Barrel of Monkeys celebrates its 20th anniversary of arts education in Chicago Public Schools with a special one-night-only event: KIDS WRITE IT: 20 YEARS OF INTERGENERATIONAL STORYTELLING, featuring student-written stories from each of its 20 years, performed by the company’s talented team of actor-educators, directed by Artistic Director Joseph Schupbach and co-directed by Co-Founder/Former Artistic Director Halena Kays. KIDS WRITE IT will be held on Thursday, July 27 at 7:30 pm at The Athenaeum Theatre Main Stage, 2936 N. Southport Ave. in Chicago. Tickets are currently available at www.athenaeumtheatre.org, by calling (773) 935-6875 or in person at The Athenaeum Theatre Box Office.
KIDS WRITE IT will feature more than 35 current and returning Barrel of Monkeys Company Members including Founders Halena Kays and Erica Rosenfeld Halverson with Brenda Arellano*, Kassi Bleifuss, Lizzie Bracken, Brandon Cloyd, John Dixon*, Lindsey Dorcus, Linsey Falls, Joan Figarella, Sarah Garner*, Ricky Harris, Oona Kersey Hatton*, Mary Winn Heider, Barry Irving, Jen Johnson, Diana Lawrence, Tom Malinowski, Laura McKenzie, Matthew Miller*, Shá Norman, Jessie Oliver, Tai Palmgren, Lucas Kwan Peterson*, David Pintor, Benjamin Ponce, Caleb Probst, Kayla Pulley, Joseph Schupbach, Mike Spatafora*, Jason Sperling*, Kate Staiger*, Katie Suib, Mary Tilden, Ryan Walters*, Curtis Williams and Eunice Woods. *Denotes Members Emeritus.
The brilliant imaginations of young authors come to life on stage as Barrel of Monkeys celebrates the many alumni of its arts education programs in Chicago’s public school and parks over the past two decades! Throughout the school year, Barrel of Monkeys teaches creative writing workshops with 2nd through 7th graders, both in-school and through its free after-school program. Barrel of Monkeys’ actor-educators then adapt the students’ stories into entertaining and compelling sketches, songs and dramatic pieces performed first for the student authors at their schools – and later for the public.
Since its formation in 1997, Barrel of Monkeys has worked in over 60 underserved Chicago Public Schools, serving more than 50,000 students. In 2004, Barrel of Monkey also implemented a year-round after-school program at Loyola Park Fieldhouse, in partnership with the Chicago Park District. These programs provide students with tools for creative expression while building literacy skills, self-esteem, and confidence in their abilities.
Proceeds from KIDS WRITE IT: 20 YEARS OF INTERGENERATIONAL STORYTELLING will help fund future educational programming.
Title: KIDS WRITE IT: 20 YEARS OF INTERGENERATIONAL STORYTELLING
Written by: Chicago Public School Students
Adapted for the stage by: Barrel of Monkeys Company Members
Directed by: Joseph Schupbach
Co-Directed by: Halena Kays
Location: The Athenaeum Theatre Main Stage, 2936 N. Southport Ave., Chicago
Date/Time: Thursday, July 27 at 7:30 pm
Tickets: $25 adults; $10 children under 10. Students with ID $15. Seniors (65+) $20. Discounts available for groups of ten or more. Tickets are currently available at www.athenaeumtheatre.org, by calling(773) 935-6875 or in person at The Athenaeum Theatre Box Office.
About the Artists
Joseph Schupbach (Director) has directed shows for Barrel of Monkeys, North Park University, Murakami Sound Machine and InGen Productions – a company of which he is co-founder and former Artistic Director. Joseph has assistant directed for The Ruffians and The Neo-Futurists and has performed all over Chicago. In November 2014, he was appointed Barrel of Monkeys’ new Artistic Director, having served as the company’s Education Coordinator since 2011.
Halena Kays (Co-Directed) is Co-Founder and was Artistic Director of Barrel of Monkeys for its first 10 years. In her theatrical adventures she has been Artistic Director at The Hypocrites, a member of The Ruffians collective and an artistic associate at The Neo-Futurists. She continues to direct interesting things and is a professor of directing at MTSU.
About Barrel of Monkeys
Since Barrel of Monkeys’ inception in 1997, its teaching artists have served more than 60 Chicago Public Schools. Over 15,000 elementary school students have participated in the Barrel of Monkeys programs, which aim to build students' writing skills, improve self-esteem, and instill confidence in their ideas and abilities. For additional information, visit barrelofmonkeys.org.
This program is partially supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council Agency.