Midsommer Flight, the professional not-for-profit theatre company that has been bringing free Shakespeare to Chicago parks since 2012, will expand its programming from two to three productions for its 2018 season. Founding Artistic Director Beth Wolf made the announcement today. Continuing the tradition of free summer Shakespeare the company began in 2012, Midsommer Flight will perform the comedy TWO GENTLEMEN OF VERONA from July 7 – August 26, 2018. TWELFTH NIGHT, which the company first staged in 2015, will return for its fourth year in the Show House of the Lincoln Park Conservatory, with performances from November 29 – December 16, 2018. The addition to the season will be a staged reading of RICHARD III on April 23 and 30 at Galway Arms Irish Bar and Restaurant at 2442 N Clark St. in Lincoln Park. The RICHARD III reading and TWO GENTLEMEN OF VERONA will be free, while TWELFTH NIGHT will be Pay-What-You-Can.
RICHARD III, one of Shakespeare’s most popular history plays, will be a co-production with Unbound Theatre Company and will be directed by Unbound’s Kristina McCloskey, who previously worked with Midsommer Flight as Assistant Director on AS YOU LIKE IT in 2016. McCloskey will employ a diverse, adaptive cast in telling the story of the political scheming, ascent to the throne and short reign of the 15th Century English monarch.
The cast will be led by Midsommer Flight ensemble member Elizabeth Rentfro* as Richard. Also in the cast are Emily Demko (Lady Anne/Catesby), Meredith Ernst* (Clarence/ Duke of York), Amanda Forman (Rivers/Bishop of Ely/Tyrell), LaKecia Harris (Richmond/King Edward/Prince Edward), Renee Klopfenstein (Duchess of York/Mayor), Gaby Labotka (Dorset/Norfolk), Maggie Miller (Buckingham), Priya Mohanty (Stanley, Earl of Derby), Morayo Orija (Hastings), Jennifer Midori Vance (Queen Elizabeth/Captain Blunt), Robin Waisanen* (Ratcliffe/Brakenbury), Maureen Yasko (Queen Margaret). The production staff will include Kate Lass (Assistant Director), Kristin Hammargren (Text Coach), and Dylan S. Roberts (Producer).
* indicates Midsommer Flight company member
RICHARD III will be performed on Mondays April 23 and April 30, at 7:30 PM.Tickets will be free, with reservations available through the Midsommer Flight website.
TWO GENTLEMEN OF VERONA, to be performed over eight weekends in four different Chicago Park District parks, is believed to be Shakespeare’s first play. The “Two Gentlemen” are Valentine and Proteus, who travel from Verona to Milan, where they fall in love with the same woman, even though Proteus professed to be in love with Julia, back in Verona. Or at least he thinks she’s back in Verona. The comedy deals with many of the themes Shakespeare would explore in later plays, including loyalty and friendship, the foolishness of love and lovers and whether friendship trumps love. Midsommer Flight’s production will be directed by Beth Wolf, with a cast to be announced later. It will be performed in Lincoln Park, Gross Park, Touhy Park, and for the first time, Chicago Women’s Park and Gardens at 1801 S. Indiana Ave. on Chicago’s near south side. The production is free, and reservations are neither necessary nor offered.
This coming winter, Midsommer Flight will stage Shakespeare’s TWELFTH NIGHT for the fourth consecutive holiday season, complete with its acclaimed musical score. As it was in previous years, TWELFTH NIGHT will be presented in the Show House room at the Lincoln Park Conservatory, 2391 Stockton Dr. Chicagoland Musical Theatre.com said of the 2017 production, “As the audience settles in to these wondrous surroundings, the festive mood sets a playful tone that continues throughout this highly enjoyable and ambitious production.”
The 2018 dates for TWELFTH NIGHT are November 29 – December 16, 2018. Curtain times are Thursdays – Sundays @ 7:30 PM. The cast and crew of TWELFTH NIGHT will be announced at a later date. Tickets are Pay-What-You-Can and reservations are recommended due to limited seating – reservations will be available through the Midsommer Flight website in October.
RICHARD III (Staged reading)
By William Shakespeare
A co-production with Unbound Theatre Company
Directed by Kristina McCloskey
Mondays, April 23 and 30, 7:30 PM
Galway Arms Irish Bar and Restaurant, 2442 N Clark St.
Free – reservations available at www.midsommerflight.com
TWO GENTLEMEN OF VERONA
By William Shakespeare
Directed by Beth Wolf
July 7 – August 26, 2018
Saturdays at 6 PM and Sundays at 2 PM
Venues vary by week:
Live music will be presented a half hour prior to each performance. Audiences are encouraged to come early and bring a picnic to enjoy this free programming.
Advance reservations are not offered - seating is first come, first served, and audience members can bring their own blankets or chairs. Show information on website at www.midsommerflight.com, including detailed schedule and info about directions and parking at each park.
TWELFTH NIGHT, OR WHAT YOU WILL
By William Shakespeare
Original Music by Elizabeth Rentfro and Alex Mauney
November 29 – December 16, 2018
Show House room at the Lincoln Park Conservatory, 2391 Stockton Dr., Chicago
Thursdays – Sundays @ 7:30 PM
Tickets are Pay-What-You-Can and reservations are recommended due to limited seating – reservations will be available through the Midsommer Flight website (www.midsommerflight.com) in October.
ABOUT MIDSOMMER FLIGHT. Midsommer Flight is a theatre company dedicated to presenting high quality, accessible productions of Shakespeare’s plays in Chicago communities. After the company’s well-received inaugural production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream in 2012, the Chicago City Council honored Midsommer Flight with a resolution praising “the Midsommer Flight theater troupe on their dedication to bringing the arts to underserved communities.” The company incorporated as a not-for-profit in the state of Illinois in early 2013 and has since produced ROMEO AND JULIET (2013), MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING (2014), MACBETH (2015), TWELFTH NIGHT (2015, 2016, 2017) AS YOU LIKE IT (2016), and HAMLET (2017).
Midsommer Flight is committed to presenting financially accessible theatre. Summer productions are 100% free to the public (donations gratefully accepted) and winter programming is Pay-What-You-Can. In addition, live music will be presented prior to each summer performance. Audiences are encouraged to come early and bring a picnic to enjoy this free programming. For more information visit www.midsommerflight.com.
our most recent top picks
Blue Man Group ★★★