These young voices are loud and soft, honest and brave. They will pull you in and stretch you out, making you consider who you are, and who they will be. They demand attention. They demand to be heard.
Their song begins with “Spiderweb Trailblazer,” where we slip into the dawn with Ilse Stacklie-Vogt. As we watch the sunrise, Elura Erickson-Klimek reveals a “Girl of Fire.” Her aching voice lingers while we read “Being Fat but Not Fat Fat.” Bailey Willis explains, “I didn’t even know how to describe myself.”
These young women struggle with their identities and challenge the forces that are trying to shape them. Stacklie-Vogt longs for “The Summer of Music,” and the “stretched-sung-shouted-sobbed-into-shaking summer…” while Skye Edwards shows us the power in looking back and also stepping forward. In her piece, “The Other F-Word,” Edwards leans into the future: “I have found my voice, and I plan to use it for myself and those who haven’t yet found theirs.”
With Stacklie-Vogt, we once again dance on the edge of “August,” then run as the world meets its rosy demise. In the end, we find ourselves standing alongside Katie Campbell. “All my life,” Campbell says, “I’ve been the good girl that follows directions, maintains good grades, tries to be nice to everyone, and is a lot more innocent than most people.” They call her “Prude,” but she raises her voice, telling us that she is not a prude just for refusing to appeal to their standards.
She is beautiful. She is strong. She is enough.
That is what these young women sing: Their identities are their own, free to shape as they will. Anger, longing, happiness and regret spill from their mouths. Their chorus is bittersweet, and ever-changing, but above all – it is brave.
We are honored to share their voices with you.