Molly Brennan named new artistic director of Barrel of Monkeys

Molly Brennan named new artistic director of Barrel of Monkeys

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The acclaimed Chicago-based arts education theater ensemble, Barrel of Monkeys, has named Molly Brennan as its new artistic director, effective September 1st.

The company made the announcement in a press release on Wednesday.

Brennan is a longtime company member and acclaimed actor who is best known for bringing a dynamic mix of physicality, facial elasticity and childlike glee to her work.

You might remember her for her roles in various 500 Clown productions, where she is also a company member, or for her recent turn as Harpo Marx in the Goodman Theater’s production of Animal Crackers. Brennan also has appeared in productions at Lookingglass, Steppenwolf and About Face, among others.

“I am honored to step into a leadership position among a group that excels at what they do,” said Brennan in the company’s press release. “I so completely support BOM programming and am excited to expand the connection between the work of our students and the Chicago theatre-going audience. We’re going to bring the thunder!”

Brennan replaces Luke Hatton, who is moving with his family to California. Hatton served as artistic director of the company since 2008.

Barrel of Monkeys conducts writing workshops with students from underserved schools and parks in Chicago, turning the stories they gather into professionally performed theater productions, including their popular show That’s Weird, Grandma.