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
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
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 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.
Regular Run: $38
Student, Senior, Active Military, Veteran
Regular Run: $28
Pay What You Can: Five seats (10% of the house) are available for each performance. Reservations are made on a first come, first served basis.
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.
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