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 as well as a remount of last season's Jeff-nominated world premiere. 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.

Look, we are breathing

A World Premiere!

Written by Chicago playwright Laura Jacqmin

Directed by Megan Shuchman, Associate Director of Education at Steppenwolf
Featuring RTE Artistic Director Tara Mallen; With Brendan Meyer, Lily Mojekwu, and Brenann Stacker

April 2 – May 16, 2015

Those who die young are mourned for their lost potential. But Mike, a high school hockey player who gets drunk and crashes his car before the play begins, did not show much potential. As they learn to grieve, his mother Alice, his AP English teacher Leticia, and Caylee (who had a crush on Mike for years), try to learn who Mike truly was and who he might have become. The three women realize that the day-to-day moments they missed or ignored may show they were wrong about their initial feelings toward Mike.

Production Sponsor: The Elizabeth F. Cheney Foundation


The Remount of RTE's 2014 World Premiere Hit!

Written by Chicago playwright Joel Drake Johnson
Directed by Sandy Shinner

Presented in the Steppenwolf Garage Theatre

Featuring RTE Artistic Director Tara Mallen

May 30 - June 27, 2015

After a critically acclaimed and sold-out run and a 2014 Jeff nomination for Best New Work, Rasheeda Speaking is remounted in the Steppenwolf Garage, directed by returning director Sandy Shinner and featuring Rivendell Artistic Director Tara Mallen, Rivendell ensemble member Eric Slater, and Steppenwolf ensemble member Ora Jones. A doctor, uncomfortable with his black receptionist, enlists the aid of his office manager to get rid of her. Tensions rise as relations between the two women deteriorate. With his trademark wit and incisive humor, Joel Drake Johnson mines the subtleties of "post-racial" America to explore what we are really saying when we refuse to talk about race.


A Midwest Premiere!

Written by Catherine Trieschmann

Featuring RTE member Rebecca Spence
September 3 – October 17, 2015

Religion and science collide in a visceral examination of the way in which we navigate interpersonal relationships involving seemingly irreconcilable beliefs—and just 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.