Assistant Directing at Remy Bumppo

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Great news! I’ll be assistant directing THE LIFE OF GALILEO, directed by Remy Bumppo Artistic Director Nick Sandys, in the spring of 2016. I am so excited to work with Remy Bumppo and Nick for the first time.

Check out the full Remy Bumppo season press release, including a full listing of cast and crew. I’ll be sure to post more details next spring as we get closer to the show.

Up Next: HOME, A Festival of Storytelling

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I’m delighted to be directing an evening of storytelling for the side project‘s third annual Festival of Storytelling. I’ve had the pleasure to work with four tellers: Don Hall, Dana Jerman, Jack Schultz, and Evelyn Keolian. These four great human beings are going to perform tomorrow, Sunday, at 7:30pm up at the side project. More details are on the Upcoming page.

It’s been a fun challenge to figure out how to approach storytelling as a distinct thing from a theatrical production. With a play, I can walk into a rehearsal room with my ideas, and then work with the actors, designers, and crew to bring those ideas to life. In contrast, with storytelling the stories are personal to the tellers, so it would feel weird if I tried to impose some big grand vision of my own. Instead, I’ve been trying to listen more, ask more questions, and help facilitate their ideas. It’s been a unique process for me and a great learning experience.

All three stories — Evelyn’s about moving to Chicago from L.A., Jack’s about his big brother, and Don & Dana’s about their journey to finding each other — are wonderful, touching, funny, interesting, personal tales. I’m so grateful to each of them for sharing their stories with me. Come check it out tomorrow night!

Keeping Busy

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It was another busy month in February!

I had a great time working on Adam Webster’s short play NOTHING TO FEAR for RhinoFest, which included a chance to meet a bunch of great people and work with some new-to-me actors.

It was great fun to check out Promethean Theatre Ensemble’s short run of An Evening of Shakespeare: Lonely Hearts and Twisted Love at the Red Lion Lincoln Square. An Evening of Shakespeare (“EoS”) has become a wonderful annual tradition for Promethean over the years, and this year’s installment delivered great scene work in an intimate setting, with some well-known familiar scenes mixed in with others that aren’t performed as frequently.

Next up, I’m directing a night of the side project’s upcoming HOME: A Festival of Storytelling III, a three-week festival featuring the work of about 30 storytellers and 10 directors.  Details are on my Upcoming page. I’ll be working with three stories/storytellers for the March 29 performance, starting with a 5-minute story from Evelyn Keolian and a 10-minute story from Jack Schultz, both of whom are new to the storytelling scene. Then we’ll round out the evening with a 15-minute shared piece from veteran storyteller Don Hall (of The Moth and more) and poet Dana Jerman. It’s shaping up to be a very cool evening, and I’m excited to work with Evelyn, Jack, Don, and Dana.

Also in March (next week, in fact!), I’ll be teaching a pair of Shakespeare Audition Workshops for Midsommer Flight, one focused on Monologues and the other on Cold Reading. I’m so excited to get back to teaching. There’s still time to sign up if you’re interested – the workshops are a great value (they work out to only $12.50 an hour and include a ton of personalized instruction) and they should be a lot of fun.

Being this busy can feel a little overwhelming, but I’m having fun with all of these projects and I’m lucky to have them on my plate. Happy March!

Updates, Up Next, Up Up Up!

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January has been a busy month!  I now have more details about RHINOFEST, where I’ll be directing a short piece in February. You can check out the details on the Upcoming page of this site.

I have also lined up another small gig for March, directing an evening of storytelling at the side project‘s HOME: A FESTIVAL OF STORYTELLING III. Details will be posted soon on the Upcoming page, as well. The side project is a fantastic company, and I’m so excited to be working with them for the first time.

I’ve seen two shows so far this month: FATHER RUFFIAN at City Lit, which was a new adaptation of Shakespeare’s HENRY IV plays, and PUSH BUTTON MURDER at the side project, an intriguing look into the world of secret military drone operations. Two completely different shows, but both with some great interesting choices and really strong acting.

I’m also hard at work planning the Midsommer Flight 2015 season, which is shaping up to be pretty exciting. I’m dying to share the news as soon as I can…stay tuned.

Not a bad start to the year so far. Onward and upward!

Up Next: RHINO

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Exactly one week ago, I wrote out a resolution right here on this blog that I hoped to pick up at least one small directing project in 2015 that I didn’t have planned yet – a reading, a festival, an assistant directing gig, or something similar.

Well… it’s barely halfway through January, and I’ve already achieved that resolution. I think the universe is telling me to set bigger goals.

Anyway, I’m delighted to announce that I’ll be directing a short piece at the 26th Annual RHINOFEST. For the uninitiated, RHINOFEST is the longest-running multi-arts fringe festival in Chicago.

The full festival runs from January 10 – March 1, and our piece will go up the weekend of February 21-22. More details forthcoming!

Interview with Howlround

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I was recently interviewed for a piece on HowlRound about Shakespeare in the park. The article includes a fantastic review of Midsommer Flight’s Much Ado About Nothing this summer, and also offers an in-depth look at the experience of presenting Shakespeare in the park.

Take a look at Neighborhood Shakespeare in Chicago’s North Side Parks, by Dani Snyder-Young. Happy reading!



Much Ado About Photos

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Well, another show for the books.  Much Ado About Nothing closed yesterday to a fantastically warm and enthusiastic audience. I am so thankful for another great summer!

Click the photo below to check out a gallery of great production photos taken by Tom McGrath.

"I love you with so much of my heart that none is left to protest."

“I love you with so much of my heart that none is left to protest.”

Currently Running: Much Ado About Nothing

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My Shakespeare in the park production of Much Ado About Nothing runs through August 24, on Saturdays at 6pm and Sundays at 2pm. You can visit the Midsommer Flight website for details about park locations, pre-show musical guests, and more.

I’m delighted that we have received great critical response to the show.

A rollicking, high-energy Much Ado About Nothing! Ashlee Edgemon [as Beatrice] and Martel Manning [as Benedick] offer us convincingly zesty, bawdy versions of the two lovers….Midsommer Flight gives us the meat of a marvelous play in a form that all can enjoy, for one evening turning a nothing scrap of city park into an imaginative something to behold. -Hugh Iglarsh, Newcity Stage. Read the whole review.

Beth Wolf and Midsommer Flight’s Much Ado About Nothing is highly entertaining… people should flock to it to see the magic that is created by this talented group through poetic language, superb story-telling, and strong direction and acting. -James Murray, Showbiz Chicago. Read the whole review.

hysterical! …a tightly packed comedy… the action clips. The barbs fly. The love grows. It’s time to fall in love with Shakespeare’s unlikely couple. -Katy Walsh of The Fourth Walsh. Read the whole review.

Amazing production….a delightful performance, accessible and involving. -Barbara Keer of Splash Chicago. Read the whole review.

The show is presented free to the public. Come early with a picnic to enjoy free Shakespeare in the park!