Announcing Summer 2014 Plans



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!


More Praise for Romeo and Juliet!

The praise keeps coming for Romeo and Juliet!  Chicago Theater Beat had quite a lot to say about our fantastic production:

[Romeo and Juliet] has captured the imaginations of generations and has been performed and adapted many times over – so much so that making a performance of Romeo and Juliet seem fresh is a challenging task. Midsommer Flight‘s Romeo and Juliet, however, manages to do exactly that….

Performed in Schreiber Park, this theatre experience is laid-back, and the production seems to foster a true sense of community as families who wandered into the park to play, were drawn to the show. It was also wonderful seeing young children in the audience….

[Ashlee Edgemon as Juliet] gives a spirited and endearing performance, and in Juliet’s happier moments, manages to exude a joy that is infectious. In the more somber moments of play, Edgemon’s performance deftly transitions to mournful without feeling sudden or overdone…. Edgemon and Brian Scannell, who played Romeo, have great chemistry together…. Another thoroughly enjoyable performance is Molly Lyonsas Juliet’s nurse. Lyons’ sincerity lends a sense of authenticity to Juliet’s scenes with her, which are among the best in the play.

Overall, this clean-cut execution of possibly the most famous love story in the world wins because it gives you the play as is, straight up, just as Shakespeare intended it (or as close as we can get today!) Whether you have read “The Complete Works of William Shakespeare” or are only just beginning to dip into the Bard’s works, this a great way to spend a relaxing midsummer eve.  –Anuja Vaidya

You can read the entire review here.

Romeo and Juliet is Reader Recommended!

What a fabulous opening weekend!  Romeo and Juliet opened to great audiences and lovely weather. The audience reaction so far is uniformly positive, from the neighborhood kids to the seasoned theatergoers who came out to the park this weekend. We can already tell this is going to go by too fast — only three weeks left now to see the show.

Our first review is in and it’s a rave!  The Chicago Reader sings our praises and has added Romeo and Juliet to their Recommended list:

I’d be singing the praises of Midsommer Flight’s latest, an outdoor performance of Romeo and Juliet in Rogers Park’s Schreiber Park, even if I weren’t so admiring of its mission: to perform Shakespeare in under-served communities. Part of the thrill was the random appearance of intrigued locals not used to hearing Shakespeare in a corner lot. R & J is, of course, the classic tale of emotional extremity. Director Beth Wolf moves things along with speed and agility, cutting strategically and keeping the whole thing under two hours. The simple set (four wooden boxes which become balcony, bed, and tomb) allows the words to take center stage. The actors are uniformly strong, from bawdy scene stealers Mercutio (Julian Stroop) and Nurse (Molly Lyons) to the solid leading lovers. Brendan Hutt’s Friar Lawrence had me considering the radical, subversive role of the church in devotion to love. —Suzanne Scanlon

We are so incredibly proud of this show and the work that the cast and crew have done to bring it to life.  If you haven’t seen it yet, don’t miss Romeo and Juliet!

Announcing Summer 2013 Plans

We are delighted to announce our selection for our next Shakespeare adventure: Romeo and Juliet

On the heels of last summer’s successful two-week run of A Midsummer Night’s Dream at Touhy Park, we will return to the north side this year with a longer run of performances and an expanded reach in the community. Performances will span four weeks this summer, with two weeks returning to Touhy Park as well as two weeks at nearby Schreiber Park. We are excited to partner once again with the Chicago Park District, especially with the opportunity this year to deepen our relationship with Touhy as well as to forge a connection with our new friends at Schreiber.

The play will be directed by Midsommer Flight founder and Producing Artistic Director Beth Wolf. Just like last year, all performances will be presented free of charge (donations gratefully accepted).  In addition, live music will be presented prior to each performance, and audiences are encouraged to come early and bring a picnic. We’ll post more details about the show as we get closer to the performances, including cast and crew listings, musical guests, and logistical information about planning your trip to the park.

We hope you’ll join us in July and August for another incredible experience this year.  We are thrilled to share Shakespeare’s beautiful and passionate story of young love this summer!



July 27 – August 18, 2013
Saturdays at 6:00 PM
Sundays at 2:00 PM

July 27-28 and August 3-4
Schreiber Park
1552 W. Schreiber Avenue
Chicago, IL 60626
Field at the corner of Bosworth Avenue and Schreiber Avenue           

August 10-11 and 17-18
Touhy Park

7348 N. Paulina Street
Chicago, IL 60626
Southeast grove along Paulina Street

Summer Anecdote: An Unexpected Actor Joins the Show

During the performance on Saturday, August 25, a little boy – maybe four years old – started walking through the audience and landed onstage, looking out at everyone and growling in all directions.  Then he walked around and through the audience again, while adults tried to engage him with whispers of “hey little buddy!” and “where’s your mommy?”  He wasn’t really responding to anyone, though, and wouldn’t be deterred from his wandering and growling.  We learned later that he has autism, which explains why the adults in the audience weren’t able to engage him easily.  It turns out that he had run away from his mother, who was standing in the back and afraid to go get him, for fear of causing an even bigger scene. 

But we didn’t know that yet, so by the time he landed onstage a second time, front and center, everyone in the audience was starting to worry about this lost little boy.  But that’s when the magic happened.  The actress Jeannie Saracino, playing Puck with delightful glee, walked right up to the boy and delivered her next line directly to him: “Yet but three? Come one more,/Two of both kinds makes up four./Here she comes, curst and sad….”  The little boy was enthralled, and the audience erupted into spontaneous applause as this little unsuspecting actor became a delightful part of the show.  In addition, everyone breathed a collective sigh of joy and relief that both the boy and the actors were all going to be OK.  Then the little boy sat down in the lap of a kind stranger in the front row for a few minutes, and then he ran off and re-joined his mother.  It was the kind of thing that could only happen in live outdoor theatre, where an adventurous child could wander right onto the stage and create a shared moment of magic for audience and actors alike.

The audience watching the performance before our little guest actor appeared!

This post is part of a series recounting our amazing summer at Touhy Park on the north side of Chicago.  Feel free to share your summer memories of Midsommer Flight by commenting on this post!

Summer Anecdote: Performing in the Rain

The day of our final performance, it rained.  At first, we were disappointed because it was clear that our audience would have been significantly larger had the weather cooperated.  But about thirty people braved the rain with their umbrellas to watch the show, and they got to see some amazing moments that no one else ever saw!  The actors improvised with umbrellas and towels to get through the show, creating some spontaneous moments of delight.  One such moment occurred right near the beginning of the play.  When Lysander (Adam Habben) got down on one knee and proposed to Hermia (Anne Korajczyk), she grabbed his umbrella and threw both his umbrella and her own to the ground to leap into his arms.  It was a moment of pure joy, two young people so in love that they didn’t care about the rain!

At the end of the performance, as the audience applauded the actors, the actors broke out into applause for the audience.  Many thanks to the brave theatregoers who weathered the summer storms in the name of Shakespeare!

Our performance in the rain, complete with umbrellas!

This post is part of a series recounting our amazing summer at Touhy Park on the north side of Chicago.  Feel free to share your summer memories of Midsommer Flight by commenting on this post!

Summer Anecdote: Rehearsing With the Neighborhood Kids

During the weeks leading up to the show, we rehearsed outdoors in the park.  The neighborhood kids came to watch us, some over and over again.  One day, a group of about 5 children sat down to watch us rehearse, and we handed them each a postcard with information about the show.  A few minutes later, a woman walked over (probably their mother), and they all got up and ran to her, waving the postcards at her to tell her about the show.  It was one of many exciting moments when we all felt like our work was inciting new ideas and curiosity in children who have likely never seen Shakespeare before.  A few weeks later, many of the neighborhood kids came back to watch us perform the whole show.

A young audience watches our rehearsal.

This post is part of a series recounting our amazing summer at Touhy Park on the north side of Chicago.  Feel free to share your summer memories of Midsommer Flight by commenting on this post!

Reflecting on Summer 2012

It’s been almost a month since A Midsummer Night’s Dream closed, and as we reflect back on the summer there are many exciting memories to cherish.  We are so incredibly proud of what we accomplished in this first summer in the park!

Over four performances, a total of approximately 270 people came to the show.  Countless others stopped by to enjoy a scene or two before moving on with their dog walking, errands, or playtime in the park.  Our audiences consisted of die-hard theatergoers, Shakespeare fans, interested community members, and many curious neighborhood children.  Our largest audience was about 125 people, and our smallest around 30 people.  That smallest audience was also our most dedicated – they huddled under umbrellas to watch a performance in the rain! 

We set out to have a joyful summer, and indeed we did.  Many members of the community commented about how wonderful it was to have Midsommer Flight in the park, while those who traveled from other parts of the city to see the show commented on how amazing it was to see the neighborhood kids so engaged in our work.  It was a truly rewarding summer!

Many thanks to everyone who helped make the production possible, and to everyone who came out to support Shakespeare in the Park.  There were too many magic moments throughout the summer to recount all of them here, but over the next few weeks we will recount some of them on this blog.  Check back for photos and stories of our summer in the park. 

If you saw the show and wish to share a memory of your own experience with Midsommer Flight this summer, please comment on this post! 

Opening Weekend and Rave Review

What a fantastic opening weekend!  The weather was positively perfect, and we had great crowds at both performances.  Thank you to everyone who came out and supported free Shakespeare in the park!

Of course, we ourselves know that we have a special show on our hands.  But now you don’t have to take our word for it.  Lauren Whalen of Chicago Theater Beat says,

Thanks to Beth Wolf’s sure direction of a flexible, mirthful ensemble, it’s a fantastic debut production. … Midsommer Flight’s actors are passionate and dedicated – and possess enormous talent to back up their fervor. … When done right, Dream is pure hedonistic fun – and Midsommer Flight does it right. Shakespeare’s language sparkles in the night air, out of the mouths of a clever cast who relishes each syllable. Director Wolf understands the play’s underlying themes: love, spontaneity, fate and heart, delivered with a healthy sense of humor that’s essential to human nature and survival. While scenes are rife with giggly sexual tension, this Dream is not only family-friendly but also a wonderful way to introduce others to Shakespeare. During the show, several casual passersby became engaged audience members, which in and of itself is magic.

Read the entire fabulous review here.  And then come see the show this coming weekend, August 25 & 26 (click here for details).  There are only two chances left to see this incredible show!

What if it rains?

With A Midsummer Night’s Dream getting ready to open this weekend, many people are asking, “what if it rains?”

The short answer is: we sure hope it doesn’t.  But if it does, we plan to do the show anyway, rain or shine.

The show will go on as long as there is an audience to watch it and as long as conditions are safe (that is, light or medium rain is probably safe while crazy severe thunderstorms are not).  If the weather is so terrible that we cannot go on, we will try to delay the performance to allow the storm to pass.  After that, if it appears that the weather isn’t going to clear enough for us to go on, then we will cancel.  Hopefully we won’t have to do that.

So far, the forecast is looking promising.  But if it does start to rain, this group of actors is pretty tough.  If you are willing to open up your umbrella and keep watching the show, then they will continue performing!

Performances this weekend are Saturday at 6:00 PM (live music by Dave Fink starts at 5:00 PM) and Sunday at 2:00 PM (live music by Clare Adella starts at 1:00 PM).