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 - 27, 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.

Learn about the topics and guest panelists for our pooular Town Hall Discussion Series!

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

In tandem with Body/Courage, we are proud to present Strong Girls Make Stuff--a special theatre program for girls age 8 to 12. As part of our mission, we'll be making great theatre, inspiring vital conversation, and building community--one strong girl at a time.

Dry Land

A Midwest Premiere
Written by Ruby Rae Spiegel

Directed by RTE member Hallie Gordon

Featuring Jessica Ervin and Bryce Gangel; With Charlotte Thomas, Matt Farabee, Ric Walker, Olivia Shine, Ireon Roach & Jackie Seijo


Previews April 21 - 23 & April 26 at 8 PM; Gala Opening April 28 at 7 PM

Performances April 29 - May 28, 2016: Thursdays - Saturdays at 8 PM and Saturdays at 4 PM

Our popular Town Hall Saturday Discussion Series will take place immediately following the 4 PM performances on May 14, 21 and 28.

Sometimes high school boils down to one thing - survival. And the only way to stay afloat is to find an  ally. Set in the girls' locker room of a Florida high school, Ruby Rae Spiegel's ferocious new play looks at the unlikely friendship between Esther and Amy, two high school swimmers under uncommon pressure. Called a “remarkable new play” by the NY Times, Dry Land is alternately harrowing and hilarious, as it homes in on the issue of DIY abortion, the complexities of female friendship, and the impossible 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

Previews September 7 – 10; OPening September 11 - 12; Regular run: Thursdays through Saturdays at 8 PM and Saturdays at 4 PM, September 15 - October 15, 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    


Why not purchase an RTE Flex Pass?

The Rivendell Theatre Ensemble Flex Pass gives you FOUR (4) tickets to use in any way you choose throughout our 2016 Season. See each of our shows once, bring guests to join you to one particular show, bring a date to two's up to you!

Other benefits include a no-fee ticket exchange up to 48 hours prior to performance and reserved seating.

Conditions of Use:
•If a discounted Flex Pass is purchased, all guests attending must also fall under this discount category (e.g. If you purchase a Senior Flex Pass, any guests you bring must also be seniors).

•Flex Pass must be purchased 7 days in advance of use

•Tickets must be used within the 2016 Season

 Click here to buy your 2016 Flex Pass today!