Mary's Wedding

By Stephen Massicotte

Directed by Mark Ulrich

January 17 – March 6, 2010

When Mary and Charlie unexpectedly find one another sheltering in a barn during a thunderstorm, a tentative first love is born. However, the year is 1914, and Mary and Charlie must surrender their love and their fate to the uncertainties of a world on the brink of war.


Theater on the Lake
(2401 N. Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, IL)

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Cassandra Bissell as Mary

Member of Actors' Equity Association

Cassandra is honored and excited to be appearing for her first time at RTE in this lovely play. She appeared most recently in Around the World in 80 Days at Peninsula Players of Door Co., WI, where previous credits include The Lady’s Not for Burning, Greetings, Doubt, Red Herring, Proof, Caught in the Net, and A Man for All Seasons. Earlier this year she appeared at The Chicago Theatre in the world premiere of The Quiet Man Tales. Elsewhere in Chicago, Cassandra has appeared at Chicago Shakespeare Theater in King John, The Tempest, Richard II, and Short Shakespeare! productions of Macbeth and Romeo and Juliet; at Court Theatre in Arcadia and Hamlet; at Victory Gardens in Memory House; at Next Theatre Co. in Measure for Measure and In the Blood; at Shakespeare on the Green in Othello; and at Steppenwolf Theatre Co. in The Berlin Circle. Also in Chicago, CollaborAction’s Sketchbook 6, and two performances of her own stories as part of Serendipity’s 2nd Story at Webster’s Wine Bar. Regionally, Cassandra appeared in the 2005 Humana Festival of New American Plays at Actors’ Theatre of Louisville in the world-premiere of Memory House; the National Endowment for the Arts’ “Shakespeare in American Communities” initiative with Chicago Shakespeare Theatre’s production of Romeo and Juliet which performed throughout the Midwest and South; and Cleveland Play House in Noises Off and Pride and Prejudice. She holds a degree in Gender Studies from the University of Chicago and is a proud member of Actors’ Equity Association. Cassandra dedicates this performance to the memory of Charles Horecker.

Shane Kenyon as Charlie

Shane is excited to make his Rivendell Theatre debut in Mary’s Wedding. He is a local Chicago actor who recently graduated with a BFA in Acting from the Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University. He most recently appeared at The Side Project in their production of Rewind. His previous credits include understudy for Dublin Carol (Steppenwolf Theatre Co.), Dead Man’s Cell Phone, Betrayal, and Last of the Boys (Steppenwolf Theatre Co.), Our Father, Scenes From the Big Picture (Seanachai Theatre Co.), True West, St. Scarlet (American Theatre Co.), Eurydice (Victory Gardens), The Tempest (First Folio Shakes. Festival), and God’s Country, Inspecting Carol (CCPA). His film credits include: Dog Jack and The Kari Files. Shane would like to thank his family for all their constant love and support throughout the years.


Stephen Massicotte

Stephen Massicotte (born April 18, 1969 in Trenton, Ontario) is a Canadian playwright, screenwriter and actor from Calgary, Alberta. Although he had written several autobiographical pieces that had won awards at various Fringe festivals, Mary’s Wedding was his first full-length, fictional play. He started out to write a play about the First World War and specifically the Strathcona Regiment’s heroic charge on Moreuil Wood – however, the love story of Charlie and Mary closely mirrored personal events in his own life. He found that he was inserting lines that he and his own girlfriend had exchanged during the course of their relationship. As a result of the intensity of that relationship, the love story became the heart of the play with the tragedy of the Great War as the backdrop.


Director — Mark Ulrich

Rivendell Theatre Ensemble; Member of Actors' Equity Association

Mark Ulrich has been a Rivendell Theatre Ensemble member since 2008. RTE acting credits include Silence; the Ottawa, Illinois, production of These Shining Lives, the Jeff-nominated The Walls, Falling: A Wake, and American Wee Pie. Mark worked as assistant director on Rivendell's Psalms Of A Questionable Nature, and he directed their Jeff Award- and After Dark Award-winning Mary's Wedding. Mark has appeared locally at The Goodman, Northlight, Writer's Theatre, and Chicago Dramatists, among others. This year Mark directed A.R. Gurney's Sylvia, at Millwaukee's Next Act Theatre. There, he also appeared in their production of Vigil. Mark appeared in Abigail's Party at A Red Orchid Theatre, Mariela in the Desert, and The Sins of Sor Juana at The Goodman, The Book Thief and How Long Will I Cry at Steppenwolf, and A View From the Bridge at Teatro Vista.


Assistant Director — Tara Mallen

Rivendell Theatre Ensemble; Member of Actors' Equity Association

Tara Mallen is an actor, director, and the Producing Artistic Director at Rivendell Theatre Ensemble. Most recently she was seen on stage in Rivendell Theatre Ensemble’s Jeff Nominated world premiere production of Rasheeda Speaking. Prior to that she appeared in Steppenwolf’s production of How Long Will I Cry: Stories of Youth Violence written by Chicago Journalist Miles Harvey. She performed in the Midwest premiere of Catherine Trieschmann’s Crooked, and in the Steppenwolf Garage as part of the ensemble in Rivendell’s World Premiere, Jeff nominated production of The Walls. Tara played Jolene Palmer, inspired by the true-life story of Aileen Wuornos, in Rivendell’s award winning production of Self Defense, or the Death of Some Salesmen also at Steppenwolf Garage. (Both productions part of Steppenwolf Theatre Company’s Visiting Theater Initiative).  She received a Joseph Jefferson award for Best 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 Best Actress in a Principal Role for her work in My Simple City.

Her screen credits include Steven Soderbergh’s film Contagion opposite Kate Winslet , the Starz series Boss starring Kelsey Grammer, the NBC pilot of Chicago Fire, the CBS/Sony Pictures pilot Doubt,  the NBC series Chicago P.D. and the new Netflix series Sense8 directed by Lana and Andy Wachowski.

With Rivendell, Tara conceived and directed the world premiere of Women At War,  directed the Jeff nominated Midwest premieres of The Electric Baby, 26 Miles (in co-production with Teatro Vista); Fighting Words; Psalms of a Questionable Nature; the co-production of Elliot, a Soldier’s Fugue with Stageworks/Hudson in Hudson, NY; and the brief and brilliant Shady Meadows by Lisa Dillman as part of the 2007 Chicago Humanities Festival.

Scenic Design — Elvia Moreno

Rivendell Theatre Ensemble

Elvia Moreno has done scenic design for Rivendell’s productions of Mary's Wedding, The Walls, Fighting Words, Silence, Indulgences in the Louisville Harem, The Trestle at Pope Lick Creek, The Factory Girls, Holy Days, Mommapalooza! and WRENS; the Rivendell/Powertap production of Hamlet; Powertap’s Mr. Roberts; Blue, White and Blood Red at Chase Park Theater; and The Lightkeepers for the Bailiwick’s Pride Series. During the day, Elvia is a professional architect.

Associate Scenic Design and Properties — Maria Defabo

Rivendell Theatre Ensemble; Member of Actors' Equity Association

Maria is so grateful to be working with such an amazing group of people. Some of her favorite credits include Props Master for Oedipus and Frankenstein with The Hypocrites; Six Degrees of Separation and A Song for Coretta, Eclipse Theatre Company; and Taming of the Shrew, Theo Ubique. She was also Assistant Props Master for Once on this Island and Singing in the Rain and a properties artisan for Evita and Oklahoma! at the Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma City. Maria is currently a student at Loyola University Chicago focusing on the scenic and property elements of theatre. She has much appreciation for her family and friends for supporting her through her theatrical endeavors.

Lighting Design — Jaymi Lee Smith

Rivendell Theatre Ensemble; Member of USA829

Jaymi Lee Smith has been doing lighting design throughout the country for the last fourteen years at theaters such as Hartford Stage, Milwaukee Repertory, San Jose Repertory, Steppenwolf, Utah Shakespeare, The Goodman, Northlight, The Alliance, Victory Gardens, South Coast Repertory, Marin Theatre, The Getty Villa, Milwaukee Shakespeare, Irish Repertory, The Boston Court, and of course Rivendell, to name a few. Her designs for Rivendell have included The Trestle at Popelick Creek; Be Aggressive; Silence; Knowing Cairo; Elliot, A Soldier's Fugue and Mary's Wedding. Her work has been seen in thirty-four cities nationwide as well as in Ireland, Scotland, Spain, Italy and China. She was the 2003 recipient of the Michael Merrit/ Michael Maggio Emerging Designer Award and recently won a 2010 Jeff Award for the design of Mary's Wedding. In addition to theatre, she has also designed lighting for private residences, restaurants and special events. Jaymi is in her fourth year as Professor at the University of California, Irvine. Latest projects have included The 39 Steps, Pride & Prejudice and Great Expectations at Utah Shakespeare, Futura at the Theatre at the Boston Court, Mauritius at Pasadena Playhouse; Icarus at Lookingglass Theatre; and Ready, Set, Dead at the Shanghai Theatre Academy in China. Upcoming projects include Lucky Duck at South Coast Repertory; Orlando at The Court Theatre; Noises Off, The Glass Menagerie, and The Music Man at Utah Shakespeare; and Moonlight & Magnolias at The Clarence Brown. She and her partner Kerri live in Los Angeles with their two dogs Beckett and Scout.

Associate Lighting Design — Jill Norris

Jill attended DePaul University, where she received her BFA in Lighting Design. She designed Othello and Tokoloshe at the Merle Reskin. Some of Jill's other designs include Macbeth and Swan at Athenaeum Studio 3, Intimate Apparel and Cabaret at Chicago Academy for the Arts, Two Rooms at Steep Theater, Jeffery at Stage Left, Love! Valour! Compassion! and Five Women Wearing the Same Dress at The Center on Halsted for Hubris Productions, Drunkard for Quest, and A Christmas Carol with Provision this last winter. As well as designing, Jill has assisted lighting designers at Lookingglass, The Goodman, and The Museum of Science and industry. Jill is an electrician at American Girl Place for the American Girl Review. She works on the Operations team at The Center on Halsted working in the theater and on other events in the center. She was also an intern at Animated Lighting in the summer of '04 and Theater Projects Consultants in the winter of '06.

Costume Design — Janice Pytel

Member of USA829

Janice Pytel has been living and working in the Chicago area since she moved here to attend Lake Forest College in 1989. She also attended Northwestern University from 1993-1996, finally earning her MFA in costume design in 1999. Over the years she has worked with dozens of theatre companies in various capacities, including brief stints as a stage manager and in a box office. Janice was the costume shop manager for Steppenwolf Theatre from 1996-2002, and also worked briefly at the Court Theatre while she was transitioning into full-time freelance costume design. She’s been living the freelance dream (sometimes a nightmare) since 2004. For Rivendell Theatre Ensemble she has designed costumes for Falling: A WakePrecious Little,  Psalms of a Questionable Nature and Mary’s Wedding. Additional costume design credits include: Broadway: 33 Variations; I Am My Own Wife. Chicago: The Long Red Road (Goodman Theatre); The Seafarer, Sonia FlewThe Last of the Boys, The Pain and the Itch, and The Drawer Boy (Steppenwolf Theatre); The Caretaker, The Detective's Wife, A Streetcar Named Desire, and Picnic (Writers’ Theatre);  Our Town (Lookingglass Theatre Company);   Fences and  Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (Court Theatre); Pulp (About Face Theatre). Regional: The Farnsworth Invention (Alley Theatre); Winesburg, Ohio (Kansas City Rep); The Glass Menagerie (Kansas City Rep.); 33 Variations (Arena Stage and La Jolla Playhouse); Lombardi: the Only Thing (Madison Rep.); Rembrandt’s Gift (Madison Rep.); Agnes of God (Indiana Rep.). Los Angeles: The Seafarer (Geffen Playhouse). Multi Media: Catherine Sullivan’s Triangle of Need (Walker Art Center, Vizcaya Musuem and Gardens, Metro Pictures Gallery). Janice has designed costumes for over a dozen world-premieres, and as a result has become interested in new play development. She is very excited to be one of the newest members of Rivendell Theatre Ensemble and to embark on this new phase in her career.

Original Music and Sound Design — Victoria DeIorio

Rivendell Theatre Ensemble; Member of USA829

Victoria (toy) DeIorio is a founding member of RTE. She began her Rivendell career as an actor in WRENS, Holy Days (performing US), Factory Girls (performing US), and the staged reading of On Clarion.

Her sound design for RTE productions include: Holy Days; Ghosts in the Cottonwoods; The Clink; Factory Girls; Faulkner’s Bicycle; Silence; Knowing Cairo; Expecting Isabel; Fighting Words; the NY version of Elliot, a Soldier’s Fugue; Mary’s Wedding (Jeff Award), Rasheeda Speaking, Eat Your Heart Out, and WOMEN AT WAR.

Combining her previous careers in acting and songwriting, Victoria Deiorio is a critically acclaimed sound designer and composer for theatre, based in Chicago. With a BFA in Musical Theatre from Syracuse University, and studying classical acting in London at RADA and LAMDA, she transitioned from the performance a rtistry to the technical. She has also written a couple plays and musicals, directed a few along the way, production managed, and produced theatre.

Her compositions and sound design have been heard in many theatres over the past 18

Off-Broadway sound design: A Christmas Carol (St. Clements); Two Point Oh with Active Theatre (Primary Stages); Arnie the Doughnut at the NYMTF (The Pearl); Cassie’s Chimera at Joe’s Pub (The Public); The Bluest Eye with Steppenwolf (The Duke Theatre); Ophelia at the NYC Fringe Fest (The Connelly); The God of Hell at the Actor’s Studio (Associate); Dedication or the Stuff of Dreams at Primary Stages (Associate); Live Girls at Urban Stages (Associate); Luminescence Dating at Ensemble Studio Theatre (Associate); and Boy at Primary Stages (Associate).

Regionally she has worked with Oregon Shakespeare Festival, The Goodman, Steppenwolf Theatre, Victory Gardens, Northlight Theatre, LA Theatre Works, CenterStage Baltimore, Indiana Repertory, Syracuse Stage, Cleveland Playhouse, Chautauqua Theatre Company, Maltz Jupiter Theatre, Florida Stage, Milwaukee Chamber Theatre, First Stage Milwaukee, Milwaukee Shakespeare, Renaissance TheatreWorks, Peninsula Players, Milwaukee Rep, Birmingham Childrens’ Theatre, People’s Light and Theatre, and Geva Theatre.

In Chicago she has designed productions with Writers’ Theatre, The Next Theatre, Remy Bumppo, Lifeline, Light Opera Works, and many other storefront theatres. She is an artistic associate with The Next Theatre and a member of Lifeline Theatre.

She directed Skin Tight with COR theatre; Falling: A Wake with Rivendell Theatre Ensemble; Mami, Where’d My O Go with COR theatre; Stigmata (which she also wrote) for RTE's Fresh Produce; a staged reading of Night Light by Robert Smith; Sunday on the Rocks with Second Sex at Bailiwick Theatre; 365 Days, 365 Plays - Week 19 and The True Story of the Three Little Pigs! at Lifeline Theatre.

She composed Dirty Cowboy (with follow RTE ensemble member Jane Baxter Miller) and Flight of the Dodo – 2 children’s musicals for Lifeline Theatre.

She is the first woman to have been nominated for 11 Joseph Jefferson Awards - winning 6 - and she has received 2 After Dark Awards. Victoria is the head of Sound Design at DePaul University.

And she's produced 2 CD's of original music with her band ToyBand.

Stage Manager — Stephanie Hurovitz

Rivendell Theatre Ensemble; Member of Actors' Equity Association

Stephanie Hurovitz has been stage managing in Chicago since 2003 and she is very happy to have a home with Rivendell Theatre Ensemble. She stage managed the extension of Rivendell’s Eat Your Heart Out (2014); as well as the full productions of American Wee Pie (2013); Wrens (2012); Crooked (2012); Falling: A Wake (2012); Precious Little (2011); Mary’s Wedding (2010); The Walls (2009); These Shining Lives (all four incarnations, 2008-2010); and assistant stage managed Rivendell’s co-production of Elliot, A Soldier’s Fugue (2006) with Teatro Vista at the Steppenwolf Garage. She most recently stage managed the Jeff Award Winning production of A View From the Bridge with Teatro Vista (2014), and is preparing to begin rehearsals with TV once again, for Between You, Me, and The Lampshade.  Other recent credits outside of Rivendell include: Remy Bumppo’s An Inspector Calls (2013-14), The Runaway Circus’ Overcome (2013); 3 Squares Production’s Lipstick Goes on Last (2013); Teatro Vista’s world premier of i put the fear of mexico in ‘em (2012). She has also worked with: SuzBo Productions (a staged reading of One Is One; Two Is Math at Steppenwolf); Route 66 Theatre Company (A Twist of Water); Pegasus Players; Lifeline Theatre (Lyle, Lyle Crocodile; The True Story of the Three Little Pigs!; Gaudy Night; Giggle, Giggle Quack; A Long Way From Chicago; and Deep In The Jungle); Bailiwick Reparatory (Sunday on the Rocks) and ASM (Naked Boys Singing); Theatre Building Chicago, where she worked with Hancock Productions (The Brother and ‘Night Mother); Walk-About Theatre Company, in conjunction with Lookingglass (The Coast of Chicago); Collaboraction Theatre Company (Casanova); the (since re-named) International Theatre of Chicago (Safe); Brown Couch Theatre Company (Tempting Fate and Defying Gravity); Reverie Theatre Company (All’s Well That Ends Well); and (since-dissolved) Pywackett Theatre Company (Misery).

Assistant Stage Manager — Joy Camarena

Joy is currently a sophomore in the creative writing program at Columbia College. She was part of Harold Washington Library's Reader's Theatre Troupe for two years. She’s been an intern with Rivendell for five months now. Mary’s Wedding is her first professional theater engagement and she’s thrilled about it!

Production Manager — Patrick Fries

Pat Fries is perhaps the most handsome Rivendell Ensemble Member. Pat has production-managed the RTE productions of These Shining Lives, The Walls, Mary's Wedding, and 26 Miles. Previous credits include The UN Inspector, Dying City, Boom, End Days, War With The Newts, The Piano Teacher, and Madagascar (Next Theatre); Generic Latina 2010 and Lunatic(a)s (Teatro Luna); and Welcome Yule! 2009 and 2010 (Chicago Symphony Orchestra).

Dramaturg/Marketing — Caitlin Kunkel

Caitlin is very happy to be continuing her work at Rivendell after being a part of the remount of These Shining Lives. She received her MFA in Writing for the Screen and Stage from Northwestern University in 2009.

Associate Dramaturg & Lobby Display — Ann Shanahan

Anne has worked as dramaturg on Appletree Theatre’s productions of Third directed by Sarah Gabel and the remount of The Mistress Cycle at the Auditorium Theatre, directed by Kurt Johns, as well as the original Chicago and nationally touring productions of Angels in America Parts 1 and 2 directed by Michael Meyer, amongst others. Ann is an Assistant Professor of Theatre at Loyola University Chicago, where she teaches acting and directing. She worked previously with Rivendell on her adaptation of Room(s) for the Fresh Produce Summer Salon at Piper Hall, home of the Gannon Center for Women and Leadership, through which Ann was a faculty fellow for 2009. Her project, entitled A Room of One’s Own: Women, Creative Leadership, and Home, explores the role of home and houses in women’s creative lives. Ann holds an M.F. A. in Directing from Northwestern University. Her professional directing credits include: The Vagabond and The Turn of the Screw for City Lit Theatre, and Lies and Legends, Wasp, Warrior, and The Living for Buffalo Theatre Ensemble where she will direct On Golden Pond this spring. In addition, she has directed numerous productions at the university and college level in the Chicago area. Favorites include Ibsen's Ghosts, A Doll’s House and Hedda Gabler, Brecht's Mother Courage, an original adaptation of Charlotte Perkins Gillman’s The Yellow Wallpaper, Loves’ Labours’ Lost and Maria Irene Fornes' Fefu and her Friends and Abingdon Square.

Box Office Manager — Trisha Hooper

Trisha has worked with RTE for the past three years. Her official title is Artistic Administrator, but she has worked on everything from grant writing to casting to managing the box office. Trisha graduated from Loyola University Chicago with a degree in English and has also worked at American Players Theatre in Spring Green, WI.