Rivendell Theatre Ensemble to Extend ALIAS GRACE Through 11/4

By: Oct. 04, 2017
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Rivendell Theatre Ensemble (RTE), Chicago's only Equity theatre dedicated to producing new work with women at the core, in association with Brian Nitzkin, announces the extension of the world premiere production of Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood, adapted for the stage by Jennifer Blackmer, and directed by RTE Co-Founder Karen Kessler. Alias Grace now runs through November 4, 2017, at Rivendell Theatre Ensemble, 5779 N. Ridge Avenue in Chicago. Tickets to extension performances of Alias Grace are on sale and available by calling the box office at (773) 334-7728 or www.RivendellTheatre.org.

Joining the cast of Alias Grace for the extension performances beginning October 20 are Eric Slater (Simon Jordan), Charlie Strater (Thomas Kinnear), Michael Szeles (Jerimiah / Dupont). The current cast includes RTE members Ashley Neal (Grace Marks) and Jane Baxter Miller (Mrs. Humphrey), with Steve Haggard (Simon Jordan, thru October 15), Maura Kidwell (Nancy Montgomery), Ayssette Muñoz (Mary Whitney), David Raymond (James McDermott), Amro Salama (Jerimiah /Jerome Dupont, thru October 15) and Drew Vidal (Thomas Kinnear, thru October 15).

A world premiere adaptation of Margaret Atwood's acclaimed novel Alias Grace takes a look at one of Canada's most notorious murderers. In 1843, 16-year-old Grace Marks was accused of brutally murdering her employer and his housekeeper. Imprisoned for years, Grace swears she has no memory of the killings. A doctor in the emerging field of mental health arrives to try to find out the truth of the matter. Alias Grace is a fascinating study of memory, culpability, and the shadowy spaces within the human mind.

Artistic Director Tara Mallen comments, "Alias Grace is the perfect culmination for our season-long exploration of the Mind/Body connection-written by a woman (incidentally one of my all-time favorite feminist authors), adapted by a woman, and directed by a woman, the play centers on yet another young woman who, because of her economic status and gender, is completely marginalized. The story tackles truth, personal identity and how women seek to maintain autonomy in situations where it is quite literally taken from them. The themes are absolutely relevant, resonant and aligned with our mission. As Chicago's only Equity theater with women at its core, we are honored that Margaret Atwood granted the rights for Jennifer Blackmer to adapt her work and for Rivendell to produce it."

This play was originally developed in collaboration with the Department of Theatre and Dance at Ball State University (http://cms.bsu.edu).

The designers for Alias Grace include RTE member Elvia Moreno (scenic), RTE member Janice Pytel (costumes), Michael Mahlum (lighting), LJ Luthringer (sound), and Lacie Hexom (properties). Jessica Hutchinson is the Dramaturg and Associate Director. The stage manager is Jenniffer Thusing.

Following the success of Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale on hulu, Alias Grace has been adapted into a six-part miniseries to debut this fall on Netflix. The miniseries was adapted and produced by Sarah Polley (Away From Her), directed by Mary Harron (American Psycho), and features Anna Paquin.

Author Margaret Atwood will be honored in Chicago on October 11, 2017, with the Carl Sandburg Literary Award, presented by The Chicago Public Library Foundation and Chicago Public Library. The Carl Sandburg Literary Award celebrates a writer's collective body of work. Many of the world's most important authors have been recognized with the prize, which is regarded as one of the nation's most prestigious literary prizes. The annual celebration will be held at the Carl Sandburg Literary Awards Dinner at The Forum (725 W. Roosevelt Road) on the campus of the University of Illinois at Chicago. For more information visit cplfoundation.org.


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