Grandma is back with holiday classics and new family favorites as PlayMakers Laboratory (formerly Barrel of Monkeys) presents THAT’S WEIRD GRANDMA: Holiday Extravaganza, directed by Artistic Director Brandon Cloyd, playing December 9 – 21, 2019 at the Neo-Futurist Theater, 5153 N. Ashland Ave. in Chicago. Tickets are currently available at www.playmakerslab.org or by calling (773) 506-7140. The press opening is Friday, December 13 at 8 pm.
The cast includes PlayMakers Laboratory Company Members Jen Allman, Noah Appelbaum, Ashley Bland, Bryan Bosque, Annie Calhoun, Kaylyn Carter, Taylor Galloway, Gaby Hirsch, Oly Oxinfry and Nic Park.
Now in its 18th 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.
Title: THAT’S WEIRD, GRANDMA: Holiday Extravaganza
Written by Chicago Elementary School Students
Adapted for the stage by PlayMakers Laboratory Company Members
Directed by Artistic Director Brandon Cloyd
Cast: PlayMakers Laboratory Company Members Jen Allman, Noah Appelbaum, Ashley Bland, Bryan Bosque, Annie Calhoun, Kaylyn Carter, Taylor Galloway, Gaby Hirsch, Oly Oxinfry and Nic Park.
Location: Neo-Futurist Theater, 5153 N. Ashland Ave. in Chicago
Dates: Preview: Monday, December 9 at 8 pm
Press performance: Friday, December 13 at 8 pm
Regular run: Saturday, December 14 – Saturday, December 21, 2019
Curtain Times: Fridays at 8 pm; Saturday at 3 pm & 8 pm
Tickets: Previews: $10 for adults, $5 children 12 and under, $8 groups of 10 or more. Regular run: $20 for adults, $10 for children 12 and under. Discounts: $12 for students with ID, seniors, veterans and groups of 10 or more people. Teen Arts Pass (TAP) members: $5 with ID. Tickets are currently available at www.playmakerslab.org or by calling (773) 506-7140.
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.