Category: Celebration of Authors

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

Celebration of Authors! (NO “That’s Weird, Grandma” on Monday, June 6)

Posted by Amanda Farrar on June 3, 2011

That's Weird Grandma TWG Weekly Update Celebration of Authors Other Performances

Hello BOMers!

Please note that there is NO “That’s Weird, Grandma” performance on Monday, June 6 due to preperations for our “Celebration of Authors” performance on Tuesday, June 7!  I hope you can join us at Steppenwolf at 7pm on Tuesday for our favorite performance of the year where we present 2 stories from each peformance for every school in which we worked in the 2010-2011 year.  More info can be found HERE , HERE, and below! 


Yes - there will be multiple stories about robots.  Robots in a sack race.  Robots made by a witch.  Robots on the Titanic.  Who would want to miss that?  If you must miss it, “That’s Weird, Grandma” returns on June 13, and “That’s Weird, Abuelita”, our new performance in the Little Village neighborhood of Chicago, begins June 24!  Tickets for these shows can be purchased here.

MVP 2009-2010: Donnell Williams

Posted by Tai on June 11, 2010

Celebration of Authors Company Members

Every June, after the Monkeys celebrate the authors, teachers, and schools that we work with, we reconvene at a secret location to celebrate our fellow company members at our annual post-Celebration of Authors party and awards ceremony. Awards are given out recognizing everyone’s outstanding work in our school performances throughout the past year, such as “Best Shady Character,” “Best Creature,” and “Most Heartfelt.” (This year’s stories featured numerous appearances by our nation’s President, so a “Best Obama” award was warranted.)

At the end of the ceremony, the prestigious Tom Malinowski Award for Enthusiasm and Commitment to Monkey Greatness is presented. Our Artistic Director, Luke Hatton, describes it as such: “It is bestowed upon an individual in the company who made extraordinary contributions toward the success of Barrel of Monkeys this year.” Previous recipients of this award include Sarah Goeden, Curtis Williams, Mike Spatafora, Luke Hatton, Tai Palmgren, Jason Sperling, and Rachel Wilson.

Joining their ranks this year is Donnell Williams.

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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!

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