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Rivendell Theatre honors Willa Taylor, marks 20 years
by Tracy Baim, Windy City Times
2015-03-19

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Rivendell Theatre Ensemble's sold-out 2015 Salon fundraiser at Level Office marked the group's 20th anniversary of advancing women's lives "through the power of theater."

Rivendell cultivates the talents of women artists—writers, actors, directors, designers and technicians—"by seeking out innovative plays that explore unique female experiences and producing them in intimate, salon environments."

The event also honored Chicago's Willa Taylor for her role in helping advance the culture overall. Taylor, director of education and community engagement at the Goodman Theatre, has also played a strong role in advancing LGBT issues.

Rivendell is the only Equity theatre dedicated to producing artistically challenging and original plays created by and about women. They moved into their own theater space in 2010 in Edgewater.

Tara Mallen, founder and artistic director of Rivendell, spoke about the company's first production, Wrens, which was about women moving into the workforce during World War II, only to be shuffled back home when the troops returned. Appropriately, their most recent season featured the world premiere of Women at War, focused on the experiences of women who have fought in recent wars for the U.S.

Taylor, a U.S. Navy veteran, helped consult on the project, which was part of the reason she received the company's WREN Award.

Megan Carney, the writer of Women at War, presented Taylor with the award. Members of the cast also were on hand to showcase their work, as was one of the women whose stories was represented in Women at War.

Salon 2015 co-chairs were Sharon Furiya, Elvia Moreno and Don Wiener

See rivendelltheatre.org .

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