Students performing during Barrel of Monkeys' after school program at Loyola Park in Rogers Park

PlayMakers Laboratory provides after-school Creative Writing Enrichment Programs in collaboration with after-school providers Youth Guidance and the Chicago Park District. Our after-school program curriculum builds our students’ confidence in self-expression and their enthusiasm for creative writing and theatre.


Our after-school programs are intended for 3rd-6th grade students in CPS schools. The curriculum is an extension of the PML in-school residency curriculum, and each session is led by 2-3 trained PlayMakers Laboratory actor-educators.


PML After-School Program Students Learn About
    Introduction to story writing
    Fiction-genre writing
    Group story writing
    Theatre and drama techniques
    Ensemble-based theatre
For more information about our after-school program offerings, please contact Managing Artistic Director, Brandon Cloyd.

Students acting out a scene during Barrel of Monkeys' Loyola Park after school program in Rogers Park

Youth Guidance After-School Program

PlayMakers Laboratory first partnered with Youth Guidance in the fall of 2015 at Skinner North Classical Elementary School. In 2018, we began partnering with Youth Guidance’s after-school programs at South Loop Elementary and Ravenswood Elementary schools. At the end of each after-school session, the PML ensemble returns to the school to perform a show entirely written by the students in the program.

Loyola Park (LP) After-School Program

Our Loyola Park (LP) after-school program in the Rogers Park neighborhood began in 2004. PML engages with the students and families in LP with our seven-week after-school program in the Spring, which also culminates in a PML show written entirely by students in the program and performed at Loyola Park.


Barrel of Monkeys teaching artist Rachel Wilson writing with students during the Loyola Park after-school program in Rogers Park
A student at Barrel of Monkeys' Loyola Park after school program in Rogers Park writing a story
Barrel of Monkey's teaching artists and students posing during the Loyola Park after-school program in Rogers Park

“It exceeded my expectations. The BOM staff was able to get even the shyest child to participate and join in.”

–Linda Stoller, Gale School