Past PRODUCTIONS

We have elevated the lives of women through the power of theatre for over 25 years. Check out our past shows to remember your favorites and see the range of work and artists that we have brought to audiences.

 
 
Fresh Produce - fBCover 820x312 2.jpg

Fresh Produce 2022
A Celebration of New Plays by Women


August 18-29, 2022

 

We are thrilled to announce the August 2022 marks the reemergence of Fresh Produce: A Celebration of New Plays by Women. Originally launched in 2004, Rivendell has long cultivated the notion that thoughtfully planting new artistic seeds wields the richest harvest.  

Our Fresh Produce series is known for risky, innovative, and compelling new work. During each series, exciting new projects with women at the core are curated and nurtured through an intensive, developmental workshop process. Each project culminates in a public reading that features the opportunity for a moderated dialogue between artists and audience. 

SPAY 2022 art.png

SPAY
by Madison Fiedler
World Premiere: March 17 - April 17, 2022
Extension: April 23 - May 1, 2022

Directed by Georgette Verdin

Williamson, West Virginia has been aptly nicknamed “Pilliamson” as long as the Attridge sisters have called it home. In the wake of their mother’s overdose, the two sisters have taken very different paths. As Harper raises Noah’s child, vowing to tread new ground, Noah finds herself unable to break old cycles – until a stranger promises a way to do just that. Madison Fiedler’s provocative new drama SPAY interrogates the question of autonomy in small-town Appalachia.

 

Selected from a field of over 150 new plays, SPAY was one of six new plays featured in the 2019 National New Play Network’s Annual Showcase of New Plays in Atlanta, Georgia.

Featured artists:
Ensemble members, Rae Gray,
Krystel McNeil and Artistic Director, Tara Mallen.
Ensemble member Mary Cross replaced Tara Mallen for the extension.
Also featuring J. Spencer Huffman

245039110_10159565915924636_5651689437872435088_n.png

8:46 (Breathing Room) Festival
In-Theatre: October 21-23, 2021
Virtual: November 1, 2021

An 8 minute and 46 second new play festival in association with The Breath Project. Curated by RTE ssociate Artistic Director Denise Yvette Serna

Featured artists:
Tina Fakhrid-Deen, Mari DeOleo,
Gloria Imseih Petrelli and Risha Tenae.
Special appearance by RTE ensemble member Jessica Ervin.

 
81355057_10157978802644636_345365720500011008_n.png

The Tasters
 By Meghan Brown
 

A World Premiere
 January 10 - February 16, 2020

With government leaders getting poisoned left and right, the
Tasters have an important job—eating delicious, gourmet meals,
and then waiting to see if they die. When rebellious Taster Elyse goes on a hunger strike, she kicks off a series of events that will change the course of history…while putting all of the Tasters’ lives
in jeopardy. In her sharp, energetic new play, Meghan Brown
(The Pliant Girls) explores the nuances of political resistance,
self-interest and individual action creating hope in the face of hopelessness.


Directed by RTE member Devon de Mayo
Featuring ensemble members Paula Ramirez and Eric Slater with Shariba Rivers, Daniella Pereira, and Collin Quinn Rice

 

RTE - SoloVoices PreviewBanner.png

SOLO VOICES WORKSHOP:
A DIGITAL FESTIVAL


April 29 – May 2, 2020

Originally conceived as an in-person new play festival of one-woman shows, Rivendell Theatre Ensemble presents a digital pivot of its inaugural Solo Voices Workshop: a celebration and exploration of the development process of four new one-woman plays written and performed by Chicago artists. Over the course of the digital festival, online audiences will explore process-generated content from digital workshops of four new plays–When Given the Choice, Bleed by
Kimberly Dixon-Mays, Tidy by Kristin Idaszak, Aping Jane by Aurora
Real de Asua, and The Inside by Lydia R. Diamond. Thanks to Elizabeth F. Cheney Foundation for generously funding this project.


Curated by RTE Member Kristen Osborn

RTE - SoloVoices PreviewBanner.png

SOLO VOICES WORKSHOP:
A DIGITAL FESTIVAL


April 29 – May 2, 2020

Originally conceived as an in-person new play festival of one-woman shows, Rivendell Theatre Ensemble presents a digital pivot of its inaugural Solo Voices Workshop: a celebration and exploration of the development process of four new one-woman plays written and performed by Chicago artists. Over the course of the digital festival, online audiences will explore process-generated content from digital workshops of four new plays–When Given the Choice, Bleed by
Kimberly Dixon-Mays, Tidy by Kristin Idaszak, Aping Jane by Aurora
Real de Asua, and The Inside by Lydia R. Diamond. Thanks to Elizabeth F. Cheney Foundation for generously funding this project.


Curated by RTE Member Kristen Osborn

51223921_10157094758219636_8018336520064729088_n.jpg

I WANNA FUCKING TEAR YOU APART 
 By Morgan Gould

A Midwest Premiere

February 15 – March 23, 2019

Samantha and Leo are a team—best friends and roommates, fat girl and gay guy against the world—until a new friend upends their cozy co-dependent diet of mutual self-loathing and Grey’s Anatomy marathons. An ode to the complications of friendship in its many fucked-up forms, with a special nod to a kind of love that sometimes looks a lot like rage.

 

Produced first at D.C.’s Studio Theatre, I Wanna Fucking Tear You Apart challenges assumptions around niceness, beauty, and mainstream acceptance as it upends traditional narratives about fat women—Gould herself identifies openly as such—by putting a fat woman at its center. “I’m not chubby or big-boned,” says Gould. “I’m fat. That’s who I am”.

Directed by Jessica Fisch, director of Rivendell’s highly successful world premiere production of The Firebirds Take the Field, Gould’s play is a wild ride with unforgettable characters that asks probing questions about friendships, fatness, bigotry, ambition, and the cost of living in a world that finds you unacceptable in some way.

Directed by Jessica Fisch
Featuring RTE Ensemble member Jessica Ervin
with Teressa LaGamba and Robert Quintanilla
 

 
60098181_10157333796364636_9077389628926853120_n.png

SOMETHING CLEAN
By Selina Fillinger
A co-production with Sideshow Theatre


A Midwest Premiere
June 16 – July 21, 2019

New York Times Critic’s Pick!

“Simply splendid… a beautifully observed, richly compassionate new drama.”

Charlotte has been a mother for nineteen years, a wife for three decades and a respectable community member her entire life. But when her son is incarcerated for sexual assault, Charlotte is forced to reckon with a brand new identity, both public and private. Inspired by today’s headlines and on the heels of its off-Broadway premiere, Selina Fillinger’s breathtaking new drama slips into the jagged cracks of a sex crime’s aftermath – as a mother struggles to make sense of her own grief, intimacy, and culpability.

Originally commissioned by Sideshow’s Freshness Initiative, and hot on the heels of its NYC World Premiere at Roundabout Theatre — Playwright Selina Fillinger’s breathtaking new drama slips into the jagged cracks of a sex crime’s aftermath – as a mother struggles to make sense of her own grief, intimacy, and culpability.

Directed by Lauren Shouse
Featuring RTE Ensemble member Mary Cross
with Patrick Agada and Guy Massey
 

71516220_10157693814629636_5598610838089891840_n.jpg

Photo credit: Nathanael Filbert

LAURA AND THE SEA
By Kate Tarker
 


A World Premiere
October 25 – December 8, 2019

It’s company outing day, and Laura, one of the top travel agents of her generation, is having the best/worst day of her life. So much so that she decides to end it all. Afterwards, her colleagues try to piece things together on a memorial blog. But how do you mourn someone you didn’t know that well?
A comedy about depression, or: a treatise on travel agents who don’t travel.

Awards: 2016 Kilroys List / Finalist, L. Arnold Weissberger Award, 2016 / Finalist, Princess Grace Award, 2016 / Semi Finalist, The Relentless Award, 2016

Directed by Devon de Mayo
Featuring RTE Ensemble members Tara Mallen, Paula Ramirez and Mark Ulrich
with Jordan Arredondo, Adithi Chandrashekar and Alex Gillmor

23334313_10155947496869636_15545515981787962_o.jpg

CAL IN CAMO
By William Francis Hoffman


A Midwest Premiere
January 5 – February 17, 2018

“ a vernacular, mystical cocktail of a play”
– Ben Brantley, The New York Times

Marooned in a sinking starter home in rural Illinois, Cal struggles to bond with her newborn daughter as her beer salesman husband struggles in vain to land accounts in unpromising new territory. Playwright William Francis Hoffman’s new play explores the intricacies of family ties with equal doses of penetrating humor and scorching revelation. Produced by special arrangement with Playscripts, Inc. (www.playscripts.com)

 

Directed by RTE Ensemble member Devon de Mayo
Featuring RTE Ensemble members Ashley Neal, Keith Kupferer & Eric Slater
 

31598603_10156435809819636_8419283914853449728_n.jpg

THE CAKE
By Bekah Brunstetter


A Midwest Premiere
April 8 – May 20, 2018

Jen lives in New York but has always dreamed of getting married in her small North Carolina hometown, so she heads down south with her partner to ask Della, her late mother’s best friend, to do the honors of making the wedding cake at her bakery. Della’s cakes are legendary, even earning her a spot as a contestant on the “Great American Baking Show.” She is overjoyed at Jen’s request until she realizes there’s not just one bride, but two, forcing her to re-examine some of her deeply-held beliefs, as well as her own marriage. Faith, family, and frosting collide in this touching and timely new play.

 

Directed by Lauren Shouse
Featuring RTE Ensemble members Tara Mallen, Krystel McNeil and Keith Kupferer with Tuckie White

41585105_10156760011829636_3027828867097165824_n.png

SCIENTIFIC METHOD
By Jenny Connell Davis


A World Premiere
October 19 – December 2, 2018

Amy, a hotshot scientist at an elite U.S. cancer research lab, is moments from publishing data that could revolutionize the field. When she’s scooped by a senior scientist from a competing lab, she first questions her own ability to compete in her chosen field. But as new information comes to light, Amy must face the possibility of willful sabotage by a powerful male colleague. Scientific Method is a witty and complex behind-the-scenes look at women in the sciences—and the struggle many women have to keep moving forward on the rocky terrain of an uneven playing field.

 

This production is sponsored in part by Dan Cyganowski in memory of Carol K Cyganowski, scholar and theatre lover.

 

Directed by Devon de Mayo
Featuring RTE Ensemble member Ashley Neal with Carmen Roman, Glenn Obrero, Josh Odor and Courtney Williams

Winter-Poster-668x1024.jpg

Photo credit: Nathanael Filbert

WINTER
By Julie Jensen

A National New Play Network Rolling World Premiere
January 7 – February 11, 2017

A National New Play Network Rolling World Premiere

A retired professor and poet slowly losing herself to dementia seeks to end her life on her own terms at a time when she can still recognize herself. Julie Jensen’s WINTER is a searing, compassionate, and often very funny examination of the end of life – and the unconventional path one woman takes to get there

 

Directed by RTE Ensemble members Megan Carney and Mark Ulrich
Featuring Barbara Robertson, Sean Cooper, Steve Haggard,
Martasia Jones and Dan Flannery

fire-poster-final-768x1178.jpg

Photo credit: Nathanael Filbert

THE FIREBIRDS TAKE THE FIELD
By Lynn Rosen

 

A World Premiere
April 18 – May 27, 2017

The Firebirds Take the Field is Jeff Recommended!

It’s been 25 years since molecular neuroscientist Avery Kahn left Highland Falls, NY. But when 18 local girls, cheerleaders mostly, are stricken with a mysterious ailment, Avery reluctantly returns home to tackle what the locals derisively call the “girl disease.” As Avery becomes affected—and infected—by the girls, the case becomes more personal than she ever expected.

 

Inspired by actual events in LeRoy, New York during the Fall of 2011.

THE FIREBIRDS TAKE THE FIELD was commissioned and developed with support from The Ensemble Studio Theatre / Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Science & Technology Project.

 

Directed by Jessica Fisch
Featuring RTE Ensemble members Jessica Ervin, Meighan Gerachis,
Tara Mallen, and Rebecca Spence

ALIAS-small-post-front-1024x652.jpg

Photo credit: Nathanael Filbert

Margaret Atwood's
ALIAS GRACE

Adapted for the stage by Jennifer Blackmer


September 1 – November 4, 2017

A world premiere adaptation of Atwood’s acclaimed novel, Alias Grace takes a look at one of Canada’s most notorious murderers. In 1843, 16-year-old Grace Marks was accused of brutally murdering her employer and his housekeeper. Imprisoned for years, Grace still swears she has no memory of the killings. A doctor in the emerging field of mental health arrives to try to find out the truth of the matter. Alias Grace is a fascinating study of memory, culpability, and the shadowy spaces within the human mind.

 

Alias Grace, by Margaret Atwood, © 1996 O.W. Toad Ltd.
Published by Nan A. Talese, an imprint of Doubleday Books
Currently available in an Anchor Trade Paperback edition
Permission for adaptation and performance granted by Author.

 

Directed by RTE Co-Founder Karen Kessler
Featuring RTE Ensemble members Ashley Neal, Jane Baxter Miller and Eric Slater

12657397_10154008912259636_7555924641894621562_o.jpg

Photo credit: Nathanael Filbert


BODY COURAGE
Written and Performed by Danielle Pinnock

January 28 - February 27, 2016

Created from over 300 interviews conducted worldwide, Body/Courage is a rich exploration on body acceptance, as we share in one woman’s transformative journey to discover her own beauty through the voices of others. Pinnock’s powerful new work introduces a constellation of characters grappling with diverse body issues including weight, illness, disability, skin color, aging, and gender transition. Together their stories reflect a nuanced and moving response to the high pressures, expectations, and judgments society places on personal appearance.

RTE produces Body/Courage in association with Waltzing Mechanics. Waltzing Mechanics creates original documentary theatre inspired by real people telling stories about their lives. Using methods of performance ethnography, Waltzing Mechanics facilitates dialogues among audiences and within the community.

Production sponsors for Body/Courage:
The Reva and David Logan Foundation and The Elizabeth F. Cheney Foundation

 

Directed by Megan Carney

Produced in association with Waltzing Mechanics

rsz_11_350x234.png
12968161_10154220604779636_8041655517336110007_o.jpg

DRY LAND
By Ruby Rae Spiegel


A Midwest Premiere

April 21 - May 28, 2016

Sometimes high school boils down to one thing – survival. And the only way to stay afloat is to find an ally. Set in the girls’ locker room of a Florida high school, Ruby Rae Spiegel’s ferocious new play looks at the unlikely friendship between Esther and Amy, two high school swimmers under uncommon pressure. Called a “remarkable new play” by the NY Times, Dry Land is alternately harrowing and hilarious, as it homes in on the issue of DIY abortion, the complexities of female friendship, and the impossible pressures that build up at the brink of adulthood.

Previews April 21 – 23 at 8 PM, April 24 at 4 PM & April 26 at 8 PM
Gala Opening April 28 at 7 PM
Performances April 29 – May 28, 2016:
Thursdays – Saturdays at 8 PM and Saturdays at 4 PM

 

*Jeff Nominated

 

Directed by RTE member Hallie Gordon

Featuring RTE member Jessica Ervin and Bryce Gangel; With Charlotte Thomas, Matt Farabee, Ric Walker, Olivia Shine, Ireon Roach & Jackie Seijo

JeffAward-Logo.jpg
13886860_10154531745764636_3822619030846942598_n.jpg

GRIZZLY MAMA
By George Brant


A Midwest Premiere

September 7 - October 15, 2016

Following the death of her activist mother, divorced single mom Deb is on a mission. But to carry it out, she must first reinvent herself as a liberal avenger. Deb’s teenage daughter, Hannah, couldn’t care less–that is, until she discovers the real reason behind their recent move to Alaska, right next door to a certain conservative presidential candidate. Grizzly Mama is a dark comedy about motherhood, murder, and moose.

Directed by RTE member Megan Carney

Featuring RTE Artistic Director Tara Mallen

 
women-at-war.jpg

WOMEN AT WAR
By RTE Member Megan Carney


A World Premiere

November 5 – December 6, 2014

A debate rages over whether females should serve on the frontlines, yet more women are being sent into active combat zones than ever before. This new theatrical work is woven from years of research and first-person interviews with women who have laid their lives on these lines and returned from deployment to re-enter civilian life.

Directed by RTE Artistic Director Tara Mallen

Featuring RTE member Mary Cross, Krystel McNeil and Paula Ramirez

With Rengin Altay, Danielle Davis, Susan Gaspar, Brittani Green,
Cynthia Hines and Charlita Williams  

jeff_recommended.jpg
Screen Shot 2022-01-05 at 9.38.43 PM.png

LOOK WE ARE BREATHING
By Chicago playwright Laura Jacqmin


A World Premiere

April 2 – May 16, 2015

Those who die young are mourned for their lost potential. But what if Mike, a high school hockey player killed while driving drunk, never really showed much potential? In this searing world premiere, Chicago playwright Laura Jacqmin turns her unblinking eye on the grieving process, as three women in Mike’s life realize that in order to move on, they first have to confront some hard truths about themselves.

 

Production Sponsor: The Elizabeth F. Cheney Foundation

JEFF NOMINATED for Best New Work!

Directed by Megan Shuchman, Associate Director of Education at Steppenwolf
Assistant Directed by RTE member Mark Ulrich

Featuring RTE Artistic Director Tara Mallen with Brendan Meyer,
Lily Mojekwu, and Brenann Stacker

jeff_recommended.jpg
htwb.jpg

HOW THE WORLD BEGAN
By Catherine Trieschmann


A Chicago Premiere

September 2 – October 10, 2015

Directed by Keira Fromm
Featuring RTE members Rebecca Spence and Keith Kupferer, with Curtis Edward Jackson

“Highly Recommended…Topnotch” – Hedy Weiss, Chicago Sun-Times

“Gutsy…Wrenching…Recommended” – Kevin Green, New City

“Three Stars…Deftly Balanced…Intense” – Chris Jones, Chicago Tribune


Religion and science collide in a visceral examination of the way in which we navigate interpersonal relationships involving seemingly irreconcilable beliefs—and how hard it is to truly listen to one another in an increasingly polarized world. Looking to rebuild her fractured life, high school biology teacher Susan relocates from New York City to a small Kansas town reeling in the aftermath of a devastating tornado. Ready for more than a little culture shock, Susan finds herself unprepared for the firestorm that engulfs the town after she makes an off-handed comment about the origin of the universe.

Production Sponsor: The Elizabeth F. Cheney Foundation

“How the World Began” is presented by special arrangement with
SAMUEL FRENCH, INC.

​​​​

rsz_htwb_genesusanmicah.jpg

Photo by Michael Brosilow

women-at-war.jpg

WOMEN AT WAR (PUBLIC WORKSHOP)
By Catherine Trieschmann


A World Premiere

November 5 – December 6, 2014

By RTE member Megan Carney
Directed by RTE Artistic Director Tara Mallen

Featuring RTE member Mary Cross

With Rengin Altay, Danielle Davis, Susan Gaspar, Brittani Green, Cynthia Hines, Krystel McNeil, Paula Ramirez and Charlita Williams  

A debate rages over whether females should serve on the frontlines, yet more women are being sent into active combat zones than ever before. This new theatrical work is woven from years of research and first-person interviews with women who have laid their lives on these lines and returned from deployment to re-enter civilian life.

Background of WOMEN AT WAR:

In 2011, Rivendell recognized an important need in the community strongly related to its mission and began to address this need. Today’s American military is nearly 15% female (2013, Department of Defense), ranging from 7% of Marines to 19% of the Air Force and Reserves. In addition, there are over 1.8 million female U.S. veterans. However, a male perspective has dominated the images and tales of war shared in books, movies, theater and elsewhere. This is a disservice to female military personnel and veterans and it distorts our shared understanding of history and armed conflict.

RTE has since forged relationships with veteran service organizations including the Illinois Department of Veteran Affairs, Student Veteran’s Centers at UIC and Kennedy-King College, Illinois Health and Disability Advocates, Pritzker Military Library, and VetCAT (Veterans Creative Arts Therapy). These partners helped RTE connect with over 70 female veterans and collect 26 personal interviews. The result of this work is WOMEN AT WAR, a devised piece crafted from the rich, diverse and complex stories of women during and following military service.

In 2012 RTE secured a $25,000 grant from the Chicago Community Trust to create a partnership with VetCAT. With this funding, RTE led an examination of the roles of American women in the shifting landscape of the military and WOMEN AT WAR was born. On November 21, 2013, RTE premiered a staged reading of WOMEN AT WAR at the University of Illinois at Chicago. The evening was an overwhelming success and the standing-room-only crowd of 160 people embraced the thought-provoking work. Following the performance, Megan Carney, RTE Ensemble Member and Director of the Gender & Sexuality Center at the University of Illinois at Chicago, led the audience in a vital, energetic conversation with a panel of four female veterans and one military service representative.

In 2014 Rivendell Theatre Ensemble mounted a full-scale production of WOMEN AT WAR in our home theatre in Edgewater, from November 5 through December 6. As with our 2013 staged reading, an important component will be our Saturday Town Hall Discussion Series–dialogues including the audience and guest panelists which will follow the Saturday 4 PM matinee performances. These discussions not only help audience members process the piece, but they also spark comments such as “I didn’t even think of myself as a veteran” to “How can we ensure greater equity in military honors and storytelling?” Each week will feature a theme from the play. We regard these conversations as a critical component of changing the need from which WOMEN AT WAR was born.

Sample Veteran Interview Quotes:

You hear people say, “I felt this patriotic duty.” For me it was like, No, I just wanted to get out the neighborhood.

At night when all the lights are out and everyone is supposed to be sleeping you’ll hear little whimpers here, sobs there…But the only tears I cried in boot camp (were) when I had gotten a letter from my Dad and he was telling me he was proud of me.

This whole concept that being strong means you have to, you know, deal with it. Later I realized that’s not really what being strong means.

I kept thinking if I could just keep my mouth shut and do what they tell me, I’ll be fine, but I wasn’t really good at that.

Town Halls:

We invite audiences to dive a little deeper and join in on vital post-show conversations sparked by the play’s themes.
Themes for the discussions include:
— Out of the Shadows: Life for Lesbian and Bisexual Females in the Military Since the Repeal of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.’
— Family Connections: Choices Related to Parenting and Family Sustainability
— The New GI Bill: Female Veteran Experiences in Higher Education
— Looking the Part: Policies for Female Military Uniforms and Hairstyles
— Silent No More: Debate Regarding Legal Jurisdiction and Accountability Related to Military Sexual Assault

Megan-and-panel-members-1.jpg
website-art-RS.jpg

RASHEEDA SPEAKING
By Joel Drake Johnson


A World Premiere

January 9 – February 15, 2014

Directed by Sandy Shinner

Featuring RTE Artistic Director Tara Mallen and Steppenwolf ensemble member Ora Jones with RTE member Eric Slater and Lorraine Freund

JEFF NOMINATED for Best New Work!

“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….it is unlikely that you will ever forget how the play gets its name–go see it to find out.”
—Amy Munice for Splash Magazine

“Hysterical and disturbing…gasp-worthy…fantastic ensemble…pots get stirred.”
—Katy Walsh for Chicago Theatre Beat

“Directed by Sandy Shinner with perfect pitch…thought-provoking. Not to be missed.” —Kelly Kleiman for ‘Dueling Critics’

A white physician attempts to oust his black receptionist by enlisting a white female coworker as a spy. Tensions rise as relations between the two women quickly deteriorate, turning their once-cordial workplace into a battlefield of innuendo, paranoia, and passive aggression. With trademark wit and close observation, Chicago favorite Joel Drake Johnson mines the subtleties of “post-racial” America to explore what we are really saying when we refuse to talk about race.

Production Sponsor: The Elizabeth F. Cheney Foundation

Eat-Your-Heart-Out-logo_rgb1.jpg

EAT YOUR HEART OUT
By Courtney Baron


A World Premiere

May 31 – July 12, 2014

Directed by Hallie Gordon, Artistic Director of Steppenwolf Young Adults Program

Featuring RTE member Mary Cross; with Andrew Goetten, Anne Joy,
Katherine Keberlein, Charlie Strater and Michael Szeles

JEFF NOMINATED!

Alice and Gabe are desperate to adopt a child. Single mom Nance is desperate to connect with her obese teenage daughter Evie. And Evie is desperate for her best friend to fall for her despite the incredible odds. Alternately heartbreaking and hilarious, Courtney Baron’s whip-smart comedy weaves these stories together to delve into the complexities of family, body image, and hearts and minds consumed by longing. This Midwest premiere was the hit of the 2012 Humana Festival of New Plays.

WRENS-prod-pic-bed-2-542px_wide.jpg

WRENS (Remount)
By Anne McGravie

A Revival of the 1996 Smash-Hit World Premiere Production

JEFF RECOMMENDED!
 

September 6 – October 20, 2012

Directed by RTE co-founder Karen Kessler

Featuring RTE members Mary Cross, Ashley Neal, and Rebecca Spence with Jodi Kingsley, Katrina Kuntz, Amanda Powell, and Meg Warner

Rivendell burst onto the off-Loop scene in 1996 with its groundbreaking world premiere production of Anne McGravie’s WRENS, which earned three Joseph Jefferson awards and secured Rivendell’s status as “a major force on the Chicago fringe” (Chicago Tribune). This season, RTE co-founder Karen Kessler returns to direct an all new cast featuring Ensemble members Mary Cross, Ashley Neal, and Rebecca Spence with Jodi Kingsley, Katrina Kuntz, Amanda Powell, and Meg Warner. McGravie’s moving semi-autobiographical examination of loyalty, morality and duty during World War II centers on a group of young Women’s Royal Navy Servicewomen packed together in a tiny barrack on the eve of VE Day. With humor and wisdom, McGravie shines a light on the complex emotions of these women as they are confronted with the bittersweet prospect of peace at last and the impending loss of their newfound wartime independence.

American Wee Pie - Joe Mazza

American Wee-Pie
By RTE member Lisa Dillman

A World Premiere

JEFF RECOMMENDED!
 

January 10 – February 16, 2012

Directed by RTE member Megan Carney

Featuring RTE members Keith Kupferer, Jane Baxter Miller, and Mark Ulrich, with Kurt Brocker and Jennifer Pompa.

Our second mainstage offering in the 2012-13 Season reunites the core artistic team from Rivendell’s 2009 critically acclaimed world premiere production of The Walls, playwright and Rivendell ensemble member Lisa Dillman and fellow ensemble member, director Megan Carney. Originally commissioned by the Goodman Playwrights Unit, American Wee-Pie tells the story of a middle-aged textbook editor who returns to his hometown for a funeral and finds himself on an unexpected journey of self-reinvention. A heartbreaking new comedy about recession, career second acts, and the sometimes life-altering wonder of a small good thing.

Production Sponsor: BMO Harris Bank

Kathy-Logelin-and-Jeff-Trainor-in-Electric-Baby-768x548.jpg

THE ELECTRIC BABY
By Stefanie Zadravec
 

A Midwest Premiere

JEFF RECOMMENDED!
 

May 16 through June 22, 2013

Directed by RTE Artistic Director Tara Mallen

Featuring RTE members Meighan Gerachis and Kathy Logelin along with guest artists Lionel Gentle, Amanda Powell, Jeff Trainor and H.B. Ward.

“In a sad dark country filled with crying willow trees, a girl was born with the gift of magic…”

A terrible car accident brings a group of fractured souls into the presence of a baby that glows with an unearthly light. Magic and folklore weave throughout Stefanie Zadravec’s beautiful, poignant tale of sad endings, strange beginnings, and the unlikely people that get you from one place to the next.The final production in our “Season of Reinvention”, RTE presents the Midwest premiere of a powerful new work.

crooked-art-web.jpeg

CROOKED
 By Catherine Trieschmann

 

A Midwest Premiere

JEFF RECOMMENDED

May 24 through June 23, 2012

Directed by Sandy Shinner
Associate Directed by Rivendell ensemble member Megan Carney

Featuring RTE members Tara Mallen and Rae Gray with Hannah Gomez

 

Life sucks for fourteen year old Laney, who has a deformed back, a mother in crisis, and an active imagination which she uses to write vividly violent short stories. A funny play of life, love and the Spirit of the Lord from the American Deep South. Hailed by Chicago critics as “A sharply funny coming-of-age story.” (Chicago Tribune) “Some of the most beautifully modulated and revealing work I’ve seen on stage in months” (Chicago Reader) “CROOKED is straight-up superb” (Chicago Now), this Jeff Recommended production brings together Rivendell’s founder and artistic director Tara Mallen on stage with Rae Gray, the theatre’s newest and youngest ensemble member.

falling_a_wake_V5.jpeg

FALLING: A WAKE
 By Gary Kirkham

 

A Midwest Premiere

JEFF RECOMMENDED

March 1 through April 14, 2012

Directed by Rivendell founding member Victoria DeIorio

Featuring RTE members Mark Ulrich and Jane Baxter Miller

 

Harold and Elsie live quietly on an isolated farm outside an unnamed town. When a commercial jetliner explodes high above their land scattering wreckage and debris across the region, their lives are forever changed. A haunting and at times surprisingly funny play inspired by the actual events surrounding the 1988 Pan Am tragedy over Lockerbie, Scotland.

TOW_300x1952.jpeg

THEATER OF WAR
 A Dramatic Reading of Scenes from
Sophocles’ AJAX: The Female Warrior Program

 

Directed by Tara Mallen
Facilitated by Willa Taylor
Translated by Bryan Doerries
Produced by Phyllis Kaufman

January 18 and January 25, 2012

Theater of War is an innovative public health project that presents readings of ancient Greek plays, Sophocles’ Ajax and Philoctetes, as a catalyst for town hall discussions about the challenges faced by service members, veterans, their families, caregivers and communities. The readings from the plays are followed by comments from a panel that features a diverse group of military community members, as well as a town-hall style audience discussion. Each performance is approximately 2 hours long.

TOW_300x1952.jpeg

THEATER OF WAR
 A Dramatic Reading of Scenes from
Sophocles’ AJAX: The Female Warrior Program

 

Directed by Tara Mallen
Facilitated by Willa Taylor
Translated by Bryan Doerries
Produced by Phyllis Kaufman

January 18 and January 25, 2012

TOW_300x1952.jpeg
precious_little_art.jpeg
these_shining_lives_art.jpeg

PRECIOUS LITTLE
 By Madeleine George

A World Premiere


Directed by Julieanne Ehre
(Goodman TCG Fellow)

March 1 – April 2, 2011

THESE SHINING LIVES
By Melanie Marnich

Rivendell Theatre Ensemble’s historic, groundbreaking remount


Directed by Rachel Walshe

December 2 – 5, 2010
Ottawa, IL

26mileslogo.jpeg

26 MILES
By Quiara Alegria Hudes
 

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


Directed by Tara Mallen

October 16 – November 21, 2010
 

marys_wedding_art.jpeg
these_shining_lives_art.jpeg
TheWalls-art.jpeg

MARY'S WEDDING

By Stephen Massicotte
 

Directed by Mark Ulrich

January 17 – March 6, 2010
 

THESE SHINING LIVES
By Melanie Marnich

A Midwest premiere


Directed by Rachel Walshe

January 8, 2009
 

THE WALLS

By Lisa Dillman

A World Premiere

Directed by Megan Carney

April 17, 2009
 

I Wanna Tear 01.jpg
Body Courage 01.png