Section title: About BOM; Page title: About Barrel of Monkeys; URL title: about

Barrel of Monkeys (BOM) is an arts education theater ensemble that works with some of the most under-served students in Chicago. BOM achieves its mission by:

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.


BOM strives to build a community that champions the vision of every child. Our goal is to use creative drama and writing exercises, coupled with professional performance, to validate children’s ideas and help them to build self-esteem. Studies show that increasing confidence in self-expression and writing skills in 3rd-6th grades lays a strong foundation for long-term improvement of literacy skills and interest in the arts.


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:

Sorpresa! Planet Dartruda!

Posted by Molly on July 27

This week’s “That’s Weird, Grandma” offers a moving movement adaptation of “Planet Dartruda”, and a surprising surprise in “La Sorpresa”. At the Willa Cather Academy’s Super Seven Girls program, Jacari, Taniya and Nakiya were asked to share their ideas about… more »

Zombies in Fire Cars and Party Monkeys

Posted by Molly on July 21

IS THERE ANYTHING MORE EXCITING THAN A PARTY WITH MONKEYS OR ZOMBIES DRIVING CARS THAT ARE ON FIRE?!?! Come on out to “That’s Weird, Grandma” for more fun than you can handle! ZOMBIES IN FIRE CARS by Angelo E, Loyola… more »

Brand New Cast…Grandma Premieres!

Posted by Molly on July 14

Join us tonight for “That’s Weird, Grandma”, featuring two stories new to the Grandma stage: First, an adaptation of a story written in Spanish from our Columbia Explorer’s Academy program that advocates for prioritizing homework: ES IMPORTANTE TAREA by Emilio… more »

Read more in the Monkey Blog »