CHICAGO – Barrel of Monkeys is pleased to present THAT’S WEIRD, GRANDMA: Stories for Change, an evening of stories showcasing the fascinating, poignant and often hilarious ideas students have for the change they’d like to see in their lives and their communities. The stories are created during Barrel of Monkeys’ creative writing residencies in Chicago elementary schools, where one day is dedicated to learning how to write for change. The student-written stories are then adapted for the stage and performed by Barrel of Monkeys Company members.
Directed by Artistic Director Brandon Cloyd, THAT’S WEIRD, GRANDMA: Stories for Change will play Mondays at 8 pm from January 22 – February 19, 2018 at the Neo-Futurist Theater, 5153 N. Ashland Ave. in Chicago. Tickets are available at www.barrelofmonkeys.org or by calling (773) 506-7140. The press opening is Monday, January 29 at 8 pm.
Clever and funny – touching and poignant – the collection of short sketches and songs featured in THAT’S WEIRD, GRANDMA is equally entertaining for adults and children. The line-up of the long-running, critically-acclaimed revue changes each week by audience vote, so no two shows are ever the same.
Barrel of Monkeys, a Chicago-based arts education theater ensemble now in its 21st season, conducts creative writing workshops with 2nd through 7th grade students in underserved Chicago Public Schools and in its own after-school program. The ensemble of actor-educators then turns their stories and poems into professionally performed theater, presented both in-school and for the general public through its revues. Barrel of Monkeys annually performs more than 300 stories for the students in their schools and 175 stories on the stage for the general public.
Monday, January 29 – Neighborhood Night: a special discount for patrons living in the 60640/60660 area codes (Andersonville, Edgewater, Uptown, Ravenswood and Sheridan Park). $10 tickets available with code “NEIGHBOR2018.”
Monday, February 5 – Theater, Storytelling and Social Change Panel: Barrel of Monkeys Program Director Shá Norman facilitates a free post-show panel discussion with leaders of several socially-engaged arts organizations exploring how theater and storytelling can create social change. Panel begins immediately following the 8 pm performance of That’s Weird, Grandma.
Monday, February 12 – Theatre Week performance: Enjoy the show for $10 during this annual city-wide celebration of Chicago’s world-class theatre scene. Tickets are available at ChicagoTheatreWeek.com.
Title: THAT’S WEIRD, GRANDMA: Stories for Change
Written by: Chicago Public School Students
Adapted for the stage by: Barrel of Monkeys Company Members
Directed by: Artistic Director Brandon Cloyd
Location: Neo-Futurist Theater, 5153 N. Ashland Ave. in Chicago
Dates: January 22 – February 19, 2018
Press performance: Monday, January 29 at 8 pm
Curtain Times: Mondays at 8 pm
Tickets: $15 for adults; $5 for children 12 and under. Discounts: $10 for students with ID, seniors, veterans and groups of 10 or more people. Tickets are available at www.barrelofmonkeys.org or by calling (773) 506-7140.
About the Director
Brandon Cloyd joined Barrel of Monkeys (BOM) in 2007 and has been deeply involved in many facets of the company ever since. Prior to joining BOM, Brandon graduated from Northwestern University with a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre and a minor in Business Institutions. Within BOM,Brandon has served as an actor, teaching artist, lead teacher, a member of Teacher Corps, as well as directing shows for schools and public performances of That’s Weird Grandma. He has also held the role of the BOM After-School Program Coordinator at Loyola Park from 2014-2016 and the Program Director since the summer of 2016. Outside of Barrel of Monkeys, he worked as the Associate Director of Camp Echo, where he has spent 13 summers managing campers and staff at a co-ed sleep away camp in Upstate New York. Brandon has worked with other theatre companies including Urban Theatre Company, American Theatre Company, Filament Theatre, Ingen Productions, ACLE’s Teatrino in Italy and Purple Crayon Players at Northwestern University.
About Barrel of Monkeys
Since Barrel of Monkeys’ inception in 1997, its teaching artists have served more than 60 Chicago Public Schools. Over 15,000 elementary school students have participated in the Barrel of Monkeys programs, which aim to build students’ writing skills, improve self-esteem, and instill confidence in their ideas and abilities.
Barrel of Monkeys is sponsored in part by Wintrust Financial, Allscripts, Inc., IMC Chicago, Ernst and Young, and Punchkick Interactive. It receives generous support from the Illinois Arts Council Agency; the National Endowment for the Arts; a CityArts Grant from the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events; the Chicago Community Trust; Crown Family Philanthropies; Alphawood Foundation of Chicago; the Maurice R. and Meta G. Gross Foundation; Polk Bros Foundation; the Richard H. Driehaus Foundation; the Robert and Isabelle Bass Foundation, Inc.; The Saints; The Topfer Family Foundation, and many other generous individuals and foundations.