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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.
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.
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.