Category: Celebration of Authors

Posts about BOM's annual end of the school year celebration spectacular.

Celebration of Authors 2010: What a year!!!

Posted by Bradford on June 9, 2010

Celebration of Authors School Shows After School Program

First and foremost, big time congrats to all the students we taught during the year, the partner classroom teachers, and all the schools that welcomed us in their doors. Yes. You guys rock!!


Celebration of Authors 2010, what can I say; there’s absolutely no better way to cap off the school year. The chance to reconnect with fellow Monkeys, seeing students you taught during the year, and of course all the wacky things that go on back stage. (IE) The ride em cowboy pre-show warm up…. enough said.
Pulling off the show is such a herculean effort, I always feel part of a rag tag army setting out on mission impossible. And after all the hard work, there’s nothing like seeing the crowd file in and then taking to the stage for Show Time.


There were countless highlights, but here’s a few that stuck in the good kid’s mind: Meeting a few of the student’s parents and taking pictures; running into the house to catch the “Snow Ball Fight”; and trying not to break when Philip came out in his fancy dress and hat as Ms. Basil E. Frankweiler…. hilarious!!

So here’s to another great year Monkeys, I’m already looking forward to COA 2011. Oh Yeah!!!


Celebration of Authors - TOMORROW!

Posted by Amanda Farrar on June 7, 2010

General That's Weird Grandma TWG Weekly Update Celebration of Authors School Shows After School Program Company Members

Sadly, there will not be a performance of “That’s Weird Grandma” this evening.  Happily, there WILL be a FREE performance tomorrow night!  Tuesday, June 8 at 7pm, Barrel of Monkeys will perform Celebration of Authors at the Harold Washington Cultural Center, 4701 Martin Luther King Dr.  Click here to make a reservation!

Because artistic director extraordinaire, Luke Hatton, was so generous in offering me a part in this year’s Celebration of Authors, I have been spending much of my time in the last week watching the brilliant Monkeys at work, attempting to keep up, and on my own, doing some intense Michael Jackson choreography research. 

Being in the room with the Monkeys at work is like nothing I have ever experienced in my decades in the performing arts (albeit, the majority of which had a heavy dance emphasis).  Just the term “team work” does not really do this group justice.  I have seen the Monkeys work as a small group in the classrooms, but that controlled chaos pales in comparison to that in the rehearsal room when there are 35 Monkeys! 

I was amazed watching rehearsal for “The Tale of the Twelve Hip Hop Dancing Proncess”.  While Carly was reviewing choreography with everyone, Philip was teaching the vocals, and on the side, Musical Director Laura had an idea of layering in some more vocals.  She touched base with fellow Monkey musician Erick to see what he thought.  As he was encouraging, she went to Philip to see what he was good with it.  After a quick agreement from Philip, Laura had Mari and Rachel on their feet playing around with the additional vocals.  After some wrangling by Artistic Director Luke Hatton, and approximately 30 minutes, the play was ready to go!

I’ve always loved the process of art making, and the Monkeys have the process to beat all processes! 

The most amazing thing is that the passion and dedication of each individual Monkey is inspired by one thing: the children.  The intense urge of each Monkey to do justice to the student author’s story and make them proud is palpable.  The question after a performance by a Monkey is never “How was I?” it is “What did the author do when we were performing his/her story?”

Come see the Monkeys perform 30 brilliant stories written by students this school year, and better yet, see the students’ reactions. 

Runlist below!

Read more»

MVP 2008-2009: Rachel Wilson

Posted by Tai on June 12, 2009

Celebration of Authors Company Members

Last year, I told you all about how at BOM’s post-COA party, we are all given silly awards for our various roles in school shows over the year, such as “Best Villain,” “Best Choreography,” or “Best Improvised Line.” There are a few awards given out at the end of the evening that are a little less silly, the most notable being the MVP Award, officially known as The Tom Malinowski Award For Enthusiasm and Commitment To Monkey Greatness. Company members nominate the Monkey who we feel has, in Artistic Director Luke Hatton’s words, “gone far beyond the call of duty in their, well, enthusiasm and commitment to the company.”

This year, the prestigious Malinowski Award went to Rachel Wilson.


Read more»

Authors, Celebrated

Posted by Heidi on June 10, 2009

Celebration of Authors

Thank you so much to everyone who came to Celebration of Authors last night! 22 of our student authors, along with their friends and family, helped us celebrate the end of the school year.  More than 450 people in total saw the show, and most stuck around for some juice and cookies to close out the night.

We’ll have a lot more to say about CoA in the next days and weeks, and I’m pretty sure that there will be some photos and videos making their way online soon. In the meantime, here is a shot of two of the authors taken at the “celebrity author photo booth” where kids got to play dress up and pose for the paparazzi.


It’s the day of the show!

Posted by Heidi on June 9, 2009

Celebration of Authors

Just a final reminder! Tonight is our annual “Celebration of Authors” show. This heartwarming event brings together some of our students from across the city, their families, teachers, supporters and members of the public.

We hope you can join us. The show starts at 7pm and is free, though members of the public are encouraged to make a small donation. You can make reservations online or by calling 312-409-1954.

If you can’t join us, never fear…we’re sure to post delightful photos over the next couple of weeks.