A Monster at Steppenwolf Theatre
The photo was taken baskstage at Steppenwolf Theatre with members of Storycatchers Theatre and Fifth House Ensemble. The performers in the picture were waiting for the "Monster" production to end to do a post show performance and discussion about Mass Incarceration.
O.Z Bangaz's charity: Storycatchers Theatre partnered with Steppenwolf Theatre to tour Steppenwolf's adaptation of Walter Dean Meyer's Novel: Monster to juvenile detainment facilities like the Cook County Juvenile Detention Center, The Illinois Youth Center in Warrenville, and the Illinois Youth Center in Chicago. The novel and the play tells the story of Steve Harmon, a 16 year old Black male who is on trial for murder. Steve is traumatized by the experience of his incarceration and begins writing about his life and trial as if it is a screenplay.
Storycatchers Theatre runs a program called Changing Voices that teaches court involved youth between the ages of 16 and 24 to write, perform, and produce original musical plays based on their personal life stories. The Changing Voices program is an employment program where court involved youth work 30 hours a week, making $10.50 an hour to tour their dramatized personal stories all over the City of Chicago.
O.Z Bangaz trained Storycatchers youth and assisted steppenwolf Theatre in creating and facilitating pre and post show workshops. The collaboration was a huge success!