Tara Mallen: Founder & Artistic Director

An actor, director, producer and the Artistic Director at Rivendell Theatre Ensemble, Tara was most recently on stage in the Midwest premiere of The Cake by Bekah Brunstetter for which she was honored with a 2018 Jeff Award for “Best Actor”. Other recent credits include Sweat (Arena Stage); world premiere productions of Look, we are breathing and The Firebird’s Take the Field, and Rasheeda Speaking (Rivendell); How Long Will I Cry: Stories of Youth Violence (Steppenwolf for Young Audiences). She was part of the ensemble in Rivendell’s World Premiere, 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 Salesmenboth productions part of Steppenwolf Theatre Company’s Visiting Theater Initiative. She received a Joseph Jefferson award for “Supporting Actress” for her work 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.

Screen credits include Empire (Fox); Boss (Starz); Chicago Fire (NBC); Doubt (CBS/Sony Pictures pilot); Controversy (Fox Pilot); Chicago P.D. (NBC) and Sense8 (Netflix Original series); Steven Soderbergh’s film Contagion and the upcoming feature Swing Shift.

Tara co-conceived and directed the critically acclaimed World Premiere of Women At War, a theatrical exploration of women in today’s military that played to sold out houses in the fall of 2014 and is now touring throughout the mid-west; she also directed the Jeff nominated Midwest premieres of The Electric Baby by Stefanie Zadravec, 26 Miles (in co-production with Teatro Vista); Fighting Words by Sunil Kuruvilla; Psalms of a Questionable Nature by Marisa Wegerzyn; and the co-production of Elliot, a Soldier’s Fugue with Stageworks/Hudson in Hudson, New York.  Tara is the recipient of a 2017 “3Arts Award” for her work in Chicago as a theatre artist.

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


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