'Women at War' Opens in Chicago This Week
After four years of development, Rivendell Theatre Ensemble's Women at War opens in Chicago this week for a one-month run. Written by RTE member Megan Carney, who is also Director of the Gender & Sexuality Center at the University of Illinois at Chicago, and directed by Rivendell's Artistic Director, Tara Mallen, the play begins previews November 5. After an official gala opening November 9, performances continue Wednesdays through Saturdays from November 12 through December 6 (except November 26 and 27) at the Rivendell Theatre.
The all-female cast includes Rengin Altay (Awake and Sing at Steppenwolf), Rivendell founding member and Jeff Award nominee Mary Cross (WRENS), Krystel V. McNeil (ETA Theatre's Jeff-nominated Jar the Floor) and U.S. Army paralegal-turned-actor Cynthia Hines.
"Working closely with veterans and organizations," Rivendell's website explains, "we explore the world of female soldiers from enlistment to deployment to the often complicated return home."
Now celebrating its 20th season, Rivendell is described as "Chicago's only professional theatre company dedicated to the work of women theatre artists." In 2012 the ensemble established a permanent home at 5775 N. Ridge Avenue, where it strives to present "artistically challenging, thought-provoking plays that explore the female experience. Driven by the belief that the female experience is dynamic and ever-changing, Rivendell continues to revisit, revise, and reinvigorate its mission to serve women artists and audiences in new and lasting ways."
One of those ways is a fundraising drive to bring Women at War to veterans and active military personnel in the communities where they live and work.