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Actors, artists, filmmakers and events in the news December 15-21, 2020


Grouped under headings that include art openings, film, outdoor art fairs and festivals and theater are advances, announcements and articles about the actors, artists, filmmakers and events making news in Southwest Florida this week:


1     ACTORS


Rachael Endrizzi in ‘Great American Trailer Park Christmas Musical’

Rachael Endrizzi is appearing through December 26, 2020 at Off Broadway Palm in The Great American Trailer Park Christmas Musical. Her extensive and impressive acting resume includes A Christmas Carol: A Live Radio Show (Off Broadway Palm), The Medora Musical 2019 (Burning Hills Singer), Suzanne in Don’t Dress for Dinner, Actor/Violinist in The Temple Bombing, Lady Capulet in Romeo & Juliet, Maggie Saunders in Lend Me a Tenor, Dinah in The Dixie Swim Club, Suzette in Don’t Dress for Dinner, Lana Sherwood in It’s a Wonderful Life: a Live Radio Play, Bamby Lynn in Knock ‘Em Dead, Mrs. Little in Stuart Little and Wendy Darling in The Terrible Tragedy of Peter Pan. Go here for Rachael’s full profile.



Rachael Lord in ‘Great American Trailer Park Christmas Musical’

Rachael Lord is appearing through December 26, 2020 at Off Broadway Palm in The Great American Trailer Park Christmas Musical. Lord’s other stage credits include Snow White in Lab Theater’s hybrid film-theater production of Disenchanted: A New Musical Comedy!, Sabine in In Flight: The Story of Sabine Van Dam (Gulfshore Playhouse touring production), ensemble in Shipwrecked (an adaptation of Shakespeare’s The Tempest for Gulfshore Playhouse and The Naples Philharmonic at Artis-Naples), Showgirl in Step Right Up (RWS Entertainment Group), Faith in Respect: A Musical Journey of Women (Clandestine Arts), Cherry in The Impossible Club (a staged reading for the Winter Park Playhouse) and Martha in The Secret Garden (Florida Southern College). Go here for her full profile.



Erica Sample in ‘Great American Trailer Park Christmas Musical’

Erica Sample is appearing through December 26, 2020 at Off Broadway Palm in the role of Darlene in The Great American Trailer Park Christmas Musical. Erica’s recent credits include Roxie Hart in Chicago, Judy Haynes in White Christmas, Sister Mary Robert in Sister Act and Sophie in Mamma Mia for The Naples Players) and Maggie in Kinky Boots and Charlotte in Charlotte’s Web in Broadway Palm/Prather Entertainment’s Children’s Theater, Off Broadway and main stage productions. Go here for Erica’s full profile.



Kevin Hendricks plays Dasher in ‘The Eight: Reindeer Monologues’

Scandal erupts at the North Pole after one of Santa’s reindeers accuses him of sexual assault. Now, it’s all about to come out, including all those rumors you’ve heard about him and the elves, not to mention Rudolph’s dirty little secret! And Kevin Hendricks (Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, A Streetcar Named Desire) plays Santa’s lead reindeer, Dasher, who’s got his boss’ back. Go here to view Kevin’s profileAnd you can read here how for Kevin Hendricks, the tug of theater isn’t what you might suspect.



For Dasher, silence is golden and Santa’s accuser needs to take one for the team

Santa’s been accused of sexual assault and his elite eight sleigh team are sharply divided on the propriety of the allegations. Not whether or not they’re true  – but whether the victim should just keep her mouth shut and fly quietly into the night rather than tarnish the reputation of Kris Kringle, given all the good he has done for so many children and reindeer throughout the ages. It is Dasher who gives voice to those who feel it is incumbent on victims to keep mum for the greater good. Go here for more.



Clayton Brown plays Cupid in ‘The Eight’

Santa’s been accused of sexual assault and his elite eight sleigh team are sharply divided on the propriety of the allegations. Although Santa has never shown any interest in him, Cupid’s seen a lot and is pretty outspoken when it comes to jolly old St. Nick, his wife and the topic of whips. Clayton Brown (Miss Tracy Mills from The Legend of Georgia McBride) plays Cupid. From Kansas City’s Starlight Theater and Tallahassee’s Evening of Dance to venues in Los Angeles and Mexico, native Chicagoan Clayton Brown has lived and performed all over the United States and beyond. Go here to view Clayton’s stage and other credits.



Mike Dinko plays Hollywood in ‘The Eight: Reindeer Monologues’

Scandal erupts at the North Pole after one of Santa’s reindeers accuses him of sexual assault. Now, it’s all about to come out, including all those rumors you’ve heard about him and the elves, not to mention Rudolph’s dirty little secret! But Hollywood (aka Prancer) is not having it. “It’s a ridiculous distraction from what’s really important, making Prancer Three.” Dinko’s appearance as Hollywood isn’t Mike’s first in The Eight. In 2015, he played Dasher in the show for Annette Trossbach and Lab Theater. Go here for Mike’s other stage and film credits.



Hollywood wants everyone at North Pole to remember big picture – him

The North Pole is in an uproar. One of Santa’s elite eight sleigh-puller has accused him of sexual assault. The other seven have something to say, including Hollywood, who is played by Mike Dinko. Hollywood is pissed – not at Santa for putatively raping his stable mate, but at Vixen for going public with her accusations – and in so doing, taking the spotlight off him, thereby usurping his plans and opportunities. “It’s a ridiculous distraction from what’s really important, making Prancer Three,” points out Mike Dinko, putting on his Prancer hat. Go here for the rest of this preview.



Imani Lee Williams plays Blitzen in ‘The Eight’

Imani Lee Williams is taking time out from her studies at FSU/Asolo Conservatory for Actor Training to portray Blitzen in Lab Theater’s filmed production of The Eight: Reindeer Monologues. “Imani’s intelligence as an actor makes her a joy to work with,” says Eight Director Brett Marston. “She’s one of those actors we’re going to be hearing from a lot in the future. One, she’s beautiful. Two, she’s extraordinarily talented. She has those good things going her way.” Go here to view all of Imani’s stage credits and other accomplishments.



Imani Williams’ Blitzen is fed up with those who don’t believe rape victims

The Eight: Reindeer Monologues plays on LabTV on three dates in December. As the title belies, this deliciously naughty show consists of a series of eight monologues given by Santa’s reindeer. One of the reindeer has accused jolly St. Nick of sexual assault, and now the elite eight are sharply divided on the propriety of the allegations. No, not whether they’re true or not. But, rather, whether the victim should just keep her mouth shut and fly quietly into the night rather than tarnish the reputation of Kris Kringle given all the good he has done for so many children and reindeer throughout the ages.

One reindeer who isn’t drinking the Kool Aid, though, is Blitzen, played by Imani Lee Williams. A feminist of the first magnitude, she lands squarely on Vixen’s side and is prepared to boycott Christmas until such time as Santa is brought to justice. After all, reindeer have rights, don’t they?

No, apparently not even at the North Pole!

“Why are we treated like a piece of venison?” Blitzen laments.

Go here for the rest of this analysis.



Rachel Borwein plays Comet in ‘The Eight’

Santa’s been accused of sexual assault and his elite eight sleigh team are sharply divided on the propriety of the allegations. Comet’s not having it. The old man saved her from a life on the streets and in her experience, there’s no way, no how he did the dastardly things he’s been accused of doing. Rachel Borwein plays the part and she’s every bit as sensational in the role as she was as Maggie in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. For all of Rachel’s stage and other credits, go here.



Rachel Borwein goes Jersey girl gone bad as Comet in ‘The Eight’

The Eight: Reindeer Monologues is on stage at Lab Theater now through December 20. As the name belies, the show consists of a series of eight monologues delivered by the members of Santa’s sleigh team, as they discuss the veracity and propriety of Vixen’s public allegations that Santa raped her in his toy shop at the North Pole. Combining humor with disquietude, playwright Jeff Goode’s monologues are for the most part hilarious. Nowhere is that more true than with the one delivered by Comet, played by Rachel Borwein. Go here for more.



Kinley Gomez portrays the reindeer Dancer in ‘The Eight’

The last year has been momentous for Kinley Gomez. She rocked Lab Theater with her portrayal of Abigail Williams in The Crucible and just recently won the Audience Choice award for her screenplay Escape Room in Lab’s first ever 24-Hour Screenwriting Challenge. Now she portrays Dancer in Lab’s filmed theatrical production of Jeff Goode’s The Eight. Go here for all of Kinley’s theatrical and related credits.



Kinley Gomez goes Valley to portray Dancer in ‘The Eight’

Kinley Gomez plays Dancer in Jeff Goode’s The Eight: Reindeer Monologues. Dancer is an ex-ballerina who found refuge at the North Pole after it became illegal and downright unsafe for reindeer to dance The Nutcracker, Swan Lake and the other classics back in the day. Goode conceived of Dancer as a ditzy, adorably clueless Jewish princess but Director Brett Marston and Gomez injected a Valley girl quality into her persona.

“We approached Dancer as a California Valley girl,” says Director Brett Marston. “She totally got it, locked into that choice so solidly and nailed it. She is so delightful in this play.”

Go here for more.



Brian Linthicum plays Donner in ‘The Eight’

The Eight: Reindeer Monologues is on stage at Lab Theater now through December 20. As the name belies, the show consists of a series of eight monologues delivered by the members of Santa’s sleigh team, as they discuss the veracity and propriety of Vixen’s public allegations that Santa raped her in his toy shop at the North Pole. And playing the part of Donner is Brian Linthicum. Brian has been involved in theater for more than 40 years and was last seen as The Narrator in Richard O’Brien’s Rocky Horror Show for New Phoenix Theatre. Go here for Brian’s full resume.



Brian Linthicum digs deep to bring powerful authenticity to the role of Donner

The Eight: Reindeer Monologues is billeted as arrestingly funny, and playwright Jeff Goode has indeed crafted a series of hilarious sililoquys revolving around Vixen’s accusations that Santa Claus raped her and may also be guilty of sexually assaulting one or more other reindeer. But this comedy takes a dark turn when Donner comes center stage to recount his own role in the sordid story that seems to rip a page from the Michael Jackson playbook.

“When I first read the script, it bothered me because I love Santa Claus and I was under the impression that the show was a comedy, albeit a dark comedy,” recounts Brian Linthicum, who plays the part. “I wasn’t finding the comedy in Donner’s character. He just didn’t have anything funny to say.”

Linthicum credits Director Brett Marston with helping him bring a powerful authenticity to the character.

Go here for the rest of this insight.



Catch Kat Ebaugh in Lab’s ‘Projekt Grotesquerie’

Kat Ebaugh is in the cast of Projekt Grotesquerie, which performs for three nights only on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, December 17-19. While it may be a limited engagement, there are two shows each night, the first at 7:00 and the other at 8:30. Lab Theater audiences will remember her as The Little Mermaid in its LabTV production of Disenchanted: Stay-at-Home Version. In addition to performing with Stage 2 Improv troupe and in numerous stage productions at The Naples Players, Kat is a veteran burlesque performer. But go here to view her full profile.



Catch Daniel Sabiston in Lab’s ‘Projekt Grotesquerie’

Daniel Sabiston was last on the Lab Theater boards in The Crucible. He’s moved outside for Projekt Grotesquerie, where he plays a bully (not bunny) rabbit by the name of Serling Hunter who’s oh so mean.

Written by Kayleigh O’Connell, Projekt Grotesquerie opens tonight with two shows, the first at 7 and the second at 8:30. It runs tomorrow (12/18) and Saturday (12/19) for two shows nightly as well.

Tickets are now on sale, or you can reserve your seat by calling the box office at 239.218.0481.



Catch Madelaine Weymouth in Lab’s Projekt Grotesquerie’

Madelaine Weymouth is in the set of Lab’s Projekt Grotesquerie. We don’t know if she’s a distant relation of Treebeard and the Middle Earth Ents, but she’s definitely a shade under their 14-foot stature. But then again, Ms. Weymouth casts a long shadow by dint of her impressive theatrical talent. She last portrayed a homicidally crazy Florida chick by the name of Jolene in Darlyne Franklin’s entry in this year’s Lab Theater 24-Hour Screenwriting Challenge, a masterpiece (and Critic’s Choice winner) titled Florida Couple. But Maddy’s displayed her mad crazy skills in many theatrical productions at Lab and throughout Southwest Florida. Go here to read what and where. You can catch Maddy in Projekt Grotesquerie Thursday, December 17, at 7:00 and 8:30, as well as at those times both Friday and Saturday night (December 18 & 19).



Kayleigh O’Connell wrote and performs in Lab’s ‘Projekt Grotesquerie’

Kayleigh O’Connell has been working in theater for twenty years. Over that span, she had done everything from performing, stage management, set design and playwriting. And it’s as a playwright that her star shines brightest in Projekt Grotesquerie, which will be performed at 7:00 and 8:30 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights, December 17-19. “Storytelling is the thread that connects us with our past, ourselves and most vitally with each other,” notes Kayleigh. “It is the first language we shared before mathematics and science.” You can find Kayleigh’s impressive acting resume by going here.



Hear Steven Coe in Lab’s ‘Projekt Grotesquerie’

Lab Theater is producing a one-act play outside on its north patio at 7:00 and 8:30 p.m. on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, December 17-19. It’s called Projekt Grotesquerie and the cast includes Steven Coe. But you won’t see Coe, who Lab audiences remember as John Proctor in The Crucible (among other shows). That’s because he’s “The Voice” in Projekt Grotesquerie. It’s just one more thing that Steven does and does well.





Great American Trail Park Christmas Musical at Off Broadway Palm thru Dec. 26

The Great American Trailer Park Christmas Musical is on stage in the Off Broadway Palm through December 26. It’s Christmastime in Armadillo Acres mobile home community in Starke, Florida and everyone is filled with visions of kegnog and beer. But while the residents are preparing to decorate for a holiday contest, a new Scrooge-like resident begins to wreak havoc on the festivities.

Betty, Linoleum, Pickles and Rufus are bound and determined to break the “Armadillo Acres curse” and finally win this year’s contest for the most festive trailer park in Northern Florida, but newcomer Darlene is having none of it. Her trailer is sans decorations save for a few “no trespassing” signs. What ensues is a cat-fightin’, sun-worshippin’, chair-throwin’ rowdy good time!

The show stars Rachel Endrizzi (A Christmas Carol: A Live Radio Show, Don’t Dress for Dinner), Rachael Lord (Snow White in LabTV’s Disenchanted: Stay-At-Home Version, In Flight: The Story of Sabine Van Dam for Gulfshore Playhouse), Ken Quiricone, Erica Sample (Judy Haynes in White Christmas, Roxy Hart in Chicago for The Naples Players), Dianne Stone Fussaro (Murder in Paradise) and Rob Summers. The show runs through December 26.



‘Holiday Inn the Broadway Musical’ at Broadway Palm on through December 26

Holiday Inn the Broadway Musical is on the Broadway Palm Dinner Theatre mainstage through December 26. This heart-warming story follows Jim as he leaves the bright lights of show business as well as his dance partner and fiance’ to settle down in a farmhouse in Connecticut. His luck takes a turn for the better when he meets a spirited schoolteacher by the name of Linda who has talent to spare. Together, they turn the farmhouse into a seasonal inn with show-stopping performances to celebrate each holiday from Thanksgiving to the Fourth of July. But when Jim’s best friend, Ted, tries to lure Linda away to be his new dance partner in Hollywood, will Jim be able to salvage his latest chance at love?”

Based on the 1942 film starring Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire, the Holiday Inn plot serves as the perfect backdrop for spectacular choreography and such Irving Berlin classics “Shaking the Blues Away,” “Blue Skies,” “Easter Parade,” “Heat Wave,” Cheek to Cheek,” “It’s a Lovely Day Today” and “White Christmas.”

The show runs through December 26. Please go here for show pricing, times and dates or call the box office at 239-278-4422. Broadway Palm Dinner Theatre is located in Royal Palm Plaza, which is located at 1380 Colonial Boulevard in Fort Myers.



Broadway Palm live streaming ‘Holiday Inn’ on Saturday, December 19

Broadway Palm is presenting Irving Berlin’s Holiday Inn through a live stream for two performances only on Saturday, December 19, 2020. With many customers not quite ready to venture out and extremely limited ticket availability for live in-person performances, the theatre believes this will be a wonderful way to share the joy of live theatre in the safety and comfort of home. In addition to the production, Broadway Palm will include a live pre show, an exclusive look behind the scenes at intermission and a live Q&A session with the cast and crew. There will also be add-ons offered including a package of their famous macaroons, a discounted gift certificate and a delivered meal option through a partnership with Jason’s Deli.

Performances are at 1:00 and 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, December 19, 2020.  Streaming tickets are $15 for one person, $30 for two people, $50 for four people and $100 for eight people with additional add-on options available. Tickets are now on sale and can be reserved by calling (239) 278-4422 or visiting



‘Happy Days’ musical coming to Broadway Palm main stage

Goodbye gray skies, hello blue! Happy Days, A New Musical is sock-hopping its way onto the Broadway Palm stage from December 31, 2020 through February 14, 2021. Based on the hit Paramount Pictures television series, Happy Days, this all-new musical will bring you back to 1959 complete with varsity sweaters, hula hoops and jukebox fun. This family friendly musical will have you rockin’ and rollin’ all night long!

Happy days are here again with Richie, Potsie, Ralph Malph and the unforgettable “king of cool” Arthur “The Fonz” Fonzarelli. The famed drive-in malt shop and number one hangout, Arnold’s, is in danger of demolition. The gang comes up with a plan to save it with a dance contest and a TV-worthy wrestling match. Even Pinky Tuscadero, Fonzie’s childhood sweetheart, returns to help and, what do you know, they rekindle their old flame. With delightful music from Oscar-winner Paul Williams and a book by the TV series original creator Garry Marshall, this is one trip down memory lane you will not want to miss!

Broadway Palm is continuing to follow CDC guidelines while providing a delicious meal and exceptional entertainment in a safe and socially distanced environment. For a list of the extensive health and safety measures they have taken, please visit It is important to note that guests are required to wear masks while not eating or drinking. In addition, a temperature check will be performed on everyone that enters the building and admittance will not be allowed to anyone with a temperature of 100.4 degrees or higher.

Performances are Tuesday through Sunday evenings with selected matinees. Tickets are $48 to $73, with the exception of New Year’s Eve which is $125 per person. Children and group prices are available. Tickets are now on sale and can be reserved by calling (239) 278-4422, visiting or in person at 1380 Colonial Boulevard in Fort Myers.



Live theater returns to The Lab in one-act ‘Projekt Grotesquerie’

The Laboratory Theater of Florida will bringing back live theater back for three nights only -, December 17, 18 and 19 – with a one-act play titled Projekt Grotesquerie.

The short play is inspired by the Fasching tradition of Germany, in which wild characters and caricatures of public personas can be presented with no fear of political retribution. It was written by our own Kayleigh O’Connell and showcases larger-than-life characters outfitted in fantastically handcrafted papier-mâché costumes reminiscent of 12th-century grotesque masks. In this enthralling morality play, O’Connell examines the final days of a tyrant named Rabbit Serling Hunter and those who orbit him. When he threatens those closest to him, will they act? And will there be consequences for the rabbit?

Artistic Director Annette Trossbach directs a cast that’s comprised of Kat Ebaugh (The Little Mermaid in Disenchanted: A New Musical Comedy), Daniel Sabiston (The Crucible), Margaret Cooley (Lab’s indispensable stage manager), Madelaine Weymouth (Watson in Baskerville: A Sherlock Holmes Mystery; Robyn in Sex Tips for Straight Women from a Gay Man), Kayleigh O’Connell, Chet Gridley (Sordid Lives), Jonathan Johnson (Lab’s amazing lighting and sound director) and the voice of Steven Coe (John Proctor in The Crucible, Thomas Novachek in Venus in Fur).

The area around Lab Theater’s north patio has been marked off in grids for safety, with a maximum of two people per grid. The theater will provide folding chairs, but invites you to bring your own beach chair, if you prefer, and blanket, since temps are predicted to be in the 50s all three evenings.

There are two performances nightly, at 7:00 p.m. and again at 8:30 p.m., from Dec. 17th – 19th. Tickets are now on sale, or you can reserve your seat by calling the box office at 239.218.0481.

“We invite ticketed patrons to create an evening out by parking at the theater, enjoying our show, and then walking to the end of the block to visit the Holiday House at the Burroughs Home,” touts The Lab.

Or if you walk a little bit farther, you can enjoy curbside dinner or drinks downtown before or after showtime.

Projekt Grotesquerie is an in-person event, and masks are required at all times. The theater has instituted a rigorous pandemic protocol that incorporates a quarantine model for staff, crew, and cast which includes, but is not limited to, isolation, temp checks upon arrival, masks for everyone not on stage (limited to one actor at a time), frequent handwashing and copious hand sanitizer.

Tickets are $10 each, or $20 for a square that seats two, and available by calling the box office at 239.218.0481 or



The Naples Players hosting Drive-In Movie Nights off 5th Avenue

The Naples Players (TNP) is hosting bi-monthly TNP Drive-In Movie Nights. Sponsored by The Inn on 5th, these events are held in the newly refinished 50-car lot located at 300 8th Street South, just one block north of the iconic 5th Avenue South home of The Naples Players Community Theatre.

Drive-In Movie Nights are part of Discover Culture in Collier, an alternative season of outdoor arts and culture events recently announced by The Naples Players. Each month, two different films will featured.  The scheduled films  will be projected onto a 33-foot screen using a state-of-the-art projection system.  The movie soundtracks will be broadcast over short-range FM radio to the cars in attendance.

The series continues with A Christmas Story on December 15 & 16. The rest of the schedule through April 2021 is as follows:

  • December 29-30: Frozen II
  • January 12-13: Singin’ In the Rain
  • January 26-27: Ghostbusters
  • February 2-3: Twister
  • February 16-17: Hairspray
  • March 9-10: Breakfast at Tiffany’s
  • March 23-24: Beauty & The Beast
  • April 6-7 :Dirty Dancing

The lot opens for parking at 7:00 p.m. and movies begin promptly at 8:00 p.m. Concessions and non-alcoholic refreshments are available for purchase.

Due to space, ticketing is required in advance. General admission is $45 per vehicle, but current TNP Season Ticket Subscribers receive free admission on select “Season Ticket Holder Nights.”

Tickets are available for purchase now at or by calling the TNP Box Office at (239) 263-7990.



Studio Players casting for ‘One Slight Hitch’

The Studio Players is holding open auditions from 7:00-8:30 p.m. on January 4, 2021 for Lewis Black’s One Slight Hitch, a fast-paced, door-slamming farce. It’s Courtney’s wedding day in 1981, and her mom, Delia, is making sure that everything is PERFECT! The groom is PERFECT. The dress is PERFECT. And the decorations (assuming they arrive) will be PERFECT! Then, like in any good farce, the doorbell rings and all hell breaks loose. So much for perfect!

The Studio Players are casting for the following roles:

  • Doc Coleman – The Father; a general practitioner; a charming, eccentric conservative who’s usually straight up.
  • Ryan – Late 20’s to early 30’s, he’s the ex. In fact, he had lived with Courtney for two and a half years until seven months ago.
  • P.B – Sixteen-year-old daughter and the loosest in the family.
  • Melanie – 30-something daughter, a nurse, attractive and deeply psychotic.
  • Courtney – the bride, 20’s to 30’s, a freelance writer who has just published her first novel, which was “almost” successful.
  • Harper – Courtney’s fiance’; in his early 30’s, he is logical and wealthy.

Sides are available on The Naples Players’ website.

The character of Courtney’s mom, Delia Coleman, a woman who is in a constant state of panic, has already been cast.

Rehearsals will be three nights per week (M/W/F from 7:00-9:00 p.m.) beginning in March. The show will be performed May 28-June 13.

The Studio Players perform in the Joan Jenks Auditorium at the Golden Gate Community Center, 4701 Golden Gate Parkway, Naples, Florida 34116.



More than a memory play, Waverly Gallery focuses on family in crisis

The Studio Players’ production of award-winning playwright Kenneth Lonergan’s Waverly Gallery opens January 15, 2021 in the Joan Jenks Auditorium at Golden Gate Cultural Center.

Powerful, poignant and often hilarious, The Waverly Gallery follows the final years of a grandmother’s battle against Alzheimer’s disease and explores her fight to retain her independence and the effect her decline has on her family (which, ironically, includes two psychiatrists). Inspired by Lonergan’s own grandmother, it’s an ode to an extraordinary woman and to the humor and strength of a family in crisis. More than a memory play, The Waverly Gallery captures the humor and strength of a family in the face of crisis.

The rest of this advance is here.

Go here for play dates and ticket information.



Focus on ‘Waverly Gallery’ playwright Kenneth Lonergan

The Studio Players’ production of The Waverly Gallery opens January 15 in the Joan Jenks Auditorium at Golden Gate Cultural Center. It comes from the desk of playwright Kenneth Lonergan.

Lonergan playwriting credits include The Starry Messenger (New Group), Lobby Hero (Playwrights Horizons, John Houseman Theatre, Drama Desk Best Play Nominee, Outer Critics Circle Best Play and John Gassner Playwriting Nominee, included in the 2000-2001 Best Plays Annual), The Waverly Gallery (Williamstown Theatre Festival, Promenade; 2001 Pulitzer Prize finalist), and This Is Our Youth (Drama Desk Best Play Nominee). Lobby Hero (Olivier Award Nominee for Best Play) and This Is Our Youth have also received productions on London’s West End.

The rest of Kenneth Lonergan’s profile is here.





Rachel Pierce solo show in Capital Gallery at Davis Art Center closes December 21

Ocean Treasures is in the Capital Gallery at the Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center through December 21. It features 48 original oil and acrylic paintings by artist Rachel Pierce. The collection focuses on the natural beauty and abundant wildlife found in our local waters and draws attention to the fantastic creatures that are all around us from fish, octopi, seahorses, jellyfish and loggerhead turtles to dolphins and manatees. Framed against her flowing modern backdrops, Rachel’s subjects pop with both bright, vibrant colors and the emotions the artist experiences as she paints.

Pierce is best known locally as an outstanding veteran TV journalist. Although she now calls Southwest Florida home, Rachel hails from the small Wisconsin town of Chippewa Falls. Although art was a major focus while she attended college, her passion for journalism prompted her to pursue that as her career. She spent 17 years as a news anchor, first in Eau Claire, followed by Omaha, Des Moines and finally Fort Myers.

Rachel’s return to art was both unexpected and surprising. As an active member of the community and a well-known Southwest Florida TV personality, she was asked to emcee dozens of local events each year. In 2018, she was invited to be a celebrity painter and create a design on a large ceramic platter for a fundraising auction benefiting a local non-profit. Everyone was blown away by her talent, and soon people began asking her to paint something for their fundraisers as well. Commissions followed, and within a year of selling her first painting, Rachel’s occasional hobby morphed into second career. Within months, she decided step away from the anchor desk and to make art her full-time avocation.

Rachel sells and exhibits her fine art originals in shops and galleries throughout Southwest Florida, as well as  on her website,, along with a variety of collectible prints and notecards. And combining her artistic talents with her extensive on-camera experience, she livestreams painting sessions to enthusiastic online audiences at least once a week.

Though she loved her career in journalism – maybe not those daily 2 a.m. alarms – being an artist means painting whenever she wants while, most importantly, being home to raise her four children with her husband.



Jansen solo show on view at Winter Park’s Cornell Fine Arts Museum

The Cornell Fine Arts Museum is exhibiting a solo show of work by Marcus Jansen through January 3, 2021. Titled E Pluribus Unum, the exhibition focuses on works Jansen created in the last 15 years and is comprised of both large scale paintings and a selection of works on paper (among them a select number of new pieces on view for the first time) that examine Jansen’s visual explorations of structures of power and the struggle to grapple with the nuanced reality of our time. The exhibition is accompanied by an illustrated catalogue.

E Pluribus Unum represents Jansen’s first solo museum show in the United States. The Bronx/Fort Myers artist has enjoyed a number of solo shows abroad, however, including shows at La Triennale di Milano Museum in Milan and the Museum Zitadelle  in Berlin, and he participated in the 12th International Print and Drawing Biennial in Taiwan at the National Taiwan Museum of Fine Art. Works by Jansen are in collections of the Moscow Museum of Modern Art (MMOMA), The University of Michigan Museum of Art, The New Britain Museum of American Art, The Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, The National Taiwan Museum of Fine Art, The Housatonic Museum of Art and the Smithsonian Institution in Washington D.C.

Jansen is known for powerful, monumental canvases that address poignant social and political themes. Through the use of an arresting visual language characterized by colorful and expressive brushwork, and references to contemporary and historical issues, Jansen invites viewers to engage in a reflection about the human condition. Jansen continues to explore surveillance and social divides in society and will place his iconic 2010 piece Obscure Line Between Fact and Fiction (3rd photo) to the museum for the show.





Carmelo Blandino exhibit at Naples Botanical Garden through January 10

Carmelo Blandino: Convergence​ is on view now through January 10, 2021 in Kapnick Hall at the Naples Botanical Gardens. The paintings in the show were inspired by the Gardens. ​

Blandino is known for luscious, abstract floral paintings that combine the subtleties of classicism with the crackling energy of contemporary expressionism, and this new exhibition brings the viewer in contemplative observation of our interconnected biosphere. Consisting of large-scale, mixed-media paintings featuring flora and fauna in their various stages of magnificent beauty and delicate vulnerability, these paintings reflect human connection to nature and communicate the urgency of our role in its preservation.

Blandino—whose interactive painting process and creative energy encourage the viewer to become part of his work—has produced a new series for this exhibition, drawing inspiration from the living collection at the Garden.

This exhibition is part of the Garden’s 2020-21 season dedicated to ​Roots: Power of the Unseen, which seeks to explore the underground foundations that are the lifeblood of our plants, their energy source and their connection to the earth.

Naples Botanical Garden​ is a 170-acre, world-class garden paradise that features plants from around the world. The Garden provides arts, culture, youth and adult education, conservation, wellness and volunteer programs that contribute to the quality of life in Southwest Florida onsite and online at The Garden’s living collections are always growing and evolving, leaving our audiences with a deeper engagement with our curated gardens and preserve. Beginning October 1, seasonal hours of 9:00 a.m to 5:00 p.m. Timed entry tickets must be purchased in advance at Regular admission is$20 for adults, $10 for children (4–14). Members and children three and under get in free.

The exhibition has been staged in collaboration with METHOD & CONCEPT. Located at 111​ 10th St South, Unit 112, ​Naples, METHOD & CONCEPT is a gallery, art consultancy and design atelier serving as an incubator, catalyst and purveyor of international emerging and mid-career interdisciplinary artists. METHOD & CONCEPT believes that contemporary craft, fine art and design share a symbiotic relationship, each building upon the other to form a holistic view of the world in which we live. METHOD & CONCEPT is a Thomas Riley Company.



DAAS December show seeks to process 2020 pictorially

DAAS CO-OP Art Gallery & Gifts has inaugurated a new invitational exhibition this month. It features the art of Southwest Florida creatives who seek to transfer their thoughts about the year 2020 into 20-by-20-inch works of art. The concept for the show evolved from conversations regarding the year’s numerous ups and downs, twists and turns and unexpected developments.

For many, 2020 has presented an array of devastating circumstances, social issues and economic crises. The COVID-19 pandemic has cost many lives, with the loss approaching 250,000 here in America alone. By contrast, 2020 seemed like a year of resilience and fortitude for others, who see the current times as a way to restore, regroup and reorganize many aspects of their environment.

“We are looking forward to the show and to see how these artists interpreted the theme,” says DAAS co-founder, artist and curator David Acevedo. “I hope it serves as a way for artists to let go of the negative aspects of this year and heal. We need to look past this year to a brighter future.”

The opening reception is scheduled for Friday, December 4, 2020 from 6:00 to 9:30 p.m. in conjunction with the monthly Fort Myers Art Walk event.

The collective will be on display through January 2, 2021.

“We invite all Southwest Florida art collectors, supporters and enthusiasts to join us for the opening reception on the evening of December 4,” states the gallery. DAAS CO-OP Art Gallery & Gifts is located at 1815 Fowler Street in the Butterfly Estates complex in Fort Myers, FL. The gallery’s temporary business hours are 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Thursday to Sunday. For more information about gallery and/or how to become a member, please visit or call 239-590-8645.



DAAS January show will feature wood print works of Lafe James

In January, DAAS CO-OP Art Gallery & Gifts is starting the year right by presenting the works of multifaceted artist Lafe James. The exhibition will feature a selection of old Florida inspired works printed on wood, from the artist’s 1923 Trading Co. project. The opening reception is scheduled for Friday, January 8, 2021 from 6:00 to 9:30 p.m. in conjunction with Fort Myers Art Walk event. The exhibition will be on display through January 30, 2021.

The art created for the 1923 Trading Co. Project and this exhibition is inspired by the old Florida way of life. This is a wood print project that features old Florida map designs, Florida wildlife photography, and vintage posters and postcard designs. James has created a unique print process that gives the wood print a distressed, vintage aesthetic. Each print is 100% unique and individually handcrafted in Cape Coral, Florida.

“I am a 90’s kid raised on gangster rap and death metal, poisoned by television, guided by the internet, misled by society, educated through experience, self-medicated and overly analytical, but optimist and realistic with a mind polluted with images and information,” James confesses.

While the visual arts were always a hobby, a different art from was actually his first calling. He spent “the first half of my life working my way through the culinary arts.”

But then the glow of a computer monitor lured him away.

“I’ve spent the past 18 years weaving through all facets of visual design: photography, print layout, web design, brand development, packaging design, and all the posters and tee shirt graphics in between.”

James currently serves as the Art Director for a Fort Myers-based marine and paddle sport accessory development agency. But when he’s not designing for them, he’s running and working on his own business and projects. The latter include his wood print project (1923 Trading Co.) and clothing line (Nineteen Twenty Three).

The personal artworks of this talented visionary can be found online, along with his music project Massive Degree at

DAAS CO-OP is located at 1815 Fowler Street, in the Butterfly Estates complex in Fort Myers, FL. The gallery’s temporary business hours are from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday. More information about the venue and/or how to become a member can be found at or by calling 239-590-8645.



Alliance’s ‘Off the Wall’ holiday exhibit runs through December 31 

Each year, the Alliance for the Arts invites 100 members to submit two original 2D or 3D artworks for exhibition in the gallery beginning with the onset of the holiday shopping season. Called Off the Wall, this non-traditional art show features works in all mediums priced at $200 or less. All sales are “cash and carry,” meaning purchasers will get to take the piece with them when they buy it, rather than waiting until the end of the exhibit.

Make supporting local arts tops on your list this year by giving a gift that gives back. Make plans to do your Christmas shopping at the Alliance for the Arts this year. Betcha there’s 100 member-artists who would be delighted to have their art under your tree.

This year’s show runs through December 31. For more information, please visit or telephone 239-939-2787.



Artists have until January 25 to submit for 35th Annual All Florida Show

The Alliance for the Arts’ annual All Florida Exhibition is the most anticipated art show of the year. As the name suggests, this exhibition features pieces created by artists working in a wide variety of media from all over the 65,000 square miles that make up Florida. The juried entries come together for an award-winning and exciting exhibition representing today’s contemporary Florida artists.

The show is open to all artists residing in Florida, but only original artwork will be accepted. Categories are

  • painting (including oil, acrylic, collage, watercolor and mixed media),
  • drawing,
  • photography,
  • sculpture,
  • ceramics,
  • metalsmithing,
  • glass,
  • digital media,
  • video,
  • printmaking,
  • fiber and
  • textiles.

Awards include $1000 cash for Best in Show, 2nd Place- $250 Gift Certificate TBD, 3rd Place-$100 cash, Jurors Choice Award-Artist Membership ($55).

The 35th Annual All Florida Exhibition will open March 5 and run through March 27, 2021. The deadline for entries is Monday, January 25. Acceptance/rejection notices will be emailed on Friday, February 12.





Estero Fine Art Show at JetBlue Park on January 2 and 3

The 25th Estero Fine Art Show  comes to JetBlue Park (winter home of the Boston Red Sox) on Saturday, January 2, and Sunday, January 3. Since 2003 Hot Works has earned a national reputation for producing high end fine art and fine craft shows, and the Estero Fine Art Show lands in the top 100 outdoor shows in America every year. All work is original and personally handmade by the 70 quality juried artists who participate in the show. While at the art show, be sure to visit the Youth Art Competition for grades K-8 or ages 5-13 that is integrated with the art show. [Please note that while admission is free, JetBlue Park charges $5 for parking, good for both days with receipt.]



Naples New Year’s Art Show is January 2 & 3

The Naples Art Association‘s 25th annual Naples New Year’s Art Show descends on Naples’ Fifth Avenue South on the weekend of January 2 & 3, 2021. Each year, the artworks on display were valued collectively at more than $15 million. As in years past, every category will be represented, from original oils and acrylics on canvas, panel and galvanized aluminum to watercolors on paper, 2D and 3D mixed media, limited edition prints, photography, digital art, metal sculpture, wood carvings, ceramics, hand-crafted jewelry, leather works and more. Because of its national ranking (Sunshine Artist consistently ranks it in its top 100 in the nation each year, and last year Naples New Year’s came in at #15) and the beautiful weather in southwest Florida during this time of year, the Downtown Naples New Year’s Art Fair draws 250 of the finest artists in the country, which explains why more than 15,000 art enthusiasts routinely turn out for this art fair last year. There’s lots of art for every taste and pocketbook, so bring your credit card or checkbook.

Read on, and you’ll notice that on Saturday, attendees get a bonus because the NAA’s monthly members Art in the Park show coincides with Naples New Year’s Art Show on Saturday.



Art in the Park is on Saturday, January 2

Art in the Park will run alongside the Downtown Naples New Year’s Art Fair on Saturday, January 2. Art in the Park not only features work by Naples Art Association member artists in booths set up in Cambier Park, but art demonstrations by NAA artists plus art projects for the whole family. Art in the Park is not just an add-on to the Downtown Naples New Year’s Art Fair. It is a festival that has stood on its own merits for more than 63 years.



1st Wednesday Studio and Gallery Tour of 2021 is on January 6

On Wednesday, January 6, the 1st Wednesday Studio and Gallery Tour returns to the Naples Art District with its full complement of two dozen plus galleries and over 50 professional artists for a 1:00-7:00 p.m. drive-and-park event that affords casual, curious art lovers and serious art collectors alike an unparalleled opportunity to visit some of Southwest Florida’s most interesting artist studios and exhibitions. For directions, visit or just look for the magenta-and-white art flags.



Remaining 2020-2021 season covered in Art Festival Calendar on ARTSWFL

Given COVID-19, no one really knows what to expect from Southwest Florida’s 2020-2021 art fair and festival season. At present, Florida has re-opened all venues, most at full capacity, and organizers are proceeding on the premise that they will be able to produce their outdoor art fairs and festivals as they have in the past. So subject to that caveat, here are the outdoor art fairs and festivals you will see throughout Southwest Florida through April 30, 2021.





Public Art Committee seeks artist for aesthetic centerpiece for new park at The Forum

here’s a new park being constructed out at The Forum, and the City’s Public Art Committee is seeking an artist to create a $50,000 artwork to serve as the park’s aesthetic centerpiece.

The Forum is a 706-acre master-planned, mixed-use development located between Colonial Boulevard and SR. 82 east of I-75. It contains retail, residential, and office sites. Originally developed by a group spearheaded by former NBA star and renowned coach Pat Riley, The Forum takes its name from the arena that is home to the world champion Los Angeles Lakers basketball team. Riley won an NBA title as a player for the Lakers in 1972 and coached the team to championships in 1982, 1985, 1987 and 1988.

Prior to its development, three generations of the Zipperer family raised gladiolus on the property. John O. Zipperer and his family were part of a group on entrepreneurs who established an industry based in Iona beginning in 1935 that millions of glads for more than five decades to every state in the Union east of the Rocky Mountains.

You will find the rest of this announcement here.

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