CHICAGO: Rivendell Theatre Ensemble has announced that Denise Yvette Serna will serve as the company’s associate artistic director, a newly created position funded in part by the Arts Work Fund. In this post, Serna aims to further the feminist goals of Rivendell by centering and championing women’s art and artists.
“For the past 25 years Rivendell has been centering the stories and amplifying the voices of women,” said artistic director Tara Mallen in a statement. “As we look forward to the next 25 years, we will expand our artistic vision and, along with Denise’s fresh perspectives, tremendous passion, and inspiration, we will reshape our programming and new play development initiatives. I am delighted to partner with Denise as we work together with our artistic ensemble to revision a future for Rivendell that is courageous, inclusive, anti-racist, and reflective of women’s stories from a multiplicity of perspectives.”
“I am looking forward to becoming more deeply connected to the creative, social, and civic passions of Rivendell artists past and present, so that we can collectively do our part to build a just and pleasurable future,” said Serna in a statement. “It is a gift to stand with 25 years of feminist storytelling, and to carry that legacy forward with intersectional leadership, global perspective, and community care.”
Denise Yvette Serna is a theatre practitioner and arts activist raised in San Juan, Texas. She has facilitated international workshops and productions with Global Hive Laboratories and its partners, as well as readings, fundraisers, panels, and festivals to raise awareness and promote activism and conversation about equity, accessibility, and justice . Serna’s Chicago directing and curating credits include productions with MCA Chicago, the Latinx Theatre Commons, Steppenwolf Theatre Company, Prop Thtr, Strawdog Theatre Company, Pop Magic Productions, The Neo-Futurists, Victory Gardens Theater, Writers Theatre, Goodman Theatre, El Semillero, and Steep Theatre Company. Producing credits include Dreams Beyond Borders: New Roots at Howard Area Community Center, Pop Magic’s salon series HOMESET, and the Syndicate’s FIRST READ. Serna is committed to supporting arts organizations as they champion equity, diversity, access and inclusion, and move forward as transformative anti-racist forces in their communities.
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