Global Girls Put on Dynamic Summer Showcase

Marvinetta Woodley-Penn (in white shirt), executive director of Global Girls Inc., poses backstage with her youth on the night of their summer showcase performance. Global Girls Inc. is a 2018 Acting Up award winner.

In a dynamic, high-energy performance involving dancing, singing and acting, more than 100 youth, mostly girls, recently put on a showcase expressing their positive feelings about Chicago’s South Side.

The August 2  showcase, supported, in part, with a $5,000 Acting Up award from The Chicago Community  Trust, was the culmination of a seven-week youth performance camp conducted by Global Girls Inc., a nonprofit organization based in the South Shore community.  More than 200 people attended.

“The key message we wanted the audience to take away from the showcase was ‘when we change the way we look at things, the things we look at change’,” said Marvinetta Woodley-Penn, Global Girls’ executive director. “The South Side has a bad reputation, which is not our lived reality. Let others say what they will. We will say what the South Side means to us and look for the good everywhere.”

Woodley-Penn, a jazz and blues singer who previously taught high school English and theater, started Global Girls in 2000. The theater company offers year-round performance arts programming and activities targeting African-American youth, primarily girls, ages 6 to 18.

View Global Girls’ 2018 Acting Up award video application: