This year Rivendell Theatre Ensemble turns twenty. When it came to planning our 20th season, we found ourselves at a crossroads, reflecting back on the journey so far...and looking ahead to the future. So in honor of this milestone, we've mapped out three exciting new plays. Each work explores the tricky topography of personal choice, and the often uncharted biases that drive how and why we make our most life-changing decisions. Join us in #navigating the journey. 

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A World Premiere


Written by RTE member Megan Carney
Directed by RTE Artistic Director Tara Mallen
Featuring RTE member Mary Cross
With Rengin Altay, Danielle Davis, Susan Gaspar, Brittani Green, Cynthia Hines, Krystal McNeil, Paula Ramirez and Charlita Williams 

Previews: Nov. 5, 6 & 7 - all performances at 8PM
Gala Opening: Nov 9 at 6PM
Performances: Wednesdays through Saturdays at 8PM and Saturdays at 4PM, Nov. 12 - Dec. 6
NOTE: No performances Nov. 26 & 27

 A debate rages over whether females should serve on the front lines, yet more women are being sent into active combat zones than ever before. This new theatrical work is woven from years of research and first-person interviews with women who have actually laid their lives on these lines and have returned from deployment to re-enter civilian life.

Town Hall Saturdays: Following each 4PM matinee performance (Nov. 15, 22 and 29 and Dec. 6), we invite audiences to dive a little deeper and join in vital post-show conversations sparked by the show's themes. Join us for moderated discussions on a variety of topics with esteemed panelists. Learn more here.

Production Sponsors:
The Chicago Community Trust, The Reva and David Logan Foundation, and the UIC Institute for Policy and Civic Engagement

Be a part of the WOMEN AT WAR story! Help us to give female veterans and active military a voice. Watch our video and support the WOMEN AT WAR project via our Razoo campaign so we may bring the show to stages throughout the Chicago area.

Read all reviews for WOMEN AT WAR here.


Our critically acclaimed, Jeff Recommended world premiere production of WOMEN AT WAR travels around Chicagoland to better serve veterans and their families. Call 773-334-7728 to find out more and to book the show at your venue. 

Written by RTE member Megan Carney
Directed by RTE Artistic Director Tara Mallen
Featuring RTE members Mary Cross, Krystel McNeil, Ashley Neal and Paula Ramirez

With Rengin Altay, Danielle Davis, Jessica Ervin, Susan Gaspar, Brittani Green, Meg Harkins, Cynthia Hines and Charlita Williams       

Look, we are breathing
JEFF NOMINATED for Best New Work!
A World Premiere

Written by Chicago playwright Laura Jacqmin

Directed by Megan Shuchman, Associate Director of Education at Steppenwolf
Assistant Directed by RTE member Mark Ulrich

Featuring RTE Artistic Director Tara Mallen; With Brendan Meyer, Lily Mojekwu, and Brenann Stacker

Previews: April 2 – 10 at 8 PM                                                                     
Gala Opening: April 12 at 6 PM                                                 
Performances: Thursdays through Saturdays at 8 PM and Saturdays at 4 PM, April 16 - May 16

Those who die young are mourned for their lost potential. But what if Mike, a high school hockey player killed while driving drunk, never really showed much potential? In this searing world premiere, Chicago playwright Laura Jacqmin turns her unblinking eye on the grieving process, as three women in Mike’s life realize that in order to move on, they first have to confront some hard truths about themselves.

Production Sponsor: The Elizabeth F. Cheney Foundation



Written by Catherine Trieschmann
Directed by Keira Fromm
Featuring RTE members Rebecca Spence and Keith Kupferer, with Curtis Edward Jackson



A Chicago Premiere!

Previews: September 2  - 8 at 8 PM
Gala Opening: September 10 at 7 PM
Performances: Thursdays through Saturdays at 8 PM and Saturdays at 4 PM, September 11 - October 10

Religion and science collide in a visceral examination of the way in which we navigate interpersonal relationships involving seemingly irreconcilable beliefs—and how hard it is to truly listen to one another in an increasingly polarized world. Looking to rebuild her fractured life, high school biology teacher Susan relocates from New York City to a small Kansas town still reeling in the aftermath of a devastating tornado. Ready for a little culture shock, Susan finds herself unprepared for the firestorm that engulfs the town after she makes an off-handed comment about the origin of the universe.

"How the World Began" is presented by special arrangement with SAMUEL FRENCH, INC.