Posted by Dixie on May 15, 2008

School Shows

Hey all- there’s been a lot said about the Chalmers show- which is fair because it was OFF THE CHAIN!  First- we didn’t have a lot of cars to get us to the show, so I had to fit all of our props, show curtains & the big keyboard into my station wagon.

Behold!  The wonder of the wagon! 


Seriously, it was full.  When we got to Chalmers there was a little scuffle because half of the class that we had taught weren’t allowed to come to the performance, because they were out of uniform.  We asked that they be allowed to come, and Principal Dossiea said only if they found some uniforms to put on.  All the girls scrambled to cobble together some regulation uniform, while Alexis explained to me that they all dressed in regular street clothes to protest the uniform policy.  “But we didn’t know that it was Monkey Day!!!”  Eventually they had on uniforms, and we started the show.  The performance was terrific, and the kids were a brilliant audience.  All was well until during the closing song, the keyboard cut out….  so did the lights.  There was a blackout across much of the south side!  We kept on singing a cappella, and the show was finished!
We returned the notebooks to the proud authors, and carefully headed home- with none of the local traffic lights working. 
I love the Chalmers School!

Saving the world isn’t free

Posted by Heidi on May 15, 2008

One of the questions we get a lot at the Monkey office is about how we can afford to work in Chicago’s most under-served communities without a lot of corporate sponsorship (nb: we don’t object to corporate sponsorship! If you work for a corporation that would like to sponsor us, feel free to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)). Most of the schools we work with pay us a moderate fee, which typically covers about half the cost of bringing the program to that school. We also get money from ticket sales “That’s Weird, Grandma”.

We’re lucky to have some great foundations supporting us; their grants make up about 40% of our annual revenue. The rest of it comes from the support of individuals just like you. Yes, you.

We get individual support through donations at the end of “That’s Weird, Grandma”, from our annual Fancy Schmancy Benefit (October 19th, 2009), Monkey-o-kee…and once a year from an annual appeal to our family, friends, and fans.

If you’re on our mailing list, you probably got a letter or email this week asking you to make a donation. We hope you’ll consider it. No donation is too small (or too big!), and we could really use the support. We need to raise at least $20,000 by the middle of June so that we can wrap up this school year on a positive note and start hiring teachers for next year.

If you do decide to make a donation, we’ll feel about you the way 4th grader Tatianna felt about us after we taught in her class:


If you prefer to make an in-kind donation, I’ve included some options after the jump, as well as some examples of what your donations can help pay for. 

Read more

Oh. It’s like THAT.

Posted by Lacy on May 14, 2008

School Shows

Intrigued by Donnell and Tai’s dueling impersonations of Laura, I swung by Loyola Park tonight to watch the final run-through of the Chalmers show.

...Oh my heavens, my friends. I was NOT disappointed. 

First of all, there was ‘The Missing Owner,’ which spawned all the aforementioned antics.  You can see Laura here, in the middle of the story. Context: This is where she kidnaps a penguin from Alaska, before she takes it back to the Lower 48 and leaves it to die of heatstroke, in the street, then later uses its lifeless corpse to make a YouTube movie.
Laura: Hey There. My name’s Norbit, and I’m gonna be your new daddy.

Dixie: (worried penguin sounds)

Also, what do you love about Barrel of Monkeys? Is it the whimsy? Is it the range of genres? Is it the ambitious storytelling? IS IT THAT WE HAVE A BOLLYWOOD NUMBER IN THIS SCHOOL SHOW??
Sorry. Did you catch that?


The Chalmers Show stories CANNOT get into Grandma fast enough, friends.  Oh la la.

No, no, no, it’s more like THIS.

Posted by Lacy on May 13, 2008

That's Weird Grandma School Shows

Monkeys is a big company. Not all of us can be in the same show at the same time, so a lot of times we’ll end up hearing about characters and sketches we don’t actually get to see in person.

Last night after “That’s Weird, Grandma,” Donnell and Tai spent a good ten minutes losing their minds laughing and trying to explain how hilarious Laura McKenzie is in the [currently in rehearsal] Chalmers show.

Donnell:  She does this thing like THIS…

Tai: Yeah - yeah, but then it’s THIS thing…

Donnell: No, and then she’s ... [incoherent laughter] ... hang on… okay THIS…

Tai: And then she…

They finally gave up. 
Now we GOTTA go see whatever it is that Laura does in the Chalmers show.