Posted by Amanda Farrar on April 9, 2015
Barrel of Monkeys has upwards of 65 active members. These company and ensemble members lovingly refer to themselves as “Monkeys”. Monkeys act as teaching artists in the classroom, adapt the stories written by the students for the stage, perform them for the students in the schools, and finally, perform for YOU at That’s Weird, Grandma almost every week.
Each Monkey is paid for their work in the schools, but donate their time to perform in That’s Weird, Grandma to allow the revenue generated from these public performances to support our arts education programs in schools that need them the most.
It’s Hard To Be Laura McKenzie
By Lacy Campbell
One of the [many] joys of being in That’s Weird, Grandma is that as a company member of Barrel of Monkeys, you can hop in and out of shows. Have some time on your hands? Sign up to do the show for six weeks! Want to do a play with another theater? No problem, sit the next one out and someone else will step in for you.
However, since the cast is constantly shifting in a fruitbasket turnover of tangled wigs and tutus, this means that many of us end up sharing roles. For example, Laura McKenzie won’t be in the next few weeks of That’s Weird, Grandma, so I’m taking over a few of her roles.
But here’s the real problem:
I can’t be Laura!!!
NO ONE CAN BE LAURA.
The facial expressions!? The physical comedy!? Her reaction when Horsewolf eats her hair and she’s initially furious, then realizes it’s Horsewolf and beams with pride and delight?* …Guys, I have huge shoes to fill.
But that’s the thing. I gotta fill them, and somehow, I will. On Sunday at 2pm.
Last weekend, in our seven-hour “learn, stage, and perform an entire show!” frenzied sprint that is New That’s Weird, Grandma Cast Weekend, the entire cast took on this impossible task in different ways. Mary Winn has to be Ryan in I Am A Butcher and I Love Meat. Gwen has to take over for Jen in Tragic Fireworks, and some poor soul has to step into Donnell’s role in Princess Who Don’t Like Ketchup.
In Monkeys, we are constantly raising the bar for each other by trying to be as wonderful as the person who went before us.
Who was the first dog you saw in The Dog Was Dead? I can no longer remember if the first dog I saw was Kristie, Molly, Erica, or Emjoy. They all are fantastic. They all are hilarious. I guarantee they all felt terrified that they couldn’t possibly be as amazing as the dog who went before.
They all were.
We all are.
Show’s at 2:00pm on Sunday. See you there!
*all these things actually happen. Please see Horsewolf, it’s such a good story.