Making Theatre in the Un-Tropics

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Kristen Coury is the Producing Artistic Director of Gulfshore Playhouse.

Hello Friends.  Usually I write to you from the balmy climes of Naples, Florida.  In this case, I am writing to you from the Polar Vortex that is New York City.  Yes, the high tomorrow is going to be 26 degrees.  The low: I shan’t speak the number.  BRRR!!

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Kristen braving the cold and snowy weather in the New York City!

Although we all have cold hands, we have warm hearts.  The reason we are here, and when I say “we” that means Cory Dunn, our Production Manager, Jeff Binder, our Artistic Associate, and me, is that we have a bunch of theatre-making to do.

On Tuesday, we started rehearsals on this season’s World Premiere which is called Do This by Karen Siff Exkorn.   This play, which we’re doing by special arrangement with Broadway Producer Ken Davenport, is being directed by Tony-Nominated Director Sheryl Kaller and stars Tony-Nominated Actress Carmen Cusack, who recently starred on Broadway in Bright StarDo This is a one-woman show that parallels playwright Exkorn’s real-life experience with a son who was diagnosed with autism at the age of 2 and recovered at the age of 4.  As you all know, one person shows are a favorite at Gulfshore Playhouse and it was just amazing to hear Carmen sit down and read this script out loud for the first time and realize just how wonderful and important this play is. It’s touching and humor-filled as well as insightful and enlightening.  It’s a 90-minute heart-filled embrace that reminds us to hold close the ones we love and to never give up hope!

Furthermore, tomorrow we’ve got auditions for Merchant of Venice, and The Christians.  Auditions are always fun – what a great way to get to know a steady stream of talented people who have the chance to share 10 minutes of their work with us!  I love auditions and am grateful to our casting director, Michael Cassara, for always bringing us the cream of the crop of professional actors.

So I’m sitting in rehearsal, meeting with Producers, Directors, and Designers, going to Backer’s auditions for a new Broadway revival, seeing a few plays along the way and trying to keep warm!  And, maybe, just maybe, I’m doing some investigative work on a musical to include in next year’s season.  More on that later….I am pleased, proud, and full of excitement about the months ahead.  There is so much good news on the horizon, and I simply cannot wait to share it.  So stay tuned, or you’ll miss it!!

I am wishing you all the happiest of holidays.  Please know that I am very well aware that we couldn’t do any of this without you.  I am so grateful for your support.  It is thanks to you we continue to bring World Class Theatre and Educational Opportunities to your doorstep.  Happy New Year!  See you all in 2017!

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