds a way to make it up to him; and a compassionate teacher on the brink of retirement who agrees to help a determined young man retake the G.E.D. exam. A total of 20 facility residents participated in creating the script, which brought the appreciative audience to its feet. The mother of one participant said, “I had no idea you could sing and act. Son, you’ve really changed.”

The TLD Ensemble began a new cycle on October 7, focused on the idea of “Decision Points.” Their work will culminate in a staged reading, open to the public, on Friday, December 11, at 6:30 PM. To reserve a seat, please click here.