Barrel of Monkeys Incorporates Spanish-Language Stories into THAT'S WEIRD, GRANDMA, Beginning 3/10

Barrel of Monkeys incorporates Spanish into its "That's Weird, Grandma" performances on Sundays at 2 p.m. and Mondays at 8 p.m. beginning March 10 at the Neo-Futurarium, 5153 N. Ashland. Performances will include Spanish-language stories. Artistic Director Molly Brennan directs.

Barrel of Monkeys conducts creative writing residencies for 3rd through 5th graders with a wide variety of Chicago Public Schools across the city, including schools with large bilingual student populations. Barrel of Monkeys adapts students' stories for the stage and shares them with the public each week at "That's Weird, Grandma".

"Barrel of Monkeys asks students to write in the language in which they feel most comfortable, and for many of our students, that language is Spanish," said Brennan. "The students we teach understand better than any of us how to function in an increasingly bilingual world and we have the opportunity to share this unique perspective with our audiences. Our students' use of language teaches our actors and educators about story telling each and every day, and we are excited to share our full repertoire of material with the public."

Many of these sketches originate from Barrel of Monkeys' long-standing work with, among others, Avondale-Logandale School, Columbia Explorers Academy and Federico Garcia Lorca Elementary School. Featured stories include a Spanish soap opera with a mom who won't take her son to the park and "The Amazing Zurine", a story about a girl and her horse.

A Chicago-based arts education theater ensemble, Barrel of Monkeys increases students' writing skills and confidence by offering residencies with a unique hybrid of creative writing and drama activities coupled with professional performance for students from underserved Chicago Public Schools. Student-written stories are adapted into professionally-performed theater presented both in-school and through performances for the general public. Barrel of Monkeys performs more than 300 student-written stories for the students in their schools and more than 175 stories on the stage for the public each year.

Brennan, a Barrel of Monkeys company member since 1999, has held a variety of positions in the company, including actor, teacher, lead teacher, director, and artistic associate. She was named artistic director in 2011. Brennan is also a Company Member of 500 Clown, and has performed in Chicago and toured all over the country. Her acting credits include: Lookingglass Theatre's "Peter Pan, A Play" and "Lookingglass Alice"; and Harpo Marx in Goodman Theatre's "Animal Crackers". She has also performed with About Face, Steppenwolf, Second City, The House Theatre of Chicago, Lifeline and Factory Theater.

Barrel of Monkeys brings Spanish-language stories to "That's Weird, Grandma" beginning Sunday, March 10 at 2 p.m at the Neo-Futurarium, 5153 N. Ashland. From March 10-May 6, Barrel of Monkeys performs "That's Weird, Grandma" on Sundays at 2pm and Mondays at 8pm. Tickets for all performances are $10 for adults and $5 for children 12 and under.

For tickets, reservations or information call 312-409-1954 or visit

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