Barrel of Monkeys (BOM) is a 501(c)3 tax-exempt nonprofit organization. Our arts education theater ensemble works with some of the most under-served students in Chicago. BOM objectives are to:

  • teach fundamental creative writing skills;
  • provide consistent and nurturing attention to each student over a sustained period of time ;
  • build each student’s confidence in self-expression, self-esteem, and writing skills;
  • perform high quality, professional theater to the students we serve and the broader community;
  • and form lasting partnerships.

Mission Statement

Barrel of Monkeys (BOM) is an ensemble of actor/educators who create an alternative learning environment in which children share their personal voices and celebrate the power of their imaginations. BOM accomplishes this through creative writing workshops and in-school performances of children’s stories. BOM also engages the broader community in support of the visions of children through public performances of their work.

Vision

A radically kind Chicago that champions children’s ideas.

Programming

BOM’s programming is comprised of three branches: our in-school residency program, an after-school program, and public performances. While each of these branches of our programming is essential to our mission of empowering the youth of Chicago with their creative voices, our school residency program is the core work of our organization.

From the Blog

Only 2 matinees left and preparing for C2E2!

Posted by Meredith on April 16

We are getting ready for our exciting performance at Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo (C2E2) at McCormick place on April 25th!  In preparation for the big day, we are adding two new stories that will fit right in… More

The Monkey Minute!

Posted by Amanda Farrar on April 16

There is a predominant concept in improvisation which is “Yes, and!” The idea is that if your partner presents an idea, your job it support the idea and add to it. Barrel of Monkeys embraces this concept in all of… More

Where are my props?!?!

Posted by Mary T on April 15

Listen. Come a little bit closer. Lean in close to your computer monitor or laptop or teeny tiny phone screen or large computer-sized phone screen. I’m going to tell you a secret. Here it is: Barrel of Monkeys runs… More

Read more in the Monkey Blog

“The most important thing I learned is that everyone can be a great writer—even me!”

–Freedom S., Lorca Elementary