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Showing posts with label Rivendell Theatre. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Rivendell Theatre. Show all posts

Thursday, July 4, 2019

WORLD PREMIERE Of BURY ME Via Dandelion Theatre At Rivendell Theatre Through July 28, 2019

ChiIL Live Shows on our radar

BURY ME
By Brynne Frauenhoffer
WORLD PREMIERE
Directed by Ben Kaye
July 6 - 28, 2019


Expecting parents Josh and Michelle visit Josh’s mother, his ailing stepfather, and his outspoken half-sibling Ru in Josh’s small Missouri hometown, where Ru’s pro-Choice activism is causing a stir. Events including a chance encounter with his high school crush, soon move questions of life and death from the philosophical to the practical. With heart and humor, BURY ME’s recognizable characters face the ways in which life begins and ends. BURY ME will be performed at Rivendell Theatre, 5779 N. Ridge, Chicago through July 28, 2019.

A semi-finalist for the Eugene O'Neill Theatre Center's 2018 National Playwrights Conference, Frauenhoffer has developed full-length plays in association with companies including The New Colony, Sideshow Theatre, and Dandelion. Her one-act plays have been produced by American Blues Theatre, Commission Theatre Company, 20% Theatre Company, and the Chicago One Minute Play Festival, among others. 

BURY ME  will be directed by Chicago-based director, performer, and cultural critic Ben Kaye. Kaye directed the Chicago premieres of Nick Flynn’s ALICE INVENTS A LITTLE GAME and ALICE ALWAYS WINS, and his production of FORSYTHIAN DWELLER’S CLUB with Bittersweet Arts Co. enjoyed an award-winning run at the Minnesota Fringe Festival. He has directed or assistant directed with companies including world premiere productions with Nothing Without a Company, The Hypocrites, The New Colony, and Bittersweet Arts Co.

Kaye’s cast will include Gabriela Diaz and David Stobbe as Michelle and Josh, K. Holland as half-sibling Ru, Allison McCorkle as Josh’s mother Christy, Scott Olson as stepfather Mark, and Evey Reidy as the high school friend Amy. The production team will include Melissa Perkins (Costume Designer), Michelle E. Benda (Lighting Designer), Kaycee Filson (Properties Designer), Zoe Benditt (Dramaturg), Nina D'Angier (Scenic Designer), Emily Anderson (Sound Designer), Christina Casano (Assistant Director) and Devonte Washington (Stage Manager).





Top row L-R: Gabriela Diaz, K. Holland, Allison McCorkle.
Lower row L-R: Scott Olson, Evey Reidy, David Stobbe.



Opening July 6 at 7:30pm
Press Opening: Tuesday, July 9 at 7:30pm
July 11 – 28: Performances Thursdays - Saturdays at 7:30pm and Sundays at 4:00pm
Rivendell Theatre
5779 N Ridge Ave, Chicago, IL 60660
Ticket prices $28.00. Discounts for industry and students available
Tickets available by phone at 773-349-2342 or online at www.dandeliontheatre.com

Michelle and Josh didn't mean to get pregnant. Five months along, they return to Josh's rural hometown to visit his fiercely loving yet overworked mother, ailing stepfather, and outspoken teenage sibling. Upon their arrival in Pacific, Missouri, a fateful fender-bender brings new and old truths into the light and forces each of them to evaluate their beliefs about parenthood, in God, and in the plans that they've made for their lives.

BIOS

Brynne Frauenhoffer (Playwright) Raised in Missouri and educated in Oklahoma, Brynne now calls Chicago home. Her first full-length work, BURY ME, has been selected for readings at Echo Theater, Theatricum Botanicum, and Dandelion Theatre Company. She developed SYNCHRONICITY with The Writers Room at The New Colony, where it was selected for a staged reading. SYNCHRONICITY later won the 2016 Davey Foundation Theatre Grant, received a workshop at Salt Lake Acting Company, and was selected as a semi-finalist for the Eugene O'Neill Theatre Center's 2018 National Playwrights Conference. JANE'S HEIR (IT'S BRONTE BITCH) was developed for Adapt Theatre Productions. Most recently, Commission Theatre Company produced a reading of Brynne's full-length PIZZA HUT HEARTBREAKER and Sideshow Theatre Company commissioned PRO-AM or The Freshness Initiative 2018.

Brynne's short plays have been produced by American Blues Theater, Commission Theatre Company, 20% Theatre Company, and the Chicago One Minute Play Festival. As a script supervisor and director's assistant, she has worked on the world premieres of LOOK, WE ARE BREATHING (Rivendell Theatre Ensemble), AMERICAN BEAUTY SHOP (Chicago Dramatists), and A WORK OF ART (Chicago Dramatists). She also profiles Chicago theatremakers for PerformInk.

Currently, Brynne is devising AGE PLAY with The New Colony and creating SHITTY CHRISTIANS, OR TURN TO ROMANS 3:23 with some of her best friends for a reading at The Prop Thtr's Church of the New Play. This summer, she looks forward to workshopping THE YOUNG ONES with First Floor Theatre.

BURY ME will be her first full-length production.

Ben Kaye (Director) Ben Kaye is a Chicago-based director, performer, cultural critic, and the Managing Director of Red Tape Theatre. He has directed, and assistant directed, on world premiere productions with Nothing Without a Company, The Hypocrites, and The New Colony, and his performance credits include work with Steep Theatre, Victory Gardens Theater, Haven Theatre, and Porchlight Music Theatre. He directed the Chicago premiere of Nick Flynn's ALICED INVENTS A LITTLE GAME and ALICE ALWAYS WINS, and his production of FORSYTHIAN DWELLER’S CLUB with Bittersweet Arts Co. enjoyed an award-winning run at the Minnesota Fringe Festival. See more at thebenkaye.com.



DANDELION THEATRE
 Dandelion Theatre, founded in 2014 by Artistic Director Katherine Lamb, is committed to creating experiences that inspire and vitalize artists and audience members alike. It seeks to attain this by cultivating community, fostering the artistic process, and valuing truthful discourse.

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

REVIEW: Chicago Premiere of I CALL MY BROTHERS Via Interrobang Theatre Project at Rivendell Theatre Through February 2, 2019

ChiIL Live Shows on our radar 

Chicago Premiere!
Interrobang Theatre Project Presents
I CALL MY BROTHERS
By Jonas Hassen Khemiri
Translated by Rachel Willson-Broyles
Directed by Abhi Shrestha 

Through February 2, 2019 at Rivendell Theatre


(left to right) Chris Khoshaba, Salar Ardebili and Tina El Gamal in Interrobang Theatre Project’s Chicago premiere of I CALL MY BROTHERS. Photo by Emily Schwartz.




Review
by bonnie kenaz-mara

What do you do when the wind howls? It's all a matter of personality and perspective, how you handle the elements of adversity. In childhood, Amor (Salar Ardebili), a young Arab-Swedish man and science geek, nicknamed his friends with elements from the periodic table, by their personality types. As young adults, reconnecting by phone, in the wake of an Arab perpetrated car bombing in Stockholm, these traits remain true to type and provide an intriguing exploration of the myriad ways the innocents in a minority community deal with a society's collective suspicions and covert and overt racism. 



 (left to right) Gloria Imseih Petrelli, Salar Ardebili and Chris Khoshaba in Interrobang Theatre Project’s Chicago premiere of I CALL MY BROTHERS. Photo by Emily Schwartz.

When Shavi (Chris Khoshaba), dubbed Helium for his ability to lighten and lift moods, breaks character with a barrage of frantic and worried calls, Amor can barely pick up and talk to his childhood friend. When tough girl cousin, Ahlem (Tina El Gamal), calls to check in from afar, Amor finds that the child he dubbed Titanium for her toughness and scrappy attitude has become a sudo-Buddhist spouting platitudes and oozing fakeness. 

(left to right) Chris Khoshaba and Salar Ardebili. Photo by Emily Schwartz.

This brilliant production explores the psychological toll of suspicions, surveillance, fears, police presence, and a rabbit hole of imagined reactions, by placing the audience inside Amor's head. In the day after a public act of terrorism, perpetrated by someone resembling him, we join Amor in spiraling down a dark internal dialogue, punctuated by concerned check in calls from friends. As Amor and his "brothers": friends, relatives, and even a former girlfriend, process the events and ad nauseam news coverage, conflicting coping styles are amplified. 


(left to right) Tina El Gamal and Salar Ardebili. Photo by Emily Schwartz.


(left to right) Gloria Imseih Petrelli abd Salar Ardebili. Photo by Emily Schwartz.


Some adapt by hiding in plain sight, shedding traditional dress and names for westernized alternatives, losing pieces of themselves with this rejection of cultural identity. Others go bold and visible, angry at an undeserved backlash. Some are even temped to snap in a violent self fulfilling prophecy, enraged by the constant barrage of suspicious glances. Those who try to "act normally" are still impacted by external profiling and forced into a heightened vigilance and an examining of their every move, in a futile attempt to appear non threatening. 

(pictured) Salar Ardebili in Interrobang Theatre Project’s Chicago premiere of I CALL MY BROTHERS. Photo by Emily Schwartz.


(pictured) Salar Ardebili in Interrobang Theatre Project’s Chicago premiere of I CALL MY BROTHERS. Photo by Emily Schwartz.


Although this story is set in Stockholm, Sweden, the themes are universal, as paranoia about public safety and terror of "the other" wars with reason and human rights on a global scale. I Call My Brothers is a powerful exploration of interconnection and the effects of internalized racism, particularly after a frightening public act. I left the show with greater empathy and understanding of all the hoops that innocents must jump through, just to peacefully coexist in a society that perceives them as a threat, merely by their physical traits or clothing choices. The whole cast is stellar, and the set design, featuring  minimalist furniture and a wall of metal keffiyehs and jijabs amplifies the action and perception of both malleability and strength. I love the idea of these symbols of Arab culture recast as something that can be shaped into something else without breaking.

Once again, Interrobang has mounted a thought provoking and timely production, not shying away from the tough stuff endemic to our society, that we all need to examine.



(left to right) Salar Ardebili and Tina El Gamal in Interrobang Theatre Project’s Chicago premiere of I CALL MY BROTHERS. Photo by Emily Schwartz.


This production is sure to spark some vital discussions and dialogue. What a great springboard for building bridges between diverse communities and working toward erasing racism. Highly recommended.

Bonnie Kenaz-Mara is a Chicago based writer-theater critic-photographer-videographer-actress-artist-general creatrix and Mama to two terrific teens. She owns two websites where she has published frequently since 2008: ChiILLiveShows.com (adult) & ChiILMama.com (family friendly). 



Interrobang Theatre Project is pleased to continue its ninth season, exploring “identity/crisis” with the Chicago premiere of Jonas Hassen Khemiri's drama I CALL MY BROTHERS, a day in the life of an Arab-Swedish man who must dodge suspicion after a car bomb rattles Stockholm. Translated by Rachel Willson-Broyles and directed by guest director Abhi Shrestha, I CALL MY BROTHERS will play January 5 – February 2, 2019 at ITP’s new resident home, Rivendell Theatre, 5779 N. Ridge Ave. in Chicago’s Edgewater neighborhood. Tickets are currently available at www.interrobangtheatre.org or by calling (312) 219-4140. 

I CALL MY BROTHERS features ITP Ensemble Member Salar Ardebili* with Tina El Gamal, Chris Khoshaba and Gloria Imseih Petrelli.

I'll be out for the press opening on Monday, January 7th, so check back soon for my full review.

Stockholm, Sweden. A car bomb rocks the peaceful city and leaves the Arab-Swedish Amor on guard and on edge. But he doesn’t have time to let his fear get the best of him; he’s got places to be. As Amor attempts to run his errand and grapple with his own anxieties, we follow him through a fraught 24 hours, cautiously navigating the city he calls home. Balancing paranoia and humor, Jonas Khemiri's nuanced account dares us to question our own perceptions and prejudices, while offering a singular and harrowing take on the labyrinth of global identity politics.

Comments Director Abhi Shrestha, “At the heart of I Call My Brothers, is a beautiful and tragic interrogation of how a community navigates fear. At a point in time where my community feels explicitly under attack – doing this play is scary... but it is a ritual, it is a love letter to my MENASA community saying ‘I hear you, I see you, you are not alone’ – and a challenge to folx outside the community to examine their own complicity and ask themselves ‘What do you do when the wind howls?’” 

The production team for I CALL MY BROTHERS includes Eleanor Kahn (scenic design, props design), Michelle Benda (lighting design), Jeffrey Levin (sound designer), Alec Silver (movement dramaturg), Nadya Nauman (dramaturg) and Shawn Galligan* (stage manager).

*Denotes Interrobang Theatre Project Ensemble Member or Artistic Associate.

Cast (in alphabetical order): Salar Ardebili*, Tina El Gamal, Chris Khoshaba and Gloria Imseih Petrelli.

Location: 
Rivendell Theatre, 5779 N. Ridge Ave., Chicago
Dates: 
Subscriber/Board opening: Thursday, January 10 at 8 pm
Regular run: Friday, January 11 – Saturday, February 2, 2019
Curtain Times: Thursdays, and Fridays at 8 pm; Saturdays at 3 pm & 8 pm: Mondays at 8 pm.
Tickets: Previews: $16. Regular run: $32. Students $16 with ID. Group discounts available. Tickets are currently available at www.interrobangtheatre.org or by calling (312) 219-4140.


About the Artists:

Jonas Hassen Khemiri (Playwright) is a celebrated author and playwright based in Stockholm. His novels have been translated into over 20 languages and his plays have been performed by over a hundred international companies on stages from Stockholm to Berlin to New York to London. Khemiri was awarded a Village Voice Obie Award for his first play Invasion!, which premiered in New York in 2011. His second play God Times Five toured Sweden and his third play The Hundred We Are received the Hedda Award for best play in Norway. Khemiri’s play ≈ [Almost Equal To] premiered at Dramaten in Stockholm in October 2014 to rave reviews and has been performed in Germany, Norway, Iceland and the U.S. His play I Call My Brothers began as an essay published in Dagens Nyheter in December 2010, one week after a suicide bombing in central Stockholm that shook the nation. The book was published to great acclaim and later became a lauded play that toured Sweden with Riksteatern in 2013 (directed by Farnaz Arbabi) and premiered in New York in January 2014. It has also been performed in Norway, Denmark, Germany (multiple theatres), Australia, San Francisco, France, Spain, Belgium, Switzerland, Finland and at the Gate Theatre in London, UK.

Rachel Willson-Broyles (Translator) is a freelance translator based in St. Paul, Minnesota. She received her BA from Gustavus Adolphus College and her Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her other translations include Jonas Hassen Khemiri’s novels Montecore and Everything I Don’t Remember and plays INVASION! and I Call My Brothers, Malin Persson Giolito’s novel Quicksand and Jonas Jonasson’s novels The Girl Who Saved the King of Sweden and The Accidental Further Adventures of the Hundred-Year-Old-Man.

Abhi Shrestha (Director)  is a Chicago-based director, movement dramaturge and educator originally from Kathmandu, Nepal. Working at the intersections of decolonization and queer brown narratives, they are the Education Associate at Steppenwolf Theatre Company and Literary Manager and Director of Public Programming for Haven Theatre, the Resident Dramaturge and Community Organizer for the Chicago Inclusion Project, and a content curator for Rescripted. They are currently working on exploring a personal history of the world as told by brown grandma’s, in a performance installation called The Brown Grandma Project (working title). 



About Interrobang Theatre Project

Now in its ninth season, Interrobang Theatre Project, under the artistic leadership of Georgette Verdin, has been hailed by the Chicago Tribune as a “company to watch” and by Time Out Chicago as “one of Chicago’s most promising young theatre companies.” Chris Jones called Foxfinder, which kicked off Interrobang’s 2017-18 season, “...a ripping good yarn,” earning it 3.5 stars from the Chicago Tribune. Foxfinder also garnered seven non-Equity Jeff Awards nominations including Best Director and Production of a Play, and took home two awards for Best Original Music and Set Design. The company also earned seven non-Equity Jeff Nominations for their seventh season, including Best Director, Production of a Play, Solo Performance and acting nominations for Lead Actor, Actress (win) and Actor in a Supporting Role (win). Productions have included the world premiere of Calamity West’s Ibsen is Dead (Jeff Recommended), the Jeff Recommended The Pitchfork Disney, Orange Flower Water, Recent Tragic Events, The North Pool, The Amish Project, Falling and Grace. Director James Yost’s critically-acclaimed Really Really was one of six shows chosen for Chicago Tribune’s “Best of 2015 in Chicago Fringe Theater.”

What’s an interrobang?
An interrobang is the combination of a question mark and an exclamation point, joining the Latin for “question” (interro) with a proofreading term for “exclamation” (bang). Through the plays we produce, Interrobang Theatre Project aims to pose worthwhile and exciting questions which challenge our understanding and assumptions of who we are and the world in which we live.

For more information, please visit www.interrobangtheatreproject.org.

Friday, December 28, 2018

OPENING: Chicago Premiere of I CALL MY BROTHERS Via Interrobang Theatre Project January 5 – February 2, 2019 at Rivendell Theatre

ChiIL Live Shows on our radar

Chicago Premiere!
Interrobang Theatre Project Presents
I CALL MY BROTHERS
By Jonas Hassen Khemiri
Translated by Rachel Willson-Broyles
Directed by Abhi Shrestha 


January 5 – February 2, 2019 at Rivendell Theatre


Interrobang Theatre Project is pleased to continue its ninth season, exploring “identity/crisis” with the Chicago premiere of Jonas Hassen Khemiri's drama I CALL MY BROTHERS, a day in the life of an Arab-Swedish man who must dodge suspicion after a car bomb rattles Stockholm. Translated by Rachel Willson-Broyles and directed by guest director Abhi Shrestha, I CALL MY BROTHERS will play January 5 – February 2, 2019 at ITP’s new resident home, Rivendell Theatre, 5779 N. Ridge Ave. in Chicago’s Edgewater neighborhood. Tickets are currently available at www.interrobangtheatre.org or by calling (312) 219-4140. 

I'll be out for the press opening January 7th, so check back soon for my full review. 

I CALL MY BROTHERS will feature ITP Ensemble Member Salar Ardebili* with Tina El Gamal, Chris Khoshaba and Gloria Imseih Petrelli.

Stockholm, Sweden. A car bomb rocks the peaceful city and leaves the Arab-Swedish Amor on guard and on edge. But he doesn’t have time to let his fear get the best of him; he’s gotplaces to be. As Amor attempts to run his errand and grapple with his own anxieties, we follow him through a fraught 24 hours, cautiously navigating the city he calls home. Balancingparanoia and humor, Jonas Khemiri's nuanced account dares us to question our own perceptions and prejudices, while offering a singular and harrowing take on the labyrinth of global identity politics.

Comments Director Abhi Shrestha, “At the heart of I Call My Brothers, is a beautiful and tragic interrogation of how a community navigates fear. At a point in time where my community feels explicitly under attack – doing this play is scary... but it is a ritual, it is a love letter to my MENASA community saying ‘I hear you, I see you, you are not alone’ – and a challenge to folx outside the community to examine their own complicity and ask themselves ‘What do you do when the wind howls?’” 

The production team for I CALL MY BROTHERS includes Eleanor Kahn (scenic design, props design), Michelle Benda (lighting design), Jeffrey Levin (sound designer), Alec Silver(movement dramaturg), Nadya Nauman (dramaturg) and Shawn Galligan* (stage manager).

*Denotes Interrobang Theatre Project Ensemble Member or Artistic Associate.

Cast (in alphabetical order): Salar Ardebili*, Tina El Gamal, Chris Khoshaba and Gloria Imseih Petrelli.

Location: Rivendell Theatre, 5779 N. Ridge Ave., Chicago
Dates: Previews: Saturday, January 5 at 8 pm and Sunday, January 6 at 8 pm
Press opening: Monday, January 7, 2019 at 8 pm
Subscriber/Board opening: Thursday, January 10 at 8 pm
Regular run: Friday, January 11 – Saturday, February 2, 2019
Curtain Times: Thursdays, and Fridays at 8 pm; Saturdays at 3 pm & 8 pm: Mondays at 8 pm.

Tickets: 
Previews: $16. 
Regular run: $32. Students $16 with ID. Group discounts available. Tickets are currently available at www.interrobangtheatre.org or by calling (312) 219-4140.

About the Artists:
Jonas Hassen Khemiri (Playwright) is a celebrated author and playwright based in Stockholm. His novels have been translated into over 20 languages and his plays have been performed by over a hundred international companies on stages from Stockholm to Berlin to New York to London. Khemiri was awarded a Village Voice Obie Award for his first playInvasion!, which premiered in New York in 2011. His second play God Times Five toured Sweden and his third play The Hundred We Are received the Hedda Award for best play in Norway. Khemiri’s play ≈ [Almost Equal To] premiered at Dramaten in Stockholm in October 2014 to rave reviews and has been performed in Germany, Norway, Iceland and the U.S. His play I Call My Brothers began as an essay published in Dagens Nyheter in December 2010, one week after a suicide bombing in central Stockholm that shook the nation. The book was published to great acclaim and later became a lauded play that toured Sweden with Riksteatern in 2013 (directed by Farnaz Arbabi) and premiered in New York in January 2014. It has also been performed in Norway, Denmark, Germany (multiple theatres), Australia, San Francisco, France, Spain, Belgium, Switzerland, Finland and at the Gate Theatre in London, UK.

Rachel Willson-Broyles (Translator) is a freelance translator based in St. Paul, Minnesota. She received her BA from Gustavus Adolphus College and her Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her other translations include Jonas Hassen Khemiri’s novels Montecore and Everything I Don’t Remember and plays INVASION! and I Call My Brothers, Malin Persson Giolito’s novel Quicksand and Jonas Jonasson’s novels The Girl Who Saved the King of Sweden and The Accidental Further Adventures of the Hundred-Year-Old-Man.

Abhi Shrestha (Director) is a Chicago based director, movement dramaturge, and educator originally from Kathmandu, Nepal. Working at the intersections of decolonization and queer brown narratives, they are the Literary Manager and Director of Public Programming for Haven Theatre, the Education Associate at Steppenwolf Theatre, the Resident Dramaturge and Community Organizer for the Chicago Inclusion Project, and a Content Curator for RESCRIPTED. They are currently working on exploring a personal history of the world as told by brown grandmas, in a performance installation called The Brown Grandma Project (working title).  



About Interrobang Theatre Project
Now in its ninth season, Interrobang Theatre Project, under the artistic leadership of Georgette Verdin, has been hailed by the Chicago Tribune as a “company to watch” and by Time Out Chicago as “one of Chicago’s most promising young theatre companies.” Chris Jones called Foxfinder, which kicked off Interrobang’s 2017-18 season, “...a ripping good yarn,” earning it 3.5 stars from the Chicago Tribune. Foxfinder also garnered seven non-Equity Jeff Awards nominations including Best Director and Production of a Play, and took home two awards for Best Original Music and Set Design. The company also earned seven non-Equity Jeff Nominations for their seventh season, including Best Director, Production of a Play, Solo Performance and acting nominations for Lead Actor, Actress (win) and Actor in a Supporting Role (win). Productions have included the world premiere of Calamity West’s Ibsen is Dead (Jeff Recommended), the Jeff Recommended The Pitchfork Disney, Orange Flower Water, Recent Tragic Events, The North Pool, The Amish Project, Falling and Grace. Director James Yost’s critically-acclaimed Really Really was one of six shows chosen for Chicago Tribune’s “Best of 2015 in Chicago Fringe Theater.”

What’s an interrobang?
An interrobang is the combination of a question mark and an exclamation point, joining the Latin for “question” (interro) with a proofreading term for “exclamation” (bang). Through the plays we produce, Interrobang Theatre Project aims to pose worthwhile and exciting questions which challenge our understanding and assumptions of who we are and the world in which we live.

For more information, please visit www.interrobangtheatreproject.org.

Thursday, November 1, 2018

REVIEW: Scientific Method at Rivendell Through December 2, 2018

Chi, IL Live Shows On Our Radar:
Gaslighting Smart Girls and Sexism in Science


All Photos by Michael Brosilow

Rivendell Theatre Ensemble presents
the World Premiere of
Scientific Method
by Jenny Connell Davis
directed by Devon de Mayo
featuring RTE Member Ashley Neal, with Glenn Obrero,
Josh Odor, Courtney Williams and Carmen Roman



Review:
by bonnie kenaz-mara

Rivendell's Scientific Method is beautiful, infuriating, smart theatre whose time has come. I'm raising a 15 year old daughter, so I've seen the generation of burgeoning STEM girl programs first hand. Yet the numbers of women, particularly minority women, pursuing careers in science still lag far behind men, and the problem isn't brains, it's balls. 


I read a wonderful article in the past year, and sadly I've forgotten the source, but it was an eye opening and rage inducing collection of first hand stories of why brilliant women in STEM are fleeing a field rife with toxic masculinity, systemic sexism and racism, sexual harassment and assault, and male entitlement. Heartbreaking story after story told of women in science who were top of their class, innovative researchers who were gaslighted, bullied, underestimated, underfunded, denied credit for their work, and attacked mentally and physically by their male peers, until they left the field entirely.

I'm beyond excited to see this phenomenon brought to life on stage. This ingrained bias thrives in darkness, so creating works of theatre, where our societal failings can be examined under the illumination of stage lights, is a boon to smart women everywhere. Jenny Connell Davis's writing is a witty and spot on analysis of why women in science have to run on the treadmill just to stand still, and why all the STEM girl programs in the works won't make a perceptible difference in attracting the best and the brightest into the field until male researchers, teachers, and scientists are held accountable for their biases, intellectual property theft and worse. 

Rivendell's set design and full sized wall projections of microscopic view videos are gorgeous and artfully done. They're visually stunning and provide a colorful, beautiful backdrop for the serious subject matter. It's a compelling combination. 



Ashley Neal (Amy), Courtney Williams (Makayla), and Carmen Roman (Marie) capably show the strength and beauty of smart women helping and encouraging one another, as well as the casualties of women ruthlessly pursuing their career goals, sometimes at the expense of others. Glenn Obrero (Manish) and Josh Odor (Julian), provide an interesting Yin/Yang counterpoint to the women as a potential ally, playing both sides of the game, and a charismatic charmer, accustomed to using people with impunity. 




Scientific Method also honors the unseen victims of scientific research, from sacrificed mice to women's uphill battle against sexism in academia and the scientific community. Until top universities, corporations, and research institutions value equality, equity, and truly listing to victims of criminal acts and systemic injustices, more than they value covering their own asses and avoiding public scandal, nothing will change. This tacit complicity and enabling of abusers in the good old boys network must stop. The hashtags of the #metoo generation are spreading and mutating into a roar that will not be ignored. Women, exhausted from shouting into the void without being heard for far too long, are speaking out and sharing their stories, and discovering that far from being alone, they are legion, with untold strength in numbers. Don't miss this. Highly recommended. 

Continue the discussion...

Rivendell’s Town Hall Series:
Saturdays, November 17 and December 1 after the 4pm matinee performances
During the run of each production, Rivendell hosts Town Halls Discussions after select Saturday matinees. These are an essential touchstone for our organization to extend the conversation from the stage to the community. Panelists help field questions, present observations, and participate in supporting a thoughtful, in-depth dialogue for all involved. Audience participants need not be present for the Saturday matinee and are welcome to join the conversation following the performance.



October 19 – December 2, 2018

Here at ChiIL Mama and ChiIL Live Shows, we're all about supporting and elevating women in the arts. I'll be out for the press opening of the world premiere of Scientific Method on October 30th, so check back soon for my full review. We've been huge fans of Rivendell Theatre Ensemble (RTE), Chicago’s only Equity theatre dedicated to producing new work with women at the core. 

As a female theatre critic with two woman owned websites, I'm completely on board with Rivendell Theatre Ensemble's mission statement. RTE 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.

Check out the World Premiere of Scientific Method by Jenny Connell Davis, directed by Devon de Mayo, and featuring RTE Member Ashley Neal, with Glenn Obrero, Josh Odor, Courtney Williams and Carmen Roman. Scientific Method runs October 19 – December 2, 2018, at Rivendell Theatre Ensemble, 5779 N. Ridge Avenue in Chicago. 

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.

The cast of Scientific Method includes RTE Member Ashley Neal (Amy), with Glenn Obrero (Manish), Josh Odor (Julian), Courtney Williams (Makayla), and Carmen Roman (Marie).

The creative team includes Lauren Nichols (Scenic Design), Izumi Inaba (Costume Design), Heather Sparling (Lighting Design), Shain Longbehn (Sound Design), Jonathan Berg-Ein (Properties Design), and Tony Churchill (Projections Design). The stage manager is Jenniffer Thusing.


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

ARTIST BIOS

Jenny Connell Davis’s (Playwright) plays include End of Shift, Goddess of Mercy, The Dragon Play, and Scientific Method.  Her work has been produced or developed at Chance Theater, the Eugene O’Neill National Playwrights Conference, The Playwrights’ Center, Icicle Creek Theater Festival, ACT Seattle, ATC Chicago, the Araca Group, Asolo Rep, New York Stage and Film, Ars Nova, The Gift Theatre, Shrewd Productions, ScriptWorks, NAATCO and Rivendell. Her first screenplay, Playing House, was a finalist for the Nicholl Fellowship; her second, Two Truths and a Lie, was a semi-finalist.  Her short with writer/director Soham Mehta, Fatakra, has screened worldwide and been recognized with more than a dozen audience awards and jury prizes. She currently has film and television projects in development with Maven Pictures/Tangerine Entertainment, Fox Animation, Astronauts Wanted/Cinestar Pictures, and Iconoclast/Anonymous Content. Jenny has an MFA from UT Austin, is a former member of Ars Nova’s Play Group, an Affiliated Writer with the Playwrights’ Center, and was the 2014-2015 Hot Seat Resident Playwright at Baltimore’s Center Stage. She is a member of Chicago’s Gift Theatre Company and a proud member of ScriptWorks and the MARTHAs, an Austin-based playwrights’ collective.

Devon de Mayo (Director) is working with Rivendell for the first time. Recent directing credits include: Women Laughing Alone With Salad (Theatre Wit); The Burn (Steppenwolf Theatre), Harvey (Court Theatre), Sycamore (Raven Theatre), You on the Moors Now (The Hypocrites), Animals Out of Paper (Shattered Globe Theatre), You Can’t Take it With You, and Lost in Yonkers (Northlight Theatre), Jet Black Chevrolet (side project); Compulsion and Everything is Illuminated (Next); Roadkill Confidential, The Further Adventures of Hedda Gabler, and Clouds (Dog & Pony). Directing and devising credits: Don’t Look Back/Must Look Back (Pivot Arts); Guerra: A Clown Play (La Piara, Mexico); The Whole World is Watching, As Told by the Vivian Girls and The Twins Would Like to Say (Dog & Pony). She received her MFA from Middlesex University in London and did further studies at the Russian Academy of Dramatic Arts in Moscow and the Indonesian Institute for the Arts in Bali, Indonesia. 

Ashley Neal (Amy) is back at Rivendell Theatre Ensemble, where she is a longtime member and most recently appeared in Cal in Camo. She has appeared in many Rivendell productions including: Alias Grace, Wrens, 26 Miles, The Walls, Be Aggressive, and others. Ashley most recently appeared in A Red Orchid Theatre's The Nether where she also appeared in A Red Handed Otter. Other shows include: London Wall, Men Should Weep and Stage Door with Griffin Theatre, The Life and Sort of Death of Eric Argyle with Steep Theatre, as well as work with Chicago Dramatists, Pine Box, Irish Theatre Company, Step Up, Jackalope Theatre, Victory Gardens, Strawdog, The Greenhouse Theatre, and others. Ashley is a graduate of Columbia College Chicago and The School at Steppenwolf. She is represented by Big Mouth Talent.

Glenn Obrero (Manish) is making his Rivendell debut. Other Chicago credits include: 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (Lookingglass Theatre); A Beauty Queen of Leenane (Northlight Theatre, u/s); A Wrinkle in Time (Lifeline Theatre); Akeelah and the Bee (Adventure Stage Chicago); How We Got On (Haven Theatre, u/s). TV credits include Chicago Fire (NBC). He received his BFA in Performing Arts from Savannah College of Art and Design and trained on-camera at Vagabond School of the Arts. He is represented by Gray Talent Group.

Josh Odor (Julian) is back at Rivendell where he was last seen in The Firebirds Take the Field. Most recently Josh performed in TimeLine's To Catch a Fish, ATC's Welcome to Jesus and The Hypocrites' You On the Moors Now - also directed by Devon DeMayo. Josh has also worked at Steppenwolf, The Goodman, Steep, Teatro Vista, The Artistic Home, The Inconvenience, Griffin, The House, Haven, Erasing the Distance, The New Colony, Collaboraction, Side Project, LiveWire, Buffalo Ensemble, at The Long Wharf in New Haven, CT, and as a member of Pine Box. Josh's television work includes Chicago PD, Chicago Fire, Betrayal and Boss.

Courtney Williams (Makayla) is making her Chicago stage debut with Rivendell. Originally a Brooklyn based performer from Oakland, CA, her work has primarily been in New York's colorful downtown scene. She's performed and collaborated with Daniel Alexander Jones, Kaneza Schaal, Mike Iveson, Tea Alagic, Gracie Gardner and other artists who have enriched her collaborative process.

Carmen Roman (Marie) most recently performed in Angels in America at Berkeley Repertory Theatre. Last fall she played Margaret Thatcher in The Audience at Timeline Theatre and in Native Son at Yale Rep. She also played in the world premiere production of Native Son - a co-production of American Blues Theater and The Court Theatre. She played Mrs. Eynsford-Hill in My Fair Lady at The Lyric Opera last season. Other recent production include: Sotto Vocce by Nilo Cruz at Portland Stage (Maine), Alabama Story by Kenneth Jones at Peninsula Players (Wisconsin) and playing opposite Hal Linden in Moon Over Buffalo at The New Theater (Kansas City). Carmen was in the National Tour of Angels in America and appeared Off-Broadway in The Iphigenia Cycle (Theater for a New Audience); The Mysteries (Classic Stage Company); Paradise (Gary Allen productions), and Love, Sex and Death in the Amazon (Paradise Factory Theater). Regional credits include 13 seasons with Peninsula Players; Wit, Black Snow, Brutality od Fact (Goodman Theatre, Chicago) Side Man (Steppenwolf Theatre, Chicago), The Price (Syracuse Stage and Geva), The Importance of Being Earnest  (Centerstage Baltimore), Lost in Yonkers (Coconut Grove, Walnut Street Theater) Sonia Flew (The Huntington Theatre), According to Goldman (Philadelphia Theater Company) Electra (Hartford Stage Company), Big Love (The Wilma), Shadowlands (The Alliance Theater). Film/Television credits include Chicago PD; Betrayal; Boss; All My Children; Early Edition; Law and Order; Law and Order SVU; Criminal Intent; Savages, The Falcon (a co-production shot in Soviet Georgia) She is a proud company member at American Blues Theater and Circling the Drain, New York. Awards and honors include 2002 Fox Fellow, Sarah Siddons Award, Florence Herscher Award, and Joseph Jefferson Awards for Master Class and Wit. 
  
Previews: 
October 19 – 27, 2018
Friday, October 19 at 8:00pm
Saturday, October 20 at 8:00pm
Sunday, October 21 at 3:00 pm
Thursday, October 25 at 8:00pm
Friday, October 26 at 8:00pm
Saturday, October 27 at 8:00pm

Press Opening: Tuesday, October 30 at 7:00pm
VIP Gala Opening: Sunday, October 28 at 6:00pm

Regular run:
Thursday, November 1 – Sunday, December 2, 2018

Schedule: 
Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00pm
Saturdays at 4:00pm
Sundays at 3:00pm (November 18 and December 2 ONLY)

No performance on Thursday, November 22 (Thanksgiving)
Additional performance on Tuesday, November 20 at 8:00pm
Town Hall Discussions will follow Saturday 4pm matinees on November 17 and December 1

Friday, November 2: Performance to Benefit Planned Parenthood: See a show and support Planned Parenthood at the same time! $10 of every ticket sold will be donated to Planned Parenthood of Illinois.

Friday, November 9: Mama’s Night / Ladies Night: Following the performance, please join us in our rehearsal studio for wine, cheese and great conversation!

Friday, November 23: Open Captioned Performance
$15 tickets with the code ACCESS

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

Tickets: 
General Admission:
Previews: $28
Regular Run: $38
Student, Senior, Active Military, Veteran:
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.
Three-show pass: $59-$80 for one ticket each to the next three Rivendell plays

Box Office:      (773) 334-7728 or www.RivendellTheatre.org

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 El Station.




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 http://rivendelltheatre.org. Follow Rivendell on Facebook at Facebook.com/rivendelltheatre, on Twitter @RivendellThtr, and on Instagram at rivendelltheatre.

Rivendell Theatre Ensemble is supported by generous grants from: The Alphawood Foundation; Paul M. Angell Family Foundation; The Arts Work Fund for Organizational Development; The Chicago Community Trust; The Chicago Foundation for Women; The Elizabeth F. Cheney Foundation; The Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation; The MacArthur Funds for Arts and Culture at The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation; The League of Chicago Theatres and ComEd; The Reva and David Logan Foundation; The Luria Family Foundation; The Elizabeth Morse Charitable Trust; The Alfred Pick Jr. Fund; Shubert Foundation; SIF Fund at The Chicago Community Trust; Cultural Outreach Program Grant from the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs & Special Events; and the Illinois Arts Council Agency.

Friday, September 28, 2018

OPENING: World Premiere of Scientific Method Via Rivendell Theatre Ensemble October 19 – December 2, 2018

Chi, IL Live Shows On Our Radar


Rivendell Theatre Ensemble presents
the World Premiere of
Scientific Method
by Jenny Connell Davis
directed by Devon de Mayo
featuring RTE Member Ashley Neal, with Glenn Obrero,
Josh Odor, Courtney Williams and Carmen Roman


October 19 – December 2, 2018

Here at ChiIL Mama and ChiIL Live Shows, we're all about supporting and elevating women in the arts. I'll be out for the press opening of the world premiere of Scientific Method on October 30th, so check back soon for my full review. We've been huge fans of Rivendell Theatre Ensemble (RTE), Chicago’s only Equity theatre dedicated to producing new work with women at the core. 

As a female theatre critic with two woman owned websites, I'm completely on board with Rivendell Theatre Ensemble's mission statement. RTE 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.

Check out the World Premiere of Scientific Method by Jenny Connell Davis, directed by Devon de Mayo, and featuring RTE Member Ashley Neal, with Glenn Obrero, Josh Odor, Courtney Williams and Carmen Roman. Scientific Method runs October 19 – December 2, 2018, at Rivendell Theatre Ensemble, 5779 N. Ridge Avenue in Chicago. 

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.

The cast of Scientific Method includes RTE Member Ashley Neal (Amy), with Glenn Obrero (Manish), Josh Odor (Julian), Courtney Williams (Makayla), and Carmen Roman (Marie).

The creative team includes Lauren Nichols (Scenic Design), Izumi Inaba (Costume Design), Heather Sparling (Lighting Design), Shain Longbehn (Sound Design), Jonathan Berg-Ein (Properties Design), and Tony Churchill (Projections Design). The stage manager is Jenniffer Thusing.

Rivendell’s Town Hall Series:
Saturdays, November 17 and December 1 after the 4pm matinee performances
During the run of each production, Rivendell hosts Town Halls Discussions after select Saturday matinees. These are an essential touchstone for our organization to extend the conversation from the stage to the community. Panelists help field questions, present observations, and participate in supporting a thoughtful, in-depth dialogue for all involved. Audience participants need not be present for the Saturday matinee and are welcome to join the conversation following the performance.

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

ARTIST BIOS

Jenny Connell Davis’s (Playwright) plays include End of Shift, Goddess of Mercy, The Dragon Play, and Scientific Method.  Her work has been produced or developed at Chance Theater, the Eugene O’Neill National Playwrights Conference, The Playwrights’ Center, Icicle Creek Theater Festival, ACT Seattle, ATC Chicago, the Araca Group, Asolo Rep, New York Stage and Film, Ars Nova, The Gift Theatre, Shrewd Productions, ScriptWorks, NAATCO and Rivendell. Her first screenplay, Playing House, was a finalist for the Nicholl Fellowship; her second, Two Truths and a Lie, was a semi-finalist.  Her short with writer/director Soham Mehta, Fatakra, has screened worldwide and been recognized with more than a dozen audience awards and jury prizes. She currently has film and television projects in development with Maven Pictures/Tangerine Entertainment, Fox Animation, Astronauts Wanted/Cinestar Pictures, and Iconoclast/Anonymous Content. Jenny has an MFA from UT Austin, is a former member of Ars Nova’s Play Group, an Affiliated Writer with the Playwrights’ Center, and was the 2014-2015 Hot Seat Resident Playwright at Baltimore’s Center Stage. She is a member of Chicago’s Gift Theatre Company and a proud member of ScriptWorks and the MARTHAs, an Austin-based playwrights’ collective.

Devon de Mayo (Director) is working with Rivendell for the first time. Recent directing credits include: Women Laughing Alone With Salad (Theatre Wit); The Burn (Steppenwolf Theatre), Harvey (Court Theatre), Sycamore (Raven Theatre), You on the Moors Now (The Hypocrites), Animals Out of Paper (Shattered Globe Theatre), You Can’t Take it With You, and Lost in Yonkers (Northlight Theatre), Jet Black Chevrolet (side project); Compulsion and Everything is Illuminated (Next); Roadkill Confidential, The Further Adventures of Hedda Gabler, and Clouds (Dog & Pony). Directing and devising credits: Don’t Look Back/Must Look Back (Pivot Arts); Guerra: A Clown Play (La Piara, Mexico); The Whole World is Watching, As Told by the Vivian Girls and The Twins Would Like to Say (Dog & Pony). She received her MFA from Middlesex University in London and did further studies at the Russian Academy of Dramatic Arts in Moscow and the Indonesian Institute for the Arts in Bali, Indonesia. 

Ashley Neal (Amy) is back at Rivendell Theatre Ensemble, where she is a longtime member and most recently appeared in Cal in Camo. She has appeared in many Rivendell productions including: Alias Grace, Wrens, 26 Miles, The Walls, Be Aggressive, and others. Ashley most recently appeared in A Red Orchid Theatre's The Nether where she also appeared in A Red Handed Otter. Other shows include: London Wall, Men Should Weep and Stage Door with Griffin Theatre, The Life and Sort of Death of Eric Argyle with Steep Theatre, as well as work with Chicago Dramatists, Pine Box, Irish Theatre Company, Step Up, Jackalope Theatre, Victory Gardens, Strawdog, The Greenhouse Theatre, and others. Ashley is a graduate of Columbia College Chicago and The School at Steppenwolf. She is represented by Big Mouth Talent.

Glenn Obrero (Manish) is making his Rivendell debut. Other Chicago credits include: 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (Lookingglass Theatre); A Beauty Queen of Leenane (Northlight Theatre, u/s); A Wrinkle in Time (Lifeline Theatre); Akeelah and the Bee (Adventure Stage Chicago); How We Got On (Haven Theatre, u/s). TV credits include Chicago Fire (NBC). He received his BFA in Performing Arts from Savannah College of Art and Design and trained on-camera at Vagabond School of the Arts. He is represented by Gray Talent Group.

Josh Odor (Julian) is back at Rivendell where he was last seen in The Firebirds Take the Field. Most recently Josh performed in TimeLine's To Catch a Fish, ATC's Welcome to Jesus and The Hypocrites' You On the Moors Now - also directed by Devon DeMayo. Josh has also worked at Steppenwolf, The Goodman, Steep, Teatro Vista, The Artistic Home, The Inconvenience, Griffin, The House, Haven, Erasing the Distance, The New Colony, Collaboraction, Side Project, LiveWire, Buffalo Ensemble, at The Long Wharf in New Haven, CT, and as a member of Pine Box. Josh's television work includes Chicago PD, Chicago Fire, Betrayal and Boss.

Courtney Williams (Makayla) is making her Chicago stage debut with Rivendell. Originally a Brooklyn based performer from Oakland, CA, her work has primarily been in New York's colorful downtown scene. She's performed and collaborated with Daniel Alexander Jones, Kaneza Schaal, Mike Iveson, Tea Alagic, Gracie Gardner and other artists who have enriched her collaborative process.

Carmen Roman (Marie) most recently performed in Angels in America at Berkeley Repertory Theatre. Last fall she played Margaret Thatcher in The Audience at Timeline Theatre and in Native Son at Yale Rep. She also played in the world premiere production of Native Son - a co-production of American Blues Theater and The Court Theatre. She played Mrs. Eynsford-Hill in My Fair Lady at The Lyric Opera last season. Other recent production include: Sotto Vocce by Nilo Cruz at Portland Stage (Maine), Alabama Story by Kenneth Jones at Peninsula Players (Wisconsin) and playing opposite Hal Linden in Moon Over Buffalo at The New Theater (Kansas City). Carmen was in the National Tour of Angels in America and appeared Off-Broadway in The Iphigenia Cycle (Theater for a New Audience); The Mysteries (Classic Stage Company); Paradise (Gary Allen productions), and Love, Sex and Death in the Amazon (Paradise Factory Theater). Regional credits include 13 seasons with Peninsula Players; Wit, Black Snow, Brutality od Fact (Goodman Theatre, Chicago) Side Man (Steppenwolf Theatre, Chicago), The Price (Syracuse Stage and Geva), The Importance of Being Earnest  (Centerstage Baltimore), Lost in Yonkers (Coconut Grove, Walnut Street Theater) Sonia Flew (The Huntington Theatre), According to Goldman (Philadelphia Theater Company) Electra (Hartford Stage Company), Big Love (The Wilma), Shadowlands (The Alliance Theater). Film/Television credits include Chicago PD; Betrayal; Boss; All My Children; Early Edition; Law and Order; Law and Order SVU; Criminal Intent; Savages, The Falcon (a co-production shot in Soviet Georgia) She is a proud company member at American Blues Theater and Circling the Drain, New York. Awards and honors include 2002 Fox Fellow, Sarah Siddons Award, Florence Herscher Award, and Joseph Jefferson Awards for Master Class and Wit. 
  
Previews: 
October 19 – 27, 2018
Friday, October 19 at 8:00pm
Saturday, October 20 at 8:00pm
Sunday, October 21 at 3:00 pm
Thursday, October 25 at 8:00pm
Friday, October 26 at 8:00pm
Saturday, October 27 at 8:00pm

Press Opening: Tuesday, October 30 at 7:00pm
VIP Gala Opening: Sunday, October 28 at 6:00pm

Regular run:
Thursday, November 1 – Sunday, December 2, 2018

Schedule: 
Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00pm
Saturdays at 4:00pm
Sundays at 3:00pm (November 18 and December 2 ONLY)

No performance on Thursday, November 22 (Thanksgiving)
Additional performance on Tuesday, November 20 at 8:00pm
Town Hall Discussions will follow Saturday 4pm matinees on November 17 and December 1

Friday, November 2: Performance to Benefit Planned Parenthood: See a show and support Planned Parenthood at the same time! $10 of every ticket sold will be donated to Planned Parenthood of Illinois.

Friday, November 9: Mama’s Night / Ladies Night: Following the performance, please join us in our rehearsal studio for wine, cheese and great conversation!

Friday, November 23: Open Captioned Performance
$15 tickets with the code ACCESS

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

Tickets: 
General Admission:
Previews: $28
Regular Run: $38
Student, Senior, Active Military, Veteran:
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.
Three-show pass: $59-$80 for one ticket each to the next three Rivendell plays

Box Office:      (773) 334-7728 or www.RivendellTheatre.org

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 El Station.




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 http://rivendelltheatre.org. Follow Rivendell on Facebook at Facebook.com/rivendelltheatre, on Twitter @RivendellThtr, and on Instagram at rivendelltheatre.

Rivendell Theatre Ensemble is supported by generous grants from: The Alphawood Foundation; Paul M. Angell Family Foundation; The Arts Work Fund for Organizational Development; The Chicago Community Trust; The Chicago Foundation for Women; The Elizabeth F. Cheney Foundation; The Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation; The MacArthur Funds for Arts and Culture at The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation; The League of Chicago Theatres and ComEd; The Reva and David Logan Foundation; The Luria Family Foundation; The Elizabeth Morse Charitable Trust; The Alfred Pick Jr. Fund; Shubert Foundation; SIF Fund at The Chicago Community Trust; Cultural Outreach Program Grant from the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs & Special Events; and the Illinois Arts Council Agency.

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

OPENING: Catch The Midwest Premiere of Cal in Camo at Rivendell Through February 17th

Rivendell Theatre Ensemble announces complete casting for
the Midwest Premiere of
Cal in Camo
by RTE member William Francis Hoffman
Directed by RTE member Hallie Gordon
Featuring RTE Members Ashley Neal, Keith Kupferer and Eric Slater

**Funds tight? 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.**


January 5 – February 17, 2018


Here at ChiIL Live Shows, we're excited for another fabulous female centered production at Rivendell. There's still a huge need to hear a myriad of styles of women's voices and experiences and we're enamored with Rivendell's mission statement to "...advance women’s lives through the power of 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 intimate, salon environments."

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. 

I've known Chicago director, Hallie Gordon, since our children were in a pre preschool playgroup together. I've admired her work for years. I'll be out Saturday night 1/13 for the press opening, so check back shortly after for my full review. 



Rivendell Theatre Ensemble (RTE), Chicago’s only Equity theatre dedicated to producing new work with women at the core, announces the Midwest premiere of Cal in Camo by RTE member William Francis Hoffman and directed by RTE member Hallie Gordon. Cal in Camo runs January 5 – February 17, 2018, at Rivendell Theatre Ensemble, 5779 N. Ridge Avenue in Chicago.  

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. 

The cast of Cal in Camo includes RTE members Ashley Neal (Cal), Keith Kupferer (Flynt) and Eric Slater (Tim).

The creative team includes RTE members Joanna Iwanicka (Scenic Design), Janice Pytel (Costume Design) and Victoria Deiorio (Original Composition and Sound Designer), as well as Charles Cooper (Lighting Design), and Blake Burke (Properties Design). The stage manager is Jenniffer Thusing.

ARTIST BIOS
William Francis Hoffman (Playwright) was born and raised in Oakville, Missouri, a mile from the Mississippi River. He is a member of The Actor’s Gym in Los Angeles, California and was an ensemble member at Rivendell Theatre from 2001 until he moved to Los Angeles in 2007. His play Cal in Camo, a co-production between The Rattlestick Playwrights Theater and Colt Coeur, received its world premiere in New York City. His play Drift is currently being workshopped in Los Angeles.

Hallie Gordon (Director) previously directed Dryland and Eat Your Heart Out for Rivendell. Hallie has directed for Steppenwolf Theatre; last productions included: HIR, The Rembrandt, and Monster. She is currently the Artistic Director for Steppenwolf for Young Audiences and an Artistic Producer for Steppenwolf Theatre Company. She is the recipient of The Helen Coburn Meier & Tim Meier Achievement Award.

Keith Kupferer (Flynt) is a founding member of Rivendell Theatre Ensemble where he was most recently seen in the critically-acclaimed production of How the World Began. Other Chicago credits include The Qualms, Good People, Middletown, South of Settling, 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; The Humans at American Theatre Company; Men’s Support Group, God of Carnage, High Holidays, Passion Play and The Old Neighborhood at the Goodman Theatre; The Mystery of Love and Sex (where he received a Jeff nomination for “Supporting Actor”), and Death of a Streetcar Named Virginia Wolf at Writer’s Theatre; Hillary and Clinton, Never the Sinner and Appropriate at Victory Garden’s Theatre; Gypsy at Chicago Shakespeare Theater; End Days at Windy City Playhouse; 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; 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 Big Lake, Big City, Trust and Hillbilly Antigone for Lookingglass Theatre. Film credits include the soon-to be released Widows; The Dilemma; Dark Knight; Public Enemies; The Express; Stranger Than Fiction; Road to Perdition; Finding Santa; Fred Klaus; The Last Rights of Joe May; The Merry Gentleman directed by Michael Keaton, Resurrecting McGinn; and Open Tables. TV credits include Better Call Saul; Empire; Chicago P.D.; Betrayal; Crisis; Chicago Fire; Detroit 187; The Beast; Prison Break; The Jamie Kennedy Experiment and Early Edition.  

Ashley Neal (Cal) is thrilled to be back at Rivendell Ensemble Theatre, where she is an ensemble member and most recently appeared in Alias Grace. Other Rivendell productions include Wrens, These Shining Lives, 26 Miles, The Walls, and Be Aggressive. Ashley most recently appeared in A Red Orchid Theatre's The Nether where she also appeared in A Red Handed Otter. Other shows you may have seen her in include: London Wall, Men Should Weep and Stage Door with Griffin Theatre; The Life and Sort of Death of Eric Argyle with Steep Theatre; as well as work with Chicago Dramatists, Pine Box, Irish Theatre Company, Step Up, Jackalope Theatre, Victory Gardens, Strawdog, The Greenhouse Theatre, and others. Ashley is a graduate of Columbia College Chicago and The School at Steppenwolf. 

Eric Slater (Tim) has been a company member of RTE since 2006 and has appeared in Winter, Rasheeda Speaking, Self-Defense, Expecting Isabel, Silence and most recently Alias Grace. Chicago: Hand To God (Victory Gardens); Kill Floor (American Theatre Co.); Diary of Anne Frank (Writers Theatre); Feathers & Teeth and Smokefall (Goodman); and many others. Off & Off-Off Broadway: Juvenal Players (The Kitchen); The Dudley’s: A Family Game! (Theatre for a New City); Our Greatest Year (Kraine & The Brick); Original Cast Gloryana (The Public Theater & The York Theatre Co.); and Cyanocitta (The Becket on Theatre Row). Regional: Fornicated From The Beatles (American Repertory Theatre); Experiment America (ICA Boston); Hunchback (DIA Detroit); Permanent Collection (Madison Rep.); Our Greatest Year (Dobama Theatre). Film/ TV: Widows, Coming to You, and Chicago Fire. Eric is a founding member of the immersive theatre company The New Ensemble based in NYC and has written extensively for The Neugents Project as a member of the North Carolina Writer’s Group. He has also written and produced two short films and a number of theatrical experiments.

Previews:
January 5 – 13, 2018
Friday, January 5 at 8:00pm
Saturday, January 6 at 8:00pm
Sunday, January 7 at 4:00 pm
Thursday, January 11 at 8:00pm
Friday, January 12 at 8:00pm
Saturday, January 13 at 8:00pm
VIP opening: Sunday, January 14, 2018 at 6:00pm
Press Opening Saturday, January 13, at 7:00pm

Regular run:January 18 – February 17, 2018

Schedule:     
Thursdays-Saturdays at 8:00pm
Saturdays at 4:00pm (except January 13)
Additional matinee performance on Sunday, February 11 at 3:00pm
Town Hall Discussions will follow select Saturday matinees

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

Tickets: General Admission
Previews: $28
Regular Run: $38
Student, Senior, Active Military, Veteran
Preview: $18
Regular Run: $28
Subscriptions: $59-$80 for 3-plays  

Box Office: (773) 334-7728 or www.RivendellTheatre.org

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 El station.

About Rivendell Theatre Ensemble
Founded in 1994, Rivendell Theatre Ensemble advances women’s lives through the power of 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 intimate, salon environments.

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, RTE moved into its own theater space in 2010 in Edgewater. As new members of the neighborhood, 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 http://rivendelltheatre.org. Follow RTE on Facebook at Facebook.com/rivendelltheatre and on Twitter @RivendellThtr.

Rivendell Theatre Ensemble is supported by generous grants from: The Lester and Hope Abelson Fund; The Alphawood Foundation; Paul M. Angell Family Foundation; The Arts Work Fund for Organizational Development; The Chicago Community Trust; The Chicago Foundation for Women; The Elizabeth F. Cheney Foundation; The Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation; The MacArthur Funds for Arts and Culture at The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation; The Reva and David Logan Foundation; The Elizabeth Morse Charitable Trust; SIF Fund at The Chicago Community Trust; Cultural Outreach Program Grant from the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs & Special Events; and the Illinois Arts Council Agency. 

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