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

Monday, December 9, 2019

SEASON ANNOUNCED: RIVENDELL THEATRE ENSEMBLE'S 25th ANNIVERSARY SEASON

ChiIL Live Shows on our radar
RIVENDELL THEATRE ENSEMBLE ANNOUNCES
THE 25th ANNIVERSARY SEASON 




Season includes the World Premieres of

The Tasters 
by Meghan Brown, directed by RTE member Devon de Mayo, Spay by Madison Fiedler, directed by RTE member Hallie Gordon
and 
45 Plays for America’s First Ladies 
by Chloe Johnston, Sharon Greene, Genevra Gallo-Bayiates, Bilal Dardai, and Andy Bayiates in a co-production with Chicago’s The Neo-Futurists


Rivendell Theatre Ensemble proudly announces its 2020 Season including the World Premieres of The Tasters by Meghan Brown, directed by RTE member Devon de Mayo and Spay by Madison Fiedler and directed by RTE member Hallie Gordon, as well as 45 Plays for America’s First Ladies by Chloe Johnston, Sharon Greene, Genevra Gallo-Bayiates, Bilal Dardai, and Andy Bayiates, in a co-production with Chicago’s The Neo-Futurists. All productions will be performed at Rivendell Theatre Ensemble, 5779 N. Ridge Avenue in Chicago.

This year, Rivendell celebrates its 25th anniversary season during what may be the most important and divisive election cycle in U.S. history. To mark the occasion, Rivendell has selected three plays that wrestle with some of the key issues driving this nation’s discourse: the rise of authoritarianism, the chaos and challenge of the opioid crisis, and the rising role of women in our political and social culture

Founder and Artistic Director Tara Mallen comments, “We can trace a straight line from WRENS, to The Walls, to Women at War, through Scientific Method and all the way to Something Clean. 25 years of new plays inspiring imperative conversations that spark change. Plays that lift up women and offer them a voice...a female service member returning home after a lengthy deployment, only to have her young daughter no longer recognize her; or a young woman battling to finish her PhD and stay afloat in a sexist and racist research lab, or how, in the ripple effects of a sex crime, one mother grapples with the pervasiveness of guilt and tries to rebuild her world. As we approach what may be the most critical election in U.S. history, Rivendell is committed to meeting the future head-on and with 2020 vision—as we have for the past 25 years—with ingenuity, with resolve, and with women right up front and center." 

The Rivendell 2020 Season is as follows:



The World Premiere of

THE TASTERS 
Written by Meghan Brown 
Directed by RTE member Devon de Mayo 

Featuring ensemble members Paula Ramirez and Eric Slater with Shariba Rivers, Daniella Pereira, and Collin Quinn Rice

January 10 - February 16, 2020

With so many government leaders getting poisoned these days, the Tasters have a critical job to do. They sample mouthwatering gourmet meals…then wait to see if they die in agony. When government forces capture renowned resistance leader Elyse, they make her a Taster and assume they've won. But Elyse has a plan of her own, which kicks off a series of events that might just alter the course of history—and put all the other Tasters' lives at risk. Fresh out of Victory Garden’s 2019 IGNITION Festival, Meghan Brown’s chilling and sharply observed new play examines the nuances of political resistance, self-interest, and individual action that creates hope in the face of oppression. 



The World Premiere of

SPAY 
Written by Madison Fiedler 
Directed by RTE member Hallie Gordon featuring RTE member Rae Gray

April 23 – June 7, 2020

Twenty-year-old Noah has been an addict ever since the birth of her son five years ago when her half-sister, Harper, assumed custody of the child. When an organization shows up in their tiny West Virginia town offering to sterilize Noah and other addicts for pay, the sisters clash over the question of who deserves to be a mother in a nation hooked on pills. This provocative world premiere by recent Northwestern grad Madison Fiedler takes an unblinking look at addiction, poverty, and the families our system has failed. Selected from a field of over 150 new plays, SPAY is one of the six new plays featured in the National New Play Network's Annual Showcase of New Plays this December in Atlanta, Georgia.


45 Plays for America’s First Ladies
by Chloe Johnston, Sharon Greene, Genevra Gallo-Bayiates, Bilal Dardai, and Andy Bayiates

In a co-production with Chicago’s The Neo-Futurists

September 24 - October 31, 2020 

Forty-five plays. Fifty First Ladies. A 100-minute journey through American history, 45 Plays for America’s First Ladies leaps from comedy to tragedy and back again as it surveys the lives of the women who have served (and avoided serving) as First Lady. 45 Plays is a biographical, meta-theatrical, genre-bending ride through race, gender, and everything else your history teacher never taught you about the founding (and the confounding) of America.

Following the enormous success of 45 Plays for 45 Presidents, members of the Neo-Futurists ensemble bring their trademark wit and style to tell the other side of the story. They'll partner with Chicago's premiere women's company, Rivendell Theatre Ensemble, where women's lives and perspectives have always been the main event. 



NEW PLAY DEVELOPMENT
SOLO VOICES WORKSHOP
April 1 - 12, 2020

Curated by new RTE member Kristen Osborn, this festival of solo voices features thee one-woman performance pieces. Projects will be announced in February 2020. 

Subscription Packages

Subscription packages may be purchased at any time and include one ticket to the next three Rivendell mainstage productions. The Preview Pass is priced at $59 and the Performance Pass is $80. Benefits include: no-fee ticket exchange up to 48 hours prior to the performance, reserved seating, exclusive invites to Rivendell events, and a 10% discount for additional family and friends tickets purchased through the box office.

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 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.  



Thursday, May 16, 2019

Casting Announced: Midwest Premiere of SOMETHING CLEAN Via Sideshow Theatre Company & Rivendell Theatre Ensemble

ChiIL Live Shows on our radar
Sideshow Theatre Company & Rivendell Theatre Ensemble
Announce Casting for the Midwest Premiere of
SOMETHING CLEAN
By Selina Fillinger
Directed by Lauren Shouse

June 16 – July 21, 2019 at Victory Gardens Theater



Sideshow Theatre Company and Rivendell Theatre Ensemble are pleased to announce casting for the Midwest premiere of Selina Fillinger’s breathtaking new drama SOMETHING CLEAN, directed by Lauren Shouse.

The cast includes Patrick Agada, Mary Cross** and Guy Massey.


(left to right) Guy Massey and Mary Cross. Photo by Michael Tutino.


SOMETHING CLEAN will play June 16 – July 21, 2019 at Victory Gardens Richard Christiansen Theater, 2433 N. Lincoln Ave. in Chicago. Tickets are currently available at www.victorygardens.org, by calling (773) 871-3000 or in person at the Victory Gardens Box Office. 

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. Desperate to find a way back to who she was, she seeks out work at a sexual assault crisis center and meets Joey, a volunteer coordinator and a survivor of assault himself, who allows her a glimpse of who she might be able to become. Can she find a new understanding of who she is? Or has someone else’s crime defined her forever? Inspired by today’s headlines, Selina Fillinger’s breathtaking new drama follows one woman’s struggle to make sense of her own grief, intimacy, culpability and consent.

Comments Sideshow artistic director Jonathan L. Green, "Selina's exquisite play is the fifth premiere to come out of our commissioning program, The Freshness Initiative, and we're so happy to be collaborating with our friends at Rivendell, whose mission aligns with our own so well in this case, to bring it to life in Chicago."

Rivendell Artistic Director Tara Mallen adds, “This new play unflinchingly exposes the complexities of a mother struggling to reconcile her guilt and rebuild her family after her son’s horrific act. Selina’s profoundly resonant voice offers our audiences a new perspective on what it is to bear your children’s sins and Rivendell is excited to be a part of sharing this provocative new work with Chicago audiences.”

Something Clean is supported in-part by The Elizabeth F. Cheney Foundation, Melinda McMullen and Duncan Kime.

The production team to date includes: Arnel Sancianco (scenic design), Noël Huntzinger* (costume design), Diane Fairchild** (lighting design), Eric Backus (sound design), Jonathan Berg-Einhorn (props design), Gina M. Di Salvo* (dramaturg), Jennifer Aparicio (production manager) and Casie Morell (stage manager).

*Denotes Sideshow company member   **Denotes Rivendell company member


Mary Cross in a publicity image for Sideshow Theatre Company and Rivendell Theatre Ensemble’s Midwest premiere of SOMETHING CLEAN. Photo by Michael Tutino.


Location: Victory Gardens Richard Christiansen Theater, 2433 N. Lincoln Ave. in Chicago

Dates: Previews: Sunday, June 16 at 2:30 pm and Wednesday, June 19 at 8 pm
Press Performance: Thursday, June 20 at 8 pm
Gala Opening: Fri June 21 at 8 pm
Regular run: Friday, June 21 – Sunday, July 21, 2019
Curtain Times: Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 8 pm; Sundays at 2:30 pm. Please note: there will not be a performance on Thursday, July 4; there will be added performances on Wednesday, July 3 at 7:30 pm and Saturday, July 13 at 2:30 pm.
Tickets: Previews: Pay-what-you-can (online or at the door). Regular run: $20 – $30.  Students/seniors/industry: $15 for all performances (excluding opening). Tickets are currently available at www.victorygardens.org, by calling (773) 871-3000 or in person at the Victory Gardens Box Office.

About the Creative Team:

Selina Fillinger (Playwright) is an LA-based actress and writer. She is a recent graduate of Northwestern University, where she studied playwriting under the instruction of Laura Schellhardt. Something Clean was commissioned for Sideshow Theatre’s Freshness Initiative and workshopped in Roundabout’s Underground Reading Series. Other work includes Faceless (Northlight Theatre premiere, Joseph Jeff Award-nominated, regional productions at Zeitgeist Theatre, St. Louis Repertory Theatre and Park Theatre in London) and The Armor Plays: Cinched/Strapped (Available Light’s Next Stage Initiative, Alley All New, upcoming production at Theatre Three.) Selina is a 2018 recipient of South Coast Repertory’s Elizabeth George Commission and Manhattan Theatre Club’s Sloan Commission.

Lauren Shouse (Director) is thrilled to return to Rivendell after directing The Cake and Sideshow after the Freshness Initiative reading of Something Clean. Lauren is the Associate Artistic director at Northlight Theatre and a Jeff nominated director. Her recent directing credits include: What We're Up Against with Compass Theatre, The Legend of Georgia McBride at Northlight Theatre, Nice Girl and Betrayal at Raven Theatre; Avenue Q,  Rapture, Blister, Burn, Superior Donuts, and A Christmas Story at Nashville Repertory Theatre, Long Way Down with 3Ps productions;  Religion and Rubber Ducks with Ovvio Arte; Parallel Lives, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, The Last Five Years and Chess in Concert with Street Theatre Company; Rear Widow at Chaffin's Barn Theatre, and Sylvia Plath’s 3 Women. She received her MFA in theatre directing at Northwestern University where she directed Stop Kiss, Eurydice and In the Next Room or the Vibrator Play. In Chicago, Lauren has also worked with Steppenwolf Theatre, Goodman Theatre, Lookingglass Theatre, Route 66, The Gift, Chicago Dramatists, and Stage Left Theatre. www.laurenshousedirects.com


2019 Year of Chicago Theatre

Sideshow Theatre Company and Rivendell Theatre Ensemble are proud to be part of the 2019 Year of Chicago Theatre, presented by the City of Chicago and the League of Chicago Theatres. To truly fall in love with Chicago, you must go to our theatres. This is where the city bares its fearless soul. Home to a community of creators, risk-takers, and big hearts, Chicago theatre is a hotbed for exciting new work and hundreds of world premieres every year. From Broadway musicals to storefront plays and improv, there’s always a seat waiting for you at one of our 200+ theatres. Book your next show today at www.ChicagoPlays.com


About Sideshow Theatre Company:

Sideshow Theatre Company: Theatre for the Curious. It is the mission of Sideshow Theatre Company to mine the collective unconscious of the world we live in with limitless curiosity, drawing inspiration from the familiar stories, memories and images we all share to spark new conversation and bring our audiences together as adventurers in a communal experience of exploration.

Over its 10+ year history, Sideshow is proud to have distinguished itself as a vital member of the Chicago theatre community. Sideshow was awarded the 2016 Broadway In Chicago Emerging Theatre Award by the League of Chicago Theatres. Sideshow is a multiple Jeff Award-winning theatre and has been listed on the “Best of” lists in 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2018 by the Chicago Tribune, Chicago Reader, Time Out Chicago and the Chicago Sun-Times. Sideshow continues its multi-year residency at Victory Gardens in the historic Biograph Theater in the 2018/19 season.

Sideshow is also the producer of Chicago League of Lady Arm Wrestlers (CLLAW), a wildly popular fundraiser held in benefit of Sideshow Theatre Company and other local community organizations. CLLAW has been featured in local and national press, including The Washington Post, Reuters and the Chicago Sun-Times and on WGN Morning News, ABC 7’s Windy City Live and CBS 2. The next CLLAW match will be held Saturday, July 27, 2019. For more information about CLLAW, visit cllaw.org.

For additional information on Sideshow Theatre Company, visit sideshowtheatre.org.


About Rivendell Theatre Ensemble

Rivendell Theatre Ensemble is a professional company dedicated to advancing the lives of women through theatre.

Rivendell was born out of a specific need: women theatre artists are vastly underrepresented in American theatre, a situation which limits the range of stories produced for audiences. This situation skews our perception of the American experience toward a predominantly male perspective presented by men and it limits career opportunities for women artists - which helps perpetuate the disparity. Rivendell’s mission counteracts these circumstances by providing women theatre artists a creative home where they can nurture, develop, and produce their craft and by producing plays where audience see new voices and stories, including, in many cases, their own.

Since our first production in 1994, Rivendell has staged 48 plays and been honored with 30 Joseph Jefferson nominations and 8 awards. We are a national force in new play development and a home for women theatre artists.

In 2011 Rivendell took up residence in its first permanent home, in Chicago's north side Edgewater neighborhood. This development has enabled significant expansion of the company's programming, from itinerate productions created one at a time to the full three-show seasons, arts education programs, ongoing new play development, and numerous opportunities to provide the audience with more access to the art and artists.

For additional information on Rivendell Theatre Ensemble, visit rivendelltheatre.org.

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

OPENING: Midwest Premiere of I Wanna F#!&ing Tear You Apart at Rivendell Theatre February 15 - March 23, 2019

ChiIL Live Shows on our radar
 Rivendell Theatre Ensemble presents the Midwest Premiere of 

I Wanna F#!&ing Tear You Apart 
by Morgan Gould



featuring Teressa LaGamba, Robert Quintanillo and RTE Member Jessica Ervin 

February 15 - March 23, 2019

I'll be out for the press opening, February 27th, so check back soon for my full review. I adore Rivendell Theatre Ensemble (RTE), Chicago's only Equity theatre dedicated to producing artistically challenging and original plays created by and about women. Here at ChiIL Live Shows, we can't wait to see Rivendell's take on this Midwest premiere. 

Rivendell Theatre Ensemble (RTE), Chicago’s only Equity theatre dedicated to producing new work with women at the core, presents the Midwest premiere of I Wanna F#!&ing Tear You Apart by Morgan Gould and directed by Jessica Fisch. I Wanna F#!&ing Tear You Apart runs February 15 – March 23, 2019 at Rivendell Theatre Ensemble, 5779 N. Ridge Avenue in Chicago.  

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 F#!&ing 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.

The cast of I Wanna F#!&ing Tear You Apart includes Teressa LaGamba (Sam), Robert Quintanilla (Leo), and RTE Member Jessica Ervin (Chloe).

The creative team includes RTE Member Regina García (Scenic Design), Anthony Churchill (Projections Design), Heather Gilbert (Lighting Design), Jeffrey Levin (Original Music and Sound Design), Alison Siple (Costume Design), and Jonathan Berg-Einhorn (Properties Design). The Stage Manager is Miranda Anderson.

Rivendell’s Town Hall Series:  

During the run of each production, Rivendell hosts Town Hall 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. 

ARTIST BIOS

Morgan Gould (Playwright) is a fat-fat, not TV-fat, New York based writer/director who is a Resident Playwright at New Dramatists and current Lila Acheson Wallace Playwriting Fellow at Juilliard. Morgan’s play I Wanna F**king Tear You Apart, is a Beatrice Terry/Drama League Award Winner, and had its world premiere at Studio Theatre in Washington, DC in February 2017 (with Morgan directing). It was nominated for a Helen Hayes Award for Outstanding New Play, and DC Metro Arts said that Morgan’s work “shows every bit as much promise as Edward Albee’s early work, arguably more.” Morgan has directed productions at the Humana Festival, Marin Theatre Company, Ensemble Studio Theatre, P73, and more. Morgan is also the Artistic Director of Morgan Gould & Friends—her theater company with 9 actors, 3 designers, and a filmmaker, and their work has been seen at many NYC venues including HERE Arts Center, Ars Nova, The Ice Factory and more. Morgan is developing a half hour original series with Amazon Studios and Will Graham/Field Trip Productions. 

Jessica Fisch (Director) returns to Rivendell where she previously directed The Firebirds Take the Field and Fefu and Her Friends (Goodman Theatre/Rivendell Latinx Celebration). Recent credits include Cry It Out (Northlight Theatre), You Across From Me (Actors Theatre of Louisville, Humana Festival), Late Company (Cor Theatre), Straight White Men (Associate Director, Steppenwolf), Trudy, Carolyn, Martha and Regina Travel to Outer Space (Actors Theatre of Louisville, Humana Festival),  The Rosenkranz Mysteries: An Evening of Magic (The Royal George), Opulent Complex and That Thing That Time (Actors Theatre of Louisville, The Tens), Psychodramatic (A Red Orchid, Incubator Series), Traces (Feast Productions/ Jackalope Theatre). Selected New York credits: The Realm (The Wild  Project), strive/seek/find (Abingdon Theatre), the 2009 Playwrights Horizons Stories on 5 Stories Benefit, Personal History (Ensemble Studio Theatre), The Redheaded Man (Barrow Street Theatre/FringeNYC/FringeEncores), Dressed In Your Dreams (Public Theater/Emerging Writers Group), and an adaptation of the cult 1960’s gothic vampire soap opera Dark Shadows (Williamstown Theatre Festival). Jessica was a resident director at Ensemble Studio Theater, the Playwrights Horizons Directing Resident, and a member of the Lincoln Center Directors Lab.

Teressa LaGamba (Sam) is a Chicago based actor/musician from Pittsburgh, PA. She has performed feature roles in productions with Porchlight Music Theatre, Paramount Theatre, Boho Theatre, Marriott Theatre, Kokandy Productions, Emerald City Theatre, Broadway In Chicago, Griffin Theatre, Haven Theatre and more. Teressa received her BA in Acting and American Sign Language from Columbia College Chicago.

Robert Quintanilla (Leo) is making his Rivendell debut. He was most recently seen as Thomas Jefferson in Porchlight Music Theatre’s production of 1776 as part of their Revisits series and in Evil Dead with Black Button Eyes. This past season he was seen in The View Upstairs with Circle Theatre, Yank! A WWII Love Story with Pride Films and Plays, and Woman of the Year with Porchlight Music Theatre. Other select credits include On a Clear Day You Can See Forever with Porchlight Music Theatre, United Flight 232 with The House Theatre, The Fantasticks with Quest Theatre Ensemble, Jesus Christ Superstar with The Public Theatre San Antonio, The Merry Widow and HMS Pinafore with Music Theatre Works.

Jessica Ervin (Chloe) is an ensemble member at Rivendell. She received an Equity Jeff nomination for her portrayal of Ester in Dry Land and has also worked with Rivendell on Scientific Method (understudy), Alias Grace, The Firebirds Take the Field, WOMEN AT WAR, and the staged reading 381 Bleecker. Additionally, Jessica has worked with The Sound, Walkabout Theatre, Route 66, Erasing the Distance, The Public House, and Blue Goose Theatre Ensemble. Most recently, Jessica returned to Ball State University, her alma mater, to devise and perform an adaptation of Frankenstein as part of Indiana Humanities’ One State One Story initiative. She can be seen on film in Princess Cyd and the upcoming projects Teacher, Injustice, and Stalled.

Previews:  February 15-23, 2019

Friday, February 15 at 8:00pm

Saturday, February 16 at 8:00pm

Sunday, February 17 at 3:00pm

Thursday, February 21 at 8:00pm

Friday, February 22 at 8:00pm

Saturday, February 23 at 8:00pm 

Gala Opening: Sunday, February 24 at 6:00pm

Press Opening: Wednesday, February 27 at 7:00pm

Regular Run: February 28 – March 23, 2019

Schedule:      Thursdays-Saturdays at 8:00pm; Saturdays at 4:00pm

Additional performances on Sunday, February 17 at 3:00pm (preview); Sunday, March 10 at 3:00pm; Monday, March 11 at 8:00pm ; and Wednesday, March 20 at 8:00pm

Town Hall Discussions will follow Saturday 4:00pm matinees on March 9 and 16

Friday, March 1: Mama’s Night / Ladies’ Night: Following the performance, please join us in our rehearsal studio for wine, cheese and great conversation! 

Friday, March 8 : Performance to Benefit Planned Parenthood: $10 of every ticket sold will be donated to Planned Parenthood of Illinois. 

Friday, March 15: 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, 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.

Three-show pass: $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 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, April 6, 2018

OPENING: Midwest Premiere of The Cake by Bekah Brunstetter at Rivendell Theatre Through 5/20/18

Chi IL Live Shows On Our Radar:

Rivendell Theatre Ensemble Announces 
the Midwest Premiere of
The Cake
by Bekah Brunstetter
directed by Lauren Shouse
featuring RTE Founders Tara Mallen and Keith Kupferer, 
RTE Member Krystel McNeil, and Tuckie White

April 8 - May 20, 2018


I'll be ChiILin' with Chi, IL's Rivendell Theatre Ensemble (RTE) for the press opening April 19th. We can't wait to catch this tasty drama from Bekah Brunstetter, Emmy-nominated producer and writer of the hit NBC drama “This Is Us.” Inspired in part by the Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, which is currently in front of the U.S. Supreme Court, this is a topic in need of a platform in the arts.

Rivendell Theatre Ensemble (RTE), Chicago’s only Equity theatre dedicated to producing new work with women at the core, announces the Midwest premiere of The Cake by Bekah Brunstetter, directed by Lauren Shouse, and featuring RTE Founders Tara Mallen and Keith Kupferer, RTE Member Krystel McNeil, with Tuckie White.  The Cake runs April 8 – May 20, 2018, at Rivendell Theatre Ensemble, 5779 N. Ridge Avenue in Chicago.  

The cast of The Cake includes RTE Founders (and real life married couple) Tara Mallen (Della) and Keith Kupferer (Tim), RTE Ensemble Member Krystel McNeil (Macy), and Tuckie White (Jen).

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.

The Cake comes from Bekah Brunstetter, Emmy-nominated producer and writer of the hit NBC drama “This Is Us.” The timely play is inspired in part by the Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, which is currently in front of the U.S. Supreme Court. In the coming months, our nation’s highest court will determine whether it was legal for a Colorado baker to turn away two men who wanted to place an order for their wedding reception. 

The creative team includes RTE member, Janice Pytel (Costume Design), as well as Arnel Sancianco (Scenic Design), Cat Wilson (Lighting Design), Shannon Marie O'Neill (sound design) and Danielle Myerscough (Properties Design). The stage manager is Jenniffer Thusing and the “Cake Designer” is Erin Martin of ECBG cake+pastry studio. 


ARTIST BIOS
Bekah Brunstetter (Playwright) hails from Winston-Salem, North Carolina and currently lives in Los Angeles. Her plays include The Cake (Ojai Playwrights Conference), Going to a Place where you already are (South Coast Repertory), The Oregon Trail (Portland Center Stage Fall 2016, O'Neill Playwrights Conference; Flying V) Cutie and Bear (Roundabout commission), A Long and Happy Life (Naked Angels commission), Be A Good Little Widow (Ars Nova, Collaboraction, The Old Globe), Oohrah! (Atlantic Theater, Steppenwolf Garage, Finborough Theater/London), Nothing is the end of the World (except for the end of the world) (Waterwell Productions), House of Home (Williamstown Theater Festival) and Miss Lilly Gets Boned (Ice Factory Festival). She is an alumna of the CTG Writers Group, Primary Stages Writers Group, Ars Nova Play Group, The Playwright's Realm, and the Women's Project Lab. She is currently a member of the Echo Theater¹s Playwright's Group. She has previously written for MTV (Underemployed; I Just Want My Pants Back,) ABC Family's Switched at Birth and Starz's American Gods. She is currently a Co-Producer on NBC's This Is Us. She received her B.A. from UNC Chapel Hill and her M.F.A. in Dramatic Writing from the New School for Drama.

Lauren Shouse (Director) is a director, dramaturg and teacher. She is currently the Artistic Associate and Literary Manager at Chicago's Northlight Theatre. Her recent directing credits include: The Legend of Georgia McBride at Northlight Theatre, Nice Girl and Betrayal at Raven Theatre, Rapture, Blister, Burn, Superior Donuts, and A Christmas Story at Nashville Repertory Theatre, the world premiere of Long Way Down with 3Ps productions (nominated for American Theatre Critics Association Steinberg New Play Award 2011); the world premiere of Religion and Rubber Ducks with Ovvio Arte; Parallel Lives, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, The Last Five Years and Chess in Concert with Street Theatre Company; the world premiere of Rear Widow at Chaffin's Barn Theatre, and Sylvia Plath’s 3 Women. As Artistic Associate at Nashville Rep, Lauren directed the Ingram New Works Play Lab and Festival, which developed new works by John Patrick Shanley, David Auburn, Steven Dietz and Victoria Stewart. Lauren also co-founded Ten Minute Playhouse, a company that produces short plays by local playwrights. Before moving to Nashville, Lauren lived in London, UK and worked with Producer/Director Hugh Wooldridge. Her work abroad includes: Production Executive for The Night of 1000 Voices (celebrating John Kander and Fred Ebb and starring Joel Grey with Avenue Q) at The Royal Albert Hall; Production Executive of An Evening with Michael Parkinson at The Theatre Royal - Windsor, Children's Director/Assistant to the Director of A Gift of Music, and Assistant Director of The Night of 1000 Voices at The Odyssey Arena in Belfast, Ireland. Lauren holds an MA in Performance Studies from the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill where she adapted and directed The Time Traveler’s Wife. She received her MFA in theatre directing at Northwestern University where she directed Stop Kiss, Eurydice and In the Next Room or the Vibrator Play. In Chicago, Lauren has also worked with Steppenwolf Theatre, Goodman Theatre, Lookingglass Theatre, Rivendell Theatre, Sideshow Theatre, The Gift Theatre, Chicago Dramatists, and Stage Left Theatre.

Tara Mallen (Della) is an actor, director, producer and the Artistic Director at Rivendell Theatre Ensemble, Tara was most recently on stage in Rivendell’s production of The Firebirds Take the Field. Other recent credits include Lynn Nottage’s Sweat at Arena Stage; Rivendell’s Jeff Nominated, world premiere productions of Look, we are breathing and Rasheeda Speaking; How Long Will I Cry: Stories of Youth Violence at Steppenwolf›s Theatre for Young Audiences; Rivendell’s World Premiere, Jeff nominated production of The Walls and Self Defense, or the Death of Some Salesmen — both productions part of Steppenwolf Theatre Company’s Visiting Theater Initiative. For Rivendell, Tara has both produced and acted in over thirty productions. She received a Joseph Jefferson award for “Supporting Actress” for her portrayal of Gwenyth in WRENS as part of that production’s Jeff-winning ensemble. She was nominated the following year for “Actress in a Principal Role” for her work in My Simple City. Screen credits include Steven Soderbergh’s film Contagion; Boss (STARZ); Chicago Fire (NBC); Chicago P.D. (NBC); FOOLS (Feature film); Sense8 (Netflix); and the CBS/Sony Pictures pilot Doubt. Tara co-conceived and directed the critically acclaimed World Premiere of WOMEN AT WAR, a theatrical exploration of women in today’s military that played to sold out houses in the fall of 2014 and is now touring throughout the mid-west.

Keith Kupferer (Tim) is a founding member of Rivendell Theatre Ensemble where he was most recently seen in their critically acclaimed production of Cal in Camo. 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.

Krystel McNeil (Macy) is an ensemble member at RTE where she performed in the production WOMEN AT WAR. Most recent credits Include In The Next Room or The Vibrator Play (Timeline Theater Company), Bootycandy (Windy City Playhouse), The Compass (Steppenwolf SYA) , and understudying and performing in Objects in the Mirror and Carlyle at Goodman Theater Company. Krystel also does voiceover work and appeared in an episode of Chicago P.D. She is represented by Big Mouth Talent.

Tuckie White (Jen) most recently appeared in Raven Theatre’s Red Velvet and The Play About My Dad. Over the years, she has been part of productions at Chicago Shakespeare, Steppenwolf, Cock & Bull, Lifeline, Victory Gardens, and Goodman Theatre. Film/TV credits include: The Drunk, After Effect, and Chicago Med. She is a graduate of The Theatre School at DePaul University and an alum of iO and Second City. She is represented by Grossman & Jack Talent.

The Cake was originally produced by The Echo Theater Company, Los Angeles, California; Chris Fields, Artistic Director and Jesse Cannady, Producing Director. The Cake received a developmental reading at The Alley Theatre, Gregory Boyd, Artistic Director and Dean R. Gladden, Managing Director. The Cake was developed at The Ojai Playwrights Conference, Robert Egan, Artistic Director/Producer.

Previews: 
April 8 – 14, 2018
Sunday, April 8 at 3:00 pm
Thursday, April 12 at 8:00pm
Friday, April 13 at 8:00pm
Saturday, April 14 at 8:00pm

VIP Opening: Sunday, April 15 at 6:00pm
Press Openings: April 18 & 19 at 7:00pm
Regular run: Thursday, April 19-Sunday, May 20, 2018

Schedule:
Thursdays-Saturdays at 8:00pm 
(EXCEPT Thursday, May 10 – no performance that day)
Saturdays at 4:00pm
Sunday, May 6 and May 20 ONLY at 3:00pm
Town Hall Discussions will follow Saturday 4pm matinees on May 5 and May 19 to be moderated by director Lauren Shouse

Friday April 20: Performance to benefit Planned Parenthood of Illinois with $10 of every ticket sold going to PPIL

Friday April 27: Mama’s night – all moms, aunts, friends, etc. are welcome to join us in our rehearsal studio following the show for great conversation and drinks 

Thursday May 3: 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
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.
Three-show pass: $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; The Alfred Pick Jr. Fund; 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. 

Saturday, March 3, 2018

SAVE THE DATES: RIVENDELL THEATRE ENSEMBLE CONTINUES 2018 SEASON “THE RECKONING”

Chi, IL LIVE Shows On Our Radar:


Including the Midwest Premiere of
The Cake by Bekah Brunstetter
and the World Premiere of The Scientific Method by Jenny Connell Davis




Rivendell Theatre Ensemble 2018 Season, “The Reckoning” continues. The season includes three plays about women who come face to face with an essential truth that threatens to shatter the things they love most. The 2018 Season will be performed at Rivendell Theatre Ensemble, 5779 N. Ridge Avenue in Chicago.

The 2018 Season kicked off with the Midwest premiere of William Francis Hoffman’s Cal in Camo, directed by RTE ensemble member Hallie Gordon and featuring RTE members Ashley Neal, Keith Kupferer and Eric Slater. The season continues with the Midwest premiere of The Cake by Bekah Brunstetter, directed by Lauren Shouse, and featuring RTE Founders Keith Kupferer and Tara Mallen. The season concludes with the world premiere of The Scientific Method by Jenny Connell Davis and directed by Jessica Holt. 



What happens when a deeply held belief is revealed as a lie we've told ourselves? How do we change in the face of such revelations? Rivendell’s 2018 Season explores that moment of reckoning—the collision between the outer world and the core self—with three plays about women who come face to face with an essential truth that threatens to shatter the things they love most.

"Rivendell was born out of a specific need: women are vastly underrepresented in American theatre, a situation which limits the range of stories and perspectives available to audiences. We counteract these circumstances by serving as advocate, ally, and artistic home for women theatre artists and by offering our audiences a fuller and more realistic representation of the American experience, and this season is no exception,” comments Artistic Director Tara Mallen. “I am delighted to introduce these fresh new voices to Chicago audiences as we present a slate of relevant and timely new work centered on three women at wildly different moments in their lives--each colliding with a deep-seated personal bias they didn't even know they held." 

The Rivendell 2018 Season continues as follows:


  
The Midwest Premiere of
The Cake
Written by Bekah Brunstetter
Directed by Lauren Shouse
Featuring RTE Founders Keith Kupferer and Tara Mallen
April 11 - 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.

Bekah Brunstetter (Playwright) hails from Winston-Salem, North Carolina and currently lives in Los Angeles. Her plays include The Cake (Ojai Playwrights Conference), Going to a Place where you already are (South Coast Repertory), The Oregon Trail (Portland Center Stage Fall 2016, O'Neill Playwrights Conference; Flying V) Cutie and Bear (Roundabout commission), A Long and Happy Life (Naked Angels commission), Be A Good Little Widow (Ars Nova, Collaboraction, The Old Globe), Oohrah! (Atlantic Theater, Steppenwolf Garage, Finborough Theater/London), Nothing is the end of the World (except for the end of the world) (Waterwell Productions), House of Home (Williamstown Theater Festival) and Miss Lilly Gets Boned (Ice Factory Festival). She is an alumna of the CTG Writers Group, Primary Stages Writers Group, Ars Nova Play Group, The Playwright's Realm, and the Women's Project Lab. She is currently a member of the Echo Theater¹s Playwright's Group. She has previously written for MTV (Underemployed; I Just Want My Pants Back,) ABC Family's Switched at Birth and Starz's American Gods. She is currently a Co-Producer on NBC's This Is Us. She received her B.A. from UNC Chapel Hill and her M.F.A. in Dramatic Writing from the New School for Drama.

Lauren Shouse (Director) is a director, dramaturg and teacher. She is currently the Artistic Associate and Literary Manager at Chicago's Northlight Theatre. Her recent directing credits include: The Legend of Georgia McBride at Northlight Theatre, Nice Girl and Betrayal at Raven Theatre, Rapture, Blister, Burn, Superior Donuts, and A Christmas Story at Nashville Repertory Theatre, the world premiere of Long Way Down with 3Ps productions (nominated for American Theatre Critics Association Steinberg New Play Award 2011); the world premiere of Religion and Rubber Ducks with Ovvio Arte; Parallel Lives, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, The Last Five Years and Chess in Concert with Street Theatre Company; the world premiere of Rear Widow at Chaffin's Barn Theatre, and Sylvia Plath’s 3 Women. As Artistic Associate at Nashville Rep, Lauren directed the Ingram New Works Play Lab and Festival, which developed new works by John Patrick Shanley, David Auburn, Steven Dietz and Victoria Stewart. Lauren also co-founded Ten Minute Playhouse, a company that produces short plays by local playwrights. Before moving to Nashville, Lauren lived in London, UK and worked with Producer/Director Hugh Wooldridge. Her work abroad includes: Production Executive for The Night of 1000 Voices (celebrating John Kander and Fred Ebb and starring Joel Grey with Avenue Q) at The Royal Albert Hall; Production Executive of An Evening with Michael Parkinson at The Theatre Royal - Windsor, Children's Director/Assistant to the Director of A Gift of Music, and Assistant Director of The Night of 1000 Voices at The Odyssey Arena in Belfast, Ireland. Lauren holds an MA in Performance Studies from the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill where she adapted and directed The Time Traveler’s Wife. She received her MFA in theatre directing at Northwestern University where she directed Stop Kiss, Eurydice and In the Next Room or the Vibrator Play. In Chicago, Lauren has also worked with Steppenwolf Theatre, Goodman Theatre, Lookingglass Theatre, Rivendell Theatre, Sideshow Theatre, The Gift Theatre, Chicago Dramatists, and Stage Left Theatre.

The Cake was originally produced by The Echo Theater Company, Los Angeles, California; Chris Fields, Artistic Director and Jesse Cannady, Producing Director. The Cake received a developmental reading at The Alley Theatre, Gregory Boyd, Artistic Director and Dean R. Gladden, Managing Director. The Cake was developed at The Ojai Playwrights Conference, Robert Egan, Artistic Director/Producer




The World Premiere of
The Scientific Method
Written by Jenny Connell Davis
Directed by Jessica Holt
Cast TBD
October 18 – December 2, 2018 

Amy's on the cutting edge of a major scientific breakthrough...and on the brink of a nervous breakdown. When a handsome young grad student upsets the balance in one of the country's top research labs, he throws everything Amy thought she knew about science—and herself—.into question. A serio-comedy about work, life, and scientific progress.

Jenny Connell Davis (Playwright) has had her work developed and/or produced with The Eugene O'Neill National Playwrights Conference, The Playwrights Center, Icicle Creek, ACT (Seattle), American Theater Company (Chicago), SPACE at Ryder Farm, Ars Nova, NAATCO, Theater MITU, Articulate Theatre, New York Stage and Film, Shrewd Productions, Scriptworks, and The Gift Theatre, among others. She has been a finalist or semi-finalist for the Heideman, PlayPenn, Seven Devils, BAPF, the Nicholl Fellowship and the O'Neill. Jenny's short film, Fatakra, with writer/director Soham Mehta, played at over 75 festivals worldwide, including Toronto and SXSW, and was recognized with more than a dozen audience awards and jury prizes, including the Student Academy Award. She currently has screenplays in development with Maven Pictures and Co-op Entertainment. Jenny is an Affiliated Artist with The Playwrights' Center, and an alumna of Ars Nova Play Group, UT Austin's MFA Playwriting program, The School at Steppenwolf, the Court Theatre Resident Apprentice Program, and The University of Chicago.

Jessica Holt (Director) is a New York-based director. Recent projects include Speech and Debate by Stephen Karam at Barrington Stage Company (Boston Globe's Critics Pick), Rich Girl by Victoria Stewart at Florida Studio Theatre, Venus in Fur by David Ives at Virginia Stage Company, Ugly Lies the Bone by Lindsey Ferrentino at the Alliance Theater, Significant Other by Joshua Harmon at Actor’s Express, and the West Coast premiere of Bright Half Life by Tanya Barfield at Magic Theatre.  She also directed a multimedia, live immersive project with advertising agency BBDO and their pro bono client Street Grace to tell a powerfully impactful story that shined a light on the horrific realities of domestic minor sex trafficking. Jessica is currently a National Directing Fellow with the O'Neill/National New Plays Network, and is working with Rivendell in Chicago and Magic Theatre in San Francisco as part of her fellowship. She was the 2015-2016 Yale Directing Fellow at the Alliance Theatre in Atlanta, under the mentorship of Artistic Director Susan Booth. She developed new work by Bekah Brunstetter, Will Arbery, Mark Kendall, and Edith Freni. She has developed, produced and directed work at Ensemble Studio Theatre, Rivendell Theatre, Berkeley Rep's Ground Floor, Bay Area Playwrights Festival, Alliance Theatre, the American Academy of Dramatic Art in NYC, Theater Emory, Playwrights Center SF, Cutting Ball Theater, Berkeley Playhouse, Magic Theatre, New Conservatory Theater Center, and Piano Fight. Currently she is working with a number of playwrights and composers on exciting new projects including: Edith Freni's The Mystic, a time-travel comic drama about the 12th century mystic Hildegard von Bingen, Megan Cohen's Truest, a feminist absurdist fantasia of Sam Shepard's True West mashed with Thelma & Louise, and the new musical Danny and the Rocket by Marella Martin (Book/Lyrics) and Casey O'Neil (Music).  

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

Subscription Packages
Subscription packages may be purchased at any time and include one ticket to the next three Rivendell mainstage productions. The Preview Pass is priced at $59 and the Performance Pass is $80. Benefits include: no-fee ticket exchange up to 48 hours prior to the performance, reserved seating, exclusive invites to Rivendell events, and a 10% discount for additional family and friends tickets purchased through the box office. Cal in Camo ticket purchase may be applied to the cost of a subscription. Please contact the box office.

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 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 and 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 Jenny and Alexander Luria 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.

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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