Rivendell Theatre Ensemble (RTE), Chicago’s only Equity theatre dedicated to producing new work with women at the core, presents the world premiere of Laura and the Sea by Kate Tarker, directed by Devon de Mayo. Laura and the Sea, an unhappy comedy, runs October 25 – December 8, 2019 at Rivendell Theatre Ensemble, 5779 N. Ridge Avenue in Chicago.
It’s company outing day, and Laura, one of the top travel agents of her generation, is having the best/worst day of her life. So much so that she decides to end it all. Afterward, her colleagues try to piece things together on a memorial blog, but how do you mourn someone you didn’t know that well? A comedy about depression, or: a treatise on travel agents who don’t travel.
“Laura and the Sea is truly one of the funniest and yet quietly devastating plays I have ever read. I fell in love with the flawed and totally relatable characters that Kate has drawn, and so enjoy how the play delves into our rarely-examined relationships at our jobs—the people we work with every day, spend so much of our time with—yet sometimes don't really know at all. Collaborating with Kate on this quirky and structurally innovative world premiere with Devon de Mayo (director of RTE’s Scientific Method and VG’s If I Forget) at the helm, presents an exciting challenge and we cannot wait to begin the process!,” comments Artistic Director Tara Mallen.
The cast includes RTE members Tara Mallen (Laura), Mark Ulrich (Jack) and Paula Ramirez (Mary) with Jordan Arredondo (Joe) and Alex Gillmor (Stan).
The creative team reunites designers from last season’s Scientific Method, Heather Sparling (lighting design) and Tony Churchill (projections) with Courtney O’Neill (scenic).
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.
ABOUT THE ARTISTS
Kate Tarker’s plays include THUNDERBODIES (Soho Rep., NYTimes Unforgettable Theater Moments of 2018), Dionysus Was Such a Nice Man (The Wilma), and Laura and the Sea (2016 Kilroys list; finalist: 2016 L. Arnold Weissberger Award, Princess Grace Award, and Relentless Award).
Her works have been developed at The Lark, The Vineyard, Rattlestick, The Wilma, Ars Nova, NYTW, Magic Theatre, Cutting Ball, the Playwrights’ Center, Theatre503, and The O’Neill, among others. She is the recipient of a Jerome Fellowship, The Vineyard’s Paula Vogel Playwriting Award, the National Science Playwriting Award, Theater Masters’ Visionary Playwright Award, a PWCenter/NET Ensemble Collaboration Grant, and she has been featured twice on the Kilroys List. Residencies: Tofte Lake Center, SPACE at Ryder Farm, and two-time MacDowell Colony Fellow. Alum of Ars Nova Play Group, New Georges Jam, and Playwrights’ Center Core Writer. Tarker has also collaborated with Pig Iron and SITI Company Conservatory, and currently holds commissions from Theater Masters, Soho Rep., and Playwrights Horizons. MFA Yale. She teaches at Wesleyan, University of the Arts, PlayPenn, and Playwrights’ Center. She holds an MFA from Yale. Kate lives in Brooklyn.
Devon de Mayo directed the world premiere of Scientific Method by Jenny Connell Davis for Rivendell Theatre Ensemble. Other Directing credits include: If I Forget (Victory Gardens Theatre); First Love is the Revolution (Steep Theatre); Women Laughing Alone With Salad (Theatre Wit); The Burn (Steppenwolf Theatre), Harvey (Court Theatre), Sycamore (Raven Theatre), You on the Moors Now (The Hypocrites), Animals Out of Paper (Shattered Globe Theatre), You Can’t Take it With You, and Lost in Yonkers (Northlight Theatre), Jet Black Chevrolet (side project); Compulsion and Everything is Illuminated (Next); Roadkill Confidential, The Further Adventures of Hedda Gabler, and Clouds (Dog & Pony). Directing and devising credits: Don’t Look Back/Must Look Back (Pivot Arts); Guerra: A Clown Play (La Piara, Mexico); The Whole World is Watching, As Told by the Vivian Girls and The Twins Would Like to Say (Dog & Pony). She received her MFA from Middlesex University in London and did further studies at the Russian Academy of Dramatic Arts in Moscow and the Indonesian Institute for the Arts in Bali, Indonesia.
Fact Sheet Laura and the Sea
Title: Laura and the Sea
Written by: Kate Tarker
Directed by: Devon de Mayo
Featuring: RTE members Tara Mallen (Laura), Mark Ulrich (Jack) and Paula Ramirez (Mary ) with Jordan Arredondo (Joe) and Alex Gilmoor (Stan).
Creative Team: Heather Sparling (lighting design), Tony Churchill (projections), Courtney O’Neill (scenic), Skyler Gray (dramaturg) and Catherine Allen (production manager).
Previews: October 25-November 2, 2019
Friday, October 25 at 8PM
Saturday, October 26 at 8PM
Sunday, October 27 at 3PM
Thursday, October 31 at 8PM
Friday, November 1 at 8PM
Saturday, November 2 at 8PM
Gala Opening: Sunday, November 3, 2019 at 6PM
Press Opening: Monday, November 4, 2019 at 7PM
Regular Run: November 7-December 8, 2019
Schedule: Thursdays - Saturdays at 8:00pm; Saturdays at 4:00pm
Additional performance on Sunday, November 24 at 3pm with exclusive pre-show champagne brunch
Town Hall Discussions will follow select Saturday 4:00pm 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
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.
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