KRISTEN COURY (CEO & Producing Artistic Director) Kristen Coury is the CEO and Producing Artistic Director of Gulfshore Playhouse. She founded the Playhouse in 2004, after moving to Naples from New York City. Under her leadership, the Playhouse has grown to a staff of 56, an annual budget of $8.15M with no debt, and led the charge to create a $72M state-of-the-art Theatre and Education Center at the gateway to downtown Naples, which will be open to the public in late 2024. As part of this project, Coury ignited a public/private partnership with the City of Naples, donating an acre of land upon which to build a public parking garage.
While in New York, she worked on Broadway for Walt Disney Theatrical’s production of Beauty and the Beast, both nationally and internationally, and for Andrew Lloyd Webber’s company, The Really Useful Group, working on Sunset Boulevard and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.
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. Kristen has directed several new works, produced a CD, and worked on a variety of musicals in various stages of development. Kristen is also a frequent investor in Broadway productions, most recently The Neil Diamond Musical: A Beautiful Noise. Kristen has directed over 40 productions for the Playhouse. Including a ten person, 2 piano My Fair Lady, world premieres, the world premiere of The God Game by Suzanne Bradbeer and The Butcher by Gwydion Suilebhan. She is currently preparing to direct the final production in the Norris Center, the musical She Loves Me.
Kristen was 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 she was named one of the Men and Women of the Year by Gulfshore Life in 2013. She served two terms on the board of Theatre Communications Group, the national advocacy group for professional theatres. She is a member of the board of the Greater Naples Chamber of Commerce, and was named one of the Top 100 Most Influential Business Leaders in Collier County in 2022, 2023, and 2024. Most recently, she was appointed to Florida Council for arts and culture by Senate President Kathleen Passidomo.