Barrel of Monkeys Presents THAT’S WEIRD, GRANDMA: Stories That Groove Through April 9

 Barrel of Monkeys is pleased to present THAT’S WEIRD, GRANDMA: Stories That Groove, the company’s annual all-musical revue, directed by Eunice Woods, with music direction by Jon Schneidman, playing Mondays at 8 pm from March 12 – April 9, 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. 

THAT’S WEIRD, GRANDMA: Stories That Groove features an eclectic mix of hilarious songs, heartfelt ballads and high-intensity dance numbers. Barrel of Monkeys company members use the work of young authors to explore the evolution of musical styles throughout the ages. The stories are created during Barrel of Monkeys’ creative writing residencies in Chicago elementary schools.

Clever and funny – touching and poignant – the collection of 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.

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THAT’S WEIRD, GRANDMA: Stories That Groove will feature Juanita AndersenJen AllmanBarry IrvingJennifer Johnson, Devin MiddletonJon Schneidman and Rachel Wilson.

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.

About the Creative Team

Eunice Woods (Director) joined Barrel of Monkeys in 2012. In addition to directing shows with the company, she’s also been heavily involved as an actor and teaching artist. Witnessing the creativity of young authors come to life onstage has been one of the most gratifying and inspiring parts of her work with Barrel of Monkeys. Outside of BOM, you may have spotted her on the theatre scene around town. She is working on Hinter, a new play by Calamity West premiering at Steep Theatre this winter. Other Chicago credits include No Blue Memories: The Life of Gwendolyn Brooks (Manual Cinema), Parade (Writers Theatre), 10 Out Of 12 (Theater Wit), Little Shop of Horrors (American Blues Theater), The Project(s) (American Theater Company), Sparky! (Lifeline Theatre), The Revel (The House Theatre of Chicago), Dessa Rose (Bailiwick Chicago), Hey! Dancin’! Hey! Musical (The Factory Theater) and more. She also toured DEFAMATION with Canamac Productions. Television credits include Shameless and Chicago PD. She is represented by Gray Talent Group.

Jon Schneidman (Music Director) is a Jeff-nominated music director and composer whose work has been seen on stages around the ChicagoLand area. Favorite credits include High Fidelity (Refuge Theater Project), Moby Dick and Thaddeus and Slocum (Lookingglass Theatre), The Nutcracker (House Theatre of Chicago), Ring of Fire (Mercury Theater), and with Chicago Children Theatre’s Red Kite program. He joined Barrel of Monkeys in Fall of 2015, and became music director in 2017.

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.