Rivendell’s EAT YOUR HEART OUT Review –Stirring the Pot Fearlessly

Rivendell Theatre Ensemble (RTE), stuck its artistic neck out by choosing Courtney Baron's "Eat Your Heart Out"Its gutsy ending to the “Stirring the Pot”season lays bare the pain and fears of each character tackling the big three: Family, Friendship and Romance.  They nailed it.


Go. Don’t miss this fine production of this fine play. All the information to make your reservation is in this article.  Here’s why you should not miss it (and probably not miss any other RTE productions):


"Eat Your Heart Out" the hit of the 2012 Humana Festival of New Plays intertwines the stories of six people and delves into the complexities of family, body image and hearts and minds consumed by longing. 

  • Why are Alice (Mary Cross*) and Gabe (Michael Szeles) so desperate to adopt a child and create a family? Do they think it will save their marriage?

  • Michael Szeles, Mary Cross and (back) Katherine Keberlein

  • Guilt-ridden single mom Nance (Katherine Keberlein) is eager to connect with her overweight teenage daughter, Evie (Anne Joy). Does she blame herself for Evie’s weight problems and self-loathing?

  • Katherine Keberlein, Anne Joy

  • Evie is trying to get her geeky best friend (Andrew Goetten) to like her as much as she likes him. But she’s too insecure to see that he already does!

  • Andrew Goetten, Anne Joy

  • As if all that isn’t enough, Nance is looking for some love on Match.com with Tom (Charlie Strater).  But both are so afraid of rejection, they can’t send or receive any clear, affirmative signals. And they’re not sure they should!
  • We look on as all six characters’ attempt to deal with their loneliness. Sometimes we look on with wry humor. Sometimes with sympathy. Always with the compassion that comes from a powerful script and solid acting.

  • Anne Joy

Producing Artistic Director Tara Mallenputs it best, “I was struck by how it was at once hilarious, heartbreaking and absolutely recognizable…and dares to tread, with a healthy dose of humor, on some really uncomfortable terrain.”


Regina Garcia*, scenic designer; Diane Fairchild*, lighting director, Victoria “Toy” DeIorio* rose to the creative challenge of constructing a three-room set in a tiny space. The resulting ingenious environment enables the cast to move from intimate room to suffocating room to cold impersonal room with ease and credibility.


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.

Baron has an MFA from ColumbiaUniversity 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 inspires 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 Street, Harriet 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.


 The performance schedule is Wednesday - Fridays at 8 p.m. and Saturdays at 4 and 8 p.m. The running time is approximately 90 minutes with no intermission.

Tickets are $30 for all other performances and may be purchased online at the Rivendell Website  or by phone,.773.334.7728

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.

For more information visit the Rivendell Theatre Ensemble website .

*Connotes Rivendell Theatre Ensemble member

Photos: Joe Mazza, Brave Lux, Inc. and Google Images

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