By Margaret Atwood

Adapted for the Stage by Jennifer Blackmer

Directed by RTE Co-Founder Karen Kessler

A world premiere adaptation of Atwood’s acclaimed novel, Alias Grace takes a look at one of Canada’s most notorious murderers. In 1843, 16-year-old Grace Marks was accused of brutally murdering her employer and his housekeeper. Imprisoned for years, Grace still swears she has no memory of the killings. A doctor in the emerging field of mental health arrives to try to find out the truth of the matter. Alias Grace is a fascinating study of memory, culpability, and the shadowy spaces within the human mind.

Alias Grace, by Margaret Atwood, © 1996 O.W. Toad Ltd.
Published by Nan A. Talese, an imprint of Doubleday Books
Currently available in an Anchor Trade Paperback edition
Permission for adaptation and performance granted by Author.

Buy Tickets Now!

Margaret Atwood was born in 1939 in Ottawa, and grew up in northern Ontario and Quebec, and in Toronto. She received her undergraduate degree from Victoria College at the University of Toronto and her master’s degree from Radcliffe College.
Margaret Atwood is the author of more than forty books of fiction, poetry, and critical essays. Her latest works include Hag-Seed, a novel revisitation of Shakespeare’s play The Tempest, for the Hogarth Shakespeare Project, and Angel Catbird – with a cat-bird superhero – a graphic novel with co-creator Johnnie Christmas.
The Door is her latest volume of poetry (2007). Her most recent non-fiction books are Payback: Debt and the Shadow Side of Wealth (2008) and In Other Worlds: SF and the Human Imagination (2011). Her novels include The Blind Assassin, winner of the Booker Prize; Alias Grace, which won the Giller Prize in Canada and the Premio Mondello in Italy and will be released in the fall as a series on Netflix; and The Robber Bride, Cat’s Eye, The Penelopiad, and The Handmaid’s Tale – now available as a TV series on Hulu.
Margaret Atwood will be receiving the Carl Sandburg Literary Award from the Chicago Public Library Foundation on October 11, 2017.
A full bibliography can be seen here, along with further details on Ms. Atwood’s website.
Margaret Atwood lives in Toronto with writer Graeme Gibson.


Ashley Neal (Grace Marks) is thrilled to be back at Rivendell Ensemble Theatre, where she is an ensemble member and has appeared in many productions including: WRENS, 26 Miles, The Walls, Be Aggressive, and others. Ashley most recently appeared in A Red Orchid Theatre’s The Nether where she also appeared in A Red Handed Otter. Other shows you may have seen her in include: London Wall, Men Should Weep and Stage Door with Griffin Theatre, The Life and Sort of Death of Eric Argyle with Steep Theatre, as well as work with Chicago Dramatists Pine Box, Irish Theatre Company, Step Up, Jackalope Theatre, Victory Gardens, Strawdog, The Greenhouse Theatre, and others. Ashley is a graduate of Columbia College Chicago and The School at Steppenwolf.




Steve Haggard (Simon Jordan) was last seen at Rivendell as Evan in Winter. Chicago credits: 3C, Sender, The Mutilated, Accidentally Like A Martyr, The Aliens, Kimberly Akimbo and The Mandrake (A Red Orchid Theatre) Tribes (Steppenwolf); Doubt, Old Glory, The Subject Was Roses, and Our Town (Writers’); Funnyman, Season’s Greetings, and She Stoops to Conquer (Northlight); Wasteland (Timeline); King Lear, As You Like It and Romeo and Juliet (Chicago Shakespeare). Regional Credits: Arcadia, R+G are Dead, Two Gentlemen of Verona, The Tempest, Hay Fever, Comedy of Errors, and Ah Wilderness (American Players Theatre); Almost Maine (Milwaukee Repertory) and Fallen Angels (Indiana Repertory). Steve has appeared in Chicago Fire, Prison Break and several national commercials. He is an ensemble member of A Red Orchid Theatre and a graduate of The Theatre School at DePaul University.




Jane Baxter Miller (Mrs. Rachel Humphrey) is a member of Rivendell Theatre Ensemble. RTE credits include American Wee-Pie; Falling: A Wake; Self-Defense, or death of some salesmen; Silence; Faulkner’s Bicycle; The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole, Aged 13 ¾; and WRENS. Additional Chicago credits include Dandelion Wine with Chicago Children’s Theatre; The Love Song of J. Robert Oppenheimer with Next Theatre; Mr. Kolpert with A Red Orchid Theatre; The Irish and How They Got That Way at the Mercury Theatre, Cowgirls with Northlight Theatre and Pump Boys and Dinettes at Theatre at the Centre. Her film credits include NBC’s Chicago Justice and an upcoming Captive State feature film. Jane is a singer and songwriter appearing on numerous recordings through Bloodshot Records. She composed the children’s musical Dirty Cowboy (with follow RTE ensemble member Victoria DeIorio) for Lifeline Theatre. Look for her critically acclaimed solo recording, Harm Among the Willows, in fancy places like Bloodshot Records and iTunes.



Ayssette Muñoz (Mary Whitney) is an ensemble member with Teatro Vista, where her credits include Wolf at The End of the Block; In the Time of the Butterflies; Between You, Me, and the Lampshade; Romeo & Juliet; and A View From the Bridge. Additional Chicago credits include Ah, Wilderness; Marisol (Goodman Theatre) and understudying in Short Shakes! Romeo & Juliet (Chicago Shakespeare Theatre). Regional credits include The Comedy of Errors; Richard III (Notre Dame Shakespeare Festival). Television credits include Chicago P.D. She was featured as one of the Chicago Tribune’s “Top 10 Hot New Faces of Chicago Theatre” in 2015 and is represented by Paonessa Talent Agency.



Maura Kidwell (Nancy Montgomery) is delighted to make her Rivendell debut in Alias Grace. In her eleven years acting in Chicago, Maura has enjoyed working on stage at Theatre Wit, The Gift, Erasing the Distance (ensemble member), and Court Theatre. Television credits include: Sirens, Chicago Fire, Chicago Justice, Mind Games and Boss. Film credits include: Canal Street and Tim Kasher’s debut feature No Resolution. Maura is an on-camera instructor at Vagabond School of the Arts. She is represented by Gray Talent Group and Principato-Young.





Amro Salama (Jeremiah/Jerome DuPont) is making his Rivendell Theatre debut. His theatre credits include Yasmina’s Necklace, the 2016 Jeff Award nominee for Best New Work at 16th Street Theatre. Additional Chicago theater credits include the Goodman Theatre where he will be reprising his role in Yasmina’s Necklace this fall. He has performed in numerous play readings at Silk Road Rising and Dramatists. Regional credits: St. Louis: Mustard Seed Theatre; Los Angeles: Cornerstone Theatre, Pacific Resident Theatre, The Hudson Theatre, ACME, and Theatricum Botanicum with the premiere of the 2004 Pulitzer Nominated Omnium Gatherum. TV Credits include: Recurring on the upcoming TV show The Chi for Showtime. Past TV and Film include: Chicago PD, Shameless, Modern Family, Law and Order, Children’s Hospital and Suite Life on Deck.




Drew Vidal (Thomas Kinnear) is delighted to return to Rivendell, having started there as a Fight Director on Silence. In Chicago, Drew has appeared on stage with Famous Door, The Hypocrites, Defiant, Boxer Rebellion, Red Hen, Collaboraction and Tin Fish, among others. More recently, acting credits include The Glass Menagerie (Jim) at Human Race, The Book Club Play (Rob) at KU Rep, Angels in America (Joe) at Ball State, and The Three Musketeers (D’Artagnan) at Illinois Shakespeare Festival; and as a Fight Director, Solstice at A Red Orchid, Water by the Spoonful at Off Square Theatre Company, and Holes at Indiana Repertory Theatre.



David Raymond (James McDermott) Chicago credits include Good People (Redtwist Theatre), It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play (Brightside Theatre), and Posh (u/s Steep Theatre, Jeff Award Winner–Best Ensemble). Bay Area credits include work with San Francisco Playhouse, Stanford Repertory Theater, and Custom Made Theatre Company’s 2015 production of This Is Our Youth for which David won an SF Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle Award (Best Principal Actor). He has also appeared in commercials and online content. David is a graduate of the School at Steppenwolf (2016) and is represented by Big Mouth Talent. 

Jennifer Blackmer (Playwright) is the 2015 PEN/Laura Pels International Foundation for Theatre Award winner for Emerging American Playwright. Her plays have been seen in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Minneapolis, Indianapolis, Berkeley and St. Louis, and include Human Terrain, Unraveled, Alias Grace, Delicate Particle Logic, and Borrowed Babies. In 2016, Jennifer’s screenplay for Human Terrain won the prestigious Alfred P. Sloan Foundation prize through the Tribeca Film Institute, and the film is currently in pre-production. Jennifer has also been a finalist for the Sundance Film Institute Sloan Prize, the David Charles Horn Prize for Emerging Playwrights, the Fratti-Newman Political Play Contest, the Firehouse Festival of New American Theatre, and The O’Neill National Playwrights’ Conference, and her writing has been short-listed for both the Princess Grace Award and the Shakespeare’s Sister Fellowship. Her work has been developed by Seven Devils, Illinois Shakespeare Festival, The Playwrights’ Center, The Lark and Activate Midwest. Jennifer is a Professor of Theatre and Associate Provost for Entrepreneurial Learning at Ball State University. Visit Jennifer’s website at


Karen Kessler (Director) is excited to return to Rivendell Theatre, a company she was part of starting, to get to work on Alias Grace with Jennifer Blackmer. She is a member of the ensemble at A Red Orchid Theatre where she most recently directed a production of Jennifer Healy’s The Nether. Amongst Karen’s directing credits are: Wrens (1996 and 2012), The Trestle at Pope Lick Creek, Hamlet, and Ten Tiny Fingers, Nine Tiny Toes at Rivendell; Solstice, Blasted, Gagarin Way, and Mr. Kolpert at Red Orchid; A Number, God of Hell, Into the Woods, and War at other theatres around Chicago; Glengarry Glen Ross at the Northern Stage Ensemble in Newcastle, UK; Macbeth, Scapin, The Three Musketeers, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Taming of the Shrew and All’s Well That Ends Well at the Illinois Shakespeare Festival. Karen is a professor of directing and Shakespeare at Ball State University.

Sandburg Award Honors Margaret Atwood, Dave Eggers

“Authors Margaret Atwood and Dave Eggers will receive the 2017 Carl Sandburg Literary Award from the Chicago Public Library Foundation and Chicago Public Library. … The Carl Sandburg Literary Award is presented annually to an acclaimed author in recognition of outstanding contributions to the literary world and honors a significant work or body of work that has enhanced the public’s awareness of the written word.”




12 Novels to Read Before They Head to TV: These books are following in the footsteps of Big Little Lies and The Handmaid’s Tale, Isabella Biedenharn 

“…Mary Harron (American Psycho) will direct, and most of the creative team is female. “There’s a certain sensibility and relationship to female characters that’s probably easier to access for a female filmmaker,” says Polley.”



An Adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s Alias Grace Is Heading to TV

“As with any Atwood adaptation, expect to see political themes, issues of gender and class, and questions regarding the treatment of mental illness woven throughout a plot that centers around the Canadian equivalent of Lizzie Borden.” – Caroline Hallemann

More information coming soon!

Rivendell Theatre Ensemble
Theatre: 5779 N. Ridge Avenue
Office: 5775 N. Ridge Avenue
Chicago, IL 60660


Copyright © 2017 Rivendell Theatre