Written by kids. Performed by grownups. Enjoyed by humans.

Up Next

@ The Neo-Futurists Theater

That's Weird, Grandma Rings in the Holidays
Barrel of Monkeys company members dressed as elves during a performance of That's Weird, Grandma in Chicago

Buy Tickets

Bring a Group

Barrel of Monkeys’ beloved holiday special returns with a mix of classic stories from the That’s Weird, Grandma repertoire alongside brand new sketches and songs. Make That’s Weird, Grandma your family’s newest holiday tradition!

Regular Ticket Prices

Adults - $20
Seniors (65+), Veterans/Military, and Students with ID - $12
Groups of 10 or more - $12 using code MONKEYGROUP at check-out
Children (12 & under) and Teen Arts Pass members - $5


Run time: approximately 65 minutes with no intermission
Plan Your Visit

About the Director

brandon cloyd artistic director barrel of monkeys

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. Before becoming the company’s Artistic Director in September 2017, Brandon served as BOM After-School Program Coordinator at Loyola Park from 2014-2016 and Program Director from 2016-2017.

Outside of Barrel of Monkeys, Brandon 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 Theater Company, Filament Theatre, InGen Productions, ACLE’s Teatrino in Italy and Purple Crayon Players at Northwestern University.

Current Cast

Noah Appelbaum, Ashley Bland, Maeli Goren, Barry Irving, Meredith Milliron, Deanna Myers, Oly Oxinfry, Mary Tilden, Raquel Torre, and Rawson Vint

What is That’s Weird, Grandma?

Now in its eighteenth year, That’s Weird, Grandma features adaptations of stories written during Barrel of Monkeys’ creative writing residencies in Chicago elementary schools. BOM’s ensemble of professional actors, comedians and musicians bring the young authors’ stories to life as raucous sketches, songs and movement pieces, performing first for students in their schools and then for the public. These stories - from hilarious dialogues between unlikely characters to poignant pleas for social change - resonate with adults while celebrating the imaginations of young people.

Later This Season


January 20 – February 17, 2019
That’s Weird, Grandma: Star-Studded Stories
Directed by Mary Tilden
Sundays at 3 p.m.

Witness pop culture legends live onstage – or at least pop culture legends as 3rd – 5th graders imagine them! BOM performers portray stars past, present and fictional through outrageous dialogues and choreographed musical numbers.

May 3 – May 25, 2019
That’s Weird, Grandma: Stories That Sing and Dance
Directed by Artistic Director Brandon Cloyd
Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m.

Back by popular demand, BOM’s all-musical line-up returns with a mix of new and classic song-and-dance numbers performed to live accompaniment by the talented musicians of Barrel of Monkeys. Now performing in prime-time for the first time ever!

June 24 – August 12, 2019
That’s Weird, Grandma: Fantastic Beasts and the Stories About Them
Co-Directed by Artistic Director Brandon Cloyd and Bradford Stevens
Mondays at 8 p.m.

Meet the strange and wonderful creatures created by Barrel of Monkeys students, from talking animals to intergalactic lifeforms. BOM performers bring these beings to life through song, dance, and ridiculous costumes.

Teen Arts Pass logo

Barrel of Monkeys is excited to be an inaugural Teen Arts Pass (TAP) partner. TAP is a new initiative by Urban Gateways that gives young people ages 13-19 access to $5 tickets to see professional dance, music, and theater performances in and around Chicago. Learn more about the program and sign up here.

 

 

Some reviews of the show...

“Barrel of Monkeys brings its A-game every week. That’s not just devotion to the craft: it’s devotion to the cause.”

–Ian Rigg, Chicagoland Musical Theatre

“Barrel of Monkeys’ shows, like chocolate chip cookies, are a source of infinite delight.”

–Jessie Bond, Chicago Splash

“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

Read more reviews


That's Weird, Grandma

Jen Johnson, Mary Winn Heider, and Laura McKenzie performing in
Raquel Torre wearing a shark hat performing in

What's New in TWG?

Singing About Monsters at Peirce International

Posted by Gavin on December 12

Sometimes, the stories that our students write lend themselves to singing and dancing, and thanks to the incredible musicians in the BOM company, we’re able to make that happen! That’s the case with one of the stories - … More

Read more in the Monkey Blog

“Barrel of Monkeys was one of the best experiences of my life.”

–Darnisha, 4th Grade, Dewey Academy