Kimberly Dixon-Mays – Playwright
Kimberly Dixon-Mays is a poet, playwright and performer. A Cave Canem, Callaloo and Ragdale fellow, her poetry has been published in journals including Reverie, Anthology of Chicago, the anthology Trigger Warning, Uproot magazine, Rhino magazine (finalist, Founder’s Prize, 2018) and Consequence magazine (finalist, Prize in Poetry, ‘14). As a writer for theater, Kimberly was a recurring member of Guild Literary Complex’s Poetry Performance Incubator (2005-2013), co-creating and performing staged poetry. Her own plays have received several readings and staged productions, and among other honors, her play (Nine) was a featured reading for Congo Square Theatre Company’s 2019 August Wilson New Play Initiative, and a semi-finalist for the 2019 Eugene O’Neill National Playwrights Conference, and she is a 2018-20 Russ Tutterow Fellow with Chicago Dramatists. Kimberly holds a B.A. in Psychology/Theater Studies from Yale, an M.A. in Afro-American Studies (playwriting concentration) from UCLA, and a Ph.D. in Interdisciplinary Theatre/Drama from Northwestern.
Rashada Dawan – Director
Rashada Dawan is a proud Southside Chicago native and so grateful and excited to be a part of this exciting project and to be making her directorial debut! Select Chicago credits include: Madagascar, Junie B. Jones, The Nutcracker (Marriott Lincolnshire), Elf (Paramount), Caroline or Change (Firebrand/Timeline), Djembe (Foresight), Something In The Game (AMTP/ Wirtz), The Winner of Our Discontent, A Red Line Runs Through It (Second City), Aida (MUNY), Dynamite Divas, Black White Love Play and The Other Cinderella (Black Ensemble Theatre).
TV/Film: Chicago PD, Shameless, Hope Springs Eternal, Easy, The Red Line and Proven Innocent. Rashada is a Jeff award nominated actress, Executive Director of B.Fli Productions, Inc. and proud mother of 2. She is most thankful for God, her Village, family and friends, Paonessa Talent Agency and her two managers aka daughters, Journey and Genesis.
Shariba Rivers – Performer
Shariba Rivers is ecstatic to return to work with Rivendell Theatre. She was last seen on Rivendell’s stage as Elyse Manning in the production of The Tasters. She has worked with various theater companies around Chicago and is an ensemble member at MPAACT, The New Colony, and First Floor Theater. Other recent stage credits include Hoodoo Love (Raven Theatre) and Black Ballerina (Fleetwood Jourdain). Shariba voices Lily Harper in the very popular audiodrama, Unwell: A Midwestern Gothic Mystery, and was recently awarded “best performance of a leading role in a new audio play production” by AudioVerse Awards. TV credits include Empire, Chicago PD, Chicago Med, and The Chi. www.sharibatheactor.com.
Gabrielle Randle-Bent – Dramaturg
Gabrielle Randle-Bent is a scholar, director, and dramaturg who is passionate about social justice, storytelling, and the power of performance to change the world. She has a dual BA degree in drama and sociology from Stanford University and an MA degree in performance as public practice at The University of Texas at Austin. She has directed, devised, dramaturged, and produced professionally across the United States in Los Angeles, Washington D.C., Austin, and New York City (off-Broadway) and internationally on three continents. In Chicago she has worked with Sideshow Theatre Company (Artistic Associate), Chicago Dramatist, Victory Gardens Theater, Court Theatre and Steppenwolf Theatre. She is a fourth year PhD Candidate at Northwestern University in the interdisciplinary PhD in Theatre and Drama and the inaugural Court Theatre Research Fellow.
Cat Wilson – Lighting Design Consultant
Cat Wilson is proud to be joining Rivendell for this awesome experience. A Chicago-based lighting and projection designer for 8 years, she recently became the Assistant Professor of Lighting Design at Point Park University in Pittsburgh. Chicago credits include work with Goodman Theatre, Drury Lane Theatre, 16th Street Theater, Rivendell Theatre Ensemble, Chicago Shakespeare Theater, TimeLine Theatre, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, University of Illinois Chicago, The Joffrey Ballet Academy, Chicago Children’s Theatre, Kokandy Productions, Irish Theatre of Chicago, Hell in a Handbag Productions and many others. Regional credits include work with Portland Stage, Li Chiao-Ping Dance Company, Point Park University, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh Irish and Classical Theatre, Theatre Squared. She received an MFA from Carnegie Mellon University. www.CatWilsonDesigns.com
Sarah Ramos – Sound Design Consultant
Sarah is an Audiovisual Consultant for Charcoalblue, an international theatre, acoustic, and digital design consultancy. She spent nine years as the Resident Sound Supervisor for Court Theatre. Chicago sound credits with Court Theatre, Goodman Theatre, Steppenwolf Theatre, Lookingglass Theatre, Drury Lane Theatre, American Blues Theatre, Griffin Theatre, About Face Theatre, Gift Theatre, Congo Square Theatre, Bailiwick Chicago, Teatro Luna, Prop Thtr, Firebrand Theatre, and Livewire Chicago. Regional credits with Milwaukee Chamber Theatre (WI), First Stage Children’s Theatre (WI), Renaissance Theatreworks (WI), Indiana Repertory Theatre (IN), AndHow Theater Company (NY), Gateway Playhouse (NY), and Piedmont Opera (NC). She is an alumnus of the North Carolina School of the Arts.