Another Rave Review: “Get thee to a park! Make haste!”

Another rave review for Much Ado About Nothing!  Barbara Keer of Splash Magazine called the show an “amazing production.” She writes,

Summer Magic in a Chicago Park
We could not remember a Shakespeare production that we found more enjoyable including outdoor productions in Cardiff, Wales, Livermore, CA and even formal productions at the Stratford Festival in Canada.

The large cast kept the action moving and with no raised stage, the actors essentially surrounded the audience and involved us in the action. It was fascinating to see the way the performance space became defined. The actors spoke each and every word clearly and audibly.  It was a delightful performance, accessible and involving.  The costuming was perfect and the actions, sword fight, dancing, singing and movements into the performance space and away held the audience’s attention including the children who attended.  All of the actors were convincing in their roles and the language seemed to flow into the action. (This play is unusual in that it is written in prose rather than poetry.)  However, Ashlee Edgemon as Beatrice was irresistible.  I have been telling all my friends, so I should also tell my readers to “Get thee to a park.  Make haste!”  Read the whole review here.

Ms. Keer also snapped some great pictures of the crowd at the opening performance. Check out the review on Splash Magazine’s website to see her photos!

Much Ado About Nothing is “Something to fall in love with”

Much Ado About Nothing opened this weekend to great weather, big crowds, and delighted critics!  Our first review is out and it’s a rave: Katy Walsh of The Fourth Walsh writes,

Well, this is much ado about something.  The show is a tightly-packed comedy.  Director  Beth Wolf has actors entering and exiting the makeshift stage by running.  The action clips.  The barbs fly.  The love grows.  It’s time to fall in love with Shakespeare’s favorite unlikely couple.Much Ado About Nothing in the park is an ideal summer outing notion.  Read the whole rave review here.

We had a great time this weekend and we can’t wait to get out there at Schreiber Park again next weekend. Plan your visit now to come see the show!

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Get a sneak peek at Much Ado About Nothing

Thanks to photographer Zack Whittingon, we have some early photos to share! Check out our two couples: Beatrice (Ashlee Edgemon) and Benedick (Martel Manning), and Hero (Vivian Knouse) and Claudio (Adam Habben).

The show opens July 19. Make your plans now!

#ctc4respect

There is an online, grassroots movement happening this week in the Chicago Theatre Community.  Several Chicago theatre folks were very moved by the response to the recent UCSB shooting, and specifically the #yesallwomen and #allmencan hashtags.  They have started a campaign for the Chicago theatre community to show our support by posting photos on Facebook of ourselves holding signs with supportive messages.

One of the architects of the movement, John Morrison, said on Facebook, “I strongly believe that the best way to face anger, contempt, and cruelty is with empathy, compassion, and kindness.” Here is Midsommer Flight’s photo, taken at Much Ado About Nothing rehearsal on June 17, 2014.

ctc4respect

Rehearsal Photos

Last night was our first rehearsal outside.  It feels great to be out in the parks again!

Support Free Shakespeare in the Park

Our annual fundraising campaign is underway! Please help us reach our goal to raise $1,000 by July 18, 2014, the day before Much Ado About Nothing opens.

Your contribution will support all areas of our production: costumes, prop & scenic elements, and administrative costs, to name a few. Because we present our performances free to the public, we are counting on support from our generous donors to help defray the costs of production.

Please consider a donation of the average cost of a theatre ticket in Chicago (anywhere from $50 to $20) to support free Shakespeare in the park.

To make your contribution, click here.  Thank you!

Announcing the cast of MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING

Headshot Thumbnail-Much Ado

We are thrilled to announce that casting is complete for Much Ado About Nothing.  Thank you so much to all of the actors who auditioned; we had tough decisions to make and we sincerely appreciate everyone’s time and talent.

And now, the cast of this summer’s Much Ado About Nothing (to see photos of the actors, click here):

Benedick Martel Manning
Beatrice Ashlee Edgemon
Claudio Adam Habben
Hero Vivian Knouse
Leonato Scott Olson
Antonio J. Preddie Predmore
Don Pedro Chris Smith
Don John Frank Sawa
Borachio Jason Markoff
Conrade Liam Fitzgerald
Ursula Kanome Jones
Margaret Meredith Ernst
Balthasar Elizabeth Rentfro
Dogberry Jared Dennis
Verges Christina Renee Jones
Watch 1 Glenn Garrabrant
Watch 2 Meg Harkins
Watch 3 Travis Cook
Sexton/Friar Sheila Willis

Announcing Summer 2014 Plans

A CHICAGO SUMMER TRADITION CONTINUES AS MIDSOMMER FLIGHT ANNOUNCES ITS OUTDOOR SUMMER PRODUCTION OF

WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE’S MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING

JULY 19 – AUGUST 24, 2014

Midsommer Flight Returns to Rogers Park’s Touhy Park and Scheiber Park and Adds Gross Park in Lincoln Square to the Chicago Park District Venues Hosting Shakespeare’s Enchanting Comedy, Perfect for the Whole Family.

Midsommer Flight announces its third summer season of Shakespeare in the Park with the delightful comedy Much Ado About Nothing by William Shakespeare and directed by Midsommer Flight’s Founder and Producing Artistic Director Beth Wolf. Dedicated to presenting outdoor performances of Shakespeare’s plays, Midsommer Flight is a proud arts partner with the Chicago Park District.

Much Ado About Nothing runs for six weeks from July 19 through August 24, Saturdays at 6 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. For performance locations and details, click here. All performances will be presented free of charge (donations gratefully accepted). In addition, 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.

Midsommer Flight’s Much Ado About Nothing features a cast of 20 and tells a tale of love winning out despite any obstacles. One of Shakespeare’s most beloved comedies, Much Ado takes the audience to an Italian villa, where two pairs of lovers, Beatrice and Benedick, and Claudio and Hero, navigate through deceptions ranging from sinister to hilarious on their journey toward happily ever after.

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We are so excited for another summer and we hope to see you at the park!

 

Midsommer Flight awarded 2014 SEED Grant

Great news!  Midsommer Flight has been awarded a 2014 SEED grant from Friends of the Parks. Friends of the Parks (FOTP) is a 501(c)(3) designated park advocacy organization, dedicated to preserving, protecting, and improving Chicago’s parks and forest preserves for all citizens. We are so grateful to FOTP for their support and investment in our mission. This grant will go directly to support the costs associated with our 2014 summer Shakespeare in the park tour.

Speaking of which, plans are underway for another great summer. Stay tuned for more news and updates, including the play selection, dates, and announcement of a new park venue in 2014. It’s going to be another great summer!

Announcing Midsommer Flight’s Artistic Ensemble

Happy New Year!

Although the Midsommer Flight website has been quiet since our summer production of Romeo and Juliet closed, the company is definitely still at work.  Exciting things are in store for Midsommer Flight in 2014.  Starting with…

…the formation of Midsommer Flight’s Artistic Ensemble.  These talented and dedicated artists have already made significant contributions to the company over the first two years.  Please join us in welcoming the new faces of the company!  You can read about these fantastic folks on our brand new Meet the Company page.

Midsommer Flight Artistic Ensemble
Ashlee Edgemon

John Ham
Kanome’ Jones
Beth Laske-Miller (Resident Costume Designer)
Molly Lyons
J. Preddie Predmore
Dylan Roberts (Producing Manager)
Brian Scannell
Chris Smith
Julian Stroop
Sheila Willis

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