Rivendell Theatre Ensemble Current Website:
Is Found at: http://rivendelltheatre.org
For a number of years this was the website for the Rivendell Theatre Ensemble. If you have inadvertantly ended up here while looking for the Rivendell Theatre Ensemble , go to their current site at: http://rivendelltheatre.org
Content is from the site's 2006- 2011 archived pages, offering a nostalgic look-back to their previous seasons.
Rivendell has been honored with a 3Arts 2009 Vision Award Acknowledging Women Artists
Rivendell 2010/2011 Season
Rivendell Theatre Ensemble is a professional theatre company committed to cultivating the talents of women theatre artists and to seeking out innovative plays that explore the unique female experience in an intimate, salon environment. Over the past fourteen years, Rivendell has grown to fill an important role in the Chicago theatre community as the only Equity Theatre in Chicago committed to producing works about women.
Since our inception in 1995, Rivendell Theatre Ensemble has provided Chicago audiences with artistically challenging, thought-provoking plays that explore the female experience. Driven by the belief that the female experience is dynamic and ever-changing, Rivendell continues to revisit, revise, and re-invigorate its mission to serve women artists and audiences in new and challenging ways.
With each season, Rivendell Theatre Ensemble seeks to deepen its mission, expand our audiences, and challenge ourselves. Over the course of the past twelve years, Rivendell has produced four world premieres, fourteen regional premieres, received four Equity Wing Joseph Jefferson Awards and eight nominations for artistic excellence.
Most notable productions include the critically acclaimed production of local playwright Anne McGravie's WRENS, the runaway hit Faulkner's Bicycle by Heather McDonald, the darkly hilarious Be Aggressive by Annie Weisman, and the gender-bending Medieval comedy Silence by Moira Buffini.
We strengthen our commitment to the exploration of the female experience by supporting women artists of all types. In addition to producing women playwrights on our main stage, Rivendell provides opportunities for women designers, actors, directors, technical and administrative staff throughout its programming. As we embark on a new chapter in Rivendell history – we break ground on a new, permanent home in Chicago’s north side this spring – it is not only the Rivendell story that continues, but that of the audiences and artists we serve.
Rivendell 2010- 2011 Season
News from the Stage!
Starting October 4th, Rivendell Theatre Ensemble invites you to post your favorite road trip photo to our Facebook page for a chance to win two tickets to 26 Miles, our upcoming co-production with Teatro Vista.
Each week, the cast of 26 Miles will pick two winners based on humor and originality. The grand prize – an ultimate car-care package – will be awarded at the end of the run. Please identify the location and share any funny details about the photo that might help you win. Extra points if your pic includes a buffalo!
So don’t wait: post your road trip pic right away for a chance to win, and purchase tickets to the show today!
We're proud to announce that three of the artists behind the RTE production of "Mary's Wedding" have been nominated for the 2010 Jeff Awards!
Please join us in congratulating our nominees:
- Victoria DeIorio (Sound Design, Midsize)
- Jaymi Lee Smith (Lighting Design, Midsize)
- Cassandra Bissell (Actress in a Principal Role, Play)
Thank you Toy, Jaymi, and Cassie for sharing your time and enormous talents with Rivendell!
A message from Tara Mallen, RTE's artistic director, about the August 12 performance of
"The Trojan Women Project":
"A huge thanks to the gifted, generous, phenomenal artists who braved the less-than-ideal conditions at the Firehouse (heat, filth, mosquitos, some truly bad smells) and fearlessly shared their stories in 'The Trojan Women Project.' I was truly moved and inspired by your work and hope you are as proud of the... result as I certainly am. My heartfelt appreciation and love to you all!"
The final performance of "Mary's Wedding" at Theatre On The Lake took place on the evening of July 25 — a gorgeous night enhanced by the full moon rising up over the lake. The actors' performances were riveting, funny, and heartbreaking, and the audience responded with plenty of laughs, tears, and a standing ovation at curtain call.
A huge thanks to Hallie, Krista, Maude, and their amazing team at Theatre On The Lake for helping us make this run a success. Be sure to catch "Ruby Sunrise" presented by The Gift Theatre Company, premiering at Theatre On The Lake on Wednesday, July 28!
Congratulations to RTE's Rachel Walsh, who has been named an inaugural recipient of The Claire Rosen and Samuel Edes Foundation Prize for Emerging Artists!
An aside: When we lived in Chicago we had a subscription to the Rivendell Theatre Ensemble. It's been impressive to have watch them grow, expand, and becoming a leader in new play development, a major port for new writers, and now offering a brick and mortar artistic home for women theater artists to develop their work.
Having just moved to NYC we are still adjusting to the choices we now have for attending theatrical productions from off off Broadway, to off Broadway to Broadway itself. We have made adjustments to our new life style and the opportunities that are available not only for theater, but also restaurants, cultural institutions and even shopping. One thing that hasn't changed is that I still order popular mens glasses from my favorite online glasses store, Eyeglasses.com. WHat has changed is I now can make a personal shopping or fitting reservation with an experienced optician at their convenient "Fit+Shop" located in the Chrysler Building. If you are looking for a specific eyeglasses frame or frame style, Eyeglasses.com customer service can search through their 200,000 frame virtual inventory to find the exact frame or similar frames and then ship them to the Fit+Shop so you can then try them on before purchasing. I've gone into the "Fit+Shop" location to get frames that I bought from them fitted. This is just one of many perks I have come to appreciate living in the Big Apple. But we haven't forgotten the Rivendell Theatre Ensemble. Whenever we are in Chicago for business or visiting friends we try to catch a preformance.
Rivendell Theatre Ensemble has a brand-new online home at http://rivendelltheatre.org
Be sure to visit us at the new site for all our latest announcements and production happenings.
Jane Baxter Miller has just finished recording a CD of her own country inspired music. CD Release Party will be January 23rd at The Hideout!
Mary Cross has lived in NYC since 2001 and is a member of The Production Company (in NY).
Victoria DeIorio was named head of Sound Design at DePaul University, just opened The Heavens are Hung in Black at Indiana Rep. Upcoming productions include: The Island at Remy Bumppo, Cassie's Chimera at Joe's Pub - The Public, NY, Working it Out at Center Stage in Baltimore, The Sweetest Swing in Baseball at Milwaukee Chamber Theatre, and American Fiesta at Renaissance TheatreWorks in Milwaukee.
Meighan Gerachis is currently filming "What's Wrong with Virginia," written and directed by Oscar Winner Dustin Lance Black.
Keith Kupferer is in High Holidays at the Goodman now and will be starring in Trust at Lookingglass Theater, directed by David Schwimmer, this spring.
Katherine Mallen Kupferer is walking, talking and learning to do Quickbooks.
Tara Mallen is busy learning how to juggle keeping Rivendell afloat and being a full time mom. She just filmed a commercial for Harris Bank.
Ashley Neal is currently playing Charlotte in Rivendell’s remount of These Shining Lives at the Raven Theater.
Rebekah Scallet was recently hired to be a teaching artist doing an in-school residency through Raven Theater.
Jaymi Lee Smith’s upcoming projects include Junie B. Jones at South Coast Repertory, Icarus at Lookingglass Theatre, and 39 Steps, Pride and Prejudice, and Great Expectations at Utah Shakespeare. She and her partner Kerri were one of the fortunate 18,000 couples to get legally married in the state of California prior to Proposition 8 passing.
Shera Street is the Associate Director of Project Management at the Adler Planetarium. Current projects include the Sky Theater renovation and production of a world premiere planetarium show to commemorate the reopening of Adler's iconic Sky Theater.
Mark Ulrich will be directing Mary's Wedding in January for RTE.
Rachel Walshe is currently directing the remount of These Shining Lives at the Raven Theater. She gave birth to baby Alice in the spring of 2009.
Megan Wilkerson is currently designing the sets for the Rogue Valley Opera’s production of The Marriage of Figaro.
Equal Employment Opportunity
Equal Employment Opportunity has been, and will continue to be, a fundamental principle at Rivendell, where employment is based upon personal capabilities and qualifications without discrimination because of race, color, age, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, marital status, citizenship, religion, disability, military status, creed, or any other trait or characteristic protected by law. This policy of Equal Employment Opportunity applies to all policies and procedures relating to recruitment and hiring, compensation, benefits, termination and all other terms and conditions of employment.
You may submit your play through a literary agent or accompanied by a letter of recommendation by a theater professional (i.e. an artistic director or literary manager at a professional theater).
If neither of these apply to you, you may write a letter of inquiry to Rachel Walshe, our literary manager, and submit a brief synopsis, and your resume. Should your materials interest us, we will contact you.
Email Rachel at email@example.com or post to
5775 N. Ridge Road #1
Chicago, IL 60660
Rivendell 2008- 2009 Season
These Shining Lives
by Melanie Marnich
directed by Rachel Walshe
January 7, 2009
Time Out Chicago / Issue 203 : Jan 15–21, 2009
These Shining Lives
Rivendell Theatre Ensemble at Raven Theatre. By Melanie Marnich. Dir. Rachel Walshe. With ensemble cast.
GREETING CARDS Rebecca Spence refuses to tip her hand.
Photo: Anthony Robert Lapenna
One might expect the joy of painting tiny numbers onto watch faces—a hand-done vocation for factory girls well into the 1930s—to quickly exhaust itself. Not so for Shining Lives’ peppy band of Depression-era working women. Newly liberated from the doldrums of domesticity, this motley quartet of coworkers builds a bustling life around its shared workstation in the Radium Dial factory. Yet the gaiety of newfound independence dissipates when the radioactive paint they use begins to wreak havoc on their health, forcing one woman into an arduous lawsuit against the Man.
Marnich, whose play premiered in D.C. last spring, has an ear for warm, natural dialogue that eschews snarky quips and truisms widespread in less authentic scripts set in the same period (“We’re on Easy Street, I tell ya” jars as a notable exception). Though never transcendent, the play’s linguistic honesty satisfies, as does its even more refreshing ability to finish up just as it veers into Ken Burnsian, triumphalist schmaltz. Each member of Rivendell’s ensemble adds beautifully to the pathos. As reserved moralist Frances, Jessie Fisher proves particularly illuminating; few actors could speak such volumes while portraying a persnickety introvert.
Jessica Kuehnau’s set provides a touch of its own storytelling. Early on, when the going’s still good, the ladies dash out one afternoon for a beach romp. Even in their revelry, though, they sit surrounded by Kuehnau’s beautiful but claustrophobic world of steeply angled wooden beams, overused household heirlooms and constantly ticking timepieces. The scenery never releases these allegedly free women from its grasp: Kuehnau’s astute work takes Marnich’s script and spins the yarn yet further.
— Christopher Shea
by Lisa Dillman
April 8, 2009
Fresh Produce 2009
The Green Room Blog Posts
Behind the Scenes with Rivendell Theatre Ensemble
Rivendell 2007- 2008 Season
Elliot, A Soldier's Fugue by Quiara Alegria Hudes May 23 – June 10, 2007
“Highly Recommended. An exceptionally fine play, which received its Midwest premiere this weekend in a first-rate production…which unspools in just 80 perfect minutes. "
- Hedy Weiss, Chicago Sun-TimesThis fall, Rivendell was delighted to return to the Steppenwolf garage, as part of the Steppenwolf Visiting Company Initiative, with the Jeff Recommended, critically acclaimed co-production (with Chicago's premiere Latino theater ensemble, Teatro Vista), of Elliot, A Soldier's Fugue , a play which traces the legacy of war through three generations of a Puerto Rican family. Based on our success with the production, six members of the ensemble have been invited to travel to upstate New York to restage the production in association with a small professional theatre called Stageworks/Hudson as part of their 2007 summer season.
The Walls by Lisa Dillman A New Play Commission OngoingOver the past year and a half, Ms. Dillman has been creating a new play in collaboration with and specifically for RTE which explores women and mental illness and the perceived link between madness and creativity. The ensemble will continue working on The Walls during Fresh Produce this season and plan on mounting a fully realized production within the next year to be directed by About Face's Associate Artistic Director, Megan Carney.
Fresh Produce, A Celebration of New Plays by Women June 11 – July 8, 2007
American Theatre Company, Chicago ILFulfilling our mission of supporting women artists and bringing female stories to life on stage, Rivendell host our second annual women's playwriting festival. Fresh Produce will offer three groundbreaking projects initiated by women performers, directors, and writers, further development in a series of highly focused workshops. Projects selected are: On Clarion by Lydia Stryk; Flesh and the Desert by Carson Kreitzer; Stigmata by RTE ensemble member Victoria DeIorio and The Walls by Lisa Dillman in collaboration with Rivendell Theatre Ensemble. The festival will feature a weeklong rehearsal process on each work-in-progress. Each project will culminate in a workshop performance or sharing -- free and open to the public. There will be a suggested donation of $10 for the public readings and each will offer an opportunity for a moderated dialogue with the audience.
The 365 Plays/365 Days Project Thursday June 28, 2007
Venue: TBDRivendell Theatre Ensemble is delighted to participate in this year long national festival of plays written by Pulitzer-winner Suzan - Lori Parks festival and infuse the plays with our unique salon style presentation. Various members of our award winning ensemble will direct and perform the seven short plays assigned to RTE. The salon presentation will be accompanied by discussions with the ensemble as well as members of local community organizations.
The Mercury 13 Project: A New Play Commission August 2007 - ongoingUsing the unique collaborative process we developed working on The Walls , Rivendell is beginning work on our next project, creating a stage adaptation based on the book The Mercury 13: The Untold Story of 13 American Women and the Dream of Space Flight . Our project will shed light on the barriers women faced and the persistence and commitment of an earlier generation of women who worked hard to open up doors for all women today. The ensemble will commission a playwright this spring to begin working with the ensemble. The company plans on a long term commitment to the project and will support further development throughout the year with a mind towards a fully realized production in the future.
Mainstage Production #1 October 2007
Rivendell will kick-off our 2007-2008 season with a fully realized mainstage production. Since plans for our current space indicate it will not be ready to utilize until January 2008, we are currently seeking a venue to work in collaboration with director Edward Sobel (Steppenwolf's literary manager and director of RTE projects Faulkner's Bicycle , Self Defense and Be Aggressive ) Plays under consideration for this slot are:
Mainstage Production #2 January 2008
at Rivendell Theatre Ensemble permanent residence 5775 North Ridge, Chicago
Rivendell is planning to open our brand new venue with a world premiere production of a play that is alignment with our mission, to explore the unique challenges women face and features the work of several ensemble members. Plays under consideration for this slot are:
Fresh Produce, A Celebration of New Plays by Women April 2008
at Rivendell Theatre Ensemble permanent residence 5775 North Ridge, ChicagoFulfilling our mission of supporting women artists and bringing female stories to life on stage, Rivendell will again offer a month long workshop series of new plays by women. The program focus on three new works in progress which will rehearse for a one to two week process with the playwright, director, dramaturg, and professional cast.
The Fairy Queen by Myra Paci June 2008
at Rivendell Theatre Ensemble permanent residence 5775 North Ridge, ChicagoIn June of 2008, RTE will produce the World Premiere of Myra Paci's stunning new play, The Fairy Queen featuring internationally acclaimed actress and founder of NYC's Mabou Mines Ruth Maleczech, who will be performing alongside several members from RTE's ensemble.
Rivendell 2005 2006 Season
|Slip into your jeans, pull on your cowboy boots, and prepare to do-si-do - it’s the BLUE JEAN BALL, Benefiting Rivendell Theatre Ensemble
FOOD - DRINKS - DANCING - LIVE BAND - RAFFLE - AUCTION
Thursday, June 2, 2005 from 6-10 pm
at the Three Arts Club
1300 N. Dearborn, Chicago
Attire: Blue Jeans. Cowboy Boots. Summer Cocktail.
Admission: Early $50.00 Late $60.00 (after May 27th)
6 pm - Cocktails & Silent Auction
7 pm - Dinner Buffet & Entertainment
8:30 pm - Square Dancing and Raffle
June 11 - 21, 2006
Over a two week period, three projects initiated by women theater artists will be further developed through a series of highly focused, dynamic and collaborative workshops that will culminate in opportunities for the artists to formally present their work.
All readings will be held at the Victory Gardens Theater Upstairs Studio—2257 North Lincoln Avenue