Barrel of Monkeys Kicks-Off 16th Season with THAT’S WEIRD, GRANDMA, September 9 – October 7, 2013

D21FA252-0FD3-4A0C-AC49-E5E9966CBB24Barrel of Monkeys is pleased to kick-off its 16th season with the 12th year of its long-running, critically acclaimed revue THAT’S WEIRD, GRANDMA, conceived and written by Chicago Public School students, adapted for the stage and performed by Barrel of Monkeys Company Members and directed by Artistic Director Molly Brennan.  Clever and funny – touching and poignant – the weekly collection of short sketches are equally entertaining for both adults and children. The line-up changes each week by audience vote – so no two shows are ever the same.

THAT’S WEIRD, GRANDMA plays Mondays at 8 pm from September 9 – October 7, 2013 at the Neo-Futurist Theater, 5153 N. Ashland Ave. in Chicago. (The current season of THAT’S WEIRD, GRANDMA continues performances through August 26, 2013).  Then prepare for more “Monkey business” October 28 – December 2, 2013 with the return of CHICAGO’S WEIRD, GRANDMA, featuring weekly performances by guest artists and companies including About Face Theatre, Bailiwick Chicago Theater, Jessica Hudson, The Hypocrites, Jyldo, Manual Cinema and Noah Ginex Puppet Company.  Additional holiday programming will be announced shortly. For tickets, reservations and information visit or call (312) 409-1954.

Barrel of Monkeys, a Chicago-based arts education theater ensemble now in its 16th season, conducts creative writing workshops with 3rd through 5th grade students in underserved Chicago Public Schools. The ensemble of actor-educators then turns their stories and words into professionally-performed theater, presented both in-school and for the general public through its revues. Barrel of Monkeys annually performs more than 300 student-written stories for the students in their schools and 175 stories on the stage for the general public.

“Barrel of Monkeys was very busy this summer – from Celebration of Authors in Hyde Park to Theater on the Lake to Family Fun Festival at Millennium Park – the ‘Monkey Madness’ never stopped,” comments Artistic Director Molly Brennan.  “After catching our breath for a week in September, That’s Weird, Grandma is back!  We are excited to debut BRAND NEW STORIES never before seen on the Grandma stage, as well as BRAND NEW ACTORS joining our seasoned veterans! Join us celebrate our 12th year at the Neo-Futurist Theater!,” adds Brennan.





Written by:  Chicago Public School Students

Adapted for the stage by:  Barrel of Monkeys Company Members

Director:  Artistic Director Molly Brennan

Featuring:  Barrel of Monkeys Company Members


Location:  Neo-Futurist Theater, 5153 N. Ashland Ave. in Chicago

Dates:  September 9 – October 7, 2013. Note: The current season of THAT’S WEIRD, GRANDMA continues performances through August 26, 2013.

Curtain Times:  Mondays at 8 pm

Tickets:  $10 for adults; $5 for children under 12. Tickets are available at or by calling (312) 409-1954.

About the Director

Molly 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 Chicagoland 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 Theatre, Steppenwolf Theatre, The Second City, The House Theatre of Chicago, Lifeline Theatre and Factory Theater.

About Barrel of Monkeys

Since Barrel of Monkeys’ inception in 1997 it has worked in 57 Chicago Public Schools. More than 7,000 lower-income elementary school students have participated in the Barrel of Monkeys programs that provide a rare opportunity for creative expression and build literacy skills, self-esteem and confidence in student ideas and abilities.