2008-2009 Annual Report
Gulfshore Playhouse is Naples’ first and finest self producing-professional theatre company, currently producing exclusively at the Norris Center in downtown Naples. Gulfshore Playhouse is passionately devoted to creating nationally noteworthy professional theatre – from the powerful and inspiring classics, to innovative new works. It is unwaveringly committed to bringing the best theatre professionals in our country to the stages and the classrooms of Southwest Florida.
Founder and Producing Artistic Director Kristen Coury is a resident of Naples and an experienced director, producer and theatre manager with a career spanning nearly two decades in various aspects of the theatre business.
Incorporated in 2004, Gulfshore Playhouse is a not-for-profit 501 (c) (3) organization that has been providing quality professional theatre and unique educational opportunities to residents and visitors of Southwest Florida since 2006 .
Jason Hunter Korn
Artistic Advisory Board
Anna Maria Alberghetti
Brian Lane Green
ART SMART, which is currently up and running in both Collier and Lee County, offers theatre-based workshops that are brought into classrooms during the school day to teach curriculum content. Correlating with the Sunshine State Standards, these workshops teach literacy and numeracy skills while fostering self-esteem, self-confidence and cooperative learning.
ART SMART staff has designed a series of residencies, classes and workshops that educate by delivering traditional curriculum (history, science, social studies, etc.) through arts-based lessons. Recently the National Education Association awarded a grant to support the innovative work Gulfshore Playhouse is undertaking with Bonita Springs Elementary School. The project, expanding curriculum delivery methods in the classroom, was one of only 30 funded nationwide out of hundreds of applicants.
Under the direction of Ms. Irene Horowitz, Director of Education for Gulfshore Playhouse and an award-winning educator, these ART SMART educational programs are staffed by a pool of professional educators with significant arts backgrounds. All Art Smart programs integrate into numerous traditional curriculum topics, enhance delivery of those subjects and provide a resource to teachers.
In 2008-2009, ART SMART received grants from:
The National Education Association
Suncoast for Kids Foundation
The Rabb Family Foundation
The United Arts Council of Collier County
This enabled us to bring 22 workshops to approximately 600 students without any fee to the school or school district.
Many of the area’s schools, especially those designated Title 1, can not afford even the half-price fees ART SMART charges. (While the total cost of offering one residency is approximately $765, Gulfshore Playhouse charges schools $350 only, making up the difference through earned income and individual donations.)
This year, we are proud to have instituted:
Adult Classes - ranging from stage combat to audition technique, movement and mask work, as well as master classes given by Tony-Award winning actors, Award-winning singer/songwriters, and Broadway veterans
The STAR Program – The Student Theatre Artists in Residence for young adults ages 14-18 which focuses on acting training, technical theatre, and lectures given by various professionals in the field
Our seasons are comprised of three to four productions each year. These shows are carefully selected to provide Southwest Florida audiences with an enriching, entertaining and unique experience each time they come to the theatre. These plays feature highly talented professional actors and skilled theatre artisans producing New York-quality theatre right here in Naples.
Gulfshore Playhouse continues to give area residents and visitors an experience they can find no where else with two special concert/cabaret events. These events find the theatre at the Norris Center transformed into a New York-style jazz club. These nights of song and entertainment spotlight unique performers from up-and-comers to Broadway veterans.
Annual Charity Golf Classic
This annual fundraising event includes a reception/ silent auction, lively golf tournament followed by an awards dinner and ceremony. Participants include patrons, supporters and sponsors in registered foursomes.
In the Fall of 2008, the Norris Center, current home of Gulfshore Playhouse, won the “Star Award for Live Theatre” from the Naples Daily News Choice Awards.
In the same season, Producing Artistic Director Kristen Coury was the recipient of the “40 Under 40” distinction, awarded to the top professionals in southwest Florida by Gulfshore Business Magazine.
Kristen was also honored to be featured on the cover of e Bella Magazine in November 2008.
We are proud to have been able to produce several Florida Premieres, including “Another Night Before Christmas” this season, which was only the second time it was done in the country.
In addition, we also produced “Tartuffe”, a comedy over 300 years old, replete with period costumes, wigs, fans and walking sticks, reminding audiences that comedy is timeless, and good writing never gets old.
We cast all our shows in New York, seeking members of the Actors’ Equity Union to populate most of our cast openings, as well as attend FPTA (The Florida Professional Theatre Association) auditions and hold local auditions as well.
As Gulfshore Playhouse grows and stabilizes, the intention is to continue to add to the number of productions each year until a traditional nine-month season is attained. This kind of expansion is especially challenging when the organization must work out of leased space forcing it to accommodate the schedules of other organizations and negotiate the space issues that naturally arise in these situations.
In addition, the acquisition of space dedicated not to performance, but rather to the technical necessities of production such as set and props construction, costume creation and storage as well as rehearsals would actually reduce costs now associated with renting these additional spaces.
Patty and Jay Baker
Bob and Pam Cahners
Bob and Linda Harden
Edward and Marquelda Jones
John and Dottie Remondi
Our dream continues to be to create a building of our own: a state-of-the-art theatre space for our year-round season, a black-box for cabaret events, children’s theatre and experimental programming, and an educational wing for hosting an increased roster of opportunities for the community. Until then, we’ll continue to bring you professional theatre at affordable prices and unique educational opportunities.
Hope to see you on opening night!