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

PlayMakers Laboratory has also provided 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 Executive 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. This after-school program was revived in the fall of 2022 and brought back to Pottowattomie Park (neighboring Loyola Park) supported by the Aldermanic Community Micro Grant for the 49th Ward.


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

“[PlayMakers Laboratory] made me feel like a artist in writing and turning my writing into songs. They made me feel like a spectacular student not just a regular student.”

–Jasmine S., Morton Elementary