PlayMakers Laboratory is taking 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. Streaming will begin Monday, May 11, 2020 via Patreon, with a new line-up released every Monday. Tickets ($3 for a one-week pass) will go on sale Friday, May 8, 2020 at playmakerslab.org.
The cast includes Kaylyn Carter, Brandon Cloyd, Mariana Green, Aissa Guerra, Nick Hart, Cedar Larson, Nic Park and Rachel Wilson. The production team includes Cedar Larson (production manager).
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 playmakerslab.org/education.
Now in its 19th year, That’s Weird, Grandma features adaptations of stories written during PlayMakers Laboratory’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. Every week brings a new line-up of stories, and PML invites audiences to vote on their favorites at each performance.
About the Director
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 PML, 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.
About PlayMakers Laboratory
Since PlayMakers Laboratory’s inception in 1997 as Barrel of Monkeys, its teaching artists have served more than 60 Chicago Public Schools. Over 15,000 elementary school students have participated in the PlayMakers programs, which aim to build students' writing skills, improve self-esteem, and instill confidence in their ideas and abilities.
PlayMakers Laboratory is sponsored in part by Wintrust Financial, Allscripts, Inc., Ernst and Young and Punchkick Interactive. It receives generous support from the Illinois Arts Council Agency; the National Endowment for the Arts; a CityArts Grant from the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events; the Chicago Community Trust; Crown Family Philanthropies; Alphawood Foundation of Chicago; the Maurice R. and Meta G. Gross Foundation; Polk Bros Foundation; the Richard H. Driehaus Foundation; the Robert and Isabelle Bass Foundation, Inc.; The Saints; The Topfer Family Foundation, and many other generous individuals and foundations.