Mission Statement:

Gulfshore Playhouse is passionately committed to enriching the cultural landscape of our region by producing professional theatre to the highest artistic standards and providing unique educational opportunities to diverse groups of people in a spirit of service, adventure, and excitement. Our work is inspired by a belief in the magic of theatre to expand the imagination, challenge the senses, provoke discussion, and revitalize in our audience an understanding of our common humanity. This belief drives the care with which we treat our artists, audiences, students, staff, and members of the greater community.

For more information, call our Administrative Office at (239) 261-7529.

2014 Annual Report

Gulfshore Playhouse
Annual Report 2017

Army for the Arts

Kristen Coury:
An Army For the Arts

Leaping into the Future

Kristen Coury:
Leaping into the Future

Board of Directors

Board of Directors &
Artistic Advisors

The Gulfshore Playhouse Charter

The Gulfshore Playhouse

Playhouse Partners

Playhouse Partners:
Join Our Team!

A Short History of Gulfshore Playhouse:

Gulfshore Playhouse, Naples’ only fully professional theatre, was incorporated as a 501(c)3 not-for-profit professional theatre on May 21, 2004 in Naples, Florida, with a fiscal year ending June 30th. We work with the Actors’ Equity Union on an SPT 10 Contract, United Scenic Artists’ Union (USA), and the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society (SDC).

In 2004, after spending many years in New York City working for Broadway Producers, Kristen Coury moved to Naples and founded Gulfshore Playhouse because she saw a niche in the local arts community that could be filled by creating a professional, self-producing theatre. She was determined to bring Broadway-quality theatre to Naples by hiring the best professional actors and designers from New York and around the country.

Over the next year and a half, Kristen single-handedly created 6 successful fundraising events, which included headliners such as Carol Channing, Carol Lawrence, and Anna Maria Alberghetti.  Producing full-length plays was challenging without a base of operations, rehearsal and performance space, a location for set building and storage as well as the requisite office space.

In 2006, Gulfshore Playhouse premiered its first full-scale production: Oleanna by Pulitzer Prize winner David Mamet, starring Tony nominee Alan Campbell. It was at this time that the Norris Center, a municipal building run by the City of Naples, became available. With an intimate 200-seat performance venue, as well as the necessary classrooms and storage space, it was a perfect home for a young theatre company.

Aside from the work being done on stage, the opportunity finally arose to establish an education program that could provide unique and essential opportunities to the children of Southwest Florida. Gulfshore Playhouse conducted an assessment/survey of area schools to determine what type of arts practice existed and how, if at all, it was being used to deliver content curriculum. When the results of the survey revealed that nothing similar existed in the region and that there was significant interest by the area educators, ART SMART was created.  ART SMART is a unique program in the State of Florida, providing in-school residencies offered free of charge to Title 1 schools which combine content curriculum with arts integration.  This program is now known as ThinkTheatre. In order to provide even more opportunities for children in the region, Gulfshore Playhouse proudly debuted its STAR Academy after-school and summer programs in 2009.

Over the next six years, Gulfshore Playhouse expanded its staff, season of professional programming, educational offerings, and reputation in Naples as a premiere artistic home catering to performers, designers, and audiences from around the country. In 2012, the Playhouse proudly announced six full productions spanning the entire season from October to April. In addition, Gulfshore Playhouse inaugurated its New Works Festival, which brought playwrights, directors, and actors from around the country to nurture the growth of new plays. Furthering its commitment to fostering and producing New Works, the 2013-14 season saw Gulfshore Playhouse produce its first World Premiere  – The God Game, by Suzanne Bradbeer. 2014-15 saw another World Premiere – The Butcher, by Gwydion Suilebhan.  This critical success and audience favorite grew directly out of the New Works Festival implemented just a season before.

By 2014, the growing staff had outgrown its 300 square foot office space in the Norris Center and moved to a 2100 square foot office suite located above the FGCU Renaissance Academy on the corner of 10th Street and 5th Avenue.

Today, Gulfshore Playhouse sports 33 staff members, 12 summer camp programs (including 2 full-scale productions) serving children ages 3-18, a $3 million budget, an Annual New Works Festival, theatre that challenges and delights all the way from September through May, and numerous other excellent and evolving programs, including The Synergy Series, which offers a variety of free opportunities for audience members to dig more deeply into the content of the plays onstage.  Gulfshore Playhouse continues its commitment to being the finest professional theatre in Southwest Florida, hosting the best theatre artists from around the nation as well as fostering a flourishing and ever-growing education department. Since 2009, the annual budget has grown 655% and the Playhouse continues to operate without debt.

In 2016 Gulfshore Playhouse announced a $10-million matching gift from philanthropists and long-time benefactors of the theatre, Patty and Jay Baker. This extraordinary gift ignited a multi-million dollar Capital Campaign designed to build a state-of-the-art Tony Award-winning professional theatre and education center.