Welcome, new ensemble members!

We are thrilled to announce the addition of five new theatre artists to Midsommer Flight’s artistic ensemble! All of these folks have participated in multiple Midsommer Flight projects and have continually shared their intense talents, passion, and commitment to the company’s mission.

Chad Bay appeared as Proteus in 2018’s Two Gentlemen of Verona, and he also assistant directed the 2016 and 2017 productions of Twelfth Night. Richard Eisloeffel appeared as Speed in Two Gentlemen of Verona and as Silvius in 2016’s As You Like It. LaKecia Harris appeared as Julia in Two Gentlemen of Verona, multiple roles in the 2018 staged reading of Richard III, and as Viola in 2017’s Twelfth Night. Amy Malcom appeared as Silvia in Two Gentlemen of Verona and as Malvolio in 2017’s Twelfth Night. Last but not least, Stephanie Mattos appeared as Launce in Two Gentlemen of Verona and as a Witch in 2015’s Macbeth.

Visit Meet the Company to read their full bios.

Midsommer Flight’s 2017 Season

Midsommer Flight to return for sixth season of bringing free Shakespeare to Chicago’s parks

2017 productions to include an eight-week summer run of Hamlet and holiday season perennial Twelfth Night

Midsommer Flight, a professional not-for-profit theatre company that was recently named one of five Finalists for the League of Chicago Theatres Emerging Theatre Award, has announced its sixth season of bringing Shakespeare to Chicagoans for free in selected Chicago parks. The 2017 season includes an eight-week summer schedule of Shakespeare’s Hamlet in four city parks for runs of two weekends per park, and the company’s annual tradition of performing Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night during the holiday season. The comedy will also be performed for free in a park, albeit indoors – in the Lincoln Park Conservatory – for three weekends, from November 30 – December 17, 2017. This is part of Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s Night Out in the Parks initiative that provides world-class performances in Chicago’s neighborhood parks throughout the year.

Kick-off picnic – Saturday, June 17

The company will begin its 2017 season with a free “Season Kick-Off Picnic” in Lincoln Park on Saturday, June 17, 2017 from 11:30 AM – 1:30 PM. This free event will give Midsommer Flight patrons and community members the opportunity to mingle with ensemble and summer cast, enjoy a BYO picnic in the park, and enjoy a short program including a stage combat demonstration and a Q&A with cast and crew of HAMLET. The picnic will be held in the park on Stockton Avenue between the Lincoln Park Cultural Center and the Zoo (official address is the Lincoln Park Cultural Center at 2045 N Lincoln Park West).


This summer’s production – the tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark – will be performed in an abridged 100-minute version that will capture the murderous intrigues of the royal family – complete enough for those familiar with the play and accessible for newcomers to it. The play’s most famous lines – including some of Shakespeare’s most frequently quoted, such as “To be or not to be,” “the play’s the thing” and “To thine own self be true” – will be delightfully present for those who know the lines are coming and for those who will be surprised to hear them in this context. The play will be presented on the ground, with natural lighting (curtain times are early enough to complete performances before sunset) and without amplification, just as in Shakespeare’s day.

Hamlet will be directed by Beth Wolf, the company’s founder and producing artistic director, who has directed all the company’s productions since its founding in 2012. Wolf says “We’re delighted to be presenting Hamlet, one of Shakespeare’s most popular plays, and making it available and affordable for all to see. While our performances are played in daylight and without amplification, just as they were at the Globe Theatre, our sets and costumes will give the piece contemporary parallels and relevance.”

Her cast includes Samual Cheeseman (Hamlet), Jared Dennis (Claudius), Stephen Fedo (Polonius), Morayo Orija (Gertrude), Bianca Phipps (Ophelia), Joe Sergio (Laertes), Ian Michael Minh (Horatio), Mark Huddle (Ghost/Player King), Adam Habben (Marcellus/Osric/Lucianus/ Gravedigger 2), Jesse Montoya (Rosencrantz), Adam Rice (Guildenstern), Emily Renee Shimskey (Barnardo/Sailor/Ambassador/ Player Queen/Gravedigger1) and Erick Rivera (Musician/Composer). Elizabeth Rentfro will be music director and vocal coach.

The design team includes Chris Smith and Maureen Yasko (fight directors) and Jeremiah Barr (scenic designer). Robin Waisanen will be stage manager and Meredith Ernst will be assistant director.


By William Shakespeare
Directed by Beth Wolf
July 8 – August 27, 2017
Saturdays at 6 PM and Sundays at 2 PM

Venues vary by week:

  • July 8-9 @ Lincoln Park (2045 N Lincoln Park West, 60614)
  • July 15-16 and 22-23 @ Touhy Park (7348 N Paulina, 60626)
  • July 29-30 and August 5-6 @ Schreiber Park (1552 W Schreiber, 60626)
  • August 12-13 and 19-20 @ Gross Park (2708 W Lawrence, 60625)
  • August 26-27 @ Lincoln Park (2045 N Lincoln Park West, 60614)

All performances are free.

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

This coming winter, Midsommer Flight will stage Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night for the third consecutive holiday season, complete with its acclaimed musical score. As it was the previous two years, Twelfth Night will be presented in the Show House room at the Lincoln Park Conservatory, 2391 Stockton Dr. The 2017 dates are November 30 – December 17, 2017. Curtain times are Thursdays – Sundays @ 7:30 PM. The cast and crew of Twelfth Night will be announced at a later date. Tickets are FREE but reservations are recommended due to limited seating – reservations will be available through the Midsommer Flight website beginning October 1.

Twelfth Night, or What You Will

By William Shakespeare
Directed by Beth Wolf
Original Music by Elizabeth Rentfro and Alex Mauney
November 30 – December 17, 2017
Show House room at the Lincoln Park Conservatory, 2391 Stockton Dr., Chicago
Thursdays – Sundays @ 7:30 PM

Tickets are FREE but reservations are recommended due to limited seating – reservations will be available through the Midsommer Flight website (www.midsommerflight.com) beginning October 1.




Happy New Year from Beth Wolf

Twelfth Night Midsommer_15-001

Dear Friends,

What an incredible year we’ve had at Midsommer Flight! Upon seeing Twelfth Night, the NewCity Stage critic made a thrilling observation: “With this production, Midsommer Flight marks its arrival as an artistic force.” I am so proud of everything the company has accomplished this year, and I want to take a moment to thank everyone who was a part of our major growth and exciting programming in 2015 — from artists to audiences, park personnel to consultants, social media followers to donors, and anyone else in between.

As many of you already know, this was a year of “firsts” for Midsommer Flight. Our summer tour of Macbeth expanded to Lincoln Park for the first time, bringing our performance venue total up to four parks and reaching a record audience of over 1,200 people. The Fourth Walsh called it “a fresh, vivid look at a Shakespeare classic,” and audiences cheered at the thrilling sword fights and intense drama.

We also brought Shakespeare in the Conservatory to Chicago for the first time ever this holiday season. Our “bright and joyful” Twelfth Night delighted audiences in the gorgeous Show House Room of the Lincoln Park Conservatory, and was highly recommended by every critic who attended, including Chicago Reader, NewCity Stage, and The Fourth Walsh. Another first for the company was recording a Cast Album of the show’s original music, which many audience members were excited to buy after seeing the show (and which is still available online!).

We aim to continue raising the bar in 2016, and your financial support at any level can make a big difference — individual contributions comprise almost 75% of our income. With just a few days left before year-end, I’d like to invite you to make a tax-deductible donation by Thursday, December 31. Make your secure donation here.

Thank you for being a part of Midsommer Flight’s family in 2015, and I hope you’ll consider a gift to help Chicago’s newest “artistic force” grow in 2016 and beyond. Thanks and best wishes for a happy, healthy New Year!


Beth Wolf
Producing Artistic Director

Midsommer Flight Records First Original Cast Album

Last night was an exciting night for the Midsommer Flight team. We did a recording session to create an Original Cast Album for our upcoming Twelfth Night, with help from our amazing album producer Joe Griffin. We are so proud of the music that we are creating for this show, and we can’t wait to share it with the world in just a few short weeks.

The album will be sold at performances and more details will appear on this website once it is completed. In the meantime, enjoy these photos from the recording session last night. It seems we made more than few people’s dreams of rock-stardom come true!

Sneak Peek at Twelfth Night

First look photos are in! Thanks to photographer Zack Whittington and to costume designer Beth Shorrock for these fantastic images of Twelfth Night.

And yes, these photos are actually taken inside the Lincoln Park Conservatory. We can’t wait to get back in there in December!

One more thing: if you like what you see in these photos, today we are launching a new campaign for you to support the show. It’s the perfect, unique gift idea for your friends, your loved ones, even your enemies. Learn more about Shakespeare-Grams and order yours today.

Elizabeth Rentfro Joins Midsommer Flight Ensemble

Rentfro ElizabethMidsommer Flight is thrilled to welcome new ensemble member Elizabeth Rentfro!

Elizabeth appeared as Balthasar in Much Ado About Nothing in 2014, for which she also composed the show’s signature song, Sigh No More, Ladies. Most recently, Elizabeth appeared in 2015’s Macbeth as Lady Macduff and the Gentlewoman. Midsommer Flight is so excited to add Elizabeth’s acting and musical talents, along with her deep knowledge of and passion for Shakespeare, to the company.

Around town, Elizabeth can currently be seen in (re)Discover Theatre’s immersive adaptation of Romeo and Juliet. She will also be seen in Midsommer Flight’s upcoming Twelfth Night; in addition to performing in the cast, she will also compose original music and serve as the music director for the show.

Welcome to the team, Elizabeth9

Weather Policy

As the First Murderer proclaims in Macbeth: “Let it come down!”

Midsommer Flight performs rain or shine, as long as there is an audience to watch the show and as long as conditions are safe to do so. A little rain shouldn’t deter us, but a violent thunderstorm probably would.

Unless the forecast is certain, a decision to cancel is usually made very close to show time. You can keep an eye on our Twitter and Facebook pages for up-to-the-minute cancellation information.

For now, we are trying to stay optimistic about tonight’s opening performance. See you at Touhy Park — live music at 5:30 PM and Macbeth at 6:00 PM. Bring chairs, blankets, picnics…and umbrellas!

PHOTOS: More Sneak Peeks at Macbeth

Last week we posted the first photos of this summer’s Macbeth. But we got so many great shots that we just have to post a few more. Enjoy!

Like what you see? Donate to support the show, and plan your trip to see a performance.


“Can I ask you something?”

Midsommer Flight’s annual fundraising campaign is underway to support Macbeth in the parks this summer. Please help us reach our goal to raise $1,250 through crowdsourced funding.

Donate Now.

Your donation makes a difference. Midsommer Flight ensemble member Meredith Ernst, who played Margaret in last summer’s Much Ado About Nothing, shared this story:

Last year after a performance of Midsommer Flight’s Much Ado, a little boy came up to me after the show and said, “hey-hey-hey can I ask you something?” I responded, “of course!” And the boy said, “why can’t people just be honest and upfront with each other? That would just make things so much easier. Claudio should have talked to Hero first.”


Dumbfounded, I said, “what are you, 8?” (He was 10.) We talked for about ten minutes after that. The point of this story is, Shakespeare is important, relevant, and Midsommer Flight does really great work.

Take Meredith’s word for it: Midsommer Flight is worth supporting. Our work in the parks brings the arts to Chicago communities, but we can’t do it without support from people like you. Thank you!

Donate Today.