written by kids. performed by grownups. enjoyed by humans.

On Sale Now!

Get Tickets

January 22-February 19
Mondays at 8pm at the Neo-Futurist Theater

We spend one day of each of our creative writing residencies focusing on persuasive arguments. That’s Weird, Grandma: Stories for Change will highlight the fascinating, hilarious, and poignant change our student authors write about wanting to see in their lives and communities.


January 22 - Opening Night

January 29 - Neighborhood Night
Live in 60640 or 60660? Get $10 tickets with code NEIGHBOR2018.

February 5 - Theater, Storytelling and Social Change Panel
Join Barrel of Monkeys Program Director Shá Norman in a free post-show panel discussion with leaders of local socially-engaged arts organizations.

February 12 - Theatre Week
Join us in celebrating Chicago’s theatre scene and see the show for $10.

February 19 - Closing Night

Meet the Director

Brandon Cloyd joined Barrel of Monkeys in 2007 and has been deeply involved in many facets of the company ever since. Prior to joining BOM, Brandon graduated from Northwestern University with a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre and a minor in Business Institutions. Within BOM, Brandon has served as an actor, teaching artist, lead teacher, a member of Teacher Corps, as well as directing shows for schools and public performances of That’s Weird Grandma . He has also held the role of the BOM After-School Program Coordinator at Loyola Park from 2014-2016 and the Program Director since the summer of 2016. Outside of Barrel of Monkeys, he worked as the Associate Director of Camp Echo, where he has spent 13 summers managing campers and staff at a co-ed sleep away camp in Upstate New York. Brandon has worked with other theatre companies including Urban Theatre Company, American Theatre Company, Filament Theatre, Ingen Productions, ACLE’s Teatrino in Italy and Purple Crayon Players at Northwestern University.

What is That’s Weird, Grandma?

That’s Weird, Grandma is a variety show of short sketches and songs adapted from stories written by students in Barrel of Monkeys’ arts education programs. The weekly show, now in its 17th year, runs the gamut from clever and funny to touching and poignant, and includes live music, original song-and-dance numbers, wigs and props galore, and a rotating cast of talented professional actors who celebrate the imaginations of children through this raucous performance. Check out our YouTube channel to get a taste of the show!

You probably already knew that the show changes every week, as we adapt new stories and audience members vote on their favorites. But did you ALSO know that we divide the show into themed performances to celebrate all of the different types of stories our students create?

Upcoming Shows!

That’s Weird, Grandma: Stories for Change
Mondays at 8pm, January 22 - February 19

That’s Weird, Grandma: Stories that Groove
Mondays at 8pm, March 12 - April 9

That’s Weird, Grandma: Brand New Stories
Mondays at 8pm, June 18 - July 16

That’s Weird, Grandma: Stories about Food
Mondays at 8pm, July 23 - August 27


Some reviews of the show...

“THAT’S WEIRD, GRANDMA is for everyone. Everything about Barrel of Monkeys is amazing, their talent for teaching and acting, their mission and vision, their impact, and how they put a smile on everyone’s face.”

–Eden Diez, Buzz Chicago

“Audience members can expect to spend most of the show uncontrollably laughing, giggling, snorting, and perhaps accidentally farting from the abundance of laughing, giggling and snorting. ”

–Ashley Campbell, Edge Media Network

“...between songs, the performers gave more insight into the work they do with the students, describing prompting them with pictures and memories, and teaching them about personal narrative and persuasive argument. This inclusion kept the adult in me interested in Barrel of Monkeys and the importance of their work, while the guilelessness of the children’s material, enhanced by the creativity of the performers, kept the kid in me laughing and giggly for an entire hour.

–Colleen Cottet, Edgechicago.com

Read more reviews

What's New in TWG?

Young People Get It.

Posted by Corinne on November 11

Our students are young, but they are not naïve. They know exactly what took place at the ballot box this week, and inside each of their brilliant minds are opinions and questions and hopes and fears about the future. … More

Inside the Monkeys Studio: Interview with Rawson Vint

Posted by Eunice on July 10

With The Ten Diamonds and Sisters by Michelle A. from the Johnson School of Excellence slated to go into TWG on Monday, I sat down with Rawson Vint, the mastermind behind adapting this story into a song. We chatted about… More

Read more in the Monkey Blog

“The most important thing that I learn was writing is full of magic. The best thing you will like about the barrel of monkey is having a world of imagination.”

–Daniel, Lorca Elementary