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26 Miles

Rivendell Theatre Ensemble in co-production with Teatro Vista proudly presents the Midwest premiere

By Quiara Alegria Hudes


Directed by Tara Mallen


October 16 – November 21, 2010


Presented by Special Arrangement with Dramatists Play Service, Inc., New York

Directed by RTE Artistic Director, Tara Mallen, “26 Miles” is a co-production between Teatro Vista and Rivendell Theatre, who last collaborated on Hudes’s “Elliot, A Soldier’s Fugue.”

Beatriz and Olivia in WyomingBea LaughsBea, Olivia, and Attendant


Location: Merle Reskin Garage Theatre
(1650 N. Halsted, Chicago, IL)


Performances: Previews October 16-20: Saturday at 8pm (sold out); Sunday at 7pm, and Tuesday/Wednesday at 8pm.

Press Opening: Thursday, October 21 at 7pm.

Regular performances are October 22 through November 21: Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 8 pm; Sundays at 3 pm.


An ’83 Buick Regal may be an unlikely place to find out what family really means, but when Beatriz and her estranged daughter head west on a spontaneous cross-country road trip, neither is prepared for what lies ahead. “26 Miles” reminds us that the best souvenirs on the road of life are the relationships we make along the way and that sometimes all it takes to find yourself is the power of family… and a herd of buffalo.


Ashley Neal as Olivia
Rivendell Theatre Ensemble


Ashley has been a member of Rivendell Theatre Ensemble for 7 years. During that time she has appeared in Be Aggressive, Expecting Isabel, The Walls, These Shining Lives, and most recently 26 Miles. As a graduate of Columbia College Chicago and having worked with numerous theatre companies throughout Chicago, Ashley is proud to call Chicago her home — and Rivendell her family!


Keith Kupferer as Jacob
Rivendell Theatre Ensemble; Member of Actors’ Equity Association


Keith Kupferer’s theater credits include High Holidays, Sarah Ruhl’s Passion Play and The Old Neighborhood at the Goodman Theatre; Of Mice & Men, Carter’s Way, Men of Tortuga, Things Being What They Are, Jesus Hopped The A Train and Tavern Story at Steppenwolf Theatre; Trust and Execution of Justice with About Face Theatre; Cat Feet and The Old Neighborhood at Northlight; Desire Under The Elms, a co-production between Philadelphia’s Freedom Theatre and Chicago’s Court Theatre; and the long-running hit Shear Madness. Keith is a founding member of Rivendell Theatre Ensemble and was seen in their productions of Expecting Isabel, Indulgences in the Louisville Harem, Be Aggressive, The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole Age 13 & 3/4, Mommapalooza!, My Simple City, Hamlet, and Twenty Seven Wagons Full of Cotton, and 26 Miles (a co-production between Rivendell Theatre Ensemble and Teatro Vista). Other Chicago credits include The Unseen, The Meek, Canus Lunis Balloonis (nominated for a 1998 Joseph Jefferson award for Best Ensemble), and The Physicists for A Red Orchid Theatre; and Trust and Hillbilly Antigone for Lookingglass Theatre. Film credits include the latest Ron Howard project; The Dark Knight, Public Enemies, The Express, Meet the Browns, Stranger Than Fiction, Road to Perdition directed by Sam Mendes; Bad City, Fred Claus, Let’s Go to Prison, The Last Rights of Joe May and The Merry Gentleman directed by Michael Keaton. TV credits include the ABC series Detroit 1-8-7, A&E’s The Beast, the Fox series Prison Break, The Jamie Kennedy Experiment on WB, the CBS series Early Edition. Keith will be next seen in God of Carnage at the Goodman Theater in March of 2011.


Sandra Marquez as Beatriz
Teatro Vista; Member of Actors’ Equity Association


Sandra Marquez has been an ensemble member of Teatro Vista, the Midwest’s only Equity Latino theater company, since 1997 and served as the company’s Associate Artistic Director from 1998-2006. In 2009 she directed Teatro Vista’s Jeff-nominated production of Our Lady of the Underpass by Tanya Saracho, as well as the production remount at 16th Street Theater earlier this season. She made her main stage directorial debut with a production of Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner by Luis Alfaro. Previously she had conceived and directed an ensemble-generated piece for Teatro Vista called Vampiros y Bebes, as well as many student productions at various venues. Acting credits include The Oregon Shakespeare Festival (Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner); Victory Gardens (Anna in the Tropics); The Goodman Theater (Boleros for the Disenchanted, Mariela in the Desert, Electricidad, Massacre, Zoot Suit and A Christmas Carol); Madison Repertory Theater (Our Town); and Steppenwolf Theater (Sonia Flew, The Boiler Room, One Arm and A Streetcar Named Desire) as well as many roles in Teatro Vista productions. Ms. Marquez is a member of AEA, AFTRA and SAG, and has worked in many industrial films and national commercials. Film and TV credits include Timer, Stranger Than Fiction, Prison Break, Women’s Murder Club and The Big Bang Theory. She is a faculty member at Northwestern University.


Eddie Torres as Manuel
Teatro Vista; Member of Actors’ Equity Association


Edward Torres is co-founder and the current Artistic Director for Teatro Vista. He has been at the helm for more than 17 years and has orchestrated the amazing growth that the company has seen since becoming a fully producing organization in 2002. The company produces three full productions a year, has an educational outreach program in Chicago’s near south and west sides, produces an annual reading series that hosts some of the United State’s most prominent Latino writers and boasts one of the strongest acting ensembles in the city, if not the Midwest. Most recently as an actor he was seen in The Goodman Theatre’s Production of The Cook and in the extremely well-received Anna in the Tropics at Victory Gardens Theatre. Other Acting Credits at Chicago theatres include the Steppenwolf Theatre, Victory Gardens Theatre, Latino Chicago Theatre Company, Court, Apple Tree Theatre, Chicago Shakespeare Theatre, and Collaboraction.

Directorial Credits include, for Teatro Vista: The Show Host, Aurora’s Motive (Jaime Pachino), Ambrosio (Romulus Linney), Icarus (Edwin Sanchez), The Boiler Room (Rubin Gonzales), and The Sins of Sor Juana (Karen Zacarias). For Latino Chicago: Do Cocks Have Claws and Wings to Fly (Amparo Garcia) and Lolita De Lares (Migdalia Cruz). In 2009 Mr. Torres directed the world-premiere production of Kristoffer Diaz’s The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity at the Victory Gardens Biograph Theatre. This award-winning production went on to a full 2010 run with Second Stage in New York and plans are in the works for an extended New York run.





Quiara Alegría Hudes
Quiara Alegría Hudes is an award-winning author of plays, musicals, screenplays and other literary works. Though her works are varied in style, she combines an intellectual curiosity with a humanistic vision to tell new American stories. Her work for musical theater includes Broadway’s Tony Award-winning Best Musical In the Heights (Tony Nomination for her book, Pulitzer Prize finalist, Lucille Lortel Award, Outer Critics Circle Award) and the children’s musical Barrio Grrrl! (book and lyrics, Helen Hayes nomination for Theater for Young Audiences). Her plays include Elliot, A Soldier’s Fugue (Pulitzer Prize finalist); 26 Miles; Yemaya’s Belly (The Clauder Prize); and Water By the Spoonful. Hudes was born and raised in Philadelphia, where she recently returned to receive a Resolution from the City of Philadelphia. Much of her writing comes out of family stories and is set in Philadelphia, at the intersection of its many ethnic and historic communities. Hudes’s mother, a Puerto Rican spiritual leader in the Santeria and Buddhist traditions, encouraged her to become a writer, as did her Jewish father, a carpenter and artisan, and Puerto Rican stepfather, an entrepreneur. Originally trained as a musician, Hudes’s writing is strongly influenced by the musical traditions she studied including Western Classical, Afro-Cuban, and jazz. Her first play was produced in the tenth grade by Philadelphia Young Playwrights, where she now serves as a board member and mentor to other young writers. After attending public school, she went on to receive a B.A. in music composition from Yale and an M.F.A. in playwriting from Brown. She is a resident writer at New Dramatists and the Joyce Fellow at the Goodman Theatre.




Director — Tara Mallen
Rivendell Theatre Ensemble; Member of Actors’ Equity Association

Tara Mallen is an actor, director, and the Producing Artistic Director at Rivendell Theatre Ensemble. Most recently she was seen on stage in Rivendell Theatre Ensemble’s Jeff Nominated world premiere production of Rasheeda Speaking. Prior to that she appeared in Steppenwolf’s production of How Long Will I Cry: Stories of Youth Violence written by Chicago Journalist Miles Harvey. She performed in the Midwest premiere of Catherine Trieschmann’s Crooked, and in the Steppenwolf Garage as part of the ensemble in Rivendell’s World Premiere, Jeff nominated production of The Walls. Tara played Jolene Palmer, inspired by the true-life story of Aileen Wuornos, in Rivendell’s award winning production of Self Defense, or the Death of Some Salesmen also at Steppenwolf Garage. (Both productions part of Steppenwolf Theatre Company’s Visiting Theater Initiative). She received a Joseph Jefferson award for Best Supporting Actress for her portrayal of Gwenyth in WRENS as part of that production’s Jeff-winning ensemble. She was nominated the following year for Best Actress in a Principal Role for her work in My Simple City.

Her screen credits include Steven Soderbergh’s film Contagion opposite Kate Winslet , the Starz series Boss starring Kelsey Grammer, the NBC pilot of Chicago Fire, the CBS/Sony Pictures pilot Doubt, the NBC series Chicago P.D. and the new Netflix series Sense8 directed by Lana and Andy Wachowski.


With Rivendell, Tara conceived and directed the world premiere of Women At War, directed the Jeff nominated Midwest premieres of The Electric Baby, 26 Miles (in co-production with Teatro Vista); Fighting Words; Psalms of a Questionable Nature; the co-production of Elliot, a Soldier’s Fugue with Stageworks/Hudson in Hudson, NY; and the brief and brilliant Shady Meadows by Lisa Dillman as part of the 2007 Chicago Humanities Festival.


Assistant Director — Joe Minoso
Teatro Vista; Member of Actors’ Equity Association


Stage Manager — Jaclyn Holsey
Member of Actors’ Equity Association


Jaclyn Holsey is overjoyed to be back working with Teatro Vista and having this chance to work with Rivendell Theatre. Recent credits include Tobacco Road (American Blues Theater), Dr. Harlon’s Five Keys to Success (Will Clinger, Royal George Theater), The K of D (Route 66 Theatre), Shoes (Victory Gardens Theater), Jon (Collaboraction) and Augusta, St. Scarlett, It’s a Wonderful Life and Half of Plenty with ABT. She is an affiliate artist of ABT and will be working with them again this winter on It’s a Wonderful Life: Life at the Biograph! She would like to thank her husband for never giving up and sends her love to little Cashew – can’t wait to meet you in January!


Production Manager — Patrick Fries
Rivendell Theatre Ensemble


Pat Fries is perhaps the most handsome Rivendell Ensemble Member. Pat has production-managed the RTE productions of These Shining Lives, The Walls, Mary’s Wedding, and 26 Miles. Previous credits include The UN Inspector, Dying City, Boom, End Days, War With The Newts, The Piano Teacher, and Madagascar (Next Theatre); Generic Latina 2010 and Lunatic(a)s (Teatro Luna); and Welcome Yule! 2009 and 2010 (Chicago Symphony Orchestra).


Producing Director — Cecilie Keenan
Teatro Vista


Cecilie D. Keenan is a freelance director and producer who has been active in the Chicago Theater Community for over 20 years. Cecilie has worked in many capacities both administratively and artistically with Teatro Vista for almost 9 years. Directing credits with the company include El Nogalar (in development and soon to be presented at The Goodman Theatre in March of 2011), Dreamlandia, Another Part of the House and Living Out. Most recently, Cecilie directed the multiple Jeff Nominated Tobacco Road for American Blues Theater and Joel Drake Johnson’s End of the Tour for 16th Street Theater in Berwyn. Administratively, she has been overseeing a strategic plan and rebranding project for Teatro Vista along with the day-to-day activities. Cecilie has been instrumental in the growing of Teatro Vista over the years and is very proud of the company’s most recent offerings of The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity and Our Lady of the Underpass, which she helped to produce. As an artist, she has been a frequent director at many Chicago Theaters including Teatro Vista, Apple Tree, and Northlight Theaters. She also enjoys extended relationships with Collaboraction where she is an Artistic Associate and director of The Intelligent Design of Jenny Chow and, of course, American Blues Theater, as a former company member and Director of Living Out (co-pro with Teatro Vista), Toys in the Attic and Bus Stop, and Bailiwick Repertory where she was Artistic Director and current Artistic Associate.


Set Designer — Regina Garcia
Born in Puerto Rico, Regina attended Sarah Lawrence College and New York University’s Department of Design for Stage and Film. Recently completed projects include: Trisha Brown’s Astral Convertible 2010 with re-imagined technology by John Toenjes at the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts; and The Me Nobody Knows directed by Ron Himes at the St. Louis Black Rep. She has worked with renowned Latino theaters including Repertorio Español, Puerto Rican Traveling Theater, INTAR, and was the Resident Scenic Designer at Pregones Theater in the Bronx for more than ten years. She has also designed for directors Rosalba Rolon, Michael John Garces, Victor Maog, Daniella Topol, Jorge Ali Triana, Miriam Colon, Bartlett Sher, Thomas Kail, Anthony Moseley and Ilesa Duncan, amongst others. Regina is a fellow of the NEA/TCG Career Development Program for Designers, and is also a recipient of a Princess Grace Award in Scenic Design for her work with Pregones. She is a professor of Set Design at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.


Costume Design — Christine Pascual
Teatro Vista


Christine Pascua is delighted to be working with Rivendell and Teatro Vista once again. Previously for Rivendell/Teatro Vista she designed Elliot, A Soldier’s Fugue. Recently Christine has designed GL 2010: Not Your Generic Latina for Teatro Luna; Sizwe Banzi is Dead at Court Theatre; the Pulitzer finalist The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity off -Broadway at Second Stage Theatre and at Victory Gardens Theatre; Our Lady of the Underpass at 16th Street Theatre and for Teatro Vista; and The House on Mango Street at Steppenwolf. Additional credits include Lunaticas and Jarred for Teatro Luna; Relatively Close, The Romance of Magno Rubio, Hambone, Concerto Chicago, Symmetry and Blackbird for Victory Gardens; Sanctified, St. James Infirmary, Joe Turner’s Come and Gone, Seven Guitars, Elmina’s Kitchen, From the Mississippi Delta, A Soldier’s Play and Black Nativity for Congo Square Theatre; Ten Cent Night for Chicago Dramatists; Piano Lesson, The First Breeze of Summer, and Flyin’ West for The Court Theatre; and La Rondine for Roosevelt University. Other theaters she has designed for are: Onyx Theatre, Defiant Theatre, Apple Tree Theatre, Time Line Theatre, Lifeline Theatre, Centerstage in Baltimore, International Mystery Writers Festival, Yale Baroque Opera Project, Infusion Theatre, and Strawdog Theatre. She is a member of the United Scenic Artists Local 829 and Artistic Associate of Teatro Vista and Teatro Luna. She wishes to thank her family for their unending support.


Lighting Design — Diane Fairchild
Rivendell Theatre Ensemble


Diane Fairchild is a proud ensemble member of Rivendell, an Artistic Associate of Next Theatre, an Artistic Affiliate of BoHo Theatre, and part time faculty at The School of the Art Institute. Previous designs for Rivendell include Rasheeda Speaking, The Electric Baby, WRENS (2012), Crooked, Precious Little, These Shining Lives, 26 Miles, The Walls, and Psalms of a Questionable Nature.

Other design credits include work at Lifeline, Babes with Blades, BoHo, Next, Northlight, Court, Timeline, Wheaton College, City Lit, Chicago Dramatists, Redmoon, Pegasus, Side Project, Raven, and the Michigan Shakespeare Festival. Awards she has been nominated for include a Non-Equity Jeff (The Gimmick, 2010), Broadway World Chicago (Floyd Collins, 2012 and Kiss of the Spider Woman, 2013), and a Wilde (Love’s Labours Lost, 2012). Ms. Fairchild holds an MFA in theater design from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, and she earned her BFA in design and technology for theater from Wright State University in her hometown of Dayton, Ohio.


Sound Design — Mikhail Fiksel
Teatro Vista


Mikhail Fiksel has been a proud member of Teatro Vista since 2003, where his most recent projects included The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity (with Victory Gardens) for which he just received a Jeff Award Nomination, Another Part of the House and Blindmouth Singing (Jeff Award for Sound Design). He is also a member Strawdog Theatre Company (AfterDark Award for Original Score, Old Town, and a Jeff Award for Original Incidental Music, A Lie of the Mind) and of Serendipity Theatre Collective and an Artistic Associate with Collaboraction — 1001, Jon, El Grito del Bronx and Intelligent Design of Jenny Chow (Orgie Award for Original Music). He is also an Artistic Associate with Redmoon Theater (Jeff Award Nomination, Winter Pageant Redux) and on the faculty at Loyola University, where he teaches Sound Design. Other recent credits include A War with the Newts (Next); The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity (2nd Stage, New York); The Cabinet, Last of My Species and Once Upon a Time (Redmoon Theatre); Awake & Sing (Northlight); Feast (Albany Park Theatre Project); Neverwhere, Last of the Dragons (Lifeline); Living Green, A Park in Our House, My Children, My Africa (Victory Gardens); Frankenstein, Oedipus (The Hypocrites); Uncle Vanya, The Cherry Orchard, R.U.R. (Strawdog); Maria’s Field, Romeo & Juliet (TUTA); Fake Lake (Neofuturists); Massacre (The Goodman Theatre) and various productions with Adventure Stage Chicago where he’s been a resident designer since 2006.


Assistant Sound Design — Miles Polaski
Miles Polaski is a sound designer, composer and musician in Chicago, IL. He is the resident sound designer with Collaboraction and a music director/curator with Serendipity Theatre’s 2nd Story. This summer Miles received a Jeff Award for his sound design on Mouse in a Jar with Red Tape Theatre. Miles has had the pleasure of working with many Chicago theatre companies. Favorite past credits include One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (The Gift Theatre); Uncle Vanya (TUTA); Cadillac (Chicago Dramatists); A Christmas Story (Noble Fool); Talk Radio (The Gift Theatre); Dr. Egg (Redmoon); The Hairy Ape (The Hypocrites/Goodman Theatre); Diversey Harbor (Theatre Seven); Bloody Bess (Backstage Theatre); and Of Mice and Men (Steppenwolf Theatre).


Properties — Julie Silver
Julie Silver is a Colorado native with degrees from Lawrence University in Appleton, WI She is relatively new to the area and is thrilled to be doing her first props job in Chicago. Past credits include Cyrano de Bergerac, Grapes of Wrath, and The Lying Kind (UCCS Theaterrworks) as well as Carmen (Opera Theater of the Rockies). Much gratitude to Tara and Pat for giving her the opportunity, and Sean for his patience and love.


Dramaturg — Kyra Lewandowski
Kyra Lewandowski is excited to be back at Rivendell again and delighted to be playing with Teatro Vista for the first time! She was last seen directing at Rivendell’s The Trojan Women Project and 20% Theatre’s Snapshots. She has previously directed with Collaboraction, Infusion Theatre, New Leaf Theatre (where she is also a company member), the side project, Village Players Theatre, WNEP Theatre and 20% Theatre. Kyra is currently directing shows for Appetite Theatre and Hobo Junction. Love and thanks to Tara and the rest of the team for this beautiful journey as well as Shaun, my navigator.


Technical Director — Kurt Kupferer
Rivendell Theatre Ensemble


Box Office Manager — Trisha Hooper
Rivendell Theatre Ensemble


Graphic Design — Melissa Blumenthal


Public Relations — Jay Kelly, L.C. Williams & Associates





Teatro Vista & Rivendell Theatre Ensemble are supported through the generosity of the following foundations & corporations:

3Arts; Alphawood Foundation; ArtsWork Fund for Organizational Development; Arts & Business Council; Elizabeth F. Cheney Foundation, CallOne, Cheevers & Associates; CityArts; Richard H. Driehaus Foundation; Gaylord & Dorothy Donnelly Foundation; Hispanics in Philanthropy; Joyce Foundation; The MacArthur Foundation; Nuveen LLC; NALAC; Woods Fund of Chicago; IAC Recovery Act; Ford Foundation; The Saints; Spectrum Creative Solutions; Nescafe Classico; Flutter, LTD; and the Illinois Arts Council, A State Agency.





Special Thanks to the following amazing individuals who helped make this production possible: Nancy Andrade, Whayne Braswell, Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, Ann Filmer & the 16th Street Theatre, Carlos Velazquez, Juicy Wine Bar, Lorna and Webber Neal, Ed Bark, Scott & Jody Mallen, Barbara Mallen, Jessa Carlstrom, Meighan Gerachis, Jennifer Masi, Todd Mack at Foursided, Kathleen Puls, Linda Silver, and Phyllis Campbell.

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