In early 2012, Chicago theatre artist and Midsommer Flight founder Beth Wolf looked around the Chicago theatre landscape. Even though there were hundreds of theatre companies in the city, very few were actually doing Shakespeare in the park. With her background in classical theatre and her passion for outdoor Shakespeare performance, she set out to fill that gap.
In August 2012, Midsommer Flight presented its inaugural production of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream in partnership with Touhy Park of the Chicago Park District. The play drew great crowds to its four performances, and delighted both audiences and critics alike.
After the production concluded, the Chicago City Council adopted a resolution in honor of the work the group did in Touhy Park. The resolution bears the seal of the City of Chicago and is co-signed by Mayor Rahm Emanuel and City Clerk Susana A. Mendoza. It states, “That we, the Mayor and the members of the Chicago City Council, assembled this twelfth day of September, 2012, do hereby honor the Midsommer Flight theater troupe on their dedication to bringing the arts to underserved communities.”
After that exciting first summer, it was clear we had something special on our hands. So, in 2013, Midsommer Flight incorporated as a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation in the state of Illinois, with the intent to produce Shakespeare in the park each summer for years to come.
The company has seen significant growth and success since then. After continuing outdoor Shakespeare productions annually with Romeo and Juliet in 2013, Much Ado About Nothing in 2014, and Macbeth in 2015, the company also presented its first indoor production in 2015 with Twelfth Night at the Lincoln Park Conservatory.