Tara Mallen is the founder and Artistic Director of Rivendell Theatre Ensemble, Chicago's only professional theater dedicated to producing work with women at the core. An actor, director, and producer, she was most recently on stage in Rivendell’s world premiere production of The Firebirds Take the Field. Prior to that she appeared in Lynn Nottage’s Pulitzer-Prize winning play, Sweat, at Arena Stage, and Steppenwolf Theatre’s How Long Will I Cry: Stories of Youth Violence, written by Chicago journalist Miles Harvey. Other notable productions at Rivendell include Jeff-nominated, world premiere productions of Look, we are breathing; Rasheeda Speaking; The Walls; and Self Defense, or the Death of Some Salesmen.
Tara has produced and/or acted in more than thirty productions at Rivendell and received a Joseph Jefferson award for “Supporting Actress” for WRENS as well as being part of that production’s Jeff-winning "Best Ensemble.” She was nominated the following year for “Actress in a Principal Role” for her work in My Simple City. She co-conceived and directed the critically-acclaimed world premiere of Women At War, a theatrical exploration of women in today’s military that played to sold-out houses in the fall of 2014 and is now touring throughout the Midwest. She also directed the Jeff-nominated Midwest premieres of The Electric Baby; 26 Miles (in co-production with Teatro Vista); Fighting Words; Psalms of a Questionable Nature; and the co-production of Elliot, a Soldier’s Fugue with Stageworks/Hudson.
Tara’s screen credits include Steven Soderbergh’s film Contagion, as well as Boss; Chicago Fire; Chicago P.D.; Sense8; the CBS/Sony pilot Doubt, the FOX pilot Controversy, and the independent feature film Fools.