The Who and the What

APR 30-MAY 15, 2016

by Ayad Akhtar

Gulfshore Playhouse’s ‘The Who and the What’ compelling family story

The-Who-and-The-What-2Let’s dispense with the fact the Gulfshore Playhouse offering, “The Who and the What,” is about a Muslim family. There are no veils in sight; sleeveless dresses and jeggings are in its women’s closets.

“The Who and the What” is a roller-coaster ride that demands you hang on for dear life straight through, thanks to Gulfshore Playhouse’s strong, sensitive production.

The Who and the What
By Harriet Howard Heithaus Naples Daily News

An Enemy of the People
MAR 26-APR 17, 2016
A new version of the Henrik Ibsen play by Rebecca Lenkiewicz
directed by Kristen Coury

TWO PLAYS BOTH MUST SEES AND DIFFERENT

David Whalen and Jeffrey Binder in An Enemy of the People

David Whalen and Jeffrey Binder in An Enemy of the People

We are so lucky to have so much glorious live theater available to us in SW Florida. Here are two I highly recommend, such opposites, one light and almost silly, and one dark, and almost hopeful. Get to them both.

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An Enemy of the People
THEATER NOTES by Sidney B. Simon

REVIEW: ‘Enemy’ at Gulfshore Playhouse a sharp look at uncomfortable truths

Lindsey Kyler, Jessica Wortham, and Jeffrey Binder in An Enemy of the People

Lindsey Kyler, Jessica Wortham, and Jeffrey Binder in An Enemy of the People

A pervasive undercurrent of selfishness in “An Enemy of the People” cools its characters’ best intentions. Director Kristen Coury mines the dramatic potential in those moments skillfully, particularly where they reveal two brothers doomed to an inability to communicate with each other. (more…)

REVIEW: ‘Enemy’ at Gulfshore Playhouse
By Harriet Howard Heithaus of the Naples Daily News

Gulfshore Playhouse confronts a 19th-century controversy with new relevance

The Cast of An Enemy of the People

The Cast of An Enemy of the People

The drama is distilled. The water is not.

In fact, the water is poisonous, and on that frightening truth turns the streamlined version of Hendrik Ibsen’s “An Enemy of the People,” Gulfshore Playhouse’s current production. It opens Saturday at the Norris Community Center in Naples, and its tenets sound eerily familiar. (more…)

An Enemy of the People
By Harriet Howard Heithaus of the Naples Daily News

Calendar Highlight: An Enemy of the People

Timothy Smith and David Whalen in An Enemy of the People

Timothy Smith and David Whalen in An Enemy of the People

See the Gulfshore Playhouse performance starting Saturday night.

Nobody likes it when politics get personal-unless it’s playing out on-screen or onstage and not personal to them. Then it can be delightful. With founder Kristen Coury at the helm, Gulfshore Playhouse’s take on An Enemy of the People is one such delight, running March 26 through April 17. The thriller takes us on a ride with town doc Thomas Stockmann as he tries to do good while facing brutal resistance from the very community he is trying to protect. The people are led by Stockmann’s own brother, the town’s mayor.

An Enemy of the People
By Cayla Childs. Gulfshore Life

Gulfshore Playhouse to Aid Flint Water Crisis With Newest Production

Lindsey Kyler, Jessica Wortham, and Jeffrey Binder in An Enemy of the People

Lindsey Kyler, Jessica Wortham, and Jeffrey Binder in An Enemy of the People

Gulfshore Playhouse recently announced a partnership with ‘Safe Water. Safe Home.’ during its production of An Enemy of the People which is scheduled to run March 26 through April 17. Every bottle of water purchased at the showing, Safe Water will donate all the proceeds to the support of the children of Flint, Michigan. Both parties hope to contribute 5,000 bottles of water by the end of the shows run.

“If there was ever a time to invest in our children, it is now. Our Flint children deserve every opportunity to be healthy and successful. The creation of this Fund will further ensure that our children are afforded the resources and interventions to overcome this population-wide exposure to lead.” Said Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha of Hurley Medical Center and founding donor of the Flint Child Health and Development Fund.

The production will be aired at The Norris Center, located at 755 8th Avenue South in Naples. Tickets will start at $45 per person. In addition, two special preview performances will take place on Thursday, March 24th and Friday, March 25th with tickets at $30 per person.

Flint Michigan Water
By NH Staff. Gulfshore Life

Gulfshore Playhouse a friend to the kids of Flint, Michigan.

David Whalen and Jeffrey Binder in An Enemy of the People

David Whalen and Jeffrey Binder in An Enemy of the People

Gulfshore Playhouse partners with Flint- Kids.org throughout the run of “An Enemy of the People” March 26-April 17 at The Norris Center with hopes of being able to contribute the financial equivalent of 5,000 bottles of water by the end of the show’s run to support the children of Flint, Mich., who have been exposed to lead through the city’s water supply.

Written in 1882, “An Enemy of the People” tells the story about the contamination of a town’s drinking water. Because the story so closely imitates the situation unfolding in Flint, the theater company decided to use its production of the play to help make a difference in Flint, according to Artistic Director Kristen Coury.

The theater company will donate the full $5 price for every bottle of water sold during the show to FlintKids.org, a fund of the Community Foundation of Greater Flint that was established as a supplemental resource to the ongoing pursuit of state and federal funding to provide wraparound health and development services for the children of Flint, particularly those most vulnerable, ages birth to 6 years old.

Flint Michigan Water
Florida Weekly

Gulfshore Playhouse to Donate Funds to Flint, Michigan during Performances of “An Enemy of the People”

The Cast of An Enemy of the People

The Cast of An Enemy of the People

Gulfshore Playhouse (www.GulfshorePlayhouse.org), Southwest Florida’s premier professional theatre, is pleased to announce that during its production of An Enemy of the People will partner with Safe Water. Safe Home. (www.FlintKids.org) to donate the proceeds from every bottle of water purchased. The goal is to contribute the financial equivalent of 5,000 bottles of water by the end of the show’s run to support the children of Flint, Michigan.

“Because An Enemy of the People, a story about the contamination of a town’s drinking water that was written in 1882, so closely imitates the devastating situation unfolding in Flint, Michigan – and right here in the Gulf of Mexico – we felt it necessary to help. By giving through www.flintkids.org we will be able to support the long-term health and development needs of Flint’s children,” said Kristen Coury, Founder and Artistic Director of Gulfshore Playhouse.

Letter: A must see

Jeffrey Binder and John Corey in An Enemy of the People

Jeffrey Binder and John Corey in An Enemy of the People

Art convincingly imitates present-day life in Gulfshore Playhouse’s next production, “An Enemy of the People.”

The play, as relevant today as it was when written 130 years ago, is a “ripped-from-the-headlines” story – a “must-see” when it opens at the Norris Center on March 26 for three weeks.

(more…)

An Enemy of the People
By Ricki Baker, Naples

Gulfshore Playhouse debuts An Enemy of the People

David Whalen and Jeffrey Binder in An Enemy of the People

David Whalen and Jeffrey Binder in An Enemy of the People

In the midst of the presidential election and political discourse across the nation, the Gulfshore Playhouse will raise its curtain for its newest production, An Enemy of the People, at The Norris Center in Naples. Taking politics to a personal level, the revamped and faster-paced version of the play might just hit a cord with locals as the storyline begs the question, “How much political power is too much?”

(more…)

An Enemy of the People
By Tiara Brown, Naples Herald

Shows you shouldn’t miss this season

EOTP3

Lindsey Kyler, Jessica Wortham, and Jeffrey Binder in An Enemy of the People

Presenting period pieces and classics is one of the things Gulfshore Playhouse does best. That’s why you should make a point to see the company’s production of Ibsen’s “An Enemy of the People” March 26-April 27.

Ibsen’s “An Enemy of the People”
Nancy Stetson, Florida Weekly

Ken Ludwig's Moon Over Buffalo
FEB 13-MAR 13, 2016

directed by Kristen Coury

A Laughing Matter: Moon Over Buffalo

Buffalo4

Elizabeth Meadows Rouse and Steve Vinovich in Ken Ludwig’s Moon Over Buffalo

This isn’t the first of Ludwig’s plays to hit the stage at Gulfshore. Last year his comedy The Game’s Afoot broke box office records there. Ludwig currently serves on the local professional theater’s advisory board. “What Gulfshore brings to its community is unique and wonderful,” he says. “What I saw when I was in Naples was absolutely top-notch actors and very thoughtful and intelligent productions. Founder Kristen Coury has set a really high standard for the work.” High praise, coming from the author whose works have won countless accolades and have starred actors such as Alec Baldwin, Carol Burnett, Lynn Redgrave, and Mickey Rooney, to name a few.

Ken Ludwig Moon Over Buffalo
By Christiana Keyes, Naples Illustrated

Letter: Local theater

Buffalo3

Michael Doherty, Spencer Plachy, Stephen D’Ambrose, and Jenni Putney in Ken Ludwig’s Moon Over Buffalo

How very fortunate we are in Naples to have ready access to off-Broadway quality, professional theater by way of seasonal productions at both Gulfshore Playhouse and Theatrezone. (more…)

Moon Over Buffalo Letter to the Editor
By Jon and Carol Riches, Faversham, U.K., and North Naples

Informed Consent
JAN 9-31, 2016

by Deborah Zoe Laufer
directed by Kristen Coury

‘Informed Consent’: The stories in the blood

IMG_0699-300x200

Edward O’Blenis, Liz Hayes, and Cynthia Bastidas in Informed Consent Gulfshore Playhouse

Dr. Jillian Elliot, a genetic anthropologist, is slowly losing her mind. Like her mother before her, she has early onset Alzheimer’s, a horrible disease that steals the person’s memories, knowledge and personality.

Her mother died of it at age 36, when Jillian was just 7 years old and didn’t understand what was happening. Jillian doesn’t want the same thing to happen to her 4-year-old daughter when she starts developing symptoms.

She believes the disease can be cured, but it must be studied — even if that means cutting corners and being unethical. She is so determined to help find a cure that she gets blood under false pretenses from a Native American tribe living at the bottom of the Grand Canyon.

And there lies the dilemma of “Informed Consent”: Is it ever right to do medical studies or testing without the fully informed consent of the patient?

In the end, at least for me, it is about love, not science.

What would you do? ‘Informed Consent’ is an exploration in science, faith and philosophical debate

IMG_0127

Danny Bolero in Informed Consent

Director Kristen Couryuses the five actors (who play a variety of roles) to stage a swirling dance of fact, belief, myth and a surprising amount of thoughtful philosophical debate. Giant file cabinets soar to the ceiling while a clear blue sky sits on the horizon. Christopher Rhoton’s set and Jimmy Lawlor’s evocative lighting creates both infinite possibilities and a yawning divide between the debate participants.

The practically brand-new play, in just its fourth-ever production, juggles several issues. Coury’s staging highlights different perspectives while maintaining some levity. Laufer’s script plays out like a fairy tale (literally beginning with “once upon a time”), contrasting Jillian’s absolute faith in the advances ofmedical technology against the tribe’s beliefs.

Informed Consent – an exploration in science
BY Chris Silk of the Naples Daily News

FOUR PLAYS IN FOUR DAYS

Liz Hayes and Cynthia Bastidas in Informed Consent

Liz Hayes and Cynthia Bastidas in Informed Consent

1-12-16Lucky me. Oh, the joys of being a critic. To see four utterly satisfying and important plays, four days in a row. Here’s what I saw. I urge you to go see them all.

(more…)

Informed Consent by Deborah Zoe Laufer
THEATER NOTES by Sidney B. Simon

Universal truths revealed in ‘Informed Consent’

IMG_0833

Danny Bolero and Cynthia Bastidas in Informed Consent

Gulfshore Playhouse presents “Informed Consent,” a drama written by Deborah Zoe Laufer and directed locally by Kristen Coury, on stage at The Norris Center Jan. 9-31. First produced at Cleveland Play House and the Geva Theatre Center in 2014, “Informed Consert” played at Primary Stages in New York City in 2015.

Its the story of Jillian, a woman suffering from a disease that will steal her memory away from her, leaving her husband and small child helpless in the face of it. It’s also about a Native American tribe warring against a myriad of challenges that have dramatically changed its way of life and battling the scientist who would steal secrets locked within the entity they hold most dear: their own blood. And finally, it’s a play about a scientist desperately trying to reconcile the means through which information is acquired, knowing that the consequence is people being hurt in the process.

Theater calendar for the week of January 8

Danny Bolero in Informed Consent

Informed Consent  In this thought-provoking new play, an ambitious geneticist is hired to study diabetes in an isolated Native American tribe. Her ethics and methods are questioned as her research threatens to destroy the tribe’s beliefs and sacred traditions. Opens Saturday and continues through Jan. 31. Performances are 8 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday with 3 p.m. matinees Sunday. Tickets are $54-$64 ($20 for students). Gulfshore Playhouse in The Norris Center, 755 Eighth Ave., downtown Naples. 261-7529 or gulfshoreplayhouse.org

Gulfshore Playhouse presents ‘Informed Consent’ through Jan.

Danny Bolero and Cynthia Bastidas in Informed Consent

The Gulfshore Playhouse at the Norris Center in Naples is proud to present its newest production, ‘Informed Consent’. The play invokes a deep introspection among its audience as it introduces them to many perspectives and the unveiling of a universal truth: Everyone has something that inspires them to work harder, love better, and truly live, but what happens when it is suddenly taken away?

The play covers the lives of many: It is a play about Jillian, a woman suffering from a disease that will steal her memory away from her, leaving her husband and small child helpless in the face of it.

The production explores a Native American tribe warring against a myriad of challenges that have dramatically changed its way of life, and then battling the scientist who would steal secrets locked within the entity they hold most dear – their own blood.

It’s a play about a scientist desperately trying to reconcile the means through which information is acquired knowing that the consequence is people being hurt in the process.

The scenes inspire the audience to ask themselves, “What defines me? What if it no longer could?”

Informed Consent
By Tiara Brown, Naples Herald

Universal truths revealed in ‘Informed Consent’

Edward O’Blenis, Liz Hayes, and Cynthia Bastidas in Informed Consent Gulfshore Playhouse

Gulfshore Playhouse presents “Informed Consent,” a drama written by Deborah Zoe Laufer and directed locally by Kristen Coury.

It’s the story of Jillian, a woman suffering from a disease that will steal her memory away from her, leaving her husband and small child helpless in the face of it. It’s also about a Native American tribe warring against a myriad of challenges that have dramatically changed its way of life and battling the scientist who would steal secrets locked within the entity they hold most dear: their own blood. And finally, it’s a play about a scientist desperately trying to reconcile the means through which information is acquired, knowing that the consequence is people being hurt in the process.

These stories unveil a universal truth about what defines a person and motivates someone to get up in the morning, to work harder, love better and play more. If those things were suddenly taken away, what becomes of the person?

Although “Informed Consent” asks such questions of a very specific set of characters, they could be anybody.

Informed Consent
Florida Weekly

Naples play Informed Consent dives into ethics, faith, genetics and more

Edward O’Blenis, Liz Hayes, and Danny Bolero, from left to right, act out a scene from Informed Consent at the Gulfshore Playhouse in Naples, Fla. on January 5, 2016. (Logan Newell/Special to the Daily News)

Gulfshore Playhouse is taking on 2016 in a big way with almost-brand-spanking-new play “Informed Consent.” The work, which director Kristen Coury calls “emotionally stirring,” is about a scientist, a Native American tribe, faith, ethics, genetics, motherhood and ultimately, about the future.

It’s the kind of reality show people should be watching.

“Informed Consent” poses questions about the right to know information, the consequences of knowing that information and whether it is better to live life in the present or try and race toward the future.

Informed Consent by Deborah Zoe Laufer
Chris Silk, Naples Daily News

Jacob Marley's Christmas Carol

DEC 12-20, 2015 – Special Add-On
by Tom Mula
directed by Kristen Coury

Theater calendar for week of Dec. 11: Opening

Cody Nickell in Jacob Marley’s Christmas Carol

Cody Nickell in JACOB MARLEY’S CHRISTMAS CAROL.

“Jacob Marley’s Christmas Carol” Cody Nickell stars in this one-man tour de force that takes a heartwarming, behind-the-scenes look at the classic Dickens story. Follow Marley through the streets of London; Christmases past, present and future; and Heaven, Hell and the dimensions beyond. Opens Saturday and continues through Dec. 22. Performances are 8 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday with 3 p.m. matinees Sunday. Tickets are $54-$64 ($20 for students). Gulfshore Playhouse in The Norris Center, 755 Eighth Ave., downtown Naples. 261-7529 or gulfshoreplayhouse.org

Cody Nickell in Jacob Marley’s Christmas Carol
CHARLES RUNNELLS, NEWS-PRESS.COM

A Twist to the Tale
A Naples theater offers a unique take on the timeless classic ‘A Christmas Carol’

Christmas Carol by Tom Mula

Cody Nickell in JACOB MARLEY’S CHRISTMAS CAROL.

Jacob Marley’s Christmas Carol by Tom Mula, is unlike any version of the holiday story and here’s why: Cody Nickell plays 18 characters in the two-hour one-man play and it dives deeper into the lives of Scrooge and Marley then you’d ever think you’d go.

Nickell, 39, is terrifying, hilarious, serious and a true storyteller. You can’t help, but fall in love with Marley and the other 17 characters along the way.

 

Christmas Carol by Tom Mula
Katie Egan, Naples Daily News

Jacob Marley returns for more spooky holiday fun in Naples

Cody Nickell as Jacob Marley

Cody Nickell as Jacob Marley in JACOB MARLEY’S CHRISTMAS CAROL.

For about 2-1/2 hours, it’s Cody Nickell as Jacob Marley and only Nickell onstage for the holiday play “Jacob Marley’s Christmas Carol.” He plays all 18 characters in the behind-the-scenes retelling of the Charles Dickens classic “A Christmas Carol,” including Ebenezer Scrooge, his ghostly former partner Jacob Marley and a raisin-sized imp called a bogle.

And he does it all without a single prop – only creative lighting and sound effects, his flexible voice, his posture, a huge arsenal of facial expressions and a boundless imagination.

Cody Nickell as Jacob Marley
CHARLES RUNNELLS, NEWS-PRESS.COM

Tired of seasonal ho-hum? Try some local …

Cody Nickell in JACOB MARLEY CHRISTMAS CAROL.

Cody Nickell in JACOB MARLEY’S CHRISTMAS CAROL.

This is the third year Gulfshore Playhouse is presenting [ Jacob Marley Christmas Carol ], with Cody Nickell starring. He travels through Heaven and Hell, the skies and streets of Victorian London, through time itself.

His performance is even more incredible when you realize he plays all the characters, human and otherwise, in addition to narrating the play. It’s an acting tour de force.

It’s also a show not to be missed, one that adults will find enchanting and magical and totally genuine in emotion.

Jacob Marley Christmas Carol
BY NANCY STETSON, Florida Weekly

Boeing Boeing

NOV 7-29, 2015
by Marc Camoletti, Beverley Cross & Francis Evans

Boeing-Boeing

Ashton Heyl and Jeffrey Binder in Boeing-Boeing

Ashton Heyl and Jeffrey Binder in Boeing-Boeing

Bernard is engaged to Gabriella. And to Gloria. And to Gretchen. With three gorgeous stewardess fiancees, Bernard is flying high and living the dream. But things get a bit rocky when shy friend Robert comes to stay, a new turbo-charged Boeing is introduced, and we quickly learn that one woman is all Bernard can handle.

Closes Sunday. Performances are 8 p.m. today through Saturday with 3 p.m. matinees Saturday and Sunday. Tickets are $54-$64 ($20 for students). Gulfshore Playhouse in The Norris Center, 755 Eighth Ave., downtown Naples. 261-7529 or gulfshoreplayhouse.org

Boeing-Boeing
CHARLES RUNNELLS, News Press

Review: ‘Boeing-Boeing’ offers airplane antics

Alexis Hyatt and Jeffrey Binder in Boeing-Boeing

Alexis Hyatt and Jeffrey Binder in Boeing-Boeing

“Boeing Boeing.” What’s that sound? Stewardesses bouncing up and down.

Gulfshore Playhouse drops bachelor Bernard inside an utterly fabulous midcentury modern apartment. Randall Parsons’ set soars to the ceiling in tones of sand and white; the Norris Center stage has never looked so expansive, so wonderful, so airy. And so, so, sexy. You’ll yearn for that space-age collection of discs in red, yellow and blue that serves as a coat rack, as well as the stunning posters.

Jan Neuberger presides over the chaos as goofily Gallic maid, cook and general dogsbody Berthe. Her understated, unflappable style brings most of the laugh lines, especially Berthe’s wide-eyed facial expressions and refusal to do much work.

Boeing Boeing Airplane Antics
BY Chris Silk of the Naples Daily News

French farce takes off with modern updates

Boeing Boeing

Theater fans seeking a light, comical little gem so they can laugh their cares away can head to Gulfshore Playhouse’s production of “Boeing Boeing,” a classical French farce that has been updated for modern audiences.

Written by French playwrights Marc Camoletti, Beverley Cross and Francis Evans, the story centers on the desperate contortions Parisian bachelor Bernard undergoes to keep his three fiancées from discovering each other. Since the women are all flight attendants, the introduction of a speedier jet sets Bernard’s timing awry and confuses his visiting childhood friend, Robert.

Boeing Boeing
BY LINDSEY NESMITH, Florida Weekly

The Glass Menagerie

OCT 10-25, 2015
By Tennessee Williams.  Directed by Kristen Coury

Life is but a dream in Gulfshore’s ‘Glass Menagerie’

Amy Van Nostrand in The Glass Menagerie. Photos: Pedro Zepeda

Amy Van Nostrand in The Glass Menagerie. Photos: Pedro Zepeda

“Like nothing you’ve seen before”

“Eric Gilde’s masterfully subtle, withdrawn to the point of stillness performance breathes incandescent life into Williams’ lyrical descriptions of the life where a tyrannical abandoned mother and two children fight for a freedom that never comes.”

“Menagerie,” swathed in cool blues and layer upon layer of filtered light from Jiyoun Chang and Marie Yokoyama, feels like nothing so much as a waking dream.”

The Glass Menagerie
Chris Silk, Naples News

Naples Gulfshore Playhouse rethinks Tennessee Williams’ ‘Menagerie’

Ben Jacoby and Andrea Lynn Green in The Glass Menagerie. Photos: Pedro Zepeda

Ben Jacoby and Andrea Lynn Green in The Glass Menagerie. Photos: Pedro Zepeda

The end of “The Glass Menagerie” will not change. There will be no fast-forward of historical periods from its shabby, Depression-era apartment setting. The story will be just as painful as it has always been to anyone who has known meddling parents, unfulfilled love and family induced guilt.

“‘The Glass Menagerie’ brings up issues that haven’t disappeared in this country,” Coury observed. “It’s not that far away. Being used or misused in present-day lexicon does need to be talked about.”

Coury sees a hope for understanding that surpasses the Wingfield family tragedy in those opportunities. “That,” she declared, “is how theater changes the world.”

The Glass Menagerie
Harriet Howard Heithaus, Naples News

Gulfshore Playhouse Announces Cast of “The Glass Menagerie”

Eric Gilde in The Glass Menagerie. Photos: Pedro Zepeda

Eric Gilde in The Glass Menagerie. Photos: Pedro Zepeda

Written by Tennessee Williams, directed by Kristen Coury, and produced in partnership with Weston Playhouse Theatre Company, Weston, Vermont, this production of The Glass Menagerie has been praised by critics, including Jim Lowe of the Rutland Herald who said, “Director Kristen Coury has achieved this most delicate storytelling about its delicate characters by, thanks in part to an excellent cast, delivering dimensions of all four characters sympathetically.”

The Glass Menagerie
NaplesKnow2, Naples News

ON STAGE: THE GLASS MENAGERIE

Amy Van Nostrand and Andrea Lynn Green in The Glass Menagerie. Photos: Pedro Zepeda

Amy Van Nostrand and Andrea Lynn Green in The Glass Menagerie. Photos: Pedro Zepeda

The first full production of the 2015-16 season, The Glass Menagerie is also a first for the playhouse: a co-production with the Weston Playhouse Theatre Company in Weston, Vermont. Gulfshore’s Founder and Producing Artistic Director Kristen Coury, spent part of the summer in Vermont directing the play, and has now brought the cast and set back with her to Naples. The thought-provoking drama is a great follow-up to the season opener – the third annual New Works Festival, held in late September – building on the excitement of what’s sure to be a great season.

The Glass Menagerie
Naples Illustrated

Theater Review: The Glass Menagerie

Ben Jacoby and Andrea Lynn Green in The Glass Menagerie. Photos: Pedro Zepeda

Ben Jacoby and Andrea Lynn Green in The Glass Menagerie. Photos: Pedro Zepeda

Williams’ play is both indestructibly beautiful and fragile enough to collapse if the performances are weak. The strong acting and intelligent directing in Weston’s production honor Williams’ poignant, somewhat autobiographical story. Coury orchestrates moments of stillness and focus that resonate, especially in the play’s closing tableau.

The Glass Menagerie
By ALEX BROWN. Seven Days

The Glass Menagerie

Eric Gilde in The Glass Menagerie. Photos: Pedro Zepeda

Eric Gilde in The Glass Menagerie. Photos: Pedro Zepeda

Having grown up on plays by Tennessee Williams and Arthur Miller and having seen many productions of their plays might make one wary of another production. However, this is not true where The Glass Menagerie is concerned. It is still as fresh and moving as it ever was. Familiar lines retain their magic and our understanding and sympathy for the characters deepens in the production that runs at the Weston Playhouse until September 5.

The Glass Menagerie
Weston Playhouse

Weston’s ‘Glass Menagerie’ achingly exquisite

Eric Gilde in The Glass Menagerie. Photos: Pedro Zepeda

Eric Gilde in The Glass Menagerie. Photos: Pedro Zepeda

“Being a memory play,” our Narrator tells us, “it is dimly lighted, it is sentimental, it is not realistic. In memory everything seems to happen to music. That explains the fiddle in the wings.” True to Williams’ vision, director Kristen Coury and her team fuse light, music and sound effects into a magical experience. The smoothness and delicacy of the production often suggests the cinematic – a fitting place for three people who cannot live entirely in the real world.

The Glass Menagerie
By David Lampe-Wilson. The Chester Telegraph

Theater Review: Weston delivers the heart in ‘The Glass Menagerie’

Ben Jacoby and Andrea Lynn Green in The Glass Menagerie. Photos: Pedro Zepeda

Ben Jacoby and Andrea Lynn Green in The Glass Menagerie. Photos: Pedro Zepeda

How often does an audience respond with nearly a minute of silence to the closing scene of well-known play, followed by applause building to a standing ovation?

That’s precisely what happened Friday at the opening night of the Weston Playhouse production of Tennessee Williams’ “The Glass Menagerie.” And given the beauty, power and humanity of the performance, the response was entirely appropriate.

The Glass Menagerie
By Jim Lowe. Rutland Herald and Barre Times-Argus

Weston Playhouse Theatre Company’s THE GLASS MENAGERIE Begins 8/27

Andrea Lynn Green in The Glass Menagerie. Photos: Pedro Zepeda

Andrea Lynn Green in The Glass Menagerie. Photos: Pedro Zepeda

As touching and relevant today as when first created, the story itself is a memory play, narrated by the restless son of an aging Southern belle. It tells the tales of a family’s schemes to find a husband for Laura, the painfully shy daughter. Weston’s staging, produced in concert with Florida’s Gulfshore Playhouse, features a remarkable cast and an all-star creative team directed by Gulfshore’s founder and Artistic Director Kristen Coury. Coury’s career has brought her from Walt Disney Theatrical to Andrew Lloyd Webber to London’s English Shakespeare Company, and finally, to Gulfshore, where she’s directed nearly all of the productions to date.

The Glass Menagerie
By BWW News Desk. Broadwayworld.com Vermont

3rd Annual New Works Festival

SEPT 24-27, 2015
Embalmed, Buried, Gone by Ashlin Halfnight
Ariadne On The Island by Kato McNickle
Other Than Honorable by Jamie Pachino
White by James Ijames

Gulfshore Playhouse Gears Up for Third New Works Festival

Joniece Abbott-Pratt in rehearsal for White by James Ijames.

Joniece Abbott-Pratt in rehearsal for White by James Ijames.

Founder and producing artistic director Kristen Coury introduced the festival as a way to support playwrights in the otherwise solitary writing process. “If we aren’t contributing to the canon of American theater, who is?” she said earlier this week before dashing off to rehearsals. (Coury is directing two of the plays.) “It could be that the playwrights have never even heard their work read out loud before.”

Third Annual New Works Festival
By JENNIFER REED. Gulfshore Life

Four plays announced for New Works Festival

Kristen Coury is the Founder and Producing Artistic Director of Gulfshore PlayhouseFour plays have been chosen for Gulfshore Playhouse’s third annual New Works Festival, which will bring playwrights, actors and directors from across the country to The Norris Center Sept. 24-27. Each of the works is assigned a director and actors who work together for 14.5 hours before performing a public staged reading.

The New Works Festival allows playwrights to transition from writing in a solitary environment to adding actors and ultimately an audience to help them understand how their plays work in performance. Audience feedback is a vital part of the process.

“I am passionate about what I view as one of Gulfshore Playhouse’s most significant tasks: developing the next generation of contemporary playwrights and growing the canon of American theater,” Kristen Coury, founder and producing artistic director of Gulfshore Playhouse, says.

New Works Festival
Florida Weekly

New Works fest set for late September

Christopher Shin and White playwright James Ijames. — with James Ijames.

Christopher Shin and White playwright James Ijames.

Gulfshore Playhouse announced four finalists for its third annual New Works Festival from Sept. 24-27 in Naples, and all of them push some unusual hot buttons in personal and societal life.

Third Annual New Works Festival
By Harriet Heithaus. naplesnews.com

Gulfshore Playhouse Press

Much has been made of the fact that Gulfshore Playhouse and The Naples Players, only a handful of blocks apart in downtown Naples, have both announced “My Fair Lady” for 2016-17. The Lerner and Loewe musical about a Cockney street vendor who learns how to move about in high society is a classic. But the Naples troupes are presenting different versions.

The Naples Players’ production (March 1-April 2) will have a full cast and orchestra at the Sugden Community Theatre, while Gulfshore Playhouse will stage a stripped-down version with 10 performers and two pianos at The Norris Center (Nov. 12-Dec. 11). (more…)

My Fair Lady
NANCY STETSON Florida Weekly

GIVING BIG: Philanthropist Jay Baker got rich growing Kohl’s stores – now he’s sharing the wealth and his time with Naples

Philanthropist Jay Baker got rich growing Kohl's stores - now he's sharing the wealth and his time with Naples

Philanthropist Jay Baker got rich growing Kohl’s stores – now he’s sharing the wealth and his time with Naples

“I don’t understand why more people don’t donate to the community where they live,” said Baker, emphasizing that he and his wife don’t just write checks but get involved with the charities and causes they support. (more…)

Jay Baker
By JUNE FLETCHER Naples Daily News

Gifts Roundup: $10 Million From Ex-Kohl’s Chief to Gulfshore Playhouse

Jay Baker, the former president of retail company Kohl’s, and his wife, Patty, pledged $10 million to help pay for a new theater complex in Naples, Fla. The Bakers stipulated that Gulfshore officials must raise an additional $10 million from other donors to receive the entire pledged amount.

The new theater is scheduled to open in 2019.

The couple have backed Broadway musicals such as the Tony-winning “Memphis” and are long-time arts donors.

Read More About The Next Stage

The Next Stage $10 Million to Gulfshore Playhouse
Maria Di Mento, The Chronicle of Philanthropy

Matching grant sets stage for a home for Gulfshore Playhouse

Armed with a $10 million matching grant courtesy of Jay and Patty Baker, Gulfshore Playhouse founder and Artistic Director Kristen Coury and her team are poised to bring a permanent home for the professional company to fruition. They hope to realize their dream of a state-of-the-art stage complex in about three years time.

“We will have a major, top-class regional theater in the southeast corner of America. That’s a big deal when you look at the national scene of theater at the moment,” Ms. Coury said.

Now that the Bakers have put some skin in the game, the race is on to finish negotiations with sellers at Naples Square on the corner of Goodlette- Frank Road and U.S. 41 and raise $45 million.

Read More About The Next Stage

Gulfshore Playhouse in Naples Receives $10 Million Gift

Gulfshore Playhouse in Naples, Florida, has received a $10 million matching gift from Patty and Jay Baker toward construction of a new regional theater complex, the Naples Herald reports.

The gift form the Bakers will support construction of a 56,000-square-foot complex with two state-of-the-art theaters, one of which will seat four hundred people; a hundred-and-fifty-seat black box studio; an art gallery and educational wing; an atrium; and a cafe open to the public. In addition, VIP members of the playhouse will have their own lounge area, while actors and playhouse officials will get new rehearsal space, a new costume shop and storage, and new administrative offices. A feasibility study for the $45 million “Next Stage” capital campaign is under way, with the campaign expected to be launched as soon the study is completed.

Groundbreaking on the new complex, which will present a variety of pre-Broadway productions, is expected to happen within the year, with the grand opening celebration planned for 2019.

Read More about The Next Stage

$10 Million Donation to Spearhead New Gulfshore Playhouse

The Gulfshore Playhouse is known for being Southwest Florida’s premiere professional theatre, bringing in thousands of local and international visitors to its performances each year. In a show of incredible generosity, patrons Patty and Jay Baker announced their plans to provide a $10 million matching donation to help fund state-of-the-art regional theatre complex for Gulfshore Playhouse.

Once negotiations are complete, the new theatre will be impressive 56,000-square-feet. A groundbreaking celebration is expected within the year and a grand opening celebration is planned for 2019.

Read More About The Next Stage

Gulfshore Playhouse gets a $10 million challenge

Philanthropists Patty and Jay Baker held out a strong hand to Gulfshore Playhouse Wednesday, announcing a $10 million matching grant for a proposed theater to be built on Goodlette Road adjacent to the Naples Square development at U.S. 41 South.

“We believe in the community and we believe in Gulfshore Playhouse,” said Patty Baker, echoed by her husband: “We want to give back to the community we live in. It’s Patty’s philosophy: ‘You should lay eggs for every nest.’ ”

The former president of Kohl’s Department Stores and his wife, who jointly backed Broadway musicals such as the Tony-winning “Memphis,” have bestowed major gifts on the arts before. The Baker Museum at the Artis-Naples complex was named for them after a $10 million gift to that institution.

This offer was announced at a party for theater supporters, who received small gold-painted shovels to commemorate the event.

It is a game changer for Kristen Coury, Gulfshore Playhouse founder/artistic director, who has been seeking a dedicated theater for all of her 11 years here.

“I feel we are really on our way toward my dream to create a Tony-class regional playhouse in Naples,” she said, adding that she is grateful to the Bakers “from the bottom of my heart.”

Read More about The Next Stage

The Next Stage: Gulfshore Playhouse gets a $10 million challenge
Harriet Howard Heithaus of the Naples Daily News

Actors Kelley Curran and Thomas Jay Ryan Honored with 2015 Joe A. Callaway Award

Kelley Curran receives the 2015 Joe A. Callaway Award

Kelley Curran in VENUS IN FUR at Gulfshore Playhouse.

Kelley Curran and Thomas Jay Ryan have been selected to receive the 2015 Joe A. Callaway Award presented by the Actors Equity Foundation. The award, honoring the best performance in a professional production of a classic play (one written prior to 1920) in the New York metropolitan area, will be presented at Actors’ Equity Association’s Eastern Regional Membership Meeting at 2 pm on Friday, January 8, 2016 at the Equity offices, 165 West 46th Street in New York. The announcement was made by Arne Gundersen, President of the Foundation, and Joan Glazer, Managing Director.

Kelley Curran was recognized for her performance as Hippolita in Red Bull Theater’s production of John Ford’s ‘Tis Pity She’s a Whore. Curran has appeared on regional stages throughout the country, including in Henry IV, Parts 1 and 2 at the Shakespeare Theatre Company in Washington, DC; Venus in Fur at the Gulfshore Playhouse in Naples, Florida; Anna Karenina at the Portland Center Stage, Portland, OR; and Red Velvet and The Comedy of Errors at Shakespeare & Company in Lenox, MA, among others. She received her BA in Theatre from Fordham University.

Joe A. Callaway Award
by BWW News Desk

Gulfshore Playhouse educating folks while also entertaining them

Gulfshore Playhouse Education

Gulfshore Playhouse Education

Coury said that she is “pleased to have grown to a seven-show season of professional theatre spanning October to May.” But she’s proudest of what Gulfshore Playhouse Education provides in the way of after-school acting classes and summer camps for students through its STAR Academy, which stands for Student Theatre Artists in Residence. It includes full-scale productions of well-known tales and theatre classes taught by professionals.

“Many of our student attendees each summer are at-risk and disadvantaged children who’ve received a scholarship through our own scholarship fund. They are given an opportunity to learn focus, teamwork, expression and self-confidence along with their peers,” Coury said.

Gulfshore Playhouse Education
Joe Landon, Naples News

Registration Open for Gulfshore Playhouse’s Synergy Series

Gulfshore Playhouse, Southwest Florida’s New York-quality, professional, regional theatre, is pleased to announce that registration is now open for its Synergy Series. The Synergy Series is a unique program that will offer audience members the opportunity to engage in a variety of stimulating ways beyond just seeing a play, including Script Club, Panel Discussions, Actor & Director Talk-Back, On The Scene, and much more. All regular Synergy Series offerings will be free and open to the public.

Synergy Series
By NaplesKnow2. Naples Daily News

Insider Q&A with Jeffrey Binder

Jeffrey Binder

Jeffrey Binder

I graduated with a master of fine arts from NYU in the late 90s, so I have been a professional actor for 20 years, and I have done everything from Broadway musicals to The Lieutenant of Inishmore, an Irish black comedy. One thing I love about Kristen Coury is that she trusts the audience of Gulfshore Playhouse to have an artistic maturity, so she can bring things to challenge their ideas and sensibilities. I hope to bring that kind of sensibility as an artist.

Jeffrey Binder
Naples Illustrated