Precious Little

Rivendell Theatre Ensemble in association with Chicago DCA Theater proudly presents the world premiere

By Madeleine George
Directed by Julieanne Ehre
(Goodman TCG Fellow)

March 1 – April 2, 2011

Presented by Special Arrangement with The Gersh Agency (41 Madison Ave., 33rd Floor, New York, NY 10010)

In Precious Little, Brodie, a forty-something linguist, learns that the child she’s carrying has a genetic abnormality. Through her relationships with several unlikely confidants — her much younger girlfriend, an elderly speaker of a dying language she’s studying, and a gorilla at the zoo — Brodie struggles to decide whether or not to keep the baby who may or may not ever learn how to speak.

Playwright Madeleine George weaves humor, irony and memorable characters into a story that explores the beauty and limits of language.

Location:
DCA Storefront Theater (66 E. Randolph Street, Chicago, IL)

Performances:
Thursdays – Saturdays at 7:30pm / Saturday Matinees at 3pm

Tickets:
General Admission: $25 / Seniors and Students: $15
Previews (3/1, 3/2): $15

All tickets are available by clicking here, calling 312.742.TIXS (8497), or stopping by the DCA Box Office in the Chicago Cultural Center at 78 E. Washington Street (open Tuesday through Saturday, noon to 6 pm and Sundays, noon to 4 pm).

Press Release:  Click Here

CAST

Marilyn Dodds Frank as Woman A

Member of Actors' Equity Association

Broadway: Superior Donuts; Lincoln Center Theatre: The Clean House. Chicago: productions with Steppenwolf, Goodman, Victory Gardens, Lookingglass, Shaw Chicago, A Red Orchid, Court, Latino Chicago, Teatro Vista, Remains, Next, New Criminals, Piven. New York: En Garde Arts, La Mama. Los Angeles: Actor’s Gang, Padua Playwrights Ensemble.

Premieres of four plays written and directed by Maria Irene Fornes. Movies with Judd Apatow, Robert Altman, Stephen Frears, Michael Apted, Joel Schumacher, among others. Dedicated to Agnes Dodds and Morton Frank.

Meighan Gerachis as Woman B

Rivendell Theatre Ensemble; Member of Actors' Equity Association

Meighan Gerachis has been a company member since 1996. She has performed in Ten Tiny Fingers, Nine Tiny Toes; WRENS; My Simple City; Mommapalooza!; The Factory Girls; Indulgences in the Louisville Harem; Elliot, A Soldier's Fugue; and RTE’S Jeff-nominated world-premiere production of The Walls. Meighan was also seen at the Chicago Humanities Festival in (fellow ensemble member) Lisa Dillman's Shady Meadows. She filmed What's Wrong with Virginia, written and directed by Oscar-winner Dustin Lance Black. Meighan is currently performing in the RTE world-premiere of Madeleine George's Precious Little at the Storefront Theatre.

Kathy Logelin as Woman C

Rivendell Theatre Ensemble; Member of Actors' Equity Association

Kathy Logelin joined Rivendell Theatre Ensemble in the spring of 2010 after appearing in the Rivendell's 2009 remount of These Shining Lives. Recent Rivendell credits include the world premiere of Precious Little, as well as the These Shining Lives remount in Ottawa, IL. Kathy has been an actor in Chicago since 1998. Other Chicago credits include Betrayal with Oak Park Festival Theatre; The Last Days of Judas Iscariot with The Gift Theatre and Victory Gardens; Cadillac with Chicago Dramatists; and Widowers' Houses with Timeline Theatre Co. Regionally Kathy has done five seasons with the Illinois Shakespeare Festival including The Three Musketeers, The Merry Wives of Windsor, Romeo and Juliet, The Taming of the Shrew, and All's Well That Ends Well, as well as Mauritius at TheatreSquared in Fayetteville, Arkansas, and Macbeth at the Notre Dame Shakespeare Festival. Kathy is also a dialect coach and recently worked with Remy Bumppo, Mary-Arrchie, Strawdog and Idle Muse Theatre Co. Kathy holds a B.S. in Acting from Illinois State University.

PLAYWRIGHT

Madeleine George

Madeleine George's plays have been produced and developed by 13P, Clubbed Thumb, Soho Rep, Playwrights Horizons, About Face Theatre, Two River Theater, New York Theatre Workshop, The Playwrights' Center/Guthrie Theater, and the O'Neill Playwrights Conference, among other places. Precious Little, first developed in the Clubbed Thumb Summerworks series, will also be produced by Cornell University's Schwartz Center for the Performing Arts in Ithaca and City Theatre in Pittsburgh this spring. Madeleine has received a MacDowell Fellowship, the Princess Grace Playwriting Award, a Manhattan Theatre Club Playwriting Fellowship, and the Jane Chambers Award. She is a resident playwright at New Dramatists, an alum of the Soho Rep Writer/Director lab and the Lark Playwrights' Workshop, and a founding member of the Obie Award-winning playwrights' collective 13P (Thirteen Playwrights, Inc.). She lives in Brooklyn.

PRODUCTION

Producers — Tara Mallen and Mary Cross

Rivendell Theatre Ensemble; Member of Actors' Equity Association

An actor, director and producer, Tara is a founding member and the Artistic Director for Rivendell Theatre Ensemble. Most recently, she was seen in Rivendell’s Jeff Nominated production of CROOKED in Rivendell's brand new theater in Edgewater.

Tara also performed in the RTE Jeff Nominated productions of THE WALLS and SELF DEFENSE, OR THE DEATH OF SOME SALESMEN (both part of Steppenwolf Theatre Company’s Visiting Theater Initiative). The cast of SELF DEFENSE was also honored with a 2005 After Dark award for Best Ensemble. Also for Rivendell, Tara has both produced and acted in TWENTY-SEVEN WAGONS FULL OF COTTON, TEN TINY FINGERS, NINE TINY TOES, WRENS, MY SIMPLE CITY, HOLY DAYS, MOMMAPALOOZA!, THE CLINK, THE FACTORY GIRLS, FAULKNER’S BICYCLE, THE TRESTLE AT POPELICK CREEK, and INDULGENCES IN THE LOUISVILLE HAREM.

Tara received a Joseph Jefferson award for Best Supporting actress for her portrayal of Gwenyth in WRENS as well as for being a part of the Jeff award winning ensemble for that production. She was nominated the following year for Best Actress in a Principal Role for her work in MY SIMPLE CITY. Tara has directed the Jeff Nominated Midwest premieres of 26 MILES by Quiara Alegria Hudes, FIGHTING WORDS by Sunil Kuruvilla, PSALMS OF A QUESTIONABLE NATURE by Marisa Wegerzyn, the co-production of ELLIOT, A SOLDIER’S FUGUE with Stageworks/Hudson (in Hudson, NY) as well as the brief and brilliant SHADY MEADOWS by Lisa Dillman as part of the 2007 Chicago Humanities Festival. She appeared in Stephen Soderbergh’s film CONTAGION, the hit STARZ series BOSS featuring Kelsey Grammer, and in the upcoming NBC drama, CHICAGO FIRE.

Tara graduated Magna Cum Laude with a BFA in Theatre Arts from Brooklyn College.

Mary Cross is a founding member of Rivendell Theatre Ensemble. She had the opportunity to portray Gwyneth in the 2012 remount of
WRENS (Joseph Jefferson nomination for best ensemble). She also had the privilege of performing as Meg in Rivendell’s original production of
WRENS which won the Jeff Award for Best Ensemble and Best New Work. She was nominated for a Jeff award for Best Actress for her
portrayal of Ruth O’Hare in A Mislaid Heaven with Chicago’s Famous Door Theatre Company. Some of the shows Mary appeared in while living in NYC are; Ross Mueller’s Pinter’s Explanation, Courtney Baron’s Not Our Last Hurrah, Trista Baldwin’s Terra Australis Incognito, Beau Willimon’s The Patient and Blair Singer’s Meg’s New Friend. She is the female lead in the indie feature film Fools, which will be released later this year. Next, she will be seen on stage in Courtney Bar on’s Mid-West premiere of Eat Your Heart Out at Rivendell.

Director — Julieanne Ehre

Julieanne Ehre was recently the NEA/TCG Fellow at the Goodman Theatre, where she directed staged readings of Deserts by Hugo Alfredo Hinojosa Díaz, Reykjavik by Richard Rhodes and Folk Song by Laura Jacqmin. Julieanne served as Artistic Director of Greasy Joan & Co. for five years, where she directed and produced premiere adaptations of classic plays including Macbeth, Antigone, Lady from the Sea and Sueno, among others. She has also directed productions and readings for Chicago Dramatists Workshop, Lincoln Center Theater's Directors Lab, Red Tape Theatre, Remy Bumppo Theatre, Rivendell Theatre Ensemble, Silk Road Theatre Project, and Victory Gardens. Julieanne is an MFA Directing graduate from Northwestern University and served as an assistant director to Mary Zimmerman and Tina Landau.

Assistant Director — Bernadette Raspante

Bernadette is excited to work with Rivendell Theatre Ensemble this season as their intern, having joined them this past fall as the assistant stage manager on 26 Miles with Teatro Vista. Previous professional credits include stage managing at Door Shakespeare and Fairbanks Shakespeare Theatre. Bernadette graduated with a B.A. in Theatre and Theology from Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota where her graduation project was directing an original production of Caryl Churchill’s Seven Jewish Children. She is currently pursuing a dual M.A. in Women’s Studies and Theology from Loyola University Chicago and working on original work with Fork in the Road Theatre for the Chicago Fringe Festival 2011.

Production 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 has stage managed Rivendell’s 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 Remy Bumppo’s An Inspector Calls (2013-14), and is about to start rehearsals for A View From the Bridge (performances beginning April 15, 2014) with Teatro Vista. Other recent credits outside of Rivendell include: 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).

Scenic Design — Chelsea Warren

Chicago projects include: scenery for A Brief History of Helen of Troy and The Hollowlands (Steep Theatre), A Separate Peace (Steppenwolf for Young Adults), K. (Hypocrites), Somebody Loves You Mr. Hatch and Mrs.Caliban (Lifeline Theatre), and Ghosts of Treasure Island (Adventure Stage Chicago); costumes for The Rose Tattoo (University of Chicago), Harper Regan (Steep Theatre), boom (Next Theatre); production design for Acis & Galatea (Chicago Cultural Center and Millennium Park Stage), XYZ puppetry workshop of Tiny Rooms (About Face), and co-design for B-Lo Niagara (Building Stage’s Objects in Motion). International work includes: La Femme des Sables (companie Unikaji in Paris and Zagreb) and Stones/Air (Barossa International Sculpture Park in Southern Australia). Chelsea received her MFA in Stage Design from Northwestern University. Her portfolio can be seen at chelseamwarren.carbonmade.com and her puppetblog at blogminic.blogspot.com.

Costume Design — Janice Pytel

Rivendell Theatre Ensemble; Member of United Scenic Artists

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.

Sound Design — Christopher Kriz

Member of United Scenic Artists

Christopher Kriz has previously worked with Rivendell Theatre Ensemble designing The Walls and recently creating an installation for The Trojan Women Project. Current Chicago credits include Eclipsed (Northlight Theatre), This (Theatre Wit), Dental Society Midwinter Meeting (16th Street Theatre), Madagascar (Next Theatre), Dead Pile (XIII Pocket), Shining City (Redtwist Theatre) and Pullman,Wa/Church (Red Tape Theatre). Recent credits include the national tour of America Amerique (Jena Company), Lonesome West (Gift Theatre), Lobby Hero (Redtwist Theatre), The Madness of Edgar Allen Poe (First Folio), Aiming For Sainthood (Victory Gardens), Thieves Like Us (House Theatre), The Invasion Of Skokie (Chicago Dramatists), Baal (TUTA), The Hiding Place (Provision Theatre), Master Harold and The Boys and All My Sons (TimeLine Theatre). Upcoming productions include The Woman In Black (First Folio) and The Conquest of the South Pole (Strawdog Theatre) . To learn more of his work, please visit www.christopherkriz.com.

Lighting Design — Diane Fairchild

Rivendell Theatre Ensemble; Member of United Scenic Artists

Diane Fairchild is a proud ensemble member of Rivendell, an Artistic Associate of Next Theatre, an Artistic Affiliate of BoHo Theatre, and part time faculty at The School of the Art Institute. Previous designs for Rivendell include Rasheeda Speaking, The Electric Baby, WRENS (2012), Crooked, Precious Little, These Shining Lives, 26 Miles, The Walls, and Psalms of a Questionable Nature.

Other design credits include work at Lifeline, Babes with Blades, BoHo, Next, Northlight, Court, Timeline, Wheaton College, City Lit, Chicago Dramatists, Redmoon, Pegasus, Side Project, Raven, and the Michigan Shakespeare Festival. Awards she has been nominated for include a Non-Equity Jeff (The Gimmick, 2010), Broadway World Chicago (Floyd Collins, 2012 and Kiss of the Spider Woman, 2013), and a Wilde (Love's Labours Lost, 2012). Ms. Fairchild holds an MFA in theater design from NYU's Tisch School of the Arts, and she earned her BFA in design and technology for theater from Wright State University in her hometown of Dayton, Ohio.

Props Design — Maria DeFabo

Maria is captivated by creating and telling stories through the use of props. Some of her favorite shows have been with companies such as: Lookingglass Theatre, The Hypocrites Theatre, The House Theatre of Chicago,Congo Square, Steep Theatre, Strawdog Theatre, LiveWire Chicago Theatre and Eclipse Theatre. And of course, Maria loves working with the ladies at Rivendell Theatre Ensemble. She is a Chicago-based freelance props designer, and holds a degree in theatre from Loyola University Chicago. www.mariadefabo.com

Assistant Lighting Design — Nick Belley

Production Manager — Patrick Fries

Rivendell Theatre Ensemble

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).

Technical Directors — Kurt Kupferer & Michael Szeles

Master Electrician — Noah Hayman

Dramaturg — Kristen Leahy

Graphic Design — Melissa Blumenthal

SPONSORS

Rivendell Theatre Ensemble is supported through the generosity of the following foundations & corporations:

3Arts; The Alphawood Foundation; The ArtsWork Fund for Organizational Development; The Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation; The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation; The Ronald A. Greene Memorial Fund (a Donor-Advised Grant from the Chicago Community Trust); The Saints; A CityArts Program 1 Grant from the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs; and The Illinois Arts Council, A State Agency

SPECIAL THANKS

Special Thanks to the following amazing individuals who helped make this production possible: Chris Surdenik; Lorna & Webber Neal; James Juliano; Mindy Berkson & Lotus Blossom Consulting; Sonia Quiroz, Jackie Meyers-Thompson and the Reproductive Genetics Institute; Marybeth Johnson, Maureen Leahy, and the Lincoln Park Zoo; Claire Geall Sutton; Tanya Palmer; Adam Belcuore; Meredith Matthews; Maria Striar; Hal Brooks; Randy Danson; Emily Ackerman; and Kelly McCreary.

And an extra-special, heartfelt shout-out to the amazing, gifted and generous Jim Moore, Nate Brandt, Maggy Fouche, Bridget Dougherty and the simply phenomenal staff at the Department of Cultural Affairs Storefront Theater. Thanks so much for being such gracious hosts.