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Rivendell Theatre’s ‘Women at War’ Finishes To Rave Reviews

Rivendell just finished up their premiere production of ‘Women at War’ that ran from November 5 – December 6, 2014. The piece was extremely successful and received rave reviews, seating a packed house almost every show.

The theatre company spent the last four years developing this piece that examines the complexities of being a woman at war. With national ongoing controversy about women serving in the military, this play gives us a view into personal experiences of what it means to be a woman while committing to serve your country.

RT_WAWThe piece is based on research, narratives and submissions from female veterans who had served in some form of military service. The production featured 8 actresses who came from very different homes and were serving their country for different reasons. Going through such intense experiences together, the women form close friendships and  become life-long ‘bunk buddies’. You see the women transform from pre to post deployment and how their lives would be forever changed based on their time being on duty. From mothers who had to leave young children at home with relatives, high-ranking sergeants who have served several deployments around the world, to previous cheerleaders turned competitive, all the women offer a unique lived experience with a multitude of challenges.

Artistic Director Tara Mallen worked with writer Megan Carney to compile the piece.  As part of the artistic process, the entire group ensemble spent an entire weekend in the woods practicing drills, reading the narratives, doing research on military and exploring what role women played throughout history. On one of the walls on the stage is a large net that has multi-colored notes hung to them. At the end of each show audience members were invited to write a note to women who served in the military and attach it to the net. This is just one example of how Rivendell continues to go above and beyond when bridging their work to the communities they are connected to.

Unfortunately this play has just ended, but Rivendell theatre continues to push the boundaries with plays that focus on the female experience. With critically acclaimed productions such as WRENS by Anne McGravie, Faulkner’s Bicycle by Heather McDonald, American Wee Pie by Lisa Dillman and Rasheeda Speaking by Joel Drake Johnson; the theatre continues to gain great respect.

Rivendell has been at their new Edgewater space at 5779 N. Ridge since 2012 but has been making waves in the theater world for eighteen years now.

Next up at Rivendell is the world premier of Look, We Are Breathing by Chicago playwright Laura Jacqmin. April 2-May 16, 2015. Then on May 30, 2015 is the return of the popular Rasheeda Speaking.  


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