By Jenny Connell Davis

Directed by Devon De Mayo

A World Premiere


Amy, a hotshot scientist at an elite U.S. cancer research lab, is moments from publishing data that could revolutionize the field. When she’s scooped by a senior scientist from a competing lab, she first questions her own ability to compete in her chosen field. But as new information comes to light, Amy must face the possibility of willful sabotage by a powerful male colleague. Scientific Method is a witty and complex behind-the-scenes look at women in the sciences—and the struggle many women have to keep moving forward on the rocky terrain of an uneven playing field.


This production is sponsored in part by Dan Cyganowski in memory of Carol K Cyganowski, scholar and theatre lover.

Rivendell provides several opportunities throughout our runs to see the performance and also take part in additional access, entertainment, or insight. For SCIENTIFIC METHOD these include:


Sunday, October 21st at 3:00pm – Additional Sunday 3pm matinee 

Audiences have been asking for Sunday matinees – get your tickets while you can!


Friday, November 2 at 8:00pm – Planned Parenthood benefit night

See a show and support Planned Parenthood at the same time! $10 of every ticket sold will be donated to Planned Parenthood of Illinois. 



Friday, November 9 at 8:00pm – Mama’s Night / Ladies Night

Following the performance, please join us in our rehearsal studio for wine, cheese and some great conversation!



Friday, November 23, 2018 at 8:00pm – Open Captioned Performance

Join Rivendell for an 8:00pm performance with open captioning. $15 Tickets available with the code “ACCESS”.




Saturday, November 17, 2018 following 4:00pm matinee – Town Hall Discussion

During each Rivendell production, town halls happen after select Saturday matinees, and are an essential touchstone for our organization to extend the conversation from the stage to the community. Panelists help field questions, present observations, and participate in supporting a thoughtful, in-depth dialogue for all involved. Audience participants need not be present for the Saturday matinee and are welcome to join the conversation following the performance.

Click here for town hall details. 


Sunday, November 18, 2018 12;00-2:00pm and 3:00pm matinee – Brunch for Science

Join Rivendell artists and local scientists for brunch and conversation in advance of a performance of Rivendell’s fall show THE SCIENTIFIC METHOD. This event will be hosted in a beautifully historic Andersonville home.

Amazing Edibles catered brunch will include: vegetable quiche, Applewood bacon, pastries, yogurt parfaits, fruit salad, orange juice and mimosas.

Brunch is scheduled from 12:00pm – 2:00pm, followed by the 3:00pm matinee at Rivendell Theatre.

Saturday, December 1, 2018 following 4:00pm matinee – Town Hall Discussion

During each Rivendell production, town halls happen after select Saturday matinees, and are an essential touchstone for our organization to extend the conversation from the stage to the community. Panelists help field questions, present observations, and participate in supporting a thoughtful, in-depth dialogue for all involved. Audience participants need not be present for the Saturday matinee and are welcome to join the conversation following the performance.

Click here for town hall details. 

Sunday, December 2nd at 3:00pm – Additional Sunday 3pm matinee 

Audiences have been asking for Sunday matinees – get your tickets while you can!



Buy Tickets Now!


Ashley Neal (Amy) is back at Rivendell Theatre Ensemble, where she is a longtime member and most recently appeared in Cal in Camo. She has appeared in many Rivendell productions including: Alias Grace, 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 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. She is represented by Big Mouth Talent.




Glenn Obrero (Manish) is making his Rivendell debut. Other Chicago credits include: 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (Lookingglass Theatre); A Beauty Queen of Leenane (Northlight Theatre, u/s); A Wrinkle in Time (Lifeline Theatre); Akeelah and the Bee (Adventure Stage Chicago); How We Got On (Haven Theatre, u/s). TV credits include Chicago Fire (NBC). He received his BFA in Performing Arts from Savannah College of Art and Design and trained on-camera at Vagabond School of the Arts. He is represented by Gray Talent Group.





Josh Odor (Julian) is back at Rivendell where he was last seen in The Firebirds Take the Field. Most recently Josh performed in TimeLine’s To Catch a Fish, ATC’s Welcome to Jesus and The Hypocrites’ You On the Moors Now – also directed by Devon DeMayo. Josh has also worked at Steppenwolf, The Goodman, Steep, Teatro Vista, The Artistic Home, The Inconvenience, Griffin, The House, Haven, Erasing the Distance, The New Colony, Collaboraction, Side Project, LiveWire, Buffalo Ensemble, at The Long Wharf in New Haven, CT, and as a member of Pine Box. Josh’s television work includes Chicago PD, Chicago Fire, Betrayal and Boss.




Courtney Williams (Makayla) is making her Chicago stage debut with Rivendell. Originally a Brooklyn based performer from Oakland, CA, her work has primarily been in New York’s colorful downtown scene. She’s performed and collaborated with Daniel Alexander Jones, Kaneza Schaal, Mike Iveson, Tea Alagic, Gracie Gardner and other artists who have enriched her collaborative process.





Carmen Roman (Marie) most recently performed in Angels in America at Berkeley Repertory Theatre. Last fall she played Margaret Thatcher in The Audience at Timeline Theatre and in Native Son at Yale Rep. She also played in the world premiere production of Native Son – a co-production of American Blues Theater and The Court Theatre. She played Mrs. Eynsford-Hill in My Fair Lady at The Lyric Opera last season. Other recent production include: Sotto Vocce by Nilo Cruz at Portland Stage (Maine), Alabama Story by Kenneth Jones at Peninsula Players (Wisconsin) and playing opposite Hal Linden in Moon Over Buffalo at The New Theater (Kansas City). Carmen was in the National Tour of Angels in America and appeared Off-Broadway in The Iphigenia Cycle (Theater for a New Audience); The Mysteries (Classic Stage Company); Paradise (Gary Allen productions), and Love, Sex and Death in the Amazon (Paradise Factory Theater). Regional credits include 13 seasons with Peninsula Players; Wit, Black Snow, Brutality od Fact (Goodman Theatre, Chicago) Side Man (Steppenwolf Theatre, Chicago), The Price (Syracuse Stage and Geva), The Importance of Being Earnest (Centerstage Baltimore), Lost in Yonkers (Coconut Grove, Walnut Street Theater) Sonia Flew (The Huntington Theatre), According to Goldman (Philadelphia Theater Company) Electra (Hartford Stage Company), Big Love (The Wilma), Shadowlands (The Alliance Theater). Film/Television credits include Chicago PD; Betrayal; Boss; All My Children; Early Edition; Law and Order; Law and Order SVU; Criminal Intent; Savages, The Falcon (a co-production shot in Soviet Georgia) She is a proud company member at American Blues Theater and Circling the Drain, New York. Awards and honors include 2002 Fox Fellow, Sarah Siddons Award, Florence Herscher Award, and Joseph Jefferson Awards for Master Class and Wit.

Jenny Connell Davis’s (Playwright) plays include End of Shift, Goddess of Mercy, The Dragon Play, and Scientific Method. Her work has been produced or developed at Chance Theater, the Eugene O’Neill National Playwrights Conference, The Playwrights’ Center, Icicle Creek Theater Festival, ACT Seattle, ATC Chicago, the Araca Group, Asolo Rep, New York Stage and Film, Ars Nova, The Gift Theatre, Shrewd Productions, ScriptWorks, NAATCO and Rivendell. Her first screenplay, Playing House, was a finalist for the Nicholl Fellowship; her second, Two Truths and a Lie, was a semi-finalist. Her short with writer/director Soham Mehta, Fatakra, has screened worldwide and been recognized with more than a dozen audience awards and jury prizes. She currently has film and television projects in development with Maven Pictures/Tangerine Entertainment, Fox Animation, Astronauts Wanted/Cinestar Pictures, and Iconoclast/Anonymous Content. Jenny has an MFA from UT Austin, is a former member of Ars Nova’s Play Group, an Affiliated Writer with the Playwrights’ Center, and was the 2014-2015 Hot Seat Resident Playwright at Baltimore’s Center Stage. She is a member of Chicago’s Gift Theatre Company and a proud member of ScriptWorks and the MARTHAs, an Austin-based playwrights’ collective.


Devon de Mayo (Director) is working with Rivendell for the first time. Recent directing credits include: Women Laughing Alone With Salad (Theatre Wit); The Burn (Steppenwolf Theatre), Harvey (Court Theatre), Sycamore (Raven Theatre), You on the Moors Now (The Hypocrites), Animals Out of Paper (Shattered Globe Theatre), You Can’t Take it With You, and Lost in Yonkers (Northlight Theatre), Jet Black Chevrolet (side project); Compulsion and Everything is Illuminated (Next); Roadkill Confidential, The Further Adventures of Hedda Gabler, and Clouds (Dog & Pony). Directing and devising credits: Don’t Look Back/Must Look Back (Pivot Arts); Guerra: A Clown Play (La Piara, Mexico); The Whole World is Watching, As Told by the Vivian Girls and The Twins Would Like to Say (Dog & Pony). She received her MFA from Middlesex University in London and did further studies at the Russian Academy of Dramatic Arts in Moscow and the Indonesian Institute for the Arts in Bali, Indonesia. 



Skyler Gray (Dramaturg) is thrilled to return to Rivendell after working on The Cake last season. Gray is the Director of New Play Development at Victory Gardens Theater. Before joining Victory Gardens, he was the Literary Manager at the Alley Theatre in Houston, TX. Gray has developed new work with the Williamstown Theatre Festival, South Coast Repertory, Alley Theatre, Chance Theater, Rogue Artists Ensemble, UC Irvine, Columbia University, Children’s Musical Theaterworks, WildWind Lab, Echo Theater Company, Artists at Play, and Rivendell Theatre Ensemble. He has also worked in the literary departments at South Coast Repertory, Williamstown Theatre Festival and William Morris Endeavor in New York City, as well as serving as the Artistic Director of Children’s Musical Theaterworks and The Underground @ CMT in Fresno, CA. Gray holds a BA in Theater from the University of California, Irvine with Honors in Directing and Stage Management.


Lauren Nichols (Scenic Design) is a freelance designer who also works full time as a studio assistant building scale models. In the past she has worked as a projections designer for Cerqua Rivera Dance Theatre and held the position of production manager for Emergent Theatre. Recent design credits include Caroline or Change (Firebrand Theatre) The Pajama Game (Highland Park Players), Surely, Goodness, and Mercy (Redtwist), and also children’s musicals Yo Vikings! and Elephant and Piggie (Northbrook). Upcoming projects include Follies (Harper College), You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown (NU), Pinkalicious (Northbrook), and Ghosts (Redtwist). Prior to her graduate studies she was a scenic artist for 5 years. MFA Northwestern. 

Anthony Churchill (Projections Design) collaborates on media for theatre, events, and installations through out the country.  He is so happy to be working with Rivendell on this show. Recent projections and media for Marriott Theatre, The Cher Show, Q Brothers, Chicago Children’s Choir, Porchlight Music Theatre, Silk Road Rising, Theatre Wit, Stage Left, Museum of Broadcast Communications, Big Noise Theatre, 16th Street Theatre – Berwyn, and BoHo Theatre – which he is a proud company member of.  Tony has been nominated for two Jeff Awards for Projections, in 2017 for Body of An American – which he won the award for – and in 2015 for Ordinary Days. When not working on plays, Tony enjoys sculpting tiny astronauts in peril, and playing projections with his band, Grape Juice Plus.


Shain Longbehn (Original Music and Sound Design) makes his Rivendell debut. He also works around Chicago as a projection designer, audio engineer, and composer. Recent design credits include: In the Canyon, Franklinland (Jackalope), Student Body (Northwestern), Brainstorm, GodspellGilgamesh K-12 (Perry Mansfield i/a/w The House), Ofrenda (Albany Park Theater), Women Laughing Alone with Salad (Wit), Red Bowl at the Jeffs (The Sound), and Luz Estrada (Mercy Street). Recent technical credits include: Borealis, Hatfield & McCoy, The Nutcracker (The House), Aristophenesathon (Hypocrites), Trevor, Parade (Writers), and Thrones! The Musical Parody (Apollo Theater) He graduated with a BA in Theater from Loyola University Chicago.  


Izumi Inaba (Costume Design) is excited to be working with Rivendell Theatre Ensemble for the first time. Recent Chicago credits: Borealis (House), Frankenstein (Lifeline), Koalas (16th Street), Zurich (Steep), Frederick (Chicago Children’s), Cosmologies (Gift). Upcoming: Mansfield Park (Northlight), A Doll’s House Part 2 (Steppenwolf), Twilight Bowl (Goodman). She is a resident artist at Albany Park Theater Project, an ensemble at Red Tape, and a member of United Scenic Artists USA Local 829.


Jenniffer Thusing (Stage Manager) is excited to return to Rivendell. She previously stage managed The Cake, Cal in CamoAlias Grace,Grizzly Mama and Winter. Jenniffer has stage managed for SoloChicago, Chicago Dramatists, Chicago Commercial Collective, Noble Fool, Nuns for Fun, Emerald City and Light Opera Works. Her work as a set designer with her partner Robert Groth has been seen at Irish Theatre of Chicago, Mary Arrchie, The Royal George, Metropolis Performing Arts, The Broadway Playhouse, The Apollo Theater, and Emerald City’s Little Theater. Jenniffer is a proud member of Actors Equity Association.


Catherine Allen (Production Manager) is thrilled to return to Rivendell where she previously production managed The Cake and Cal in Camo. Recent production management credits include Significant Other (About Face Theatre), Violet and Ragtime (Griffin Theatre), Invisible Hand, Hookman, and Bobbie Clearly (Steep Theatre), A Funny Thing Happened… (Route 66 Theatre Company), and many circuses with Actors Gymnasium where she is the staff Production Manager. She has also worked with Congo Square Theatre, Pegasus Theatre Chicago, Haven Theatre, Chimera Ensemble, and Step Up Productions where she was an Artistic Associate. She is a graduate of the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, where she received a BFA in Acting.


Robert Groth (Technical Director) is excited to return to Rivendell. He has been a freelance technical director, scenic carpenter and designer for over 15 years. Robert has also worked as a scenic designer for several theater companies with his partner Jenniffer Thusing including Mary Arrchie, Pinebox, Emerald City and most recently Chicago Theatre Workshop’s production of Little Miss Sunshine. Their design work was recognized in 2011 with a nomination for an Equity Wing Jeff for Best Scenic Design—Midsized Theater.


Arianna Soloway (Assistant Director) is thrilled to be working with Rivendell for the first time.  Recent directing credits include Guardians (Mary Arrchie Theatre), Carrie & Francine (Haven Theatre), and Pine in a site specific production.  Recent assistant directing credits include Linda (Steep Theatre) How to Use a Knife (Shattered Globe), Pillars of the Community (Strawdog Theatre), Roz and Ray (Victory Gardens), Red Handed Otter (A Red Orchid Theatre), Seminar (Haven Theatre Company), and Intelligence (Arena Stage).  Arianna has a BFA in directing from Columbia College and is an associate member of the SDC. 


Brent Ervin-Eickhoff (Assistant Projections Designer) is a director, writer, and educator based in Chicago, IL. He has worked with A Red Orchid Theatre, Silk Road Rising, Facility Theatre, Mary-Arrchie Theatre Co., Greenhouse Theatre, Chicago’s Night Out in the Parks, The Barrens Theatre, The Rockwell Theatre Bandits, and other storefronts around Chicago. Brent served as Co-Artistic Director and later as Managing Director of Blue Goose Theatre Ensemble, of which he was a founding member. An award-winning filmmaker, Brent’s films have screened as part of the Frog Baby Film Festival and Indianapolis 48 Hour Film Project. He graduated from Ball State University with degrees in Directing and Theatre Education, and currently serves on the board of The Passage Theatre.


Izzy French (Assistant Stage Manager) is ecstatic to be working with Rivendell Theatre Ensemble for the first time. Her previous stage management credits include Weathervane Theatre Season 53, Conference of the Birds (Columbia College), Fear & Misery in the Third Riech (Haven Theatre), Servant of Two Masters (Columbia College), King Liz (Windy City Playhouse), and Dying For It (Columbia College). She is a senior pursuing a BFA in theatre technology at Columbia College Chicago, although Izzy is originally from White Bear Lake, Minnesota. In addition to stage management, She also works in scenic painting, props, and Illustration.


Tara Mallen (Rivendell Artistic Director / Producer) is an actor, director, and the Producing Artistic Director at Rivendell Theatre Ensemble. She is the 2017 3Arts William Franklin Grisham Awardee and the 2014 Volunteers of America Silver Star Awardee. Most recently Mallen was seen onstage in The Cake. In 2016 she performed in the world premiere production of Lynn Nottage’s Sweat at Arena Stage. Prior to that she was in Rivendell’s Jeff nominated world premiere productions of Look, we are breathing and Rasheeda Speaking. Tara appeared in the Steppenwolf Theatre Company production of How Long Will I Cry: Stories of Youth Violence written by Chicago Journalist Miles Harvey. She was part of the ensemble in Rivendell’s world premiere, Jeff nominated production of The Wallsand played Jolene Palmer (inspired by the true-life story of Aileen Wuornos) in Rivendell’s award winning production of Self Defense, or the Death of Some Salesmen–both productions part of Steppenwolf Theatre Company’s Visiting Theater Initiative. For Rivendell, Tara has produced and acted in over twenty-five productions. She received a Joseph Jefferson award for Supporting Actress for her portrayal of Gwenyth in WRENS as part of that production’s Jeff-winning ensemble. She was nominated the following year for Actress in a Principal Role for her work in My Simple City. Her screen credits include Steven Soderbergh’s film Contagion opposite Kate Winslet , the Starz series Bossstarring Kelsey Grammer, the NBC pilot of Chicago Fire, the CBS/Sony Pictures pilot Doubt,  the NBC series Chicago P.D. and the new Netflix series Sense8 directed by Lana and Andy Wachowski. With Rivendell, Tara conceived and directed the world premiere of WOMEN AT WAR,  directed the Jeff nominated Midwest premieres of The Electric Baby, 26 Miles (in co-production with Teatro Vista); Fighting Words; Psalms of a Questionable Nature; the co-production of Elliot, a Soldier’s Fugue with Stageworks/Hudson in Hudson, NY; and the brief and brilliant Shady Meadows by Lisa Dillman as part of the 2007 Chicago Humanities Festival.


Jackie Banks-Mahlum (Rivendell Managing Director / Producer) is an arts manager, producer, and educator based in Chicago. She was thrilled to join the Rivendell Theatre Ensemble as the Managing Director in March 2014. Jackie is also the Membership and Development Associate at Arts Alliance Illinois, and the Co-Producer for Theatricum Botanicum. Previously Jackie was in the Los Angeles area where she worked with Center Theatre Group’s P.L.A.Y., the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and Theatricum Botanicum. She has also freelanced regionally where she has had the opportunity to work in a variety of performing arts including opera, ballet, modern dance, improv, and theatre. She is a member of Actors’ Equity Association, has a Bachelor of Science in Theatre Production and Business Management from Bradley University, and a Masters of Fine Arts in Producing from the California Institute of the Arts.

Coming Soon!

Related stories to SCIENTIFIC METHOD:

How Universities Deal With Sexual Harassment Needs Sweeping Change, Panel Says
“…the costs for women — and for the ability of scientific fields to retain the full range of talented people — can be great, even if the consequences can seem subtle at first…”



Girls’ STEM programs alone can’t combat #MeToo in science fields
“There are generations of women that we have lost to science because we pushed them out. They did come, they got their degrees, they tried to join a lab or start a tenure-track job, but then they left…”

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