Showing posts with label Fresh Produce A Festival of New Works. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Fresh Produce A Festival of New Works. Show all posts

Monday, August 22, 2022


ChiIL Live Shows On Our Radar

Rivendell’s Fall line-up includes


Fresh Produce Festival: A Celebration of New Plays by Women;

the World Premiere of A Mile in the Dark,

Written by Emily Schwend, Directed by Ensemble member Georgette Verdin,

Co-Produced by Interrobang Theatre Project and Rivendell Theatre Ensemble;

and Blue Jean Ball 2022, Celebrating 2022 WREN Award Honoree Joan Callahan

Rivendell Theatre Ensemble announces its 2022 Fall line-up including the return of the Fresh Produce Festival: A Celebration of New Plays by Women; and the World Premiere of A Mile in the Dark by Emily Schwend, directed by RTE member Georgette Verdin, in a co-production with Interrobang Theatre Project. The Blue Jean Ball also returns, celebrating 2022 WREN Award Honoree Joan Callahan at Bridge 410.

All productions will be performed at Rivendell Theatre Ensemble, 5779 N. Ridge Avenue in Chicago. Tickets and more information available by calling (773) 334-7728 or online at

Tara Mallen comments, “ I am thrilled that…” “I am thrilled that after an eight year hiatus, August marks the reemergence of Rivendell’s new works festival, 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 yields the richest harvest. Through this series we introduce the voices of three daring young playwrights as we delve into stories provocative, timely and always fresh.  In November we return to the mainstage with the world premiere of Emily Schwend’s (South of Settling, Utility) newest play in collaboration with our newest ensemble member Georgette Verdin and the wonderful artists at Interrobang Theater. I am beyond excited to finally return to full programming and hope you will join us this fall as we sow the seeds of original work by women artists once again!”


Rivendell’s Fall 2022 programming includes:




August 18 - August 29, 2022


Rivendell Theatre Ensemble presents the return of Fresh Produce Festival, a series of workshops and public readings celebrating new works written by women. Fresh Produce features public readings being held August 18 - 29, 2022 at Rivendell Theatre Ensemble, 5779 N. Ridge Avenue in Chicago.

August 2022 marks the reemergence of Fresh Produce: A Celebration of New Plays by Women a new play development series 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.

Tickets are $10-25 per reading, or $25-50 for a package of all three readings. Tickets and Information available at

The Fresh Produce Festival line-up is as follows:


400 Horses

Written by Mackenzie Yaeger

Directed by Azar Kazemi

Thursday, August 18 at 7:30pm


In 2012, Rita Crundwell became the largest municipal fraud perpetrator in American History. She was found guilty of embezzling almost fifty-four million dollars over the course of twenty years from the small town of Dixon, Illinois, where she served as the city comptroller. And what she did with that fifty-three million dollars...was buy four-hundred horses.

With embezzlement and fraud in significant rise across the country, this story exemplifies how far some Americans will go in the name of greed. Or, in Rita Crundwell's case, in order to buy 400 horses. 

The cast includes RTE ensemble members Jerre Dye, Jessica Ervin, Meighan Gerachis, and Tara Mallen, with Ken Bradley, Josh Odor and Tuckie White. The Artistic Producer is Ensemble member Lucia Lombardi and the stage manager is Deya Friedman.


Blood of My Mother’s

Written by Karissa Murrell Myers

Directed by Associate Artistic Director, Denise Yvette Serna

Monday, August 22 at 7:30pm


On Christmas Eve 1997, pregnant Marina fled to her older sister's Lillian’s house in the middle of the night with the biggest problem she ever faced: an unwanted pregnancy. After giving birth, Marina abandons the baby Egg in her sister's care, much to the concern of Lillian's husband, Richard. Now sixteen years later, Egg has gone missing and no one seems to care but her sister/cousin Deanna. The search for the truth turns this Filipino-American family's world upside as they are forced to face their inner demons. Because sometimes, the place you run to for safety turns out to be the most dangerous place of all.

The cast includes RTE ensemble member Eric Slater with Blake Dava, Stephanie Fongheiser, Arvin Jalandoon, Stephanie Shum, and Marie Tredway.  The Artistic Producer is Ensemble member Jessica Ervin.



Written by Aurora Real d'Asua

Directed by Ensemble member Devon de Mayo

Monday, August 29 at 7:30pm

For her seventy-seventh birthday, Gary wants one thing and one thing only: to surf a wave. There's a problem, though, beyond the extreme gymnastics required to get a wetsuit on: Gary has never stepped foot on a surfboard before. But with the help of a hotrod teenage surf instructor and the company of her two best friends, Gary goes on the ride of her life. As the three women navigate the currents of the Pacific Ocean, they confront seven decades of secrets, sacrifices, and the odd jellyfish or two. Wipeout is a septuagenarian surf comedy about love, loss, and what it really takes to hang ten.

The cast includes RTE ensemble members Meg Thalken and Glenn-Dale Obrero, with Celeste Williams and Brigid Duffy. Scenic designer Regina Garcia, dramaturge Tanya Palmer and artistic producer Lucia Lombardi round out the artistic team.

The World Premiere of


Written by Emily Schwend

Directed by Ensemble member Georgette Verdin

Co-Produced by Interrobang Theatre Project and Rivendell Theatre Ensemble

November 10 – December 11, 2022


Jess’s stepmother Carol was a cheerful woman whose unexpected passing has left Jess searching for answers. Can something in Carol’s life explain her untimely death? A Mile in the Dark is about the people we think we know but don’t and the hard truth sitting in plain sight.

Tickets and more information coming soon.

Single Tickets

General Admission

Previews: $28

Regular Run: $38

Student, Senior, Active Military, Veteran

           Preview: $18

           Regular Run: $28


Pay What You Can: Five seats (10% of the house) are available for each performance. Reservations are made on a first come, first served basis.

Location: Rivendell Theatre Ensemble, 5779 N. Ridge Avenue in Chicago.

 Box Office: (773) 334-7728 or

Parking and Transportation: Free parking is available in the Senn High School parking lot (located a block and a half from the theatre behind the school off Thorndale Avenue). There is limited paid and free street parking in the area. The theatre is easily accessible via the Clark (#22) or Broadway (#36) bus, and is a short walk from the Bryn Mawr Red Line L station.


September 22, 2022

7pm - 10pm (6pm VIP Reception)

at Bridge 410, 410 N. Paulina Street, Chicago

General Admission Tickets: $125, VIP Tickets: $175

Sponsorship packages also available

Rivendell Theatre Ensemble’s annual premier fundraising event, The Blue Jean Ball, celebrates 2022 WREN Award Honoree Joan Callahan. The event will be held mostly outdoors at Bridge 410 (masks are required while indoors). Tickets and more information available at

The evening will feature live music, food by Amazing Edibles, creative whiskey and rum cocktails, BBQ, dancing, silent auction and a raffle. All proceeds will benefit Rivendell Theatre Ensemble and its mission to advance the lives of women through theatre.

More than 200 attendees are expected to join Rivendell artists, staff, and board to raise funds in support of our work throughout the year. Last year generous sponsors, donors, and ticket buyers helped raise $50,000 for Rivendell’s work in the community. 

About Rivendell Theatre Ensemble

Founded in 1994, Rivendell Theatre Ensemble advances the lives of women through theatre. Rivendell cultivates the talents of women artists—writers, actors, directors, designers and technicians—by seeking out innovative plays that explore unique female experiences and producing them in an intimate salon environment.

Rivendell fills an important role in the Chicago region as the only Equity theatre dedicated to producing artistically challenging and original plays created by and about women. After years of being an itinerant company, Rivendell moved into its own theater space in 2011 in Edgewater. The company is focused on becoming an integral community partner and serving as a catalyst to engage audiences in a discussion of local social issues.

For more information about Rivendell Theater Ensemble, visit Follow Rivendell on Facebook at, on Twitter @RivendellThtr, and on Instagram at @rivendelltheatre.

Rivendell Theatre Ensemble is supported by generous grants from: Paul M. Angell Family Foundation; The MacArthur Funds for Culture, Equity and the Arts at The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation; The Elizabeth Morse Charitable Trust; Shubert Foundation; Illinois Arts Council Agency; The Alphawood Foundation; The Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation; Sarah and the 2 C Dogs; A.L. Luria and Jennie Luria Foundation; SIF Fund at The Chicago Community Trust; The Saints Volunteers for the Performing Arts; Arts Midwest; City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs & Special Events; National Endowment for the Arts; The Elizabeth F. Cheney Foundation.

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