Cast Announced for Midsommer Flight's THE TWO GENTLEMEN OF VERONA

Cast Announced for Midsommer Flight's THE TWO GENTLEMEN OF VERONA

Casting was announced today for THE TWO GENTLEMEN OF VERONA - Midsommer Flight's seventh summer of free Shakespeare performances as an Arts Partner in Chicago Park District parks. The company's Founding Artistic Director Beth Wolf, who will direct Shakespeare's comedy, made the announcement today. THE TWO GENTLEMEN OF VERONA will play two weekends each in four different Chicago parks.

Cast as the "two gentlemen" of the title are David Goodloe (who recently appeared in NEVER THE MILK AND HONEY with MPAACT Theatre) as Valentine and Chad Bay (TWO GENTLEMEN with Riverside Theatre of Iowa City) as Proteus. Their love interests will be played by LaKecia Harris as Julia and Amy Malcom as Silvia. Harris and Malcom were recently seen in Midsommer Flight's 2017 production of TWELFTH NIGHT. Also in 2017, Harris understudied the Jeff-award winning role of Lauren in Broken Nose Theatre's AT THE TABLE. In 2016, Malcom played the title role in Shakespeare's JULIUS CAESAR for Brown Paper Box Company.

James Sparling, who was Sherlock Holmes in City Lit's THE SEVEN PERCENT SOLUTION and played two Dukes in Midsommer Flight's 2016 AS YOU LIKE IT, will play the roles of Proteus's father, Antonio; and Silvia's father, The Duke. Valentine's servant, the clown role of Speed, will be played by Richard Eisloeffel, who displayed his comic chops in the title role of P.S. Wodehouse's PSMITH, JOURNALIST for City Lit Theater. Stephanie Mattos, who appeared as a Witch in Midsommer Flight's 2015 MACBETH and more recently appeared in SPEED OF LIGHT (as Mayra Ecazin) at Otherworld Theatre Company and in ROW AFTER ROW (as Leah) at The Comrades, will play Launce, the clownish servant of Proteus.

Also in the cast are Robin Minkens (Host/Outlaw), Jack Morsovillo (Thurio), Shanna Sweeney (Lucetta/Outlaw), and Nick Villalon (Pantino/Outlaw). Wolf's production team includes Jeremiah Barr (Scenic Design), Rachel Sypniewski (Costume Design), Chris Smith and Maureen Yasko (Fight Directors), Elizabeth Rentfro (Composer/Music Designer), Martel Manning (Vocal Coach), Paul Cook (Assistant Director) and Meredith Ernst (Text Coach).

THE TWO GENTLEMEN OF VERONA, to be performed over eight weekends in four different Chicago Park District parks, is believed to be Shakespeare's first play. The "Two Gentlemen" are Valentine and Proteus, who travel from Verona to Milan, where they fall in love with the same woman, even though Proteus had professed to be in love with Julia, back in Verona. Or at least he thinks she's back in Verona. The comedy deals with many of the themes Shakespeare would explore in later plays, including loyalty and friendship, the foolishness of love and lovers, and whether friendship trumps love. It will be performed in Lincoln Park, Gross Park, Touhy Park, and for the first time, Chicago Women's Park and Gardens at 1801 S. Indiana Ave. on Chicago's near south side. The production is free, and reservations are neither necessary nor offered.

Midsommer Flight, now in its seventh season, has become one Chicago's best-loved and most highly-regarded producers of free summer Shakespeare. CHICAGO THEATER BEAT called the company's 2017 HAMLET "a Chicago summer absolute," and SPLASH MAGAZINES said it was a "must-see." PICTURE THIS POST said, "this FREE production is a gift from a professional not-for-profit theater company of this caliber." Midsommer Flight's 2017 TWELFTH NIGHT, performed during the holiday season in the Lincoln Park Conservatory, has become one of the hottest tickets in town. Chicagoland Musical said of it, "As the audience settles in to these wondrous surroundings, the festive mood sets a playful tone that continues throughout this highly enjoyable and ambitious production."

Midsommer Flight will conclude the 2018 season with its fourth annual production of Shakespeare's TWELFTH NIGHT during the holiday season in the beautiful Show House room of the Lincoln Park Conservatory - for three weekends, from November 29 - December 16, 2018. The cast and crew of TWELFTH NIGHT will be announced later. Tickets for TWELFTH NIGHT are Pay-What-You-Can and reservations are recommended due to limited seating - reservations will be available through the Midsommer Flight website beginning in October.

THE TWO GENTLEMEN OF VERONA and TWELFTH NIGHT are both 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.

Photo: Top row, L-R: David Goodloe, Chad Bay, LaKecia Harris, Amy Malcom.
Second row, L-R: James Sparling, Richard Eisloeffel, Stephanie Mattos, Shanna Sweeney.
Bottom row L-R: Robin Minkins, Nick Villalon, Jack Morsovillo.

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