Category: After School Program

Posts related to BOM's Loyola Park After School Program.

Loyola Park - Fall Session

Posted by Tim Soszko on November 24, 2008

After School Program

The fall session of our after school program at Loyola Park is coming to a close.  We’ve done things a little differently this year and are very happy with the results.  We have 3 classes taught by two teachers for each class.  7-8 year-olds are schooled by Rachel and Joe with a lot of help from Caleb.  Molly and Ricky are imparting all their knowledge on the 9-10 year-olds with Dixie’s super help.  And the 11-13 year-olds get their learnin’ from Elizabeth and myself with tons of help from Sarah.

Obviously, the goals and the experience level of the kids change between each age group, but one thing that hasn’t changed is each child’s enthusiasm to write and perform.  Every challenge they face is met with determination, positive energy and sometimes chaos!

Another big change this year: In the spring the oldest group will write and perform in their own show with a cast of professional Barrel Of Monkey actors and director.  The bar is set pretty high for them, and they rise to the occasion every time. 
To celebrate all the writing these mini-monkeys have done in the past 8 weeks, the Barrel of Monkeys are putting on a show.  Come and check out these amazing authors today at 4pm at Loyola Park (1230 W Greenleaf).  The kids will get some pizza and juice.  You will get your minds blown by what these kids have written!

Does that sound a little too much like a challenge?

That’s because it IS a challenge!!

Will you pick up the gauntlet?


Secret Identities Blown

Posted by Rachel on October 14, 2008

After School Program

We recently completed week four of the Loyola Park after school program, and with three groups of students at different age levels, this year’s program includes kids a full year younger than ever before. Joe and I are teaching the youngest group, 7-9 year olds, and they are some savvy children.

I’ve always questioned the feasibility of Superman transforming into Clark Kent simply by putting on glasses. Because I’m a cruel woman who likes to confuse children, I introduced the Loyola Park kids to my own alter ego. In the first week, they met Rachel . . . in glasses.

In the second week, I wore contacts. At first, the children were fooled. “Who are you?” they asked me. “You’re not Rachel.”

“Oh, but I am,” I said. “I just left my glasses at home.” They eyed me warily for a while, and then decided to accept me in my new incarnation.

Last week, Joe wore glasses to class for the first time. Chaos ensued.


“Who is that man? That’s not Joe! What are you doing here?” the children cried.

Joe tried to tell them he was an alien, but they didn’t buy it. Bet they wouldn’t have bought it from Superman either.

Despite our best efforts to sew mistrust and mayhem, the children have adapted to our guises. They won’t be fooled again.

Loyola Park Takes The Stage

Posted by Lacy on May 23, 2008

After School Program

Thursday was a huge day in Barrel of Monkeys history.  We’ve been getting kids to write stories then performing them ourselves for nigh on 10 years now, young whippersnapper.  That’s old hat.

We took on a new challenge this year.  These kids wrote the show as usual, then, wait for it,

(you are waiting)


We were all pleased as punch and proud as peacocks and other similes relying heavily on the letter P of these guys.

There were silly hats, tutus, and memorable lines (I give you, “What’s up, my apple?”  Use it. For your life.). There was drama, silly dancing, and a fat suit that disintegrated throughout the scene.  And after THAT there was pizza, cake, and Capri Sun. I know, I nearly exploded with joy myself. Good thing there were no Lil Debbie Oatmeal Creme Pies there.

“But, Lacy,” you are wondering, “Barrel of Monkeys is comprised of some of the city’s finest actors. How could mere children capture the subtlety and emotional depth that you seasoned professionals do?”

Well, friend, I don’t really know.  But I CAN tell you that there was some serious character work between Sassy Apple, Spaghetti #1, and Judge of Pie Eating Contest.

The Phone Call Heard Round the Room.

Posted by M.Govier on May 19, 2008

After School Program

We (the teachers of the Loyola Park Monday class) were watching the kids run through the stories that they are performing for their big show on May 22, 2008 at 3:30pm. Then we heard a ringing. It’s a cell phone. I looked around the room at the other teachers and they all looked shocked. Lauren was about to say something to the extent of, “Hey you need to put your phone away,” but before she could say anything, the girl answered her phone. She is in the middle of a scene on stage and now she is on the phone. It gets better, my friend. Once she answers this is what she says:

Girl: “Hello. Do you realize I am at Barrel of Monkeys right now?! I am in the middle of a scene! Why would you call me?! I have to go.”

Then the girl hung up and said sorry to us, and went back to the scene. 

I thought that was so great.  She picked up the phone to tell the caller what a bad time it was for them to call. That rocks. So if any of you call me and I pick up, there is a chance that I might tell you that this is a bad time and why would you call me now.


Loyola Park, we heart you.

Posted by Lauren S. on May 16, 2008

After School Program

Hello everyone!  Lauren here, writing to you from our beautiful Loyola Park After School Program!  I’m here to impart to you some very important and exciting information regarding the upcoming Loyola Park show.  Now, I know what you’re thinking.  You’re thinking, “Oh sure, a Barrel of Monkeys’ school show.  I understand.  That’s when those crazy Monkeys perform brilliant stories that the brilliant children have written…brilliantly.”  Well, blog reader, you are right to think those things.  However, I must tell you, the tables have turned.  The tide has changed.  The roles have been reversed. 

Allow me to explain (as if I’m a Medieval town crier).

“Hear ye, hear ye!  For the first time in Barrel of Monkeys’ history, the students of the Loyola Park After School Program are performing in their very own Monkey-style show!”

Good people, your ears do not deceive you!  These fabulously creative authors have written an array of monologues, dialogues and group stories that they will perform this week for an audience of family, friends and fellow Monkeys.  The teachers have become the directors, the students have become the actors   and we’ve all become a little bit crazy with the excitement of this landmark event.  Both our Monday and Thursday groups have been busy rehearsing their stories and as a little preview, I’ll leave you with a few lines of dialogue from “Hot, Cold News” penned by Jackson and Lucy.

  Chico:  Did you see the news?
    Samantha:  It’s too hot to see the news.
    Chico:  Well anyways, there was this guy who was congo dancing with a platypus.

Oh.  Did I forget to mention that “Chico” is a meerkat and “Samantha” is a moose?



We the teachers of Loyola Park (Sarah, Tai, Michael, Maggie, Dixie, Lacy, Lauren, Jen and Joe) are thrilled to bring you the first ever B.O.M. Loyola Park After School Program Show written and performed entirely by the kids.  Hooray!