Barrel of Monkeys Presents “THAT’S WEIRD, GRANDMA: Back To School” Through Sept. 7

TWGBTS-3The summer fun never has to end! Barrel of Monkeys ushers in the school year with its revue THAT’S WEIRD, GRANDMA: Back To School, directed by Artistic Director Joseph Schupbach, playing Mondays at 8 pm through September 7, 2015 at the Neo-Futurist Theater, 5153 N. Ashland Ave. in Chicago. For tickets, reservations and information visit or call (312) 409-1954.

THAT’S WEIRD, GRANDMA is a variety show of short sketches and songs adapted from stories written by students in Barrel of Monkeys’ arts education programs. The weekly show, now in its 14th year, runs the gamut from clever and funny to touching and poignant, and includes live music, original song-and-dance numbers, wigs and props galore and a rotating cast of talented professional actors who celebrate the imaginations of children through this raucous performance. Equally entertaining for adults and children, the line-up changes each week by audience vote, so no two shows are ever the same.

THAT’S WEIRD, GRANDMA: Back To School features Barrel of Monkeys Company Members Nick Hart, Caleb Probst, Zoe Schwartz, Bradford Stevens, Curtis Williams, Ryan Williams and Rachel Wilson.

Barrel of Monkeys, a Chicago-based arts education theater ensemble now in its 18th 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.


Title: THAT’S WEIRD, GRANDMA: Back To School

Written by: Chicago Public School Students

Adapted for the stage by: Barrel of Monkeys Company Members

Director: Artistic Director Joseph Schupbach

Featuring: Barrel of Monkeys Company Members Nick Hart, Caleb Probst, Zoe Schwartz, Brad Stevens, Curtis Williams, Ryan Williams and Rachel Wilson.

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

Dates: August 17 – September 7, 2015

Curtain Times: Mondays at 8 pm

Tickets: $12 for adults; $6 for children under 12. Tickets are available at or by calling (312) 409-1954.


THAT’S WEIRD, GRANMDA also plays monthly Saturday matinees at Stage 773, 1225 W. Belmont Ave. in Chicago’s Lakeview neighborhood. For tickets and a complete schedule of performances, visit Additionally, THAT’S WEIRD, GRANDMA is featured in the 2015 Chicago Fringe Festival on Saturday, September 5 at 1 pm, Sunday, September 6 at 2:30 pm and Sunday, September 13 at 4 pm at Jefferson Playhouse, 4766 N Milwaukee Ave. in Chicago. For tickets and information, visit

About the Director

Joseph Schupbach has directed shows for Barrel of Monkeys, North Park University, Murakami Sound Machine and InGen Productions – a company of which he is co-founder and Artistic Director. Joseph has assistant directed for The Ruffians and The Neo-Futurists and has performed all over Chicago. In November 2014, he was appointed Barrel of Monkeys’ new Artistic Director, having served as the company’s Education Coordinator since 2011.

About Barrel of Monkeys

Since Barrel of Monkeys’ inception in 1997 it has worked in 60 Chicago Public Schools. More than 8,000 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.