Barrel of Monkeys of Chicago
A radically kind Chicago that champions children's ideas.
Barrel of Monkeys (BOM) is an ensemble of actors and 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 from said workshops. BOM also engages the broader community in the visions of children though public performances of their work. Objectives are to:
- Teach children fundamental creative writing skills by offering an innovative and interactive residency that creates a joyful environment to express ideas and which supports the efforts of classroom teachers, building on skills students have already developed as well as providing a platform from which to develop and improve literacy skills.
- Provide consistent and nurturing attention to each student over a sustained period of time by providing a team of BOM facilitators which allows for one-on-one time with each student, a performance of students’ stories that remains true to the intent of the writer, and a program that consistently celebrates the accomplishments of each author.
- Build each student’s confidence in self-expression, self-esteem, and writing skills by providing a workshop that creates a safe and supportive place to explore thoughts and ideas, and provides creative writing alternatives as needed (including storyboards, student dictation, and one-on-one writing work), while always validating each student’s ideas through high-quality professional performance.
- Perform high quality, professional theater to the students we serve and the broader community.
- Form partnerships with cooperating teachers and administrators, language literacy specialists, special need educators, schools, park districts and other organizations that allow students to further their personal artistic expression and personal development.