TWGHoliday2014-1Barrel of Monkeys invites you to celebrate the warmth and joy of the holiday season at THAT’S WEIRD, GRANDMA: THE HOLIDAY SPECIAL, featuring a festive array of holiday-themed sketches like Santa and Taco Bell, Nightmare In My Eye, The Shopping Habit, Snowmen From Pluto, Santa’s Mean Day and many more – all written by Chicago Public School students and adapted for the stage by Barrel of Monkeys Company Members.

Directed by Company Member Marika Mashburn, THAT’S WEIRD GRANDMA: THE HOLIDAY SPECIAL plays Mondays at 8 pm from December 8, 2014 – January 5, 2015 at the Neo-Futurist Theater, 5153 N. Ashland Ave. in Chicago. 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. For tickets, reservations and information visit or call (312) 409-1954. The press performance is Monday, December 15 at 8 pm.

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.



Written by: Chicago Public School Students

Adapted for the stage by: Barrel of Monkeys Company Members

Director: Company Member Marika Mashburn

Featuring: Barrel of Monkeys Company Members

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

Dates: December 8, 2014 – January 5, 2015

Press Performance: Monday, December 15 at 8 pm

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.

About the Director

Marika Mashburn has been a proud Company Member of Barrel of Monkeys since 2007. She is also a Company Member and Casting Director with The House Theatre of Chicago, where she has originated roles in Death and Harry Houdini, Hatfield & McCoy, Dave DaVinci Saves the Universe, San Valentino and the Melancholy Kid and many others. Regionally, she worked at Lookingglass (Our Town, Wooden Breeks), Steppenwolf, The Adrienne Arsht Center in Miami and Milwaukee Repertory Theater. As a director, she has worked with The House and Theater on the Lake (The Attempters), Collaboraction and Hell in a Handbag. As a writer, her short and full-length plays have been performed throughout the U.S., off-Broadway and in Iran. TV: Chicago Fire, Wordscape (Emmy Award).

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.