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About us

Intimate, Engaging & Impactful

It’s Women’s Work.

Located in Chicago’s Edgewater neighborhood, Rivendell is a homegrown Chicago gem. Since 1994, this professional Ensemble has consistently mounted  groundbreaking, acclaimed productions – 2/3 have been Jeff Recommended, earning dozens of Jeff Nominations and Awards. Rivendell leaves audiences and critics enthralled, moved, and talking. Rivendell Theatre Ensemble is a 501c3, non-profit arts organization.


“As an immigrant and woman of color; it is really important for me that women in my family and community learn to stand up and fight for their rights and if they are passionate about something to not let anyone discourage them from pursuing it. Having theaters like Rivendell that bring voices of women on and off the stage is really important to me." - Fasher Khan, patron

Rivendell delivers the quintessential Chicago storefront theater experience, a coveted and uniquely Chicago cultural tradition. You’ll be treated to world class productions in a uniquely engaging, truly intimate setting, immersing you in thought-provoking stories.

“Exhilarated by the amazing artists of Rivendell, I walked out into the crisp Chicago night provoked, challenged, and inspired. Most of all, I felt less alone. Rivendell is one of my favorite Chicago theater companies, and this experience reminded me of why I’m so grateful for you.” – Scott Silberstein, patron

Rivendell is Chicago’s leading theatre company dedicated to women’s stories. Experience this unusual platform for groundbreaking portrayals of provocative social themes through a female lens. Through the power of storytelling, Rivendell skillfully delivers fresh perspectives and invites discussion on timely issues important to us all.

“I love when a piece of theatre transcends the story being told. Your show is a metaphor for what is so wrong with our country and the world ... It is hard to hate a person on the other side of an issue when you get to know them and their humanity...even if you strongly disagree with them” -Bill Trotter, patron

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CRITICAL praise for rivendell


Chicago Tribune
“This trio of Rivendell actors, all of the Chicago school and with [Ashley] Neal the formidable standout, holds your attention throughout the 90 minutes, and the level of personal crises they embody is intense”
~ Chris Jones, Chicago Tribune Review of Cal in Camo 2018



HowlRound Theatre Commons 
"One Chicago theatre that has been quietly practicing radical inclusion of mothers for the past decade is Rivendell Theatre Ensemble."
~ HowlRound Theatre Commons 2019



“Give playwright Joel Drake Johnson 90 minutes of your time and four top rate actors at the top of their game. You’ll get a more searing and nuanced discussion of racism in 2014 USA than mountains of academic tomes or pundits can deliver.”
~ Chicago Splash review of Rasheeda Speaking 2014



Chicago Reader
"Igniting memories of “How the World Began” [2015] and particularly “Dry Land,” [2016] … Firebirds … encompasses what Rivendell does so well: challenge preconceived notions and let them fight back.
~ Chicago Reader review of Firebirds Take the Field 2017



PerformInk Chicago
"Addressing our mortality and quality of life is profoundly personal. I don’t have an answer but am thankful for this production for igniting an inquiry."
~Performink review of Winter 2017


CHECK OUT THIS highlight video 

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