Season 2016: The Body Politic

As the election circus swirls around us, we present a season in which the political is deeply personal. In the widening chasm between our diverse American dreams and the ways elected officials conduct our nation's affairs, we offer three bold stories about women choosing to take matters into their own hands.


A World Premiere
Written and Performed by Danielle Pinnock

Directed by RTE member Megan Carney
Produced in association with Waltzing Mechanics
Opening February 3 – 4, 2016; Regular run: February 5 - 28, 2016

Created from over 300 interviews conducted worldwide, Body/Courage is a rich exploration on body acceptance as we share in one woman’s transformative journey to discover her own beauty through the voices of others. Pinnock's powerful new work introduces a constellation of characters grappling with diverse body issues including weight, illness, disability, skin color, aging, and gender transition. Their stories reflect a nuanced and moving response to the high pressures, expectations, and judgments society places on personal appearance.

RTE produces Body/Courage in association with Waltzing Mechanics. Waltzing Mechanics creates original documentary theatre inspired by real people telling stories about their lives. Using methods of performance ethnography, Waltzing Mechanics facilitates dialogues among audiences and within the community. Visit their website for more information.

In celebration of Body/Courage, The Reva and David Logan Foundation is offering a matching grant through which the amount donated to Rivendell (up to $5,000) will be matched. Donations may be made easily and securely online

Production sponsors for Body/Courage:

The Reva and David Logan Foundation and The Elizabeth F. Cheney Foundation

Dry Land

A Midwest Premiere
Written by Ruby Rae Spiegel

Directed by RTE member Hallie Gordon
Opening April 30 – May 1, 2016; Regular run: May 5 - 28, 2015

Ester is a swimmer trying to stay afloat, Amy is curled up on the locker room floor--and for both of them, the clock is ticking. Dry Land is a harrowing and often hilarious look at an unlikely alliance between two high school girls. A play about abortion, swimming, the complexities of friendship, and the pressures that build up at the brink of adulthood.

Grizzly Mama

A Midwest Premiere
Written by George Brant

Directed by RTE member Rachel Walshe
Featuring RTE member Tara Mallen
Opening September 10 – 11, 2016; Regular run: September 15 - October 8, 2016

Following the death of her activist mother, divorced single mom Deb is on a mission. But to carry it out, she must first reinvent herself as a liberal avenger. Deb's teenage daughter, Hannah, couldn't care less–that is, until she discovers the real reason behind their recent move to Alaska, right next door to a certain conservative presidential candidate. A dark comedy about motherhood, murder, and moose.


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