For the first time in two years, PlayMakers Laboratory’s original sketch show That's Weird, Grandma is back on stage – and just in time for the holidays! The family-friendly extravaganza returns December 8 – 17, 2023 at the Neo-Futurist Theater, 5153 N. Ashland Ave. in Chicago. Tickets ($25 adults, $15 youth) are now on sale at www.playmakerslab.org. The press opening is Friday, December 8 at 7 pm.
Directed by Artistic Director Brandon Cloyd, That’s Weird, Grandma features adaptations of stories written during PML’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, along with some classic holiday stories – hat resonate with adults while celebrating the imaginations of young people.
The cast includes PML Company Members Jen Allman, Erin Alys, Juanita Andersen, Noah Appel, Mat Benson, Elijah Cox, Nick Crothers, Madison Grady, Barry Irving, Daniela Kreidler, Sam Nieves, Allison Sokolowski, Brad Stevens, Lexy Weixel, Bhak Yongwoo and Allison Zanolli.
PlayMakers Laboratory Company Members perform That’s Weird, Grandma. Photo by Evan Hanover.
- Friday, December 8 at 7 pm (Opening Night)
- Saturday, December 9 at 2 pm
- Sunday, December 10 at 2 pm
- Saturday, December 16 at 2 pm
- Sunday, December 17 at 2 pm
Production team: Daniel Parsons (Stage Manager).
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. Brandon has held many roles in PlayMakers Laboratory before becoming the company’s Artistic Director in September 2017, and then becoming the Executive Artistic Director in 2023. He served with PML 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. 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 a founding director with Purple Crayon Players at Northwestern University. Brandon is also a former board member 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 75 Chicago Public Schools. Over 29,000 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 by S&C Electric with Foundation Support from Crown Family Philanthropies, The Field Foundation, Mardi Gras Fund, Polk Bros. Foundation, Siragusa Family Foundation, Paul M. Angell Foundation, Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs, The Chicago Community Trust and many other generous individuals.