New Play Based on True Stories of Troubled Youth Performed in St. Louis

UNHEARD VOICES:  You Don’t Know My Story, a play I conceived but drawn directly from the raw and courageous stories of young men (aged 16-20) living in a transitional residence in north St. Louis, will be performed on April 28 at the Ferguson Youth Initiative and on May 12 at the Gaslight Theater in St. Louis’s Central West End.

I led a creative writing workshop run by Your Words STL at Marygrove, a residential home for troubled and disadvantaged children and youth, this spring.  The dozen or so young men I worked with focused on telling autobiographical stories in the form of monologues.  What they wrote gave voice to the incredible life challenges and brutal circumstances of their upbringing–many of them going through 10 or more foster homes and enduring abuse of all kinds from their parents and others–with most of them forging a brave and triumphant path for themselves.  The resulting play, which I wove together from their remarkable stories, and produced by PRIME theater, is a showcase of resilience and courage.

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Daniel Blake Smith