Kristen Coury is the Founder, Producing Artistic Director, and CEO of Gulfshore Playhouse. She founded the Playhouse in 2004, after moving to Naples from New York City. Under her leadership, the Playhouse has grown to a staff of 39, an annual budget of $5.2M with no debt, and led the charge to create a $60M state-of-the-art Theatre and Education Center at the gateway to downtown Naples, breaking ground in late 2021. While in New York, she worked on Broadway for Walt Disney Theatrical’s production 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 many of the Playhouse productions to date including: My Fair Lady, The Merchant of Venice, Jacob Marley’s Christmas Carol, The Price, and the World Premiere of The God Game. 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 Tony Award-winning revival of Once On This Island. In 2021 Kristen was appointed to the Greater Naples Chamber Board of Commerce and was named one of the Top 100 Most Influential Business Leaders in Collier County. 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, a “Star in the Arts” by the United Arts Council of Collier County in 2011, and one of the “Top 40 Professionals Under 40” by Gulfshore Life Magazine in 2008.