Internal Newsletter – August 2019

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

Word Warriors

From Thomas

In the final week of our recent Preview rehearsals, a leading actor suddenly quit the program after being given a direction to deliver his cue lines as written without ad libbing. As this youth walked offstage, another youth named Malik immediately walked onstage and assumed the position of the leading role just vacated. Malik worked with the other boys in our ensemble to pick up the music and the blocking, and he led very successful performances after only two rehearsals in the role!

Temporary Lockdown

From Cheri

Our rock star team and terrific ensemble is barreling toward our full production, with performances on September 13 and 14. This will be Diana’s last show with us before she leaves for NYC, and I want to give her a special shout-out for 6 years of great music and her incredible commitment to our program. The kids adore her and so do we! Medina, Jacob, Andi, and Dana have been doing amazing work with the kids, and our youth playwrights and actors have stepped up after the excitement of opening for the cast of Hamilton in their special performance at JTDC!

Staff Updates

New Hires

Meet Martin Gold.  He’s our new Music Director at IYC Warrenville. He comes from Northwestern having recently arranged, conducted and composed for their annual oft-acclaimed WAA-MU SHOW. He’s directed music for 7 campus productions and his own full-lenth original musical XR (EXTENDED RELEASE).  Martin’s musical theatre compositions and overall musician-ship wowed the team and are making everyone excited for his upcoming first day on the job. You can find him training at Warrenville, observing other programs, attending specialized, upcoming MD trainings being designed for all our new MD staff, and of course joining the rest of the Word Warriors team in production for their full-length musical, BREAKING OUT OF THE BLUE.

Life Updates

  • Taste and hear: STORIES FROM THE STOVE!  Playing at Changing Voices on Friday, August 30 at 4 PM – 5 PM.  The CV Ensemble will be cooking up their favorite recipes and associated stories in practice for a family-style donor dinner event taking place later in the year. All staff at invited to 100 N. Western to partake in the fun.
  • Also: A GOING-AWAY PARTY!  We’ve invited Myron, Leslie and Diana (and you) to The Claremont Diner near the Cook County Detention Center for a party to celebrate their time with us. We will be pigging out from 2 – 3:30pm on Friday, September 13 between two of TLD’s full performances with Fifth House Ensemble.  
  • Cheri will be hosting a Dramatists Guild event, The Art of Adaptation, at Remy Bumppo Theatre on Thursday September 5. Her Writing the 10 Minute Musical class at Chicago Dramatists sold out, so they are offering a second session of the class beginning October 5. She will be teaching two online courses for the Dramatists Guild Institute, beginning September 9, and offering a Musical Theatre Intensive in Austin, TX in October.
  • Word Warriors teaching artist Dee Dee Batteast will be out of town this fall directing the world premiere of PEOPLE WHERE THEY ARE at the Clarence Brown Theatre at the University of Tennessee. The drama inspired by true events from the Highlander Center in western Appalachia opens October 2nd.
  • Our own composer and musician extraordinaire Shawn Wallace is soon going to be on DecTV, a music live-streaming app, featuring in an Ice Cube concert where he’ll be playing the keys.
  • Next week is STAFF WORKSHOP WEEK!  Storycatchers staff will be giving workshops at Changing Voices on a topic of their choice. Example workshops include “Samba by Priya,” “Beverage Badness by Medina,” “Pickling your Picnic by John(‘s wife),” “Travel Like a Tightwad by Thomas,” and “Ecuadorian Dance by Cydney.”
  • The following week(end) will be our 2nd annual Storybox Project event.  We’ll be grilling food, playing music, dancing, and building a brand-new mini library next to a community herb garden!  If you want to volunteer to help out, shoot Tory an email.
  • Mark your calendars: our friends at Victory Gardens Theatre will kindly be hosting us at our Staff Retreat on Friday, September 27th from 10 AM – 3 PM.

Shout Outs

From Thomas:

  • The Word Warriors are sad to say goodbye to our Senior Music Director Myron Silberstein as he embarks on a new music director position outside the company. Over the course of his many years of service to Storycatchers, Myron has worn many hats, including extensive documentation of the Storycatchers teaching methodology. We are particularly grateful for his steady hand directing the music at IYC-Warrenville over the last year. Best wishes, Myron!


August 30that 4pm-5pm at 100 N Western will be STORIES FROM THE STOVE – come by for good eats and good times with the Changing Voices Ensemble!
September 5th Cheri will be hosting The Art of Adaptation event at Remy Bumppo Theater.
September 7th is our second-ever iteration of the very successful Storybox Project. Come join us for a day of arts & crafts outdoors in the community.
September 9th & 10th Cheri will be teaching classes at the national Dramatists Guild Institute on The Architecture of Musical Theatre and Writing the Musical Theatre Heroine, respectively. Click here for descriptions and registration. 
September 13th & 14th will be the Temporary Lockdown Ensemble’s full production of their newest musical, CONSCIENCE VS. THE DOUBLE LIFE.  Follow the stories of harboring secret identities, making difficult choices, and finding your own direction.
September 27th from 10 AM – 3 PM will be our Staff Retreat at Victory Gardens Theater.
October 5th will be the second session of Cheri’s sold-out Writing the 10 Minute Musical class.

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.