APR 29 – MAY 21, 2017

The Christians

by Lucas Hnath

Pastor Paul has worked for 20 years to build a church from the ground up. What was once a modest storefront is now a congregation of thousands with all the amenities he could ever have imagined and more. And finally, after many years, the church has managed to pay off its debt. A day of celebration turns into so much more as Pastor Paul delivers a sermon that will shake the foundations the church is built upon. Step right into the pulpit for The Christians, an intimate play asking epic questions about faith and its power to unite or divide us.

Directed by Kristen Coury

Evening shows begin at 8:00 PM
Matinees begin at 3:00 PM.

$30 Preview Performances APR 27 & 28

  • 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
Kate Fahrner
Alan Campbell
Stephen Bradbury
WILLIAM OLIVER WATKINS
Amy Van Nostrand

KRISTEN COURY (Director) is the Founder and Producing Artistic Director of Gulfshore Playhouse.  Upon her arrival from New York City in 2004, she decided there was a niche to fill in Naples with self-produced professional theatre and never looked back.  The Playhouse, started in the back of her condo, has grown to an annual budget of over $3M, 32 staff members, and 3 campuses.   Kristen has directed many of the Playhouse productions to date, of which her favorites include: Jacob Marley’s Christmas Carol,My Fair Lady, All My Sons, An Enemy of the People, and Vanya, Sonia, Masha and Spike. Kristen made her feature film directorial debut with Friends and Family, a comedy starring Tony Lo Bianco, Anna Maria Alberghetti,and Tovah Feldshuh, which was released around the US and Europe. She has directed many new works, produced a CD, and worked on a variety of musicals in various stages of development,including Steel Pier on Broadway, a Broadway workshop of The Jazz Singer and Houdini at the Goodspeed Opera House. Kristen worked in production/management for Walt Disney Theatrical Productions,Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Really Useful Company,and for London’s English Shakespeare Company in the Press and Marketing Department. Kristen was honored to be named one of the “Top 40 Professionals Under 40” by Gulfshore Life Magazine in 2008, a “Star in the Arts” by the United Arts Council of Collier County in 2011, and one ofthe Men and Women of the Year by Gulfshore Life in 2013.

 

JENNIFER BRONSTED (Costume Designer)  is in her fifth season at Gulfshore Playhouse. Favorite credits at Gulfshore Playhouse include Boeing-Boeing, The Butcher, The God Game and All My Sons.  Other design credits include Henry V with American Shakespeare Center andThe 39 Steps with Florida Gulf Coast University. She has worked with Alabama Shakespeare Festival and Illinois Shakespeare Festival. Jennifer graduated University of Alabama with a Master of Fine Arts in Costume Design/Production. www.jennyclairedesigns.com

 

NICK SOLYOM (Lighting Design)  The Prince of Players, L’Amant Anonyme, Slow Dusk & Markheim and The Reformed Drunkard (The Little Opera Theater of NY). A Scythe of Time, I Got Fired, and Our Country (New York Musical Festival), Triple Threat  (Ensemble Studio Theater), The Way We Get By & Crossing Swords (American Theater Group), Blue Sky (Burning Coal), The Recommendation (The Flea), Ragtime (Florida State University), Failure a Love Story, Or, Tango Palace and Anon(Ymous) (New School). SolyomDesign.com

 

KRISTEN MARTINO (Scenic Designer) Kristen’s recent designs include The Hound of the Baskervilles for Gulfshore Playhouse; Thoroughly Modern Millieand West Side Story for Bravo Performing Arts Academy; Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, Hedda Gabler, Romeo and Juliet, and In the Red and Brown Water for Indiana University Theatre. In addition, she serves as a design assistant for Kevin Depinet Studio in Evanston, IL. Kristen has earned her MFA in Scenic Design from Indiana University and her BFA in Scenic Design from Shenandoah Conservatory.  Awards include runner up for the 2015 USITT Midwest Digital Design Competition for Romeo and Juliet and third place for the Southeastern Theatre Conference 2015 Scenic Design competition for In the Red and Brown Water.

 

GABRIEL LUXTON (Sound Designer) is thrilled to be returning to Gulfshore Playhouse. A Sound Designer and Audio Engineer based out of Providence, RI, Gabriel is the resident Audio Technician at Trinity Repertory Company. He has spent his last two summers in Poughkeepsie, NY, as the Sound Supervisor for New York Stage and Film and Vassar College’s Powerhouse Theater. Gabriel holds a BA in Theatre and History from Eastern Connecticut State University. Design credits include Into The Woods (Providence College), Two Gentlemen of Verona (Eastern Connecticut State University), Voices of We (Boston Playwrights Theater), On The Verge (ECSU), Spring Awakening (associate) (Sharon Playhouse), 13 The Musical (Seven Angels Theater), The Crimson Thread (Seven Angels Theater), and Doubt: A Parable (Sharon Playhouse). At Gulfshore Playhouse: Something Intangible, Venus in Fur, Master Class, The Importance of Being Earnest, and I Am My On Wife. Gabriel especially wishes to thank the indomitable Kristen Coury and the team here at Gulfshore Playhouse for continuing to invite him back to create theater in beautiful Naples.

JOHN AUSTIN CLARK (Music Director) New York City-based Director of Music and keyboardist John Austin Clark serves as founding Producing Artistic Director for Bourbon Baroque, an ensemble that performs the music of the Baroque on period instruments. He received his collegiate training at Oberlin Conservatory of Music (B.M.) in music education and at McGill University (M.M.) in harpsichord performance. In addition to his administrative responsibilities with Bourbon Baroque, Mr. Clark operates a private piano studio, is an active accompanist and vocal coach, and directs musical theatre and opera including work with Seton Hall University (South Orange, New Jersey), CenterStage (Louisville, Kentucky), Music Theater of Louisville (Louisville, Kentucky), Pandora Theater (Louisville, Kentucky), and Gulfshore Playhouse (Naples, Florida). He performs regularly with Catacoustic Consort (Cincinnati, Ohio) and Galileo’s Daughters (New York, New York) among others. 2016/2017 marks Bourbon Baroque’s 10th season which includes performances in New York City, Louisville, KY, and Naples, Florida. He is thrilled to be working as Music Director for Gulfshore Playhouse’s STAR Academy this summer featuring Disney’s Aladdin, Jr. and Stephen Sondheim’s Into the Woods. He can be heard each Sunday morning as pianist/organist for Park Avenue Christian Church in Manhattan’s Upper East Side.

 

LUCAS HNATH (Playwright) plays include The Christians (2014 Humana Festival), Red Speedo (Studio Theatre, DC), A Public Reading of An Unproduced Screenplay About the Death of Walt Disney (2013 Humana Festival), Isaac’s Eye (Ensemble Studio Theatre), Death Tax (2012 Humana Festival, Royal Court Theatre), and The Courtship of Anna Nicole Smith (Actors Theatre of Louisville). His plays are published by Dramatists Play Service. Lucas has been a resident playwright at New Dramatists since 2011 and is a proud member of the Ensemble Studio Theatre. Lucas is a winner of the 2012 Whitfield Cook Award for Isaac’s Eye and received a 2013 Steinberg/ATCA New Play Award Citation for Death Tax. He has also received commissions from the EST/Sloan Project, Actors Theatre of Louisville, South Coast Repertory, Playwrights Horizons, New York University’s Graduate Acting Program, and the Royal Court Theatre. Lucas holds a BFA and an MFA from New York University’s Department of Dramatic Writing.

 

MICHAEL CASSARA, CSA (Casting Director) casts theatre and film in New York City, and is thrilled to be returning for a seventh season with Gulfshore Playhouse, where he has cast 25 plays since 2009. Recent credits include the off-Broadway premiere of Gigantic (Vineyard Theatre), I Love Lucy® Live On Stage (2014-15 national tour), Forbidden Broadway (last two editions/ cast albums), The 12 (Denver Center/world premiere). Film credits include The Hyperglot (Artios nomination for excellence in casting, dir. Michael Urie), Paper Dreams, Contest, and Grantham & Rose (dir. Kristin Hanggi, starring Marla Gibbs and Jake T. Austin). Regional theatre credits include productions for The Old Globe, San Jose Rep, Olney, Great Lakes Theater, Idaho Shakespeare Festival and many more. Resident Casting Director for the New York Musical Theatre Festival (NYMF) since 2007 and the National Alliance for Musical Theatre (NAMT) since 2013. Michael is a native Clevelander and a member of the Casting Society of America. MichaelCassara.net/ @michaelcassara
JYN YATES (Drums) is a professional drummer who grew up in a Kentucky musical family and has been rocking behind the kit from tender the age of 3.  She has performed for the Kirk Douglas Theatre of Los Angeles, California, Actor’s Theatre of Louisville, Michigan Women’s Music Festival, The Capitol in Washington, DC, The Kentucky Center For The Arts, The Louisville Ballet & the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre of New York.  Jyn is also an esteemed drum instructor in Louisville, Kentucky, teaching drum set performance and percussion composition. She has toured internationally as a professional drummer and is a current producer in the sound design field. She tours with Beverly McClellan of NBC’s The Voice Season one when not playing theatre!

 

RYAN CLOSS is a Guitarist/Lutenist from Long Island, New York, whose strong roots in communal music experiences have lead him towards specializing in chamber ensemble performance.  His diverse pallet is the result of years of practice, learning, and collaborating in the styles of Rock, Jazz, Blues, and Classical. He is also a co-founder of The West Hempstead Consort who strives to bring early music to new communities by reviving then popular songs, dances, and improvisations. www.RyanCloss.com

Tickets begin at $45    Box Office: 1-866-811-4111

Evening shows begin at 8:00 PM; Matinees begin at 3:00 PM.

All performances at The Norris Center
755 8th Avenue South, Naples, Florida 34102

Office:  239-261-PLAY (7529)

ADMISSION IS FREE & OPEN TO THE PUBLIC, except as noted.
Show Attendance Not Required.

Actor & Director Talk-Back

Members will be able to join the cast after the show for a Q&A about the process, the show, or even just to learn what it’s like to be an actor. Actor & Director Talk-Backs will take place the second Thursday of each production following the evening performance.

Following the performance on Thu, May 4, 2017

Pre-show discussions
Delve into the themes and topics of a performance before you see it by engaging in a group discussion with a member of the Gulfshore Playhouse artistic staff! Pre-show discussions begin 45 minutes prior to the show on their specified date.

Sun, Apr 30 at 2:15pm
Wed, May 3 at 2:15pm and 7:15pm
Sun, May 14 at 2:15pm
Wed, May 17 at 2:15pm and 7:15pm

Script Club

Learn how theatre artists translate what’s on the page to the stage! Through a unique partnership with the Collier County Public Libraries, Script Club will consist of book club-style discussions surrounding the scripts for Gulfshore Playhouse’s 2016-2017 productions, diving into the themes and topics of each text as well as teaching the art of script reading and interpretation. With meetings at Naples Regional Library and South Regional Library, this free program is accessible and open to all in our community!

Dates, Times, Locations:

May 2
South Regional Library
4-5:30 pm

TBD at Naples Regional Library

Panel Discussion

Panel Discussions will feature experts from Southwest Florida discussing the themes and topics from each play, which will allow audience members to continue exploring. Moderated by Producing Artistic Director, Kristen Coury, the panel will be interviewed briefly about its experience with the play and then the discussion will be opened up to field questions from the audience.

Panelists:

Reverend Catherine M. O’Connell
Administrative Pastor at First Christian Church Naples

Reverend Michael Junkroski
Sr. Minister at First Christian Church Naples

Date:
Sun, May 7, 2017

Please contact us for Group Rates. Office: 239-261-PLAY (7529)

or email us at: info@gulfshoreplayhouse.org

Special Thanks to

Season Benefactors: Patty and Jay Baker
Season Ambassadors:
Dottie and John Remondi
Corporate Partners: Cohen and Grigsby Law Firm
Executive Producers: Jane and Steve Akin, Christine and Terrance Flynn, Mosey and Don Gunther, Linda and Bob Harden, and Christine Paddock
Show Sponsor:
Shelly and Ralph Stayer