May 02, 2019

Coming this Month: WE GOT NEXT!, an Original Production from the Participants of EMPOWERYOUTH!

For one night only see We Got Next!, a new work performed by participants in EmpowerYouth!, a collaborative program between the Chicago Urban League and Lyric Opera of Chicago.

Now in its second year, the EmpowerYouth! program brings together 30 African American young people, predominantly from Chicago’s south side, for an intensive creative process resulting in an original theatrical work.

Since October, participants have met once a week to explore the performing arts and lend their individual voices to a collective, collaborative story. During each session participants work with professional artists who incorporate their ideas into the script, lyrics, original musical compositions, and dance moves. Teaching artists provide additional support developing their skills as performers, and pushing them to try new things, have new experiences, and gain new skills.

The resulting story highlights the nuanced difficulties of being young and trying to stay true to yourself while making decisions impacting your future. For many in the program, the final performance will be their first time on stage performing in front of their friends and family.

We Got Next! will be performed on Friday, May 17, 2019 at 7:00pm at Truman College in the Uptown neighborhood of Chicago. A limited number of free tickets are now available to the general public and can be claimed by visiting

About We Got Next!

Ever since they were little, they dreamed of making it big. Now they question whether or not they will make it at all.

For a tight-knit clique, one person moving away could mean the end of everything. What was a multi-talented group of young performers is now a fractured group of used-to-be friends. Each side battling for studio time, solos, and the beats that once held their crew together. When a popular rapper comes to Chicago, the crew has one chance to show the world what they are capable of.

Now it all comes down to this. The late nights in the studio, egos, friends made, and friends lost. One shot to make it big.

Who got next on the mic?

Photos: Kyle Flubacker