Chicago – One of the hottest tickets of past holiday seasons – Midsommer Flight’s “pay-what-you-can” production of TWELFTH NIGHT, performed in the beautiful Show House Room of the Lincoln Park Conservatory – will return for its fourth year on November 29, 2018. Shakespeare’s delightful comedy of mistaken identity and gender switching has a strictly limited seating among the lush flowers of the Show House Room. Reservations – which are now being taken at https://midsommerflight.ticketspice.com/twelfth-night – are typically quick to fill up for its three-weekend run, and standby lists are kept to ensure all seats are utilized. The production 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.
While the 2018 production will again include the acclaimed original musical score by Elizabeth Rentfro and Alex Mauney, it will be performed by an entirely new cast and director. Ian Damont Martin, Artistic Associate with Sideshow Theatre Company, will direct. Martin’s cast will include Amanda Forman (Viola), Tarina Bradshaw (Olivia), Robert Hunter-Bry (Orsino), Oly Oxinfry (Feste), Maureen Yasko* (Malvolio), Elliot Carter Cruz (Sebastian), Anthony C. Brown (Sir Toby Belch), Chelsee Carter (Maria), Tim Lee (Sir Andrew Aguecheek), Dominick Alesia (Antonio), Erick Rivera*(Fabian/Musician), Theresa Liebhart (Officer/Musician), Sarah Beth Tanner (Priest/Musician), and Rob Chesler (Sea Captain/Officer/Musician). The production and design team includes Erick Rivera*(Music Director), Dave Gonzalez (Fight Choreographer), Joshua Lee (Assistant Fight Director), Lily Walls (Costume Designer), Connor Bredbeck (Stage Manager), Meredith Ernst* (Text Coach) and Kanomé Jones* (Associate Producer). (* Denotes a Midsommer Flight Ensemble Member.)
The comedy is believed to have been written by Shakespeare as an entertainment for the close of the Christmas season on the “twelfth night” after Christmas. One of the English traditions of that holiday is that roles can be reversed – such as commoners becoming royalty. Shakespeare’s TWELFTH NIGHT plays upon those traditions. In his comedy, a woman, Viola, poses as a man – causing much romantic confusion; and a servant, Malvolio, imagines he can become a nobleman.
Midsommer Flight’s 2017 production of TWELFTH NIGHT was warmly received by critics. The CHICAGO READER praised it for its “clever and well-blocked use of the twinkly light and garden bloom-filled Lincoln Park Conservatory show-room setting” and “the frequent flute, violin, guitar, and vocal interludes, directed by Elizabeth Rentfro, that help fill the magnificent backdrop.” STAGE AND CINEMA’s Lawrence Bommer said “Putting a ready cast of 14 through paces as fresh as youth can make them, Dylan S. Roberts keeps fluid and supple Shakespeare’s self-consciously silly heartbreak. So much midwinter madness, these follies feel even more fanciful surrounded by the palms, ferns and holiday lighting of the Conservatory’s refreshingly humid flora.”
Midsommer Flight’s TWELFTH NIGHT will play Thursdays through Sundays at 7:30 pm from November 29 – December 16, 2018. The Lincoln Park Conservatory is located at 2391 Stockton Drive, Chicago. Due the heavy traffic and difficulty in finding parking near Lincoln Park during the holiday season, patrons are strongly advised to use public transportation. The Lincoln Park Conservatory is served by CTA buses #151 (to Stockton and Fullerton), and #22 and #36 (to Clark and Belden).
Ian Damont Martin (director) is a theatre/filmmaker who is pleased to be working with Midsommer Flight for the first time. Ian is the Community Engagement Coordinator at Goodman Theatre, an Artistic Associate at Sideshow Theatre Company, the Outreach Director of Middle Coast Film Festival, and the Associate Artistic Director of Haven Theatre. He has also worked with the Gift Theatre, Jackalope Theatre, and Stage Left Theatre. He received his BA in theatre and drama from Indiana University and his diploma in drama from the School for Creative and Performing Arts in Cincinnati, OH.
TWELFTH NIGHT, OR WHAT YOU WILL
By William Shakespeare
Directed by Ian Damont Martin
Original Music by Elizabeth Rentfro and Alex Mauney
November 29 – December 16, 2017
Thursdays – Sundays @ 7:30 PM
PRESS OPENING Friday, November 30 at 7:30 PM
Show House room at the Lincoln Park Conservatory, 2391 Stockton Dr., Chicago
CTA buses #151 (to Stockton and Fullerton), and #22 and #36 (to Clark and Belden).
Tickets are FREE, but reservations are recommended due to limited seating – reservations now available through the Midsommer Flight website (www.midsommerflight.com).
ABOUT MIDSOMMER FLIGHT. Midsommer Flight is a theatre company dedicated to presenting high quality, accessible productions of Shakespeare’s plays in Chicago communities. After the company’s well-received inaugural production of A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM in 2012, the Chicago City Council honored Midsommer Flight with a resolution praising “the Midsommer Flight theater troupe on their dedication to bringing the arts to underserved communities.” The company incorporated as a not-for-profit in the state of Illinois in early 2013 and has since produced ROMEO AND JULIET (2013), MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING (2014), MACBETH (2015), TWELFTH NIGHT (2015, 2016, 2017), AS YOU LIKE IT (2016), HAMLET (2017), RICHARD III (2018) and TWO GENTLEMEN OF VERONA (2018). All performances are presented free of charge (donations gratefully accepted). For more information visit www.midsommerflight.com.