Actress Molly Glynn was struck by a falling tree and killed in September 2014 while riding her bike through a Cook County forest preserve Credit: Courtesy Chicago Theater Memorial Bike Ride

The Chicago theater community will come together Saturday for the first Chicago Theater Memorial Bike Ride to commemorate actors, playwrights, critics, and other colleagues who have recently passed. The ride’s opening ceremony will commence at 9:30 AM at Rainbow Beach, and will include a reading of names and a minute of silence before participants set off on a 12-mile route that begins at 79th and Michigan Avenue, continues up the lakeshore bike path to the southern tip of Burnham Park, at which point cyclists will head back south. The ride also serves to raise money for the Actors Fund, an organization that serves entertainment professionals in need. 

After Chicago actress Molly Glynn was struck by a falling tree and killed last September while biking through a Cook County forest preserve, Glynn’s husband, actor Joe Foust, began organizing the memorial ride. Glynn had worked on Chicago Fire and was beloved among local theater professionals; many theaters went dark in her honor, and funds were solicited for months after her death to benefit causes she supported. Glynn’s passing was part of a tough year in which the theater community mourned the losses of Trinity P. Murdock, Joe Lambie, Sati Word, Sheldon Patinkin, and Eric Eatherly. Since then, the scene has said goodbye to critic Andrew Patner and Chicago Dramatists’ longtime creative director Russ Tutterow. They are among those memorialized on the Chicago Theater Memorial Bike Ride page.

“We’re going to be out there,” playwright/actor Robert Koon says, “moving ahead, feeling our hearts pumping, carrying the memories of our friends with us.”  

For more information, to read bios of all those memorialized, and to donate, go to