Category: School Residencies

Posts relating to in-school residencies.

Fancy Schmancy: A Magical Place

Posted by Amanda Farrar on October 6, 2010

That's Weird Grandma School Shows School Residencies After School Program

Hello Blogosphere!  I’m here to tell you about an amazing event that will be occurring very soon.  For the past 9 years, Barrel of Monkeys has been presenting our Fancy Schmancy Benefit for the enjoyment of all and more importantly, to support our programming in under-resourced Chicago Public Schools and Chicago Park Districts.  In order to truly embrace the nature of our writing residencies at the event, the theme of the evening will be “Magical Place”, based upon an audience favored story penned by Dulce H. from Columbia Explorers Academy* when she was in 4th grade.  Read this story and so many more in our Story Archive!

Be amazed by the Magical Place that Fancy Schmancy will be at 7pm on Friday, October 22 at the Ravenswood Event Center, 4025 N. Ravenswood Ave.  More info herePurchase tickets or make a fully tax-deductible donation here!

The evening will be something like this.  (But not quite.)

Fancy 10.5 from Barrel of Monkeys on Vimeo.

We are particularly excited about seeing Magical Place return to the stage after a year-long run and a four month hiatus during the live performance at the event. 

Other highlights: New this year is a raffle for a trip for two to New York City to see Saturday Night Live!  Includes round-trip airfare for two and two tickets to a live taping of SNL.  Sorry to say that raffle laws prevent selling tickets online, but they are on sale weekly at “That’s Weird, Grandma” up until the drawing on October 22 - no need to be in attendance to WIN! 

And!  We are procuring some pretty incredibly unique and exciting auction items which we will tell you more about in future blog entries.  Stay tuned, and monkey on!

*This school year will mark Barrel of Monkeys’ 10th Anniversary of partnering with Columbia Explorers Academy!


Fun at Stockton

Posted by Bradford on October 21, 2009

School Residencies

Yes!!! I am trully enjoying “Stockton”. No doubt, it’s always a blast meeting up with the crew: Dana, Laura G., Goodrich, and Soszko over at “Angel Food” and ordering my usual English Muffin; but there’s nothing like walking into the classes every week and seeing the excitement on the kids faces. Not to tip my hat, but I think we have a few Barrel of Monkeys’ Instant Classics on our hands. Good times indeed. I can’t wait for the show. Talks to ya….


Columbia Explorers: Creepy, Crazy, Magical

Posted by Tai on February 8, 2009

School Shows School Residencies

The Columbia Explorers show is tomorrow morning, and today our dedicated cast is reviewing their lines and practicing their dance moves. Yesterday was the last of our six rehearsals. The BOM adaptation and rehearsal process is fast and furious, and can leave us feeling a little crazy at times:

RSS readers: click on the post title to view this video!

As I mentioned previously, the teaching team for this residency tried out some new additions to the usual BOM curriculum. Week 3, normally True Story Day, became a day to explore characters and settings that the kids were most familiar with: those around their school and homes. We brainstormed people, places, and things that the kids encountered on a daily basis in their neighborhood: teachers, friends, family members; Pete’s Market, Dulcelandia, McKinley Park; trains, trees, and graffiti. We brainstormed “what if” scenarios: what if aliens landed in McKinley Park? What if the Kedzie stop on the Orange Line was overrun with zoo animals? Then, in the usual fashion, the kids wrote and performed group stories utilizing these elements, and had time for individual writing.

This exercise inspired stories such as “The Magical Place,” by Dulce H., where she finds a hidden room inside the local McDonald’s, full of “all the things a girl could want.”

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The Famous Columbia Explorers Academy!

Posted by Tai on January 28, 2009

School Shows School Residencies

Rehearsals for the Columbia Explorers show started yesterday. I’m very excited about the show. This residency was a blast, but I wouldn’t expect any less from the kids at this school. The four-class residency was split between two days per week, with myself and volunteer Mariah on Tuesdays, Kate and volunteer Mani on Wednesdays, and rockstars Ricky, Jason, and Sarah teaching both days.


Barrel of Monkeys has been teaching at Columbia Explorers Academy for years, since back when it was called Davis-Shields Elementary, and is the birthplace of “That’s Weird, Grandma” favorites Cereal Story and Untitled (Astronauts).

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Kids Write It—and We Learn From It.

Posted by Samantha on November 20, 2008

School Residencies

During the past weeks I have found myself, in everyday conversations, regularly quoting and retelling stories that our Trumbull students wrote. Just yesterday I was reminded of one of the sweetest stories I’ve read in a long time—a story about Larry the Ant by Yekeen. In this true story, Yekeen tells about the time he had a pet ant named Larry. He fed him lettuce and kept him in his room. Unfortunately, Larry was sick and didn’t live very long. But he lives on in Yekeen’s heart, forever and ever.

Kids have a way of saying so much with so little. It might be one of my favorite things about teaching with Barrel of Monkeys. Every time I leave a residency I realize how much I can learn from each 3rd, 4th, 5th or 6th grader.

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