Nearly 10 years ago, when I had decided to move to Naples, and the idea of starting a professional theatre company was nothing more than a gleam in my eye, I came to Naples to plan my move. I sat on the beach looking out at the sunset, and I asked the Universe for help.
I promised that if the Universe opened the doors, I would walk through them.
And with that, the game was on. My first board member was the realtor who sold me my home, and it was he who approved the name Gulfshore Playhouse off a list of several possibilities I’d come up with.
I didn’t know a soul when I moved here so I figured the best way to “walk through doors” was to start meeting people, and I shook every hand I could and met every new person I had the opportunity to meet.
There has been so much support for what, at one time, was just a dollar and a dream. Countless people have given their time and effort and monetary support to create a home for high-quality professional theatre and unique educational opportunities for our community. I remember each one of them with appreciation for what it was that they specifically contributed to making this dream a reality.
But all the while, I knew that Gulfshore Playhouse had Angels looking out for it. It had to be that. There were so many times over this past decade that there was no possible way we were going to succeed, going to continue, or going to stay in business. And somehow we always did, and I always thanked those Angels on my shoulder.
So it is only fitting that it is with JACOB MARLEY’S CHRISTMAS CAROL that we get proof of these Angels. Not just in the form of Bogle, who sits so very happily on Marley’s shoulder (or inside his ear) and who eventually gets his wings, but in the form of Cody Nickell himself. Not only has Cody proven himself to be an angel to work with in every way, but I give you this picture taken at last night’s photo call and you can decide for yourself what it means. I view it as proof of the Angels I’ve always known were guiding, supporting and sending love and light to Gulfshore Playhouse all along the way.
I leave you with this for my last blog post before Christmas, a quote both from Tom Mula and Charles Dickens, the words that end the show every night and never cease to leave a tear in my eye:
“May our lives bring joy and light to those around us; and like the Bogle, may we bless the darkness as bright and shining stars.
And God bless us, every one.”