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Barrel of Monkeys Production

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Arts & Culture, Arts, Culture & Humanities, Performing Arts

Mission: Barrel of Monkeys (BOM) is an ensemble of actors-educators that creates an alternative learning environment in which children share their personal voices and celebrate the power of their imaginations. BOM accomplishes this through creative writing workshops and in-school performances of children''s stories. BOM also engages the broader community in the visions of children though public performances of their work.
BOM achieves this mission by:* Teaching fundamental creative writing skills* Providing a safe and supportive learning environment* Building self esteem and confidence in children*Adapting stories written by children for the stage by professional actors* Presenting a smart, funny theatre experience.* Building a community that respects the value of each child''s personal and artistic contribution, and the diversity of his or her perspective.
BOM strives to build a community that champions the vision of every child as a way to develop young people who believe in themselves.

Target demographics: Students in under-served Chicago public elementary schools.

Direct beneficiaries per year: 950

Geographic areas served: Chicago IL

Programs: Barrel of Monkeys goes into select Chicago Public School classrooms once a week for six week to lead creative writing workshops. At the end of each workshop, the BOM performers adapt some of the children's stories for an original stage performance.

Community Stories

4 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters


Client Served

Rating: 5

Barrel of Monkeys does amazing work in the Chicago Public Schools, and has a great Monday night show. I am proud to know their leaders and think the organization has a lot of potential for the future.


Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

This organization is amazing. The company of 40 strong teaches children in the Chicago Public Schools grades 3-6 (although occasionally older). I have seen the self esteem of the children we teach grow, smiles of delight at our performances, and writing improve.


Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Barrel of Monkeys has changed the lives of so many kids in underfunded school programs - given them a chance to express and experience their creativity, fully realized by talented, energetic, and enthusiastic performers, teachers, and role models. It is the best thing I have ever been involved with in my life, and the results are in the kids' faces when they watch each performance of their original story.



Rating: 5

Barrel of Monkeys is the creative, crazy fun way to volunteer! Showing 3rd and 4th grade public school students that writing is fun in a zany way that will help them flex their imagination muscles AND feel more confident about their communication skills - Gorgeous.