(Foreground) Michael Szeles (Gabe) and Mary Cross (Alice) with (Background) Katherine Keberlein (Nance) Photography by Joe Mazza – Brave Lux Inc.

Rivendell Theatre Ensemble (RTE) Chicago’s only Equity theatre devoted to the work of women theatre artists, and Artistic Director Tara Mallen are proud to announce the extension of the Chicago premiere of Courtney Baron’s Eat Your Heart Out, directed by Hallie Gordon, through July 12 at Rivendell’s performance venue, 5779 N. Ridge Ave. The performance schedule is Wednesday – Fridays at 8 p.m. and Saturdays at 4 and 8 p.m. Please note: there are no performances Friday, July 4 orSaturday, July 5. The running time is approximately 80 minutes with no intermission. Tickets for the extension go on sale Tuesday, June 24 at 10 a.m. Tickets are $30 and may be purchased online atwww.RivendellTheatre.org or by phone, 773.334.7728.

Rivendell’s production of Eat Your Heart Out, the hit of the 2012 Humana Festival of New Plays, is Jeff Recommended and has received unanimous acclaim from audiences and critics. The story intertwines the stories of six people and delves into the complexities of family, body image and hearts and minds consumed by longing. Alice (Mary Cross*) and Gabe (Michael Szeles) are desperate to adopt a child and create a family. Single mom Nance (Katherine Keberlein) is eager to connect with her overweight teenage daughter Evie (Anne Joy). Evie is trying to get her geeky best friend (Andrew Goetten) to like her as much as she likes him.  Woven through these stories is Nance’s attempt to find love on Match.comwith Tom (Charlie Strater) as all six characters dance around their own loneliness.

The production team includes Pat Fries*, associate producer; Hannah Baker Bramson, assistant stage manger; Rigel Nunez, technical director; Regina Garcia*, scenic designer; Diane Fairchild*, lighting director, Victoria “Toy” Deiorio*, sound designer; Christine Pascual, costumer designer; and Lucy Schuh, assistant production designer.

*Connotes Rivendell Theatre Ensemble member


Baron’s plays have been produced at The Magic Theatre, Guthrie Theatre in Minneapolis, Actors Theatre of Louisville, as part of the 24-Hour Plays, as part of the Larson Project at New York Theatre Workshop, at the Jose Quintero Theatre, as part of the Chekhov Now Festival and at City Theatre in Miami. Her plays have been workshopped and read at the Atlantic Theatre, the Cherry Lane Theatre, Ensemble Studio Theatre, the Famous

Door Theatre in Chicago, Manhattan Theatre Club, the Public Theatre, Primary Stages, Rattlestick Theatre and Royal Court Theatre in London. Baron has an MFA from Columbia University and is currently under commission with the Sloan Foundation and Manhattan Theater Club.


Hallie Gordon is currently the artistic and educational director of Steppenwolf for Young Adults at Steppenwolf Theatre Company. Gordon is the founder and co-creator of Now Is The Time, a city-wide initiative that inspired young people to make positive change in their communities and end youth violence and intolerance. As a theatre artist, she has directed Eclipsed at Northlight Theatre and at Steppenwolf: Leveling Up, the world premiere of The Book Thief, To Kill A Mockingbird, the world premiere of a new adaptation of Tanya Saracho’s The House on Mango StreetHarriet Jacobs, adapted for the stage by Lydia R. Diamond and a new premiere of Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye, also adapted by Diamond, that won a Black Excellence Award from the African American Arts Alliance of Chicago and moved to Off-Broadway at The New Victory Theatre. She has directed staged readings for The Goodman Theatre, Timeline Theatre, Chicago Dramatists and Steppenwolf Theatre Company. Gordon is the recipient of The Helen Coburn Meier & Tim Meier Achievement Award.


Since 1994 Rivendell Theatre Ensemble has given voice to theater’s forgotten majority—women. As Chicago’s only professional woman-centered theater company, RTE continues to develop relevant new stories in a fertile environment. Today, RTE remains steadfast in its commitment to provide female theater artists with an ally, advocate and artistic home in Chicago and has developed a reputation, both locally and nationally, for developing exceptional, groundbreaking work with women at the core.

Eat Your Heart Out is the latest in Rivendell’s long history of world and regional premieres—a history that, in addition to Anne McGravie’s award winning Wrens (1995 and 2012 seasons), includes the American Critics Association “Best New Play” My Simple City by Richard Strand, Carson Kreitzer’s Self-Defense (2004-05 season, with Steppenwolf), Quiara Alegria Hudes’ 26 Miles (2006-07 season, with Teatro Vista), Melanie Marnich’s These Shining Lives (2008 season, remounted in 2010), Stephen Massicotte’s Mary’s Wedding (2009-10 season), Catherine Trieschmann’s Crooked (2012 season), Lisa Dillman’s American Wee-Pie (2013 season) which was nominated for a Jeff Award for “Best New Play,” and Joel Drake Johnson’s Rasheeda Speaking in early 2014.

Since 2012, thanks in large part to the generosity of the Richard H. Driehaus Foundation and the MacArthur Foundation PAV Fund, RTE transformed two adjoining storefronts that had been empty for 30 years into a state-of-the-art 50-seat flexible theatre space at 5779 N. Ridge Ave. in Chicago’s exciting Edgewater neighborhood. RTE is rapidly becoming a major destination for new women writers and today offers an actual artistic home for women actors, directors and designers.

For more information about Rivendell’s exciting 2013 – 2014 “Stirring the Pot” season, visitwww.RivendellTheatre.org.

Free parking is available in the Senn High School parking lot (located a block and a half from the theatre behind the school off Thorndale Avenue). There is limited paid and free street parking in the area and the theatre is easily accessible via the Clark (#22) or Broadway (#36) bus and a short walk from the Bryn Mawr Red Line El station.

Rivendell Theatre Ensemble (RTE) extends the Chicago premiere of Courtney Baron’s Eat Your Heart Out, directed by Hallie Gordon, through July 12 at Rivendell’s performance venue, 5779 N. Ridge Ave. The performance schedule is Wednesday – Fridays at 8 p.m. and Saturdays at 4 and 8 p.m. Please note: there are no performances Friday, July 4 or Saturday, July 5. The running time is approximately 80 minutes with no intermission. Tickets are $30 and may be purchased online at www.RivendellTheatre.orgor by phone, 773.334.7728.


Rivendell Theatre Ensemble is supported in part by generous grants from: The Alphawood Foundation; The Elizabeth F. Cheney Foundation; The Chicago Community Trust; The Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation; The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation; The Elizabeth Morse Charitable Trust; A CityArts Grant from the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events and the Illinois Arts Council Agency.