It’s the Most Wonderful Hashtag of the Year

Posted by Amanda Farrar on November 27, 2014 at 05:00 PM
General That's Weird Grandma School Residencies After School Program Company Members Miscellaneous

Why support Barrel of Monkeys through a donation for #GivingTuesday? For your viewing pleasure, we present this video featuring Sonya and Joanya in…

Giving Grannies

Donate Now!

Thank you in advance for supporting the imaginations of children through a donation this #GivingTuesday, December 2! All amounts donated under the program are tax-deductible to the maximum extent allowed by law.  As always, thank you for your support!

Who are Joanya and Sonya?

Sonya and Joanya are two characters that originated from a student-written story by Stephaun B. of the Loyola Park After-School Program entitled “Grannies Lean Like a Cholo” .

Sonya Begonia
Sonya is a lifelong sports enthusiast and patron of the arts.  She has held many roles in her life: Little League coach, small business owner, mother, grandmother, aunt, friend, and part-time life coach.  Her current interests include attending live theater, instant messaging, and going on adventures with her dearest friend in the world, Joanya.

Joanya Merman Nemoy
Actress Joanya Merman Nemoy starred in Golden Twilight Retirement Home productions like Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, and BUtterfield 8, but was just as famous for her violet eyes and scandalous love life. Born in Brooklyn on February 27, 1932, Joanya made her theatre debut in One Born Every Minute (Long Island Playhouse) and achieved stardom with National Velvet (Jersey Shore Rep).

“Wait a minute. Is this why this young and attractive camera crew is here? I get it now, we’re here to talk about a very specific way to participate in The Hashtag Giving Tuesday.  We are giving to Barrel of Monkeys.  I just figured it out!” - Joanya

Elizabeth Levy (Sonya)
Levy joined the ensemble in 2004 and was hired as Program Director in 2008. Before becoming Program Director, Levy was the Education Coordinator at Steppenwolf Theatre Company. Levy graduated from The University of Chicago with a Bachelor of Arts in English Language and Literature. While at U of C, she ran several drama programs in neighborhood schools in Hyde Park. Elizabeth has performed locally with Steppenwolf Theatre, the House Theatre, Collaboraction, Strawdog and Dog and Pony.

Joseph Schupbach (Joanya)
Schupbach began his involvement with Barrel of Monkeys in 2005 and has served as After-School Program Coordinator and Education Coordinator for the past three years before being promoted to Artistic Director, the position he now holds. Schupbach has served as a professional teaching artist in Chicago for multiple organizations including Lookingglass Theatre and St. Clement School. He 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.

No Limits!

Posted by Jason on November 23, 2014 at 04:13 PM
General That's Weird Grandma TWG Weekly Update Other Performances

Hello, Monkey Fan!  Tomorrow (Mon. 11/24) is Show #5 of “Chicago’s Weird, Grandma”!  As Thanksgiving approaches, it’s important to remember to push past any limitations you may feel on you, whether self-imposed or from societal norms.  Sure, that means to do more good and help out others less fortunate and eat that extra plate of cranberry turkey stuffing ‘taters.  But also:

1) Don’t think that you can’t have a pool party simply because you’ve spent all day baking.

Grown Up Party Age up to 22, by Daviaynna H., New Sullivan Elementary

Once upon a time, Ms. Harrington was cooking dinner in her mansion.  Her maid was cooking fried food.  Ms. Harrington was in one kitchen.  Her maid, Elizabeth, was in the other.  They kept running back and forth to get different ingredients.  Ms. Harrington was making a cake and Elizabeth was making fried chicken.  Ms. Harrington finished her cake first because Elizabeth kept having to let guest in for the party.  “Sit here.  Sit there.  Put this party stuff up.”  Elizabeth finished her chicken by putting BBQ on it, and brought out the cake.  Ms. Harrington came out in a swim suit and said “Welcome to the Swimming Pool Party.”  The guest put on their swimming suits.  Everybody kept dancing, having pop, and blasted the music.  It was a huge party over 1,000 people came.  They ate all the food.  Jessica brought 13 kids to the party and Ms. Harrington said, “Put the kids in the playroom!  I don’t want to hear them screaming.  The kids got taken to the playroom and the party went back to being great.  The End

2) Don’t think that since you’re a girl you can’t find true love with a bear.

Love is Enough For a Bear, by Ameera A., Johnson School of Excellence

One day it was this girl who wanted to marry a bear and every night she says “love is enough for a bear”.  The next day a bear buzzed her doorbell.  She let him in and he said you remember me she said yeah I do and then they hanged for a few days in the bear decided to get married.  She said yes so they got married and lived happily ever after.  They both had met at the forest it use to be her job and they both was great friends back then but now she really want a great relationship now she’s so happy she founed her bear she was excited to have a great family now sean she letted him escape so they both had good family.  PS They had kids.  The End.

Special guest company this week: The Hypocrites!  Tell Ambar “Put this party stuff up” at the box office for discounted tickets.

Websites and Journeys

Posted by Jason on November 17, 2014 at 11:29 AM
General That's Weird Grandma TWG Weekly Update Other Performances

Those of us of a certain age may remember passing notes in school to find out if that special girl of boy liked you or LIKED liked you.  But now, Eric C. from Columbia Explorers Academy envisions a school website where you can find out if the person of your dreams already has a date to the dance, in The Best Dancer Ever (turned into a doo-wop song by Diana Lawrence!):

One day tonight I have to get a date for the dance.  So I made this (drawing of a checklist with the following written on it)

Sally X
Molly X
Samy ?
Maddy X

Man I tottaly suck. So when I got home I went to C.E.A./ then I found the names of the girls, pictures too.  I took another look at my list then I notist a ? mark on Sammy.  I did some research on her and I found this. 

(drawing of a computer and a website with a picture of a girl in the upper left with “is not on a date” on the right.)

So I asked her she said yes so I went to the dance with her. 
(drawing of girl and boy , near girl’s head is written “nod” with directions up and down)
(drawing of girl and boy dancing, notes above heads).

AND! As Thanksgiving draws near, we always hear tales of what a turkey might go through to avoid being eaten, but what about the adventures of leftovers?  Khaliyah D. from Dixon Elementary has thought it through for us, in The Turkey’s Journey:

Once I was a turkey sandwich and a person wanted to eat me, but he grabbed me and grilled me. I screamed very loud and grew legs and hands and ran away but then two dogs found me and I beat him up with my cheese fist, then he ran away. But the other dog ate me and I tickled his tongue and got out. I ran away with my turkey legs and hopped on a jet plane with Beyonce, and I fell asleep and when I woke up I was in LA. (Los Angeles), California with Beyonce and she gave me to Jay-Z and he ate me for lunch. And I got Digested in his stomach.

Say “What about Sammy?” at the box office for discounted tickets!

Loyola Park Fall, small and mighty

Posted by Kate on November 16, 2014 at 09:03 PM

Six actors. Twenty six authors. One week. Sometimes it is our biggest challenges that bring out our best work, and the Loyola Park Fall show is about to prove this to the world! These stories are awesome, we have gods and aliens, reapers and zombies, fairies and trolls, not to mention some intensely dramatic pieces of rice. On a personal note, tomorrow’s show will mark a very important first for me: I will be performing a story written by my very own daughter, a new Loyola Park after school student. Obviously her work is near and dear to my heart. But honestly? We have been teaching some of these kids for as many years as my daughter is old. There is not a story in the bunch that isn’t incredibly meaningful in its own way. And now back to studying, man, I am in just about every story, I have some memorizing to do!!


Posted by Jason on November 10, 2014 at 07:54 AM
That's Weird Grandma TWG Weekly Update Other Performances

Hello, Monkey Fan!  Have Daylight Savings Time and the colder weather got you down?  Come to tonight’s “Chicago’s Weird, Grandma” for an escapist pick-me-up!

Karma T. from the Loyola Park After School Program envisions an exciting journey in The Girl Who Flyed Over the World:

One day a girl went to the park with her grandfather.  She swinged on the swing really high that she flew off the swing.  She crossed the United States and the whole world till she was a teenager.  Then she was gong to land.  on her grandfather.  She landed on her grandfather and broke his back.

Kania, Kenice, Taniya, and Jacaria from the Super 7 Program at Cather Academy created a romantic evening despite a villain’s presence in Super Hero (Cake):

Once upon a time there was a man named Cake Man and he had a shop called cake woman and Cake Man’s shop. Then cakeman went to the cake woman’s house and they ate cake and had a special night. Munch Munch Munch. The night was as romantic as princess and the frog. Little did Cakeman and Woman know but Carrot man was placing a cake under the table and cakeman tripped over it and the cake that cakeman was eating went into cakewomans face. Carrot man said “Muah ha ha ha.” Then he felt bad and said, “I feel worse than a person who missed a line in their play. I’m more sorry than a witch!”  The end

Tell Ambar “I’m more sorry than a witch!” at the box office for discounted tickets!

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