Madison Fiedler (Playwright)
Madison Fiedler is a New York-based, North Carolina-raised playwright. Her work has been developed with BoHo Theatre, Victory Gardens, IRT Theater, Actor’s Express (2019 National Showcase of New Plays) and, most recently, Hudson Guild Theater (New York Theater Festival) and Florida Repertory Theatre in the 2019 PlayLab Festival. Representation: Helen Schultz, A3 Artists Agency. BA: Northwestern University (2019). www.madisonfiedler.net
Hallie Gordon (Ensemble member and Director) has directed Eat Your Heart Out, Dry Land, and Cal and Camo for Rivendell Theatre. Hallie is currently the Artistic Director Steppenwolf for Young Adults/Artistic Producer at Steppenwolf, along with selecting the young adult season, Hallie has directed the following for Steppenwolf Theatre: HIR, The Rembrandt the world premiere of Animal Farm, The Book Thief, along with To Kill A Mockingbird, the world premiere of The House on Mango Street, and Harriet Jacobs adapted for the stage by Lydia R. Diamond. A new premier of Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye also adapted by Lydia R. Diamond which won a Black Excellence Award from the African American Arts Alliance of Chicago, This production also transferred Off-Broadway to The New Victory Theatre. For Writers Theater Smart People, Eclipsed for Northlight Theatre and has directed staged readings for The Goodman Theatre, Timeline Theatre, Chicago Dramatists and Steppenwolf Theatre Company. And is the recipient of The Helen Coburn Meier & Tim Meier Achievement Award.
Deya Friedman (Production Stage Manager) is excited to be working with Rivendell Theatre Ensemble for the first time. Last year, Deya served as Stage Manager for Miracle the Musical at the Royal George Theatre and most recently as Stage Manager for Congo Square Theatre’s Day of Absence. Earlier Chicago credits include productions at Goodman Theatre, Court Theatre, Northlight, Teatro Vista, the Broadway Playhouse, and the Marriott Theatre in Lincolnshire, where she also served as Production Manager for three seasons. Deya taught stage management classes at Loyola University Chicago, DePaul University, and was a part of the teaching staff at the University of Tennessee Knoxville.
Kristen Osborn (Associate Director) Kristen Osborn is a Chicago-based director and theatre maker who is passionate about sparking compassion through storytelling. Currently, Kristen serves as Artistic Associate and Outreach Coordinator at Rivendell Theatre Ensemble, and the Literary Manager and Casting Associate at Northlight Theatre. She is the founder and producing artistic director of JoyistLA. Directing credits include Sam Chanse’s the opportunities of extinction, Eugene O’Neill’s Fog, JoyistLA’s First Embrace, and an original adaptation of the Orpheus and Eurydice.
Catherine Yu (Dramaturg)
Catherine Yu is a writer of plays and librettos. She has been a 2016 NYSCA/NYFA fellow, a MacDowell Colony Fellow, a Soho Rep W/D Lab writer and a New York Theatre Workshop Emerging Artist of Color. Her short plays have been commissioned by 52nd Street Project, Two Headed Rep and Planned Parenthood among others. Her one-act “A Sand Romance” was a 2016 Heidman Award finalist. Her arts writing has been published by Hyperallergic. She has served as a grants panelist for the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council and Brooklyn Arts Council. As an educator, she has been a volunteer GED tutor for prison inmates, an ESL tutor in China and is currently a tutor to elementary school children. In her spare time, she volunteers at the Ronald McDonald House and script reads for regional theaters. BA: Stanford University. MFA: New York University.
Joanna Iwanicka (Scenic Design)
Mike Mahlum (Lighting Design)
Janice Pytel (Costume Design)
Chicago credits include work with Steppenwolf Theatre Company, Victory Gardens Theatre, Court Theatre, Chicago Opera Theater, Writers Theatre, About Face Theatre, Lookingglass Theatre Company, Chicago Shakespeare Theater and others. Broadway credits include Hillary and Clinton and I Am My Own Wife. Regional theater credits include work with Geffen Playhouse, Center Theatre Group, Alley Theatre, Kansas City Repertory Theatre, Milwaukee Repertory Theater, Madison Repertory Theater and Alliance Theatre, among others. Pytel is a member of the Rivendell Theatre Ensemble and chairs the Chicago Costume Design committee for United Scenic Artists, Local 829.
Michael Huey (Sound Design, Associate Costume Design)
Michael Huey (Original Music and Sound Designer) has composed music and designed sound for more than 60 theatrical productions across the Chicago area. He has a long-running history with Sideshow Theatre Company in addition to Adventure Stage Chicago, Filament Theatre, North Park University, Lookingglass, Steppenwolf, Bros do Prose, Chicago Shakespeare, and more. Recent credits include X with Sideshow Theatre and Lookingglass Theatre’s Her Honor Jane Byrne (written and directed by J. Nicole Brooks). Music and more can be found at officialmichaelhuey.com.
Catherine Allen (Production Manager) is thrilled to continue her work with Rivendell where she previously production managed, Laura and the Sea, I Wanna Fucking Tear You Apart, Scientific Method, The Cake, and Cal in Camo. Other production management credits include work with Steep Theatre, where she is an Artistic Associate, Sideshow Theatre, About Face Theatre, Griffin Theatre, Route 66, Congo Square, Oak Park Festival Theatre, Pegasus Theatre Chicago, Haven Theatre, and many circuses with Actors Gymnasium where she is the staff Production Manager. She is a graduate of the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, where she received a BFA in Acting.
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 for which she won the 2018 Jeff Award for Performer in a Principal Role. 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 Steppenwolf’s 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 Walls and 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’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 Boss starring Kelsey Grammer, the NBC pilot of Chicago Fire, the CBS/Sony Pictures pilot Doubt, the NBC series Chicago P.D. and the 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 (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. 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.