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. Due in large part to her passion, leadership, and vision the Playhouse has grown from a small company producing in a municipal building with little resources to spearheading one of the region’s largest public/private partnerships. Since 2004, the Playhouse has grown to a staff of 50 and an annual budget of $6.8M with no debt. Kristen led the charge to create a $66M state-of-the-art Theatre and Education Center at the gateway to downtown Naples, opening in 2024. Kristen’s career began in London, where she worked for the English Shakespeare Company in the Press and Marketing department. Once she transitioned to New York City, she worked for Walt Disney Theatrical Productions on international productions of Beauty and the Beast and for Andrew Lloyd Webber’s company, The Really Useful Group, working on Sunset Boulevard and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. She has directed nearly 50 Playhouse productions to date, including My Fair Lady, Steel Magnolias, and The Merchant of Venice.
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 new Neil Diamond musical, A Beautiful Noise.
Kristen is a proud member of the Greater Naples Chamber Board of Commerce. She was named one of the Top 100 Most Influential Business Leaders in Collier County in 2022 and 2023. Additionally, she was named a “Leading Lady” by Naples Illustrated in 2018, one of the Men and Women of the Year by Gulfshore Life in 2013, and a “Star in the Arts” by the United Arts Council of Collier County in 2011.