Midsommer Flight Awarded IACA Grant

iac_logoGreat news! Midsommer Flight has been awarded a generous grant from the Illinois Arts Council Agency. We are so honored and grateful to have state government support backing our mission to bring Shakespeare into Chicago communities.

While we are sad to see the summer end, this news certainly lifts our spirits!

Much Ado About Nothing Photo Gallery

We have great memories of Much Ado About Nothing this summer. Check out some of our favorite photos from photographer extraordinaire, Tom McGrath.

Rain cancellation

Unfortunately, we are cancelling today’s (Saturday 8/23) performance due to inclement weather.  We are just as sad as you about this news, but it’s the right thing to do in order to keep everyone safe.

You have just one more chance to see Much Ado About Nothing tomorrow at 2pm at Touhy Park.  We hope to see you there!

 

“Much Ado About Nothing is Much About Something Good!”

The great reviews just keep rolling in for Much Ado About Nothing!  James Murray from Showbiz Chicago writes,

Midsommer Flight has been performing his plays in different parks throughout Chicago since 2012 and if their current production of Much Ado About Nothing is any indicator, this is a company with a strong vision, great artistic direction and some strong actors who are at ease with the language, possess excellent diction and understanding of the text and excel at the art of story-telling…. Director Beth Wolf has done a fine job with staging the piece and getting some really great comic performances out of the actors…. Benedick and Beatrice [are] played with matched skill and strong chemistry by Martel Manning and Ashlee Edgemon…. Beth Wolf and Midsommer Flight’s Much Ado about Nothing is highly entertaining and people should flock to see the magic that is created by this talented group through poetic language, superb story-telling and strong direction and acting. Read the whole review.

More Praise for “a rollicking, high-energy Much Ado About Nothing”

Yet another reviewer loves Much Ado About Nothing.  Hugh Iglarsh of Newcity Stage writes,

Some of the nicer things in life really are free, such as Shakespeare served al fresco on a summer evening by the talented and community-minded Midsommer Flight theater collective. Now in its third year, the troupe is presenting a rollicking, high-energy “Much Ado About Nothing” …

The trick to staging the most difficult-to-follow playwright in the most distracting of settings is to visually underscore the action. Director Beth Wolf gives us a good example of this…

Ashlee Edgemon [as Beatrice] and Martel Manning [as Benedick] offer us convincingly zesty, bawdy versions of the two lovers…  Midsommer Flight gives us the meat of a marvelous play in a form that all can enjoy, for one evening turning a nothing scrap of city park into an imaginative something to behold. Read the whole review.

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.

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Rehearsal Photos

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

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