Founder and Producing Artistic DirectorKristen Coury founded the Playhouse in 2004, after she moved to Naples from New York City. When in New York, she worked in commercial theatre for Walt Disney Theatrical Productions working on Broadway and International productions of Beauty and the Beast, and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s company called The Really Useful Group, working on Sunset Boulevard on Broadway and the National Tour of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. She has directed many of the Playhouse productions to date, of which her favorites include: Merchant of Venice, My Fair Lady, Jacob Marley’s Christmas Carol, All My Sons, An Enemy of the People and The Glass Menagerie. 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, including Steel Pier on Broadway, a Broadway workshop of The Jazz Singer and Houdini at the Goodspeed Opera House. Kristen proudly serves as a board member of the Theatre Communications Group, the national service organization for the professional, not-for-profit American Theatre. She is also a frequent investor in Broadway productions, most recently the revival of Once On This Island. Kristen has lived in Florence, Paris, and London, is a ballroom dancer, a certified Nia instructor, and an energy worker. 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, one of the Men and Women of the Year by Gulfshore Life in 2013, and a “Leading Lady” by Naples Illustrated in 2018.