Cover artwork of the Community Issue: Pen and colored pencil illustrations of people of different genders, ethnicities, and sizes clustered together in harmony
Imagine More
Close-up of the Community issue

They walk into the chapel single file, tallest to shortest, hands clasped behind their backs. They wear identical white sneakers, sweatpants, and gray sweatshirts with big letters: “JTDC.” Jamel is last in line, but despite his stature looks more mature than most of the fifteen to seventeen-year olds in front of him. He is light-skinned, with a pencil moustache and close-cropped hair. It’s his first night with Storycatchers Theatre at the Cook County Juvenile Detention Center, and he’s clear about his boundaries:

“I don’t sing and I don’t act. I’m going to be the director.”

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Cheryl Coons
Cheryl Coons

was the Chicago Regional Representative for the Dramatists Guild and is a Resident Playwright at Chicago Dramatists. Her musicals include River’s End (ASCAP Foundation Harold Arlen Musical Theatre Award, Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle Award, NAMT Festival, NYMF TAM Award), At Wit’s End (Carbonell Award), Sylvia’s Real Good Advice (Joseph Jefferson Award), and Phantom of the Country Opera (NAMT Festival, published by MTI.) She has served as an animateur with the Chicago Voices Project of Lyric Opera of Chicago, creating original musical theatre works based on the untold stories of community groups throughout the city.