Tara Mallen is an actor, director, and producer as well as a founding member and the current Artistic Director for Rivendell Theatre Ensemble. Most recently she was seen in the Steppenwolf Garage as part of the ensemble in Rivendell’s World Premiere, Jeff-nominated production of The Walls. Tara also played Jolene Palmer, inspired by the true-life story of Aileen Wuornos, in Rivendell’s “Jeff Recommended” production of Self Defense, or the Death of Some Salesmen. Both productions were part of Steppenwolf Theatre Company’s Visiting Theater Initiative. The cast of Self Defense was also honored with a 2005 After Dark award for Best Ensemble. For Rivendell, Tara has both produced and acted in Twenty-Seven Wagons Full of Cotton; Ten Tiny Fingers, Nine Tiny Toes; WRENS; My Simple City; Holy Days; Mommapalooza!; The Clink; The Factory Girls; Faulkner’s Bicycle; The Trestle at Popelick Creek andIndulgences in the Louisville Harm.
She received a Joseph Jefferson award for Best Supporting Actress for her portrayal of Gwenyth in WRENS as part of that production’s Jeff-winning ensemble. She was nominated the following year for Best Actress in a Principal Role for her work in My Simple City. For Rivendell, Tara has directed the Jeff-nominated Midwest premieres of 26 MILES by Quiara Alegria Hudes, Fighting Words by Sunil Kuruvilla; Psalms of a Questionable Nature by Marisa Wegerzyn; the co-production of Elliot, a Soldier’s Fugue with Stageworks/Hudson in Hudson, NT; and the brief and brilliant Shady Meadows by Lisa Dillman as part of the 2007 Chicago Humanities Festival. Look for Tara in Stephen Soderbergh’s latest film Contagion, which will be released in the summer of 2011.
Tara graduated Magna Cum Laude with a BFA from Brooklyn College.