Barrel of Monkeys (BOM) is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization in its 20th year. We provide arts education programs to students aged 7-13 throughout Chicago, focused on storytelling, theater, and social-emotional skills.

Our objectives are:

  • to teach fundamental creative writing skills;
  • to provide consistent and nurturing attention to each student over a sustained period of time ;
  • to build each student’s confidence in self-expression, self-esteem, and writing skills;
  • to perform high quality, professional theater to the students we serve and the broader community; and
  • to form lasting partnerships.

Our Mission

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.

Our Vision

A radically kind Chicago that champions children’s ideas.

Our Programming

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.

View our 2016-2017 Annual Report

View our 2015-2016 Annual Report

View our 2014-2015 Annual Report

 

From the Blog

Monkeying Around with Caleb Probst

Posted by Tom on July 9

Caleb Probst has been in Barrel of Monkeys for more than 10 years.  He and his family will be moving to Madison, Wisconsin by the end of summer.  Here’s some insight into the inner workings of Caleb! Caleb… More

Meet Three New “That’s Weird, Grandma” Characters!

Posted by Gavin on July 2

From anthropomorphized creatures, to talking food, to normal, everyday people, students in Barrel of Monkeys’ arts education programs create unique and imaginative characters that we love bringing to life on the Neo-Futurists’ stage. Some of these characters are so loved… More

Read more in the Monkey Blog

“Audiences can sense that all of the actors are having a great time and giving it their all during the show. Best yet? It's perfect for all ages.”

–Dennis Mahoney, Centerstage.net