about GGI

Global Girls has been an integral part of the South Shore/South Chicago community for over 23 years providing youth and adult theatre and dance training, hosting public performances and holding workshops and convenings on healthy lifestyles, effective communication skills, and family engagement through the performing arts. We’ve facilitated programs in area schools (currently in six), partnered with other community agencies, elected officials, businesses, the 3rd and 4th police districts and worked with local and churches.

Anually, Global Girls engages nearly 1,200 youth including partner programs in Mounds, East St. Louis, Springfield and Champaign, Illinois. In 2022, 36 adult/senior women and men took part in our acting and dance classes as well as performed in Global Girls productions at the Global Studio and in the community. An additional 337 people attended the Jazz in the Backyard series which hired seven bands with an average of five performers each. Global Girls is proud to have been featured in the 2022 Safe and Peaceful video documentary. 

Global Girls Who’s who?

Our staff and volunteers help us make a difference in all aspects of our program.


Marvinetta Penn Founder

Marvinetta Woodley-Penn, Founder and Executive Director, Full-time.

Ms. Penn is an accomplished voice over talent and singer. She taught high school English and Theatre for 19 years before leaving to pursue her performing career and along the way started Global Girls. Ms. Penn supervises the final rehearsals of most productions and writes many of the original works.  She also develops and manages business and community partnerships, garners corporate sponsorship and funding, writes grant proposals, develops programs and curriculum, designs staff manuals, works with the board chair and manages the public image of the organization.

“As the founder of Global Girls, I am humbled by the stories, the memories, the experiences of so many girls.  I have been given a splendid opportunity to see 23 years of my life through the eyes of the precious young people whom I had the high honor and privilege to engage along this Global Girls way.”

Marvinetta Woodley-Penn

Patricia Davis, Managing Director/Business Manager, Full-time.

Ms. Davis has extensive experience working in business accounting. She joined the Global Girls team in July 202l and has been a welcome and productive addition. Ms. Davis is responsible for managing all financials, making monthly ledgers, creating invoices and billing schedules and monthly vouchers for reimbursements. She also assists with grant writing and sponsorship acquisition.

Ryonn Gloster, Artistic Director, Full-time.

Ryonn also grew up in Global Girls. She studied dance at Mayfair Academy and Joel Hall Dance Theatre. She supervises the teaching artists, creates the performance calendar, secures performance contracts with outside agencies, and manages rehearsals for the Companies. In addition Ryonn is also a substitute teaching artist, and our lead choreographer.

Teaching Artists – Part-time.

Nonivia Accoh, Caria Henderson, Mariama Pilcher, Destiny Hayes, Melanie Williams, Gabriel Hawkins, Isaiah Gilbert

Global Girls Board of Directors

Global Girls board of directors
Global Theatre Collaborative Teaching Artists/Company Members & Company Members
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