Barrel Of Monkeys' THAT'S WEIRD, GRANDMA Presents Stories That Sing And Dance

Barrel Of Monkeys' THAT'S WEIRD, GRANDMA Presents Stories That Sing And Dance

Barrel of Monkeys presents the annual all musical edition of its much-lauded sketch show: THAT'S WEIRD, GRANDMA: Stories That Sing and Dance, directed by Artistic Director Brandon Cloyd, playing Fridays and Saturday at 7:30 pm from May 3 - 25, 2019 at the Neo-Futurist Theater, 5153 N. Ashland Ave. in Chicago. Tickets go on sale Tuesday, March 19 2019 at www.barrelofmonkeys.org or by calling (773) 506-7140. The press opening is Saturday, May 4 at 7:30 pm.

Back by popular demand, BOM's all-musical line-up returns with a mix of new and classic song-and-dance numbers performed to music composed and designed by the talented musicians of Barrel of Monkeys. Now performing in prime-time for the first time ever!

The cast to date includes Noah Appelbaum, Bryan Bosque, Kaylyn Carter, Linsey Falls, Isabella Gerasole, Gaby Hirsch, Barry Irving, Jen Johnson, Arielle Leverett, Jon Schneidman and Rachel Wilson.

Now in its eighteenth year, THAT'S WEIRD, GRANDMA features adaptations of stories written during Barrel of Monkeys' creative writing residencies in Chicago elementary schools. BOM's ensemble of professional actors, comedians and musicians bring the young authors' stories to life as raucous sketches, songs and movement pieces, performing first for students in their schools and then for the public. These stories - from hilarious dialogues between unlikely characters to poignant pleas for social change - resonate with adults while celebrating the imaginations of young people. Every week brings a new line-up of stories, and BOM invites audiences to vote on their favorites at each performance.

About the Director

Brandon Cloyd joined Barrel of Monkeys 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. Before becoming the company's Artistic Director in September 2017, Brandon served as BOM After-School Program Coordinator at Loyola Park from 2014-2016 and Program Director from 2016-2017. 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 Theater Company, Filament Theatre, InGen Productions, ACLE's Teatrino in Italy and Purple Crayon Players at Northwestern University. Brandon recently joined the Board of Directors for the League of Chicago Theatres.

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., 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.

Photo: (left to right) Barrel of Monkeys company members Jennifer Johnson, Juanita Andersen, Devin Middleton, Jen Allman, Rachel Wilson and Barry Irving perform "My First Girlfriend" in THAT'S WEIRD, GRANDMA. Photo by Evan Hanover.

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