Barrel of Monkeys runs an after-school program at the Loyola Park Field House, in Chicago’s north side neighborhood, Rogers Park.

The goals of our after-school program are to build our students’ self-esteem and their enthusiasm for creative writing and performing. We began our program at the park in 2004, and each year it has grown. Many students in the program return year after year, and we are given the opportunity to build on the students’ skills, and tailor the program to the strengths and preferences of the participants. We now run 8-week long programs for three age groups (7–9 years old, 9–11 years old, and 11–13 years old) in the fall, winter and spring. The Fall & Winter programs culminate with a performance by the BOM ensemble. The Spring program culminates with a unique performance where the 11-13 year old group performs alongside Barrel of Monkeys actors. All performances are a sketch performance made up of the stories, poems and plays written by the students in our program.

Each session is led by 2 Barrel of Monkeys actor-educators and includes games, group story writing, student performances and creative writing time. In past years, the Loyola Park students have engaged with many different writing forms including: radio plays, acrostic poems, haikus, creative nonfiction, commercial jingles, monologues, science fiction and newspaper reporting. Participants in the program also explore many acting and performance techniques and learn the value of working as a supportive ensemble.

To learn more about the Loyola Park After School Program, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

To sign up, contact Mary Hopkins at Loyola Park, (773) 262-8605.

From the Blog: After-School Program

The Monkey Minute!

Posted by Amanda Farrar on March 18

After teaching creative writing residencies in a Chicago Public School or the Chicago Park District, teaching artists collect the students’ notebooks and share them with several of the company’s ensemble of professional actors and musicians. Together, the teaching artists,… More

The Monkey Minute!

Posted by Amanda Farrar on March 11

In each and every school show since Barrel of Monkeys’ inception in 1997, one or more student-written stories have been adapted into song for the stage. Multiply that by upwards of 15 original school shows each year, and you have a couple… More

Star Wars? We Got Your Star Wars Right Here!

Posted by Jason on November 30

Much of the online universe - including yours truly - was understandably abuzz this week after seeing the new trailer for the upcoming Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens.  A long time ago (fall of 2004) in a galaxy… 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