Beth Wolf is the founder and Producing Artistic Director of Midsommer Flight. Beth’s directing credits include Hamlet, As You Like It, Twelfth Night,Macbeth, Much Ado About Nothing, Romeo and Juliet and A Midsummer Night’s Dream with Midsommer Flight; LIAR!, which won first place in the 2012 City Lit Art of Adaptation Festival; Rosencrantz & Guildenstern are Dead, Black Magic: An Evening of Shakespeare, Seascape with Sharks and Dancer, Bury the Dead, The Fantasticks, and Shakespeare in the Garden (Promethean Theatre Ensemble). Additionally, she has directed for festivals, staged readings, and assistant directed with companies all around Chicago, including Remy Bumppo, Idle Muse, the side project, City Lit Theater, Polarity Ensemble Theatre, and more. Beth is also a co-founder and the former Artistic Director of Promethean Theatre Ensemble. She is a proud Northwestern University graduate with a double major in theatre and gender studies.
Previously an actress, Beth has worked with companies around Chicago including Promethean Theatre Ensemble Tangerine Arts Group, Chicago Jewish Theatre, Smoke & Mirror Productions, GroundUp Theatre, and the all women’s improv group Valid Hysteria. Shakespearean acting credits include Isabella in Measure for Measure (Promethean Theatre Ensemble); Lucentia in Taming of the Shrew(GroundUp Theatre); and Rosalind in Love’s Labours Lost (Lovers & Madmen). Beth has studied Shakespeare’s First Folio with Chicago’s premier First Folio acting teachers, Susan Hart and Jeffrey Carlson. She is also a graduate of the training center at iO Chicago (formerly ImprovOlympic).
As an arts educator, Beth offers private coaching to actors and occasionally teaches professional development workshops with Midsommer Flight. She has also mentored teenagers through Promethean Theatre Ensemble’s partnership with the Chicago Public Library Teen Volume Reader’s Theatre Project; taught Shakespeare workshops to young girls with The Viola Project; musical theatre to 8 year olds at Apple Tree Theatre in Highland Park; and musical theatre and improv to 9-13 year olds for seven years at Arts Unlimited summer camp in Southern California.
Kanomé Jones (Associate Producer and Casting Director) has absolutely loved working with Midsommer Flight these past few years as a performer and now, as a staff member. She was last seen in Building the Wall (Stage Left Theatre) and has performed as Olivia in the 2015 and 2016 Midsommer Flight production of Twelfth Night. Other Chicago credits include The Firestorm (Stage Left Theater), The Book Club Play (16t Street Theatre, u/s performed) Titus Andronicus (Babes with Blades Theatre Company) and many short plays and original works with various companies. Kanomé is the Casting Director for Strawdog Theatre and an ensemble member of Stage Left Theatre. She also completed the acting apprenticeship at Actors Theatre of Louisville. Outside of theatre, she is a NASM certified personal trainer at Spindle Fitness and is a proud BFA Acting graduate of Missouri State University.
Meredith Ernst could not be happier to be with the good people of Midsommer Flight. After a wonderful summer working on Much Ado, and a magical winter in the Lincoln Park Conservatory with Twelfth Night, she looks forward to an exciting future with the company. Originally from Nebraska, Meredith graduated with a BFA in Theatre Performance, with a minor in Shakespeare from Nebraska Wesleyan University. Meredith’s also been absurdly lucky; since her arrival in Chicago, she’s played a cross-dressing heroine, a Princess, and a Bastard.
Martel Manning is glad to join the artistic ensemble of Midsommer Flight. After receiving his MFA in Acting and spending a year as an artistic intern at the Milwaukee Repertory Theater, Martel moved to Chicago. He made his Chicago debut playing Benedick in Midsommer’s 2014 production of Much Ado About Nothing. Martel has also worked with Tympanic Theatre company and had a recurring role in Cloud Gate Productions web series The Losers.
Ian Michael Minh is just pleased as all heck to join the beautifully mad folks of Midsommer Flight’s ensemble. Since December 2015, he has appeared in MF’s Twelfth Night, As You Like It, and the Twelfth Night remount and has been seen around town with Commedia Beauregard, Fury Theater, and coming soon in Teatro Vista’s Romeo & Juliet. Ian holds a B.A. in Theatre from Principia College and studied performing Shakespeare at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts and the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust in London and Stratford, UK, respectively. Keep track of him around town at ianmichaelminh.com.
Elizabeth Rentfro (Resident Music Director) is incredibly honored to be a part of the wonderful group of artists that is Midsommer Flight. She has worked with the company in Much Ado About Nothing, Macbeth, Twelfth Night and As You Like It. Elizabeth holds an MFA and an MLitt in Shakespeare and Performance from the American Shakespeare Center in association with Mary Baldwin University. She also holds a BA in English from the University of Texas at Austin. For more information on Elizabeth visit www.elizabethrentfro.com.
Erick Rivera (EMC) has a BA in Voice Performance from the Bass School of Music. He was most recently seen as a street musician in The Beat Theatre Collective’s production of HOPE: Wanted. Other notable performances include Amiens in As You Like It, Officer/Musician in Twelfth Night (both with Midsommer Flight), American Soldier in A Piece of My Heart, Laertes in Wittenberg, Bear in A Winter’s Tale, Simon in Corpus Christi, Newt in Who Am I This Time?, Simon in The Game’s Afoot, and Pandar in Pericles Prince of Tyre. Along with being a music understudy for Tug of War: Civil Strife with Chicago Shakespeare Theatre, he has collaborated musically with Midsommer Flight, Chicago Danz Theatre Ensemble, Commission Theatre Company, Oklahoma Shakespeare in the Park, and Oklahoma City University.
Dylan S. Roberts is the Co-Founder and Co-Artistic Director of the Framework Theatre based in Chicago. With the Framework he has adapted King Lear as a Radio Play and a modern retelling of Antigone, which he also directed. In addition Dylan directed 12th Night and The Marriage Proposal. With Midsommer Flight he has directed Twelfth Night and was the Assistant Director for Romeo & Juliet and Much Ado About Nothing. Other professional directing credits include the world premieres of Spores of Eden by Peter Axel Komistra, Unpronounceable by Karl Gfall and versions of 12th Night and Oedipus the King for Two Weeks Productions. Dylan is also a Director with Metropolis Performing Arts Centre in Arlington Heights where he is currently working on A Christmas Carol and Private Lives by Noel Coward. Along with directing he is also a Text Coach, having served in this position for productions of Much Ado About Nothing, Macbeth, Hamlet and As You Like It. From 2011 to 2012 Dylan spent time as Stage Manager for Midwest New Musicals in Evanston. He is also a Teaching Artist, having worked for such companies as The Viola Project, Compass Creative Dramatics and Missoula Children’s Theatre.
Chris Smith (Resident Fight Director) could not be more thrilled to be a member of Midsommer Flight. Chris graduated from Illinois State University with a degree in Acting with a focus in Stage Combat. Chris is an Advanced Actor Combatant with the Society of American Fight Directors and attended The United Stuntmans Association’s Stunt School in Seattle, WA. With Midsommer Flight, he has appeared in Romeo & Juliet (Tybalt/ Fight Captain), Much Ado About Nothing (Don Pedro/Fight Captain), Macbeth (Macduff/ Fight Captain), and Twelfth Night (Toby/ Fight Choreographer). Chris spends his days making swords as a Shop Assistant to Neil Massey at Rogue Steel. Chris would like to thank Beth for the amazing opportunity and honor of being a part of this company, the rest of his fellow company members for all the artistic support and friendship, his family for all their love and support, and Maureen for being the greatest woman in the world. (It’s true folks.)
Julian Stroop is proud to be a part of the amazingly talented Midsommer Flight ensemble. He graduated from Bradley University with a degree in theater performance. Recent projects include The Love of Three Oranges with Piccolo Theater, and Pleasure Town, a podcast with WBEZ. Other collaborations include Theater Y, The Empty Theater, 2ndStory, and Polarity Ensemble Theatre. Special thanks to his family for their unwavering support.
Jeremy Thompson is pleased to join Midsommer Flight as a company member after three seasons, appearing in 2015’s Macbeth, and 2016-17’s Twelfth Nights. His regional work outside Chicago includes seasons and the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Island Shakespeare Festival in Washington State, Idaho Repertory Theatre and Great River Shakespeare Festival in Minnesota. He is also an educator and workshop teacher. Jeremy has a BA from the University of Puget Sound and an MFA from the University of Idaho (the other-other UI).
Robin Waisanen is pleased to be amongst the Midsommer Flight ensemble and has stage managed As You Like It, Twelfth Night, and Hamlet with the company. Robin hails from the Bay Area, CA and holds a B.F.A. in Performance from Southern Oregon University. Most recent performances have been at Minneapolis’ Mixed Blood Theatre and the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. Recent directing credits include Metamorphoses and Titus Andronicus. Robin looks forward to continuing to work with Midsommer Flight.
Sheila Willis (Grant Writer) is thrilled to be part of the Midsommer Flight ensemble and performed in Much Ado About Nothing and Romeo and Juliet. She has recently worked with City Lit Theater, Polarity Ensemble Theatre, and Three Cat Productions. You can see her this Spring in Hauptmann at City Lit. Sheila is a graduate of Columbia College Chicago.
Maureen Yasko is ecstatic to join the ensemble of passionate artists at Midsommer Flight after working on Macbeth, Twelfth Night, As You Like It, and Hamlet. Maureen is an Advanced Actor Combatant with the SAFD and holds a BA in Theatre with a Music Minor from the former AASU in Savannah, GA. She completed an Apprenticeship with The Atlanta Shakespeare Company at The New American Shakespeare Tavern, where she subsequently became a member of the Acting Company and an Education Artist before relocating to Chicago. Atlanta based Moe happily lived a nomadic actor life, working in Atlanta and many regional theatre companies across the country. Chicago based Moe is a Company Member of A Crew of Patches Theatre Company, an Associate Artist with Babes With Blades Theatre Company, and has luckily worked with many other fine companies around town. Love and gratitude to her incredibly supportive partner-in-crime, Chris Smith. When not creating in a theater you’ll likely find Maureen creating in a studio as a Certified Yoga Teacher.
Board of Directors
Dawn Evans is a Controller for Monroe Residential Partners LLC. She manages all accounting and financial reporting for the company and its portfolios. Ms. Evans started her career on Wall Street working for JP Morgan in their Financial Control Outstanding Division where she became an Accounting Officer. After relocating back to her hometown Chicago, she worked for Ernst & Young Kenneth Leventhal Real Estate Group as a Senior Auditor. Having a desire to continue her work in real estate finance and accounting she obtained a position at RREEF (Rosenberg Real Estate Equity Funds), which was later acquired by Deutsche Bank. At Deutsche Bank Ms. Evans was responsible for the financial affairs of 1 REIT with assets in excess of $565 million and 5 separate account funds with assets in excess of $1 billion. After working at Deutsche Bank for over 15 years the fund finance team at Deutsche Bank was acquired by BNY Mellon. At BNY Mellon Ms. Evans was responsible for leading a team of fund accountants in all aspects of the day to day activities for the fund administration of a REIT and various separate account funds with assets in excess of $2 Billion. Ms. Evans holds a BS degree in Accounting from Hampton University, and an MBA with a concentration in Real Estate Finance from Roosevelt University. Previously Ms. Evans served as Treasurer on the Board of Directors for Angel By Myside, NFP.
Anna Hovet (Treasurer) is the Owner and Lead Fashion Designer of HØVET Apparel. Known as the “Queen of Comfort”, Ms. Hovet is known for her beautifully draped, high-quality sweatshirts – all made in Chicago. Ms. Hovet is an alumni of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and the Chicago Fashion Incubator. She founded HØVET Apparel in 2009 and over the last 8 years, Anna Hovet has become one of most recognized names in Chicago fashion, featured in numerous publications and on celebrities including Hannibal Buress, Jennifer Hudson, and Chance the Rapper. Her designs are sold at several retailers in Chicago and online to customers worldwide. In 2013 Ms. Hovet presented a TEDx Talk titled “The Next Generation of Entrepreneurs.” In June 2015 Ms. Hovet was awarded “Chicago’s Best Local Clothing Designer” by the Chicago Reader. In March 2017, the City of Chicago awarded her with a “Outstanding Women in Fashion” award. Ms. Hovet also owns a private tutoring company, Sophic Standard LLC, and teaches fashion illustration at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
Neal Jain most recently was an executive at Panera Bread leading financial, technology and operational initiatives for the Catering business. His previous professional experience spans consumer/luxury products, telecommunications and technology investment banking. He received his MBA in Strategic Management and Marketing from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He also received his BS in Finance and Strategic Management and his BAS in Systems Science from University of Pennsylvania. While at PENN, he led Costume Design for Wharton Follies, a comedic variety show, and Stage Management for biannual cultural productions.
Christopher Lentino (President) currently serves as the director of outreach for Illinois Policy. Prior to his time at Illinois Policy, Mr. Lentino worked for in the Chicago City Council and on numerous political campaigns. He is a graduate of Loyola University with Bachelor’s (2005) and Master’s (2007) degrees in Political Science. He has long had a love of the arts dating back to high school performances. In combining his career with his love of the arts, Mr. Lentino performed a qualitative analysis of the importance of arts education in curriculum development.
John Morrison (Secretary) received a B.A. in visual communications from the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY. He currently works as a user experience designer for a software company in downtown Chicago. He has previously acted as a producer, photographer, graphic designer, and editor for Chicago sketch comedy group Long Pork and as a graphic designer for the Sinnerman Ensemble. John has also handled much of the graphic design for Midsommer Flight since 2012.
Beth Wolf sits on the Board as the Producing Artistic Director of the company. In addition to her work with Midsommer Flight, Ms. Wolf also co-founded Promethean Theatre Ensemble in Chicago in 2005, where she served as the Artistic Director until 2014. Her past work with Promethean provided invaluable experience managing the day-to-day operations of a small non-profit theatre company, from marketing and fundraising to strong artistic leadership. Previously, Ms. Wolf also worked as the Business Manager at Chicago Children’s Theatre, which provided significant experience with non-profit finance, marketing, and development. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Communication from Northwestern University.