Join PlayMakers Laboratory LIVE in the parks this July for STORIES UNDER THE SUN. PlayMakers Laboratory is happy to celebrate Chicago’s cultural community with free performances for Night Out in The Parks in collaboration with the Chicago Park District.



Tuesday, July 6 at 5 pm
Cole Park, 361 E. 85th St., Chicago
Rain date: Tuesday, July 13 at 5 pm

Wednesday, July 7 at 5 pm
Gill Park, 825 W. Sheridan Rd., Chicago
Rain date: Wednesday, July 14 at 5 pm

Thursday, July 8 at 5 pm
Moore Park, 5085 W. Adams St., Chicago
Thursday, July 15 at 5 pm


Cast: Jen Allman, Kaitlyn Andrews, Ashley Bland, Linsey Falls, Sonia Goldberg, Kayla Pulley and Elisa Carlson on Keys
Stage Manager: Cedar Larson
Director: Brandon Cloyd


Here are the original student-written stories that will be featured in the “Stories under the Sun” by PlayMakers Laboratory. Click on the links below to read each story!

The Fight
The Yome Cowe
Don and the Three Mimes
The Girl Named Moisture
The Monster
Princess and the Kiss
Dark Souled Witch
Trollish and Me (Trollface)
My Song
Untitled (Nothing or Bagels)
Untitled (My Sister Fell)
The Painless Drum
The Rich Writer
Subway Kids
The Prince and Princess

The 9th season of #NightOutIntheParks supports Chicago-based artists, facilitates community-
based partnerships and programs and ensures equity in access to the arts for all Chicagoans.

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PlayMakers Laboratory has extended its signature revue online with That’s Weird, Grandma: House Par-Tay, featuring a creative line-up of stories written by elementary school students, adapted and performed by professional actors and directed by Artistic Director Brandon Cloyd. via Patreon, with a new line-up released every Monday. RIng in the fall season with That’s Weird Grandma

Shows premiere on Patreon every Monday night at 8pm CT

With a weekly changing cast!

That’s Weird, Grandma: House Par-Tay will include stories from PML’s “Submit Your Story Challenge,” which encourages students from across the nation to submit stories from home during the COVID-19 pandemic. For more information, visit our Education Page.

Submit Your Story Challenge

Subscriptions range from $2 to $4
Run time: approximately 30 minutes

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Become a Patron!

About the Directors

head shot of That's Weird, Grandma director Brandon Cloyd

Brandon Cloyd joined PlayMakers Laboratory in 2007 and has been deeply involved in many facets of the company ever since. Prior to joining PML, Brandon graduated from Northwestern University with a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre and a minor in Business Institutions. Within PML, 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 PML After-School Program Coordinator at Loyola Park from 2014-2016 and Program Director from 2016-2017. Outside of PlayMakers Laboratory, he 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. Brandon recently joined the Board of Directors for the League of Chicago Theatres.


What is That’s Weird, Grandma?

Now in its nineteenth year, That’s Weird, Grandma features adaptations of stories written during PML’s creative writing residencies in Chicago elementary schools. PML’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.


Teen Arts Pass logo

PlayMakers Laboratory 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...

“[PML's performers are] the perfect blend of over the top energy, comedic timing, and wacky facial expressions . . .”

–Bonnie Kenaz-Mara, ChiIL Mama

“[PlayMakers Laboratory] 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

“[PlayMakers Laboratory] shows, like chocolate chip cookies, are a source of infinite delight.”

–Jessie Bond, Chicago Splash

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

“I loved acting even though I am shy. [PlayMakers Laboratory] really helped me learn how not to be shy but fun and creative.”

–Kaela W., Avondale Elementary