News from the Playhouse

Seacrest Country Day grad-to-be devoted to classic languages, theater

For most high school students, lunch breaks and summer vacations are times to relax and have fun.

Emma Minges is not most high school students.

The Seacrest Country Day School graduate-to-be spends her free time delving into the Greek classics and learning how to read and write Sanskrit, the ancient language of South Asia. (more…)

Gulfshore Playhouse plans to build state-of-the-art theater and education complex

 

More than a decade ago, Kristen Coury started Gulfshore Playhouse in the back of her condominium.

She saw the need for a professional theater group in Naples, and it has thrived, growing into its rented staging digs at the Norris Community Center, where it’s operated since 2006.

But Coury has bigger dreams — dreams of building a permanent home for her not-for-profit group — and she’s one step closer to realizing them. (more…)

The Christians

APR 29 – MAY 21, 2017
by Lucas Hnath
Directed by Kristen Coury

REVIEW: ‘Christians’ examines all sides of spirituality

The play is a single 90-minute act, but loads an incredible amount of food for thought in that time. Every character throws out a balance of flaws and greatness and every one asks questions that guarantee you’ll go home talking about them. (more…)

The Christians
Harriet Howard Heithaus Naples Daily News

Spiritually cerebral ‘The Christians’ opens at Gulfshore Playhouse

Gulfshore Playhouse’s 2016-17 season comes to a close on a thought-provoking note with “The Christians,” in which playwright Lucas Hnath addresses forged relationships and the splits that divide them. (more…)

The Christians
KATHY GREY Florida Weekly

Hell, no! Gulfshore Playhouse packs a wallop with ‘The Christians’

This little 90-minute play packs a wallop. The ending, which I will not reveal, is incredibly powerful, though also open to interpretation.

It’s unlike anything else I can recall seeing, and my feelings and thoughts about it changed repeatedly within 24 hours after seeing it; I suspect they’ll continue to change as I keep musing on this oddly affecting play.

(more…)

The Christians
Nancy Stetson Florida Weekly

Minister’s dilemma a drama with questions for all

Church fissures over dogmatic beliefs take on nuances far beyond whether you like the new hymns or not.

“The Christians” isn’t out to skewer spirituality, as much as it is to pin down the foundations of faith. As a character in the upcoming Gulfshore Playhouse drama is about to reveal, that’s a slippery proposition: (more…)

The Christians
Harriet Howard Heithaus Naples Daily News

The Merchant of Venice

MAR 25 – APR 15, 2017
by William Shakespeare
Directed by Kristen Coury 

 

A sterling production of Shakespeare’s ultimate story about revenge

 

With Kristen Coury directing and input from Shakespeare scholar Gail Kern Paster, Gulfshore Playhouse puts on a sterling production of this classic that’s jaw-droppingly stunning in presentation and staging and costume.

(more…)

Courageous Theater: Anti-Semitism and Racism

I celebrate the brave and confronting live theater here in S.W. Florida.  Two of the very best  productions are “must sees” and on our stages right now.

One of them is at The Gulfshore Playhouses, a theater with a long reputation for  powerful, relevant and demanding plays.  The Producing Artistic Director has mounted a glorious and enthralling  MERCHANT OF VENICE. (more…)

The Merchant of Venice
Sidney B. Simon The SANIBEL-CAPTIVA ISLANDER

Review: ‘Merchant’ gets more drama and poses questions

Gulfshore Playhouse’s production of “The Merchant of Venice” is Shakespeare for people who hate it. Be prepared for your conversion.

Enter the bluebood, a dangerous mixture of softhearted and hardheaded, who offers to float a loan for his best friend’s happiness. He cuts a foolhardy contract with the very bookie he shuns, certain he’ll meet the payments. (more…)

Review: ‘Merchant’ gets more drama and poses questions
Harriet Howard Heithaus Naples Daily News

WILL POWER: Bard gets a hand from Shakespeare scholar

They’ll use the King’s English but in accents American.

 

Dr. Gail Kern Paster, former director of the Folger Shakespeare Library and English professor at George Washington University, smiles while watching a dress rehearsal of Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice at the Norris Community Center Thursday, March 16, 2017 in Naples.

If you’re an English literature major, the plays of William Shakespeare are an ever-blooming garden of language — colorful with puns, allusions and word plays that show more of themselves every time you see his scripts.

And if you’re not? (more…)

Merchant of Venice
Harriet Howard Heithaus Naples News and USA Today

The Hound of the Baskervilles

FEB 11 – MAR 12, 2017
by Arthur Conan Doyle
Adapted by Steven Canny & John Nicholson
Directed by Andrew Paul

Do This

JAN 7-29, 2017
Starring Tony Award-Nominee Carmen Cusack
by Karen Siff Exkorn
Directed by Tony-Award Nominee Sheryl Kaller
Presented by Special Arrangement with Tony Award-Winning Producer Ken Davenport & Davenport Theatrical Enterprises

REVIEW: ‘Do This’ paean to mother’s devotion, despair

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The Gulfshore Playhouse production of “Do This,” which runs through Jan. 28, is actually the play’s world premiere, one proposed to Founding Artistic Director Kristen Coury by Broadway producer Ken Davenport (“Spring Awakening,” “The Visit”). As such it was being fussed over even last week in preview performances; there are plans for this play to go further, and by the look of Wednesday’s performance it certainly should.

(more…)

‘Do This’ details dilemmas facing autistic child’s mom

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‘Do This’ takes on the array of autism treatments, theories
In these times, the problem may not be finding advice. The problem may be there’s too much of it. A flood of counsel threatens to carry away the mother of a child with autism depicted in Karen Siff Exkorn’s play, “Do This,” which has its world premiere this weekend at Gulfshore Playhouse. When her young son is diagnosed with the syndrome, the heroine finds herself nearly drowning in a tide of advice — harmful, confusing and ineffective, as well as helpful. (more…)

Getting ready to ‘Do This’

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GULFSHORE PLAYHOUSE’S WORLD PREmiere of “Do This” opens Jan. 7 at The Norris Center and is the third world premiere the professional company has mounted in its 12-year history.

What’s most compelling about a world premiere is that it can’t be compared to anything else. The audience experiences a new work for the first time, stepping into a world of the unknown, though there are some things we do know.

(more…)

Getting ready to ‘Do This’
BY KATHY GREY Florida Weekly Correspondent

Carmen Cusack Will Star in World Premiere of Do This

 

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Carmen Cusack, who was Tony-nominated last season for her performance in the new musical Bright Star, will star in Gulfshore Playhouse’s upcoming production of Karen Siff Exkorn’s Do This, which will play the Florida venue January 7-28, 2017, in Naples, FL. (more…)

Carmen Cusack Will Star in World Premiere of Do This
By Andrew Gans Playbill.com

My Fair Lady

NOV 12 – DEC 11, 2016
Book & Lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner
Music by Frederick Loewe
Directed by Kristen Coury

Just my cup of tea: Gulfshore Playhouse’s version of ‘My Fair Lady’

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Long anticipated, “My Fair Lady” has finally opened at Gulfshore Playhouse, the company’s first musical in nine years.

And it’s cause for celebration, because the production is, in a word, stupendous. (more…)

Just My Cup of Tea: My Fair Lady
Nancy Stetson Florida Weekly

Tighter focus ‘Fair Lady’ can still be ‘Loverly’

Two pianos and a cast of eight tell ‘Enry ‘Iggins to ‘Just you wait!’

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“My Fair Lady” rams a jackhammer into class distinction — is there really that much of one between enormous egos of Alfred Doolittle and Henry Higgins? — in a musically immortal way. The Gulfshore Playhouse production proves it can be done with talent as effectively as with numbers. (more…)

Harriet Howard Heithaus Naples Daily News

GET YE TO GULFSHORE PLAYHOUSE

 

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On my critic’s scale of 1-10, this was an absolute 12.  It was a flawless, totally absorbing and unique version of one of Broadway’s finest achievements. I urge you to get your tickets fast.  This will be a sell out.
(more…)

My Fair Lady
Sid Simon Sanibel-Captiva ISLANDER

Much has been made of the fact that Gulfshore Playhouse and The Naples Players, only a handful of blocks apart in downtown Naples, have both announced “My Fair Lady” for 2016-17. The Lerner and Loewe musical about a Cockney street vendor who learns how to move about in high society is a classic. But the Naples troupes are presenting different versions.

The Naples Players’ production (March 1-April 2) will have a full cast and orchestra at the Sugden Community Theatre, while Gulfshore Playhouse will stage a stripped-down version with 10 performers and two pianos at The Norris Center (Nov. 12-Dec. 11). (more…)

My Fair Lady
NANCY STETSON Florida Weekly

Constellations

OCT 8-30, 2016
by Nick Payne
Directed by Matt Pfeiffer

‘Constellations’ at Gulfshore Playhouse looks at alternate universes

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“Constellations” examines the theory that we live in multiple universes — a multiverse — and that an infinite number of universes co-exist simultaneously in which every possible alternative occurs. (more…)

Review: ‘Constellations’ explores ‘what-ifs’ of life

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Gulfshore Playhouse deserves high praise for beginning its 2016-17 season with such a creative, thought-provoking drama. Eastwood Norris and Nickell brilliantly command the stage, which actually juts out into the audience compared to previous Playhouse productions. The actor and actress with British accents flawlessly create something magical in the 75 minutes.

They also drop many F-bombs, which offended two theater-goers who were heard mumbling before exiting about 30 minutes into “Constellations.” (more…)

‘Constellations’ collide in Gulfshore drama

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Cody Nickell and Kate Norris in Constellations

Cody Nickell admits he and his wife, Kate Eastwood Norris, thought they were walking into a gimme after slogging through a summer of Shakespeare when they accepted the boy-meets-girl roles in “Constellations” at Gulfshore Playhouse. (more…)

Constellations
Harriet Howard Heithaus Naples Daily News

4th Annual New Works Festival

SEPT 8-15 2016
Paradise by Laura Maria Censabella
Marla and Her Prayers by Kim Merrill
The Last Allegiance by Annalisa Dias
Miss Keller Has No Second Book by Deb Hiett
Lunch at Audrey’s by Jarlath Barsanti-Jacobs

Artitude: Women’s work at center stage

Artitude

Works by five women of diverse experiences will come to Naples audiences.

Works by five women of diverse experiences will come to Naples audiences.
One playwright came from a world of daytime TV writing. Another found dramatics by moonlighting as a monologue creator. A third put the brakes on a career as a music lyricist after a spouse’s death and turned to dialogue and story lines. (more…)

New Works Festival 2016
Harriet Howard Heithaus Naples Daily News

NEW WORKS

 

Jeffrey-Binder

Jeffrey Binder, Gulfshore Playhouse artistic associate director.

GULFSHORE PLAYHOUSE’S ANNUAL NEW WORKS FESTIVAL is always full of surprises. The surprise this year is that all five new plays that will be presented as readings were written by women. (more…)