Internal Newsletter – June 2019

Welcome to the landing page for the internal newsletter!  Now including shout outs: announce your love to the world.

Click the links below to jump to whatever section your heart desires to read.

  • Behind the Scenes.  Program updates about the hard work that goes into every Storycatchers show.
  • Staff Updates.  New hires & news about where your coworkers have been.
  • Calendar.  Upcoming chances to support your coworkers (outside of Storycatchers).

Behind the Scenes

Changing Voices

From Adam

Changing Voices has a staged reading approaching July 12th at the Greenline Performing Arts Center, spanning the stories of multiple young people faced with serious challenges as they try to stay positive and resilient.  The space will have limited seating, so be sure to RSVP early if you want to attend the show.


From Adam/Meade

Meade returned to the office from the first Firewriters performance on Thursday absolutely thrilled with how well the cast had come together.  They had become totally motivated on their own to put on a good show, even saying that they wanted to be off-book by this Sunday.  Congratulations to the Firewriters staff for being great teachers and to the ensemble for their successful performance(s)!

Temporary Lockdown

From Cheri

Two of our female participants gave us goosebumps yesterday morning, singing a moving duet, “I’m Going Home,” with such commitment and passion and musicality, that even the facility staff stopped chatting, lifted their heads, listened, and were moved. Despite facility construction challenges which have limited our rehearsal time, we’re excited for our preview performances on June 28Note from Adam: Reservations must be sent to the facility on the 24th, so RSVP before it’s too late!

Staff Updates

New Hires

We are in the midst of our search for Music Directors/Composers, so if you haven’t already, let John know about any leads!

Congratulations and a warm welcome to our newest staff members, Tamara Drew, Dana Anderson and Andi Muriel!

Tamara joins us with a wealth of experience as co-Founder, Executive Director, and Secretary of Studio BE: Youth Revolution, a non-profit performing-arts training and development program.  Tamara is dedicated to molding great performers and young adults who exercise empathy, perspective, and tolerance.  She believes the lives, experiences, backgrounds, and identities of the performers matter.  Tamara will be the interim Program Manager at IYC-Chicago while training with Meade to be Firewriters’ permanent Artistic Manager.  We trust Tamara will do an excellent job taking the reins!

Dana is a director, teaching artist, and actor who believes that is imperative for all of us to actively pursue opportunities that open our minds to what theater can be. For Dana, that means giving her most compassionate and curious ear to those from whom we rarely hear, to listen to the stories of incarcerated populations.  Dana is joining the Temporary Lockdown team at CCJTDC as their newest Teaching Artist.  We are all excited to see the results of this growing team!

Please also extend your welcome to Andi Muriel!  Andi is an actress, educator, and mixed media artist who is working as a Teaching Artist at Temporary Lockdown for the duration of this upcoming cycle.  Growing up, Andi has surrounded herself with art in one way or another. ​Now, as an adult, she has found new ways to use her art: as a tool to create change.  Sidebar, something Andi and I have in common is we both support avocado on cheeseburgers. 

Welcome to everyone! 

Life Updates

  • Cheri is teaching a lyric writing course at Chicago Dramatists, which begins June 23rd.  This lyric writing lab offers participants a solid grounding in the craft of lyric writing for musical theatre and cabaret, and stimulating prompts for generating new song ideas.  
  • Adam did 2 art shows on June 7th and it was so fun he had to sleep for 14 consecutive hours after (basically a small coma). He currently has a spot selling some paintings and prints in the Rogers Park Art Gallery, a small local shop where he will be working this Saturday and Sunday early afternoon while he plays Coloring Book for the 89384729th time.
  • Would you get a load of these fine folks representing Storycatchers’ ongoing moves towards building a more peaceful Chicago?  Three cheers for Team Storycatchers at the Race Against Gun Violence!  It was wonderful to be surrounded by other community orgs working against violence in our city. Runners & supporters enjoyed a beautiful evening on the lake with great music and good company.

Medina is probably cooler than all of us.  (Sorry if you were vying for that position.)  Here are just two updates about her life:

  • Tonight, she’s leading a Love My Body Dance Workshop at Elastic Arts Studio, a step by step lesson on New Orleans culture and the style of dance. It is intended for everyone involved to have an excuse to shake their chakras up and let out some stress. Bounce is not just twerking music. It was a major movement to shift the gun violence and harmony in the projects of New Orleans.
  • On August 8th at 6:30 PM, she’s going to be doing her one-woman show, HAIR CROWNICLES, a story that honors the black woman’s hair told through Medina’s perspective. HAIR CROWNICLES heals women that have been tortured by hair picks and combs, hurt by heated irons and chemical burns, teased by society. Groove to Medina’s symphony of jazz, r&b, and hip hop story in verse.  Tickets here

Shout Outs

From Medina:

  • Special thanks to Ms. Kateri for staying late and showing up early to connect details and assist with organizing ideas to keep the flow of workshops fluid.
  • Mr. Jacob for being a calm and strong listener and demanding participation with kind and thoughtful effort.
  • It is amazing working with Ms.P and Mr. Shawn. I’m still learning sooo much it is a lot to process. I am enjoying the process and I am receiving everything as a blessing.


From Tory:

  • Shout out to Oz for running the 5k at Race Against Gun Violence after a long week at CV!


From Cheri:

  • Jacob Clinkscales and Andi Muriel have joined the TLD team and we are thrilled to have them!


June 23rd is the start of Cheri’s lyric writing course at Chicago Dramatists.  Want to become a pro like Cheri?  Click here to register.
On August 8th Medina will be doing her solo performance at the Greenhouse Theater, HAIR CROWNICLES.  She last staged this performance years ago and it’s still relevant today.  If you can’t see her at the TLD preview, come see her showcase her acting/musical talents at her acclaimed one-woman show!

We want to get together more often.  Have an idea for a Storycatchers after-hours outing or adventure?  Email me your ideas and let’s teamwork this dream work.