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Actors, artists, filmmakers and events in the news February 22-28, 2019

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These are the actors, artists, filmmakers and events who are in the news in Southwest Florida this week:

 

Regional ESU winner Kylie Campbell off to Lincoln Center for nationals (02-28-19)

Fifteen year old KidzAct actor Kylie Campbell won first place on February 16 in the regional English-Speaking Shakespeare (ESU) Competition. As the first-place finisher, Campbell receives $500, an ESU First Place trophy, The Riverside Shakespeare Complete Works, an all-expense paid trip to New York City to compete in the 36th Annual National Shakespeare Competition finals at Lincoln Center and free coaching.

Kylie attributes her success to the training she’s received in The Naples Players KidzAct youth theatre program.

“Theater has always been the most important thing in my life,” says Kylie.

“I grew up at The Naples Players and have learned so much in my eleven years there. If it wasn’t for all the support I’ve received from everyone at that theater, I don’t think I would be the actress I am today.”

Kylie started out doing musicals, then transitioned to plays, before deciding to try Shakespeare. Currently a Barron G. Collier High School student, she has been studying and performing at The Naples Players since preschool. Acting since she was four years old, Campbell has been seen in Coney Island Christmas as Young Shirley, Les Misérables as Young Cosette, Sister Act as Sister Mary Theresa and CATS as Demeter.

She is presently performing as Puck in The Naples Players Shakespeare-on-the-Plaza adult production of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, which is being performed on The Baker Stage every weekend through March 10, 2019.

“Shakespeare had the ability to take a concept and write it in the most eloquent way. I think it’s important for someone of my generation to understand Shakespeare, and I have just the most fun performing these special works of art,” continues Campbell.

“She really loves the craft, learning the techniques of acting,” observes Associate Artistic Director Jessica Walck, who has been instrumental in her arts development over the years. “[She’s been very hungry to learn by taking every class and becoming involved in all the different scopes of work and productions offered at The Naples Players.

Campbell’s mother has also been impressed with her daughter’s theater interest since such a young age.

“She’s had a passion for performing ever since she was very little, and she’s just always known that she’s wanted to be an actress,” points out Debbie Campbell. “It’s amazing to see her find new aspects of theater that she loves. Her father and I are so very proud of her.”

Naples Players Director John McKerrow, who has been an ESU Naples-based competition judge for about 8 years, also weighed in.

“The students seem to get better and better. That is a testament to Kylie’s great win and to our local teachers and school system. This is a wonderful opportunity for Kylie and I am so proud of her.”

At the ESU National Competition, she will be sequestered with approximately 65 students who have won their local ESU branch competitions from around the country. They will attend a show together, participate in educational activities, and then perform on The Lincoln Center stage.

“It is truly an experience she will never forget.” McKerrow adds.

The Naples Players offers specialized Shakespearean training for children, which culminates in an annual children’s production, which follows the adult Shakespeare-on-the-Plaza production.

“One of the greatest assets that our Shakespeare program gives our young students is the opportunity to work with the area’s foremost Shakespeare experts.” shares Craig Price, The Naples Players Director of Education. “Bryce Alexander directed the children’s production of The Taming of the Shrew last year, in which Kylie performed as Petruchio and this year she is involved in the adult Shakespeare production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream.”

The KidzAct Shakespeare-on-the-Plaza free production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream runs Saturday, April 13th at 11:00 p.m. and Sunday, April 14th at 6:00 p.m. outside on The Baker Stage in Sugden Plaza. All performances are free, and no tickets are required.

Each year, more than 20,000 high school students participate in the English in Action National Shakespeare Competition at the school, regional and national levels through the help of more than 2,500 teachers and 55 ESU branches nationwide. As part of the competition, students perform a monologue and recite a sonnet from Shakespeare and are judged on their understanding of their selected texts and on their ability to communicate their interpretation to the audience. Through this school-based program, students in grades 9 – 12 develop critical thinking and speaking skills and increase their self-confidence through performance of Shakespeare’s work.

Since 1983, the English-Speaking Union has given more than 300,000 students of all backgrounds the opportunity to bring the timeless works of Shakespeare to life and to learn to express his words with understanding, feeling and clarity. The competition has been recognized by the Globe Center, the Children’s Theatre Foundation of America and the American Academy of Achievement.

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Art in the Park is Saturday (02-28-19)

On Saturday, March 2, Art in the Park returns to Park Street, adjacent to The Naples Art Association. Located just a block and a half from historic Fifth Avenue South, Art in the Park is within walking distance of trendy European boutiques, sidewalk cafes and iconic art galleries such as Sheldon Fine ArtCall of Africa’s Native Visions Gallery and Shaw Gallery of Fine Art. The show is also just three minutes by car from fabled Gallery Row and the Third Street South Gallery District and the Crayton Cove art district. Since 1957, Art in the Park has been showcasing paintings in oil and acrylics, watercolors, mixed media, photography, sculpture, ceramics, glass art, jewelry and wood-working created by members in good standing of the Naples Art Association. You can find more information on Southwest Florida’s longest running fine arts and craft fair at http://www.naplesart.org/content/art-park-2011-2012.

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Third installment of Bonita Springs National Art Festival is March 2 & 3 (02-28-19)

The Bonita Springs National Art Festival returns to Riverside Park in Bonita Springs for the final time in 2019 on the weekend of March 2 & 3. Like its January and February editions, this festival places a heavy emphasis on quality and originality, with the more than 200 artists juried into the show from across the United States, Canada, South America and even Europe exhibiting and selling original paintings, drawings, pastels, photography, handcrafted jewelry, clay works and ceramics, glass art, metal sculpture and more. Together with the festivals held in January and March, this show is a major fundraiser for the Center of the Arts of Bonita Springs.

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Naples Masters Art Festival is March 2 & 3 (02-28-19)

Naples Masters Art Festival comes to the Galleria Shoppes at Vanderbilt on March 2 & 3. This festival features 60 highly successful and skilled artists who bring and exhibit paintings in oil, acrylic and watercolor, drawings and pastels, 2D and 3D mixed media and collages, photography and digital art, woodworking, sculpture, ceramics, glass, fiber art, and jewelry. The festival is devoted mainly to fine art, with some fine crafts entering into the mix.

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Art League of Marco Fine Craft Fair is March 2 & 3 (02-28-19)

acrylicThe Art League of Marco Island Fine Craft Fair takes place on the weekend of March 2 & 3. This fair is held at 1010 Winterberry Drive, Marco Island, Florida 34145, which is toward the southern pastelend of the island. This craft fair provides browsers and art enthusiasts with some of the region’s best original artwork, including paintings, watercolors, photography and digital art, ceramics, pottery, glass, clothing, children’s clothing, jewelry and mixed media work.

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1st Wednesday Studio & Gallery Tour back at Naples Art District on March 6 (02-28-19)

On Wednesday, March 6, the more than three dozen galleries and artist studios that comprise the Naples Art District open their doors to the public from 5:00-8:00 p.m. Called 1st Wednesday Studio & Gallery Tour, the event is a unique opportunity to not only visit some of Southwest Florida’s most interesting galleries, but immerse yourself in the sights, sounds and smells of the studios of more than 60 emerging and mid-career artists working in a broad cross-section of genres and media. Look for the magenta and white art flags. Call 239-289-5-70 for more information.

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Here are the artists in this year’s All Florida Juried Exhibit (02-27-19)

The Alliance for the Arts’ has published the names of the artists who’ve been juried into the 33rd Annual Juried All Florida, which runs March 8-30. This year’s exhibition features pieces created by artists working in a wide variety of media which come together for an exciting show representing today’s Florida artists.

From 664 entries, 60 artists and 60 pieces were selected by juror R. Lynn Whitelaw. They are: Jeff Abbott, Jaime Aelavanthara, Brooke Anderson, Joanne Barrett, Penelope Breen, Melissa Carcamo, Hilda Champion, Steven Chayt, Muffy Clark, Sammy Cottrell, Alison Curtis, Vic Delnore, Glen DePasse, Christine Di Staola, Jessie Dilich, Sharon Eng, Cheryl Fausel, Lynn Foskett, Julie Gauthier, Janet George, Geoffrey Hamel, Judith Harthorn, John Ippensen, Ameena Khan, Ann Kozeliski, Yvonne Krystman, Karen Kuykendall, Jay Lana, JoAnn LaPadula, Pat Leggett, Diane Lublinski, Olivier Lutaud, Bruce MacKechnie, Inna Malostovker, Claire Melli, Robert Moore, Carol Murphy, Melissa Nece, Elizabeth Ogata, Jose Pardo, Katrina Parker, June Powell, Gregory Presley, Christine Reichow, Lynne Renzenberger, Robert Richard, Paula Rucket, Carol Schmidt, Carolyn Steele, Carve Stone, Nancy Terrell, Guy Tieman, Rachel Ulrich, Havelyn Villar, Laura Waller, James Woodfield, LouAnn Wukitsch, Christian Wyatt, Patricia Zalisko and MANO.

“My overlying interest was to showcase exciting examples of contemporary art in Florida that reflect artistic talent and innovative work that respect, or experiment with, materials,” Whitelaw reports. “My only regret is that there were a large number of wonderful works that fit my criteria, but I had to make hard decisions to cull the show to 60 pieces.”

Whitelaw was the founding Director and Curator of the Leepa-Rattner Museum of Art, located on the Tarpon Springs Campus of St. Petersburg College (SPC), and held that position for 17 years. Over the years, Mr. Whitelaw’s curatorial efforts have resulted in over 140 exhibitions shown at Hillsborough Community College, the Tampa Museum of Art and the Leepa-Rattner Museum of Art.

The opening celebration will be March 8 from 5:00–7:00 p.m. Whitelaw will be on hand to present awards including $1,000 cash for Best In Show, a 2nd place $250 gift certificate for Golden Artists Colors, $100 cash for 3rd place and Jurors Choice Award(s) of Alliance for the Arts membership(s).

Meet Whitelaw and engage with the exhibiting artists during a conversational tour through the gallery on March 9 at 10:00 a.m. during the Alliance for the Arts weekly GreenMarket.

Receptions and gallery talks are open to the public and do not require tickets or reservations. While the gallery admission is free, a $5 suggested donation keeps Alliance programming affordable and accessible.

All Florida is sponsored in part by Elemental Stone and Waterworks.

For more information, call 239-939-2787 or visit www.ArtInLee.org/AllFlorida2019.

Photos:

  • Sit by Christine Di Staola-oil on canvas-30×40
  • Chrysalis by Jaime Aelavanthara-photography; tea stained cyanotype-40×30
  • Spilled Hibiscus on Mirror by John Ippensen-Photography-14×20
  • Scaling Big Daddy by Gregory Presley -Photography-20×30
  • El Torro by Jessie Dilich-Oil-36×48
  • Juror R. Lynn Whitelaw

 

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Alliance seeking artists for ‘Art Lives Here’ billboard campaign (02-27-19)

The Alliance for the Arts has issued a call to Alliance member artists in Lee County to submit their work for the Art Lives Here campaign to transform billboard space into public art. Selected artwork will be displayed on billboards throughout Lee County. All Alliance member artists residing in Lee County are encouraged to submit.

“Our vision is to bring artwork outside of the traditional context of museum and gallery walls, while bringing attention to emerging local artists’ work,” says exhibition coordinator Krista Johnson.

An entry may consist of 1 to 3 artworks. There is a non-refundable entry fee of $20 for one entry and $35 for 2 or 3 entries. You may become a member to submit. Alliance for the Arts memberships are $55 and are good for one year.

All entries must be submitted online no later than March 15, 2019. Artists can download the prospectus and submit their work online at www.ArtInLee.org/ArtLivesHere. Not all submissions receive a billboard.

Art Lives Here is made possible by Alliance season sponsor Carter Outdoor.

For more information, call 239-939-2787 or visit www.ArtInLee.org/ArtLivesHere.

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Alliance, Leslie Hindman Auctioneers appraising objets d’art etc. on March 16 (02-27-19)

In partnership with Leslie Hindman Auctioneers, the Alliance for the Arts will present a Community Appraisal Day on March 16 from 10:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. at 10091 McGregor Blvd. Fort Myers. Meet with auction house experts from Leslie Hindman Auctioneers and find out the value of your fine jewelry, artwork, decorative objects, furniture, Asian works of art, books, maps, silver and beyond. A 20 minute appraisal session is $10 for Alliance members or $20 for non-members. Pre-registration is required. For more information, please call 239-939-2787, visit 10091 McGregor Blvd. Fort Myers, FL or go online at ArtInLee.org/Appraisal.

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DAAS CO-OP moving to Butterfly Estates by March’s end (02-27-19)

DAAS CO-OP is moving to the Butterfly Estates at the end of March. The gallery will close its Royal Palm Square location with a farewell party and closing reception on Saturday, March 23.

”We can’t express how grateful we are to the administration of the Royal Palm Square for the years at this location,” comments DAAS founder and president David Acevedo. “It is a bittersweet feeling, but we feel like it’s the right move and we look forward to working with the good people of the Butterfly Estates.”

The move to the Butterfly Estates marks DAAS’ return to the River District after a seven year absence. Acevedo and Xavier Brignoni operated the transformative daas Gallery on Broadway in the River District from 2008 until 2012, when they banded together to form The Union Artist Studio on the campus of the Alliance for the Arts. As he had with Art Walk, Acevedo played an instrumental role in forming the SoCo Art & Cultural District after he and Brignoni opened DAAS CO-OP Art Gallery & Gifts in the Royal Palm Square.

“Everyone is invited to attend [the farewell party and closing reception] and get information about the new space,” Acevedo adds.

The new location is located at 1815-3 Fowler Street and will open on Tuesday, April 2, to be followed by the gallery’s first official opening reception on Friday, April 5 in conjunction with the Fort Myers Art Walk. More information is available on the gallery’s website at daascoop.com.

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Illustrations of Tavo Quiros to be final DAAS exhibit at Royal Palm Square (02-27-19)

DAAS CO-OP Art Gallery & Gifts is hosting a meet and greet reception with artist Tavo Quiros from 6:00 to 9:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 9 in conjunction with an exhibition featuring a collection of fine art illustrations he has created in recent years.

Quiros’ story is quite remarkable.

In 2008, he developed severe psychotic symptoms which were ultimately diagnosed as a combination of Schizophrenia and Bipolar disorder. His attendant inability to focus led to a three-year-long hiatus from his career in the arts. But after doctors managed to stabilize his condition in 2011, he began sketching, drawing, and ultimately-painting again. He started exhibiting his work at Gallery 212 in Miami a short time later, marking the beginning of his career in the world of Pop Surrealism and fine art illustration.

Tavo’s art is a reflection of the vivid hallucinations and hyper-spiritual delusions he experienced during his illness and his classical training in the arts prior 2008. Quiros attended OTIS College of Art and Design in Los Angeles, with a semester abroad spent in Rotterdam, Netherlands at the Willem de Kooning Academy. Dutch architecture, graphic design, illustration, and street art soon became sources of inspiration. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts (focused on Illustration) and took on a variety of jobs as a graphic designer and illustrator until deciding to focus on gallery work.

You can meet Quiros and learn more about his creative journey and influences at the March 9 meet-and-greet, which takes on added significance since it will be DAAS’ last at the Royal Palm Square gallery location. (See accompanying announcement regarding DAAS’ relocation in April to the Butterfly Estates.)

The exhibition will close March 23 with a farewell party and closing reception that begins at 6:00 p.m. More information is available on the gallery’s website at daascoop.com.

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Edison Ford hosting exhibit interpreting families’ love of Florida fauna & flora (02-27-19)

The Caloosahatchee River, part of the Everglades watershed, is the largest subtropical wilderness in the United States — home to unique orchids, trees and bromeliads. Both Thomas Edison and Henry Ford loved the rich and varied flora and fauna that grew around them here in Fort Myers. Edison called his lush estate here in Fort Myers his “jungle” because of the diversity of plant life that thrived. Ford was an avid bird watcher and enjoyed camping, boating and fishing throughout his life. So it only made sense for the Edison & Ford Winter Estates to ask artists from across the region to interpret the Edison and Ford families’ love of Florida’s natural environment. The result is an exhibit that features work in a variety of mediums (including oil, watercolor photography and sculpture) by 30 award-winning artists from across the Southeastern United States. It’s on display now through May 19 in the Caretaker’s Cottage. Access to the show is included with admission to the Edison & Ford Winter Estates.

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Lab’s new season announcement party and fundraiser is March 11 (02-26-19)

Fresh on the heels of another record-breaking season, The Laboratory Theater of Florida will be announcing the 2019-2020 shows for its 11th season on March 11. Free and open to the public, the event features entertainment, drinks and hors d’oeuvres, and an advance opportunity to sponsor special show needs, underwrite the new Actor’s Fund, or sponsor one of the regular season activities of your choice.

In addition to revealing the shows it will be producing next season, The Lab’s announcement part functions as a fundraiser, with attendees enjoying the chance to win extraordinary raffle prizes and bid on silent auction items. Funds raised during this event will go towards property improvements and renovations, most notably the continuing cleanup and rehab of the new education building, functional air conditioning for the props and costumes building, restoration of the original hardwood floors and creation of an outdoor performance space.

A favorite event each year for Laboratory Theater patrons, the event also affords the opportunity to purchase discounted season or snowbird passes.

The event begins at 7:00 p.m.

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Mally Khorasantchi exhibit on view in FGCU ArtLab through March 28 (02-26-19)

Mally Khorasantchi Recent Paintings 2019 is on view in the ArtLab Gallery in FGCU’s Library West through March 28. The show includes large-scale paintings that incorporate elements from the artist’s personal history and social commentary. With no horizon lines or perspective to give order or focus, and using both bold and delicately painted abstracted symbols, lines and shapes, Khorasantchi seeks to convey the chaos and order found in nature and of things manmade. She is interested in the juxtapositions of rhythm and remnant, intellect and emotion, beauty and discord, and invites multiple interpretations based on individual experience and memory.

Born soon after the end of World War II in Dusseldorf, Germany, Mally (Breuer) Khorasantchi discovered her lifelong love of drawing and painting as a young child. Khorasantchi studied with several noted professional German artists who nurtured her artistic development and, by the 1990s, she had two solo exhibitions of her work in Dusseldorf, Germany.

Khorasantchi immigrated to United States and became a permanent resident of Florida in 1992 and an American citizen in 2006. A successful, full time professional artist since 2005, her work has been collected by private and corporate clients both in the U.S. and abroad.

The State of Florida’s Capitol building in Tallahassee featured a solo exhibition of her work during the summer of 2014. A solo exhibition of her paintings was shown at the Walter Wickiser Gallery, New York, in the fall of 2014. That same year, the United Arts Council of Collier County conferred its prestigious “Stars in the Arts Award” on Khorasantchi.

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‘Unimaginable’ exhibition in FGCU’s Wasmer Gallery closes February 28 (02-26-19)

Up Close and Unimaginable, Cliff Evans and Gregory Green closes February 28. The exhibition, which is on view in the Wasmer Gallery, focuses on the heightened threats of terrorism and war that are ever-present in today’s society, both nationally and abroad. These threats are experienced through a wide range of lenses, including social media, international news outlets and direct exposure. Cliff Evans (Austin, TX) and Gregory Green (Tampa, FL) make work that is critical of these threats and the psychological toll they impose on everyday life. This immersive installation includes panoramic animated collages and sculptural installations.

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Guerrilla Girls rattling cages at Rauschenberg Gallery through March 23 (02-26-19)

On view now through March 23 at the Bob Rauschenberg Gallery at Florida SouthWestern State College is GUERRILLA GIRLS: Rattling Cages Since 1985. The exhibition is a site-specific survey and newly-commissioned, interactive installation.

The Guerrilla Girls is an internationally-renowned feminist advocacy and art collective which assiduously maintains its anonymity while confronting and addressing systemic problems of gender and racial parity in the art world.

Since their formation in 1985, the Guerrilla Girls have done more than 100 street projects, posters and stickers in cities ranging from New York, Los Angeles and Minneapolis to Mexico City, Istanbul, London, Bilbao, Rotterdam and Shanghai. They have also done outrageous projects and exhibitions at museums, attacking them for their bad behavior and discriminatory practices right on their own walls. Of these, their stealth project on the façade of the Whitney Museum in 2015 stands out as a very public and publicized excoriation of income inequality and the extent to which the super-rich have hijacked art.

You will find the rest of this advance here.

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Q&A with Guerrilla Girl Frida Kahlo (02-26-19)

On view in the Bob Rauschenberg Gallery on the Lee campus of Florida SouthWestern State College is GUERRILLA GIRLS: Rattling Cages Since 1985. Guerrilla Girl Frida Kahlo skyped in on the night of the show’s opening to field questions from the audience. While her identity remains a closely-guarded secret, her pithy remarks and observations reveal the woman beneath the guerrilla mask to be sharp, quick-witted, wry and singularly focused on the role of women in the arts.

You’ll find the questions and answers here.

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Next Fort Myers Art Walk on March 1 and 2 (02-25-19)

The River District will come alive on March 1 when Art Walk returns to downtown Fort Myers. Now a two-day event, Art Walk will continue Saturday, March 2, from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. With exciting new exhibits and live art demonstrations, rain or shine, this is a “must attend event.”

New exhibits include exceptional art in a variety of mediums done by a bevy of local artists and some national and international artists as well.  You can meet the artists and talk art at the self-guided Friday night event, which brings together art enthusiasts, collectors and community friends who celebrate the arts each month. The Friday night Art Walk sees First Street closed to traffic. Local artists set up in the street selling their art, and face painting is offered at several locations along First Street. And at the Broadway and First Street intersection, the Fort Myers Art League will be hosting a “Make It/Take It” table for children of all ages.

Saturday Art Walk is a quieter affair with most of the galleries open for examining the art at more leisurely pace. This new and improved version of Art Walk includes 14 galleries and art stops, including:

  • American Legion Veterans Gallery showing Art done by Veterans
  • Art League of Fort Myers – new exhibits each month
  • Arts for ACT Gallery – features three or more art exhibits every month plus co-op members art
  • Bootlegger Alley Gallery – outdoor gallery open only during Art Walk in The Patio de Leon
  • Grand Illusion Gallery – art, tee shirts and more
  • Marc Harris Wildlife Photography – on Jackson Street
  • Miville Art Gallery – art and photography in the Franklin Shops
  • Ollie Mack Gentry Photography – photography  at 2180 West First Street
  • Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center – Main Gallery Exhibit and Capitol Exhibit on the 3rd Floor
  • The Barrel Room – Jazz art – on Bay Street
  • Timeless Gallery – gallery and gift shop featuring steampunk art and more
  • Two Newts Gallery – co-op gallery located off West First Street at 2064 Bayside Parkway
  • Unit A – urban contemporary gallery of internationally-acclaimed artist Marcus Jansen located in Gardener’s Park

As this survey of participating galleries reveals, Fort Myers Art Walk spans the core of downtown Fort Myers and includes the Gardener’s Park area and West First Street. Most of the action is located on First Street, but you can obtain a Fort Myers Art Walk map at any of the galleries that will lead you to all the art venues and Art Walk partners.  “Enjoy cultural venues, restaurants, bars and businesses, plus live music,” touts the River District Alliance. “Watch live art demos on First Street, eat amazing food, shop the unique local boutiques or just enjoy the atmosphere.”

So whether you prefer the energy of night or the calm of day, there’s something for everyone during this new-and-improved weekend of art that Fort Myers still calls Art Walk. There is free street parking and $5.00 at any of the parking garages.  In season ride the free River District Trolley. Fort Myers Art Walk is a Pet and Family Friendly free event! Fort Myers Art Walk is hosted by The River District Alliance, a non-profit organization. For more information, please visit www.fortmyersriverdistrictalliance.com.

 

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Lovegrove signing Bealls Collection items tomorrow in her Matlacha gardens (02-25-19)

Leoma Lovegrove will be signing items from her Bealls Collection that shoppers have purchased this month tomorrow in her tropical Matlacha Island waterside gardens at Lovegrove Gallery and Gardens, 4637 Pine Island Rd NW, Matlacha, FL 33993. Just bring your favorite purchase and a receipt from Bealls evidencing that it was purchased in February.

“I am excited to spend time with everyone in my Garden this month,” says Leoma. “I can’t wait to see what everyone is enjoying from the Bealls collection.”

[A retrospective containing 60 of Leoma’s works is also on exhibit at ONE/Allure Sales Center in the historic City Pier Building in the River District. For more on this show, read the next article.]

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Lovegrove retrospective on exhibit in ONE/Allure sales center in City Pier Bldg (02-25-19)

How does a woman recover from a breast cancer diagnosis, emergency surgery and radiation therapy? Well, if she’s Matlacha Impressionist Leoma Lovegrove, it’s by staging an impressive retrospective of her work at an equally impressive venue. Here, There and Everywhere is on view now at ONE/Allure’s Sales Center in the downtown Fort Myers’ River District.

“We are humbled and honored to have Leoma Lovegrove exhibiting her beautiful high-energy art here at our sales gallery,” states Barbara Bengochea-Perez, director of Sales and Marketing for ONE/Allure. “I have personally been a longtime fan of her work and we know that everyone in the community will be excited to see her work return to downtown Fort Myers.”

Lovegrove last exhibited a retrospective of her work at the Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center in January of 2017. Palettes: Past, Present & Pursuits included more than 200 paintings, 2D and 3D mixed media works, sculpture and art clothing and holds the distinction of being one of the Davis Art Center’s most popular and well-attended shows.

The ONE/Allure’s Sales Center is featuring roughly 60 pieces of Lovegrove’s most representative work, displayed in a refined upscale residential setting that evokes the discriminating taste that will define the 34 spacious SkyRises-two (2) residences per floor that Miami-based developer JAXI Builders expects to include in its 21-story waterfront residences which will be available “for only a fortunate few.”

“I’ve always wanted to exhibit in the historic City Pier Building,” Lovegrove acknowledges. Prior to serving as ONE/Allure’s sales office, the two-story building was home to Al Oerter’s Art of the Olympians. The facility and associated dock were originally constructed as a ferry terminal for a shuttle service to Key West.

The artist went public with her diagnosis and treatment to encourage women to be assertive when it comes to their health and speak up if something doesn’t feel quite right. Leoma insisted on an MRI after being told that nothing was wrong and to check back in six months.

Lovegrove has long been an advocate for cancer awareness and recovery. Not only does she observe National Cancer Survivors Day each June and Breast Cancer Awareness Month each October, the artist lost a sister to cancer several years ago.

Possessed of a deep and abiding faith and unyielding work ethic, Lovegrove now feels that painting and exhibiting her artwork is the best medicine for her complete recovery. Known as the People’s Painter, Leoma is inspired by the public to pick up a brush and create for the greater good each day.

Toward that end, Leoma plans to be on hand at ONE/Allure during each Art Walk and Music Walk during the 2019/2020 seasons to meet and greet visitors and perform Paint Out Loud events.

Leoma Lovegrove is an impressionist-expressionist painter known worldwide for her vivid colorful paintings. Nationally, her works are represented in numerous galleries. Her portrait of Jimmy Carter hangs in his Presidential Library in Atlanta. Her work is also included in the private collection of the White House in Washington, D.C., in President George W. Bush’s Presidential Library in Dallas, Texas, and has also graced the windows at Rockefeller Center in New York City.

Internationally, Lovegrove was commissioned to paint a portrait of Richard Branson for the Virgin Airlines Headquarters in London. Her Beatles Series drew the attention of the city of Liverpool. She was the first American to paint on the replica of Claude Monet’s floating studio in Giverny, France, and she was honored to be the first American artist to exhibit, An American in Giverny in the famous Pierre Bonnard home in Vernon, France.

Here, There and Everywhere will hang for two years, with new pieces added during holidays. All work is for sale.

ONE/Allure Sales Center is located at 1300 Hendry Street, Fort Myers, Fl www.OneFtMyers.com.

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Luis Valle ‘Vibrations’ exhibition opens at Davis Art Center on March 1 (02-25-19)

Celebrate the unique art style that made Luis Valle a well-known muralist in Wynwood, Denver and Orlando. His exhibition, Vibrations: Urban Art Exhibition, opens in the grand atrium of the Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center during Art Walk on March 1, with an opening night reception from 6:00-10:00 p.m.

The opening will also feature a live street art segment.

Luis Valle, who is also known as El Chan Guri, grew up in Miami, where he excelled in the arts from an early age. Valle received his formal training from Florida State University. There, he earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in visual arts while focusing on painting and metal fabrication. He later went on to receive a Master in Arts Degree from New York University, where he developed an interest in video and video art while continuing his progression as a painter.

Luis is currently very active in the Miami art scene, creating commissioned murals as well street art pieces on businesses and neighborhoods throughout South Florida. Easily recognizable, his style is a blend of influences from indigenous cultures, psychology, shamanism, religion, spirituality, frequency, vibration and energy.

Valle’s mural art can be found in many major cities, including Miami, Orlando and Denver. Wynwood, in particular, has several of Valle’s murals. Valle also so helped create a mural dedicated to the victims of Pulse Orlando.

For more info about Luis Valle, please visit http://luisvalleart.com/murals.

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Davis Art Center hosting Fort Myers High 2019 Senior Visual Arts Exhibition (02-25-19)

Experience the art work of more than 40 students from Fort Myers High School in the Capitol Gallery at the Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center on March 1 during Art Walk. The 2019 Senior Visual Arts Exhibition showcases artworks created by 43 Green Wave students in fulfillment of their 2019 International Baccalaureate Visual Arts Program. The work explores in the aggregate a wide range of visual media including traditional and digital photography, acrylic and oil painting, printmaking, fiber arts, sculpture, ceramics and more.

Fort Myers High School believes each student is capable of reaching his/her academic potential and has an inherent right to receive the finest education possible for the attainment of educational goals. Therefore, it is the mission of Fort Myers High School to create and maintain an orderly, business-like environment with an equitably enforced, uniform standard discipline policy in which each student may discover his/her respective potentials and bring them to fruition. To learn more about Fort Myers Senior High School, please visit https://fmh.leeschools.net.

The show only runs two weeks, closing March 14.

The Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center is located at 2301 First St. in the historic downtown Fort Myers River District. For more information about the show, please call 239-333-1933 or visit http://www.sbdac.com.

Photos:

  • Matthew Spychalski
  • Katrina Lee
  • Elena Dent
  • Abby Gleason

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Watercolorist David Belling dives deep to paint Dixie Fish Co. (02-25-19)

Rene Miville is exhibiting a number of David Belling’s original watercolor paintings in his mezzanine gallery at the Franklin Shops on First in February and March. Three of these paintings have an interesting provenance for folks who love local history.

Some 25 years ago, Belling was taking photos in Matanzas Pass on the eastern side of Estero Island. He was idling through a stretch of water once plied by the mighty Calusa under the watchful eye of their chiefs sitting atop the pinnacle of their Mound Key capital. In the 1990s, this section of the pass was dominated by shrimp trawlers, commercial fishing vessels and fish houses. One of the latter belonged to the Dixie Fish Company.

Go here for the rest of this story.

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David Belling’s ‘Tranquility’ on view at Miville Gallery in River District (02-25-19)

In turbulent times such as these, who couldn’t use a little more peace and serenity? To fill this need, the Rene Miville Gallery has introduced a little tranquility to the downtown Fort Myers River District art scene – as in a new exhibition of work by watercolor realist David Belling.

Tranquility – The Modern Landscape Art of Southwest Florida features dozens of the nautical scenes and historical-based landscapes that David Belling has been rendering since turning to painting full time after his retirement in 2004 following decades as a creative director for big and little advertising agencies in both Milwaukee and Cape Coral. While there are plenty of moderately-sized originals to admire, gallery owner Rene Miville has blown up photos of half a dozen of Belling’s paintings into 44-by-32-inch prints. These, in particular, uniquely enable viewers to savor the sublime quietude built into the fabric of each of Belling’s compositions.

For more, read here.

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Conceptually, structurally, ‘Ghost in the Woods’ is horror film breath of fresh air (02-24-19)

The 4th Annual Bonita Springs International Film Festival wraps up tonight. Among the short films it screened over the course of its four-day run is Ghost in the Woods by director Jason Land.

Horror films included in film festivals are often somewhat iffy. Ghost in the Woods is an exception. It’s very well done both conceptually and structurally.

Jason Land wrote and directed the 12-minute short film, which he co-produced with his wife, Catherine. It features his son, Alex, a boy with a heart problem that hampers his ability to keep up with his friends, Ryan (Ryan Isenman), Katie (Katie Dohner) and Sophia (Sophia Ferraro).

Read here for the remainder of this review.

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’50 Words’ features cute concept, exceptional acting and satisfying character arc (02-24-19)

Last night, the 4th Annual Bonita Springs Film Festival screened its Shorts Package II. The assemblage of indie films consisted of seven high-quality pictures, including 50 Words.

The 28-minute short film has a clever premise. The storyline revolves around a stage actor by the name Lilly Green, who’s starring in a musical titled “Words Won’t Do.” Her boyfriend is the male lead, and sometime during the rehearsal process, Lilly catches him cheating on her with another actress in the cast. When the director reminds each actor that she needs their 50-word bio for the show bill, Lilly writes hers as a personal ad, seeking her perfect match from the audience each night following the performance.

Kathryn Parks wrote, co-produced and stars in the film, which marks her transition from the stage to the realm of film and filmmaking.

“I was inspired to do this for a number of reasons,” writes Parks. “My love of the arts doesn’t begin and end on the stage. I’ve always had an interest in TV and film and have had great admiration for the people who produce something from scratch. [Secondly], there are so many incredibly talented people that I’m friends with in my hometown of Sarasota, and not just actors but filmmakers, choreographers, sound engineers and costumers. I knew that all I needed was a good idea for a screenplay and then I could attempt to bring all these talented people together to accomplish something special.”

During the Q&A following the screening, actor/instructor Elizabeth D’Onofrio asked Kathryn (and all the other filmmakers) to describe her inspiration for the film. In Parks’ case, she was asked to tell the love story of two of dear friends at their marriage.

“They met online and it got me thinking about the process of finding love,” Parks explained. “Were I not happily married (which I totally am!), I asked myself how would I get myself out there to meet a man. Of course, my mind went straight to the theater world where it occurred to me I could replace my 50-word actor bio in the program with a personal ad, seeking my perfect match in the audience each night. At first, I laughed at myself, but gradually, I realized it could serve as the basis for a short film!”

Here’s the rest of this review.

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Spotlight on ’50 Words’ actor, screenwriter and producer Kathryn Parks (02-24-19)

Last night, the 4th Annual Bonita Springs Film Festival screened its Shorts Package II. The assemblage of indie films consisted of seven high-quality pictures, including 50 Words, a 28-minute romantic comedy starring and written and co-produced by Kathyrn Parks.

Kathryn Parks has established herself as one of Sarasota’s most recognizable leading ladies. A singer, actor and dancer, she is a regular in the region’s musical theater scene. She has starred in productions of My Fair Lady, Carousel and The King and I, receiving acclaim for her portrayal of Eliza Doolittle, Julie Jordan, and Anna Leonowens respectively. She has appeared on numerous stages including the Florida Studio Theatre, American Stage, the Players Theatre, Venice Theatre, and with the St. Petersburg Opera Company.

You can find more on Kathryn here.

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Spotlight on ’50 Words’ director Mark Palmer (02-24-19)

Last night, the 4th Annual Bonita Springs Film Festival screened its Shorts Package II. The assemblage of indie films consisted of seven high-quality pictures, including 50 Words, a 28-minute romantic comedy starring and written and co-produced by Kathyrn Parks and directed by Mark Palmer.

Palmer is an award-winning photographer, cinematographer, director and producer who has been working behind the camera for more than 14 years. He is the founder and president of Sarasota-based Mars Vision Production. Palmer’s credits include various regional corporate projects. He was also the grand prize winner in the Viral Film Project and won Best Story awards for Devotion in the 48-Hour Guerrilla Film Challenge and the PBS documentary series, Diamonds Along the Highway. For more, please visit http://www.marsvisionproductions.com.

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Bird’s Eye lyrical ode to human spirit and creative collaboration (02-24-19)

Last night, the 4th Annual Bonita Springs Film Festival screened its Shorts Package II. The assemblage of indie films consisted of seven high-quality pictures, including a 13-minute drama written by and starring Erin Beute and directed by Scott Poiley.

Bird’s Eye tells the story of a musical composer and instructor by the name of Dr. McAllister. We meet her as she labors at the piano, fitfully trying to piece together fragmented notes and bars into a magnum opus. Try as she might, the work remains out of reach.

The harder she pushes, the more it evades her.

McAllister is angry, bitter and surly … as one of her hapless students discovers to her chagrin when she interrupts McAllister to ask why the good doctor gave her a failing grade on a recent assignment. The poor girl’s timing couldn’t be worse. She becomes the object of McAllisters pent-up frustration at her own inability to achieve the perfection she demands of herself. As the student watching with growing despair, McAllister literally tears her student’s composition to pieces, eviscerating the poor girl one painful stanza at a time.

You will find the rest of this review here.

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Focus on ‘Bird’s Eye’ screenwriter and actor Erin Beute (02-24-19)

Last night, the 4th Annual Bonita Springs Film Festival screened its Shorts Package II. The assemblage of indie films consisted of seven high-quality pictures, including a 13-minute drama titled Bird’s Eye directed by Scott Poiley and written by and starring Erin Beute.

Erin Beute is a SAG/AFTRA actor known for The Vampire Diaries (2009), Outcast (2016) and Shots Fired (2017). Her film credits include leads in Tooth Fairy 2, If Only, The Five Stages and The Bell and supporting roles in Waves of Grace, Ring of Fire and The Whisper Home. In addition to The Vampire Diaries, her television work includes guest star appearances in Drop Dead Diva, Last Stop (Pilot) and Coma, and co-starring roles in Charlie’s Angels, Magic City, Burn Notice and The Glades.

For more on Erin, read here.

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‘Bird’s Eye’ director Scott Poiley in the spotlight (02-24-19)

Last night, the 4th Annual Bonita Springs Film Festival screened its Shorts Package II. The assemblage of indie films consisted of seven high-quality pictures, including a 13-minute drama titled Bird’s Eye written by and starring Erin Beute and directed by Scott Poiley.

Like the protagonist in Bird’s Eye, Scott Poiley’s trajectory as a dancer and aspiring musical theatre actor was derailed by physical infirmity. In Scott’s case, he was forced to stop dancing when he discovered he had an enlarged heart. Undaunted, he channeled his creative energies into filmmaking and completed his MFA in Producing from the University of Miami. (He already had a BFA in Theatrical Studies Niagara University.)

For more on Scott Poiley, read here.

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Bonita Springs Int’l Film Festival opened Thursday with ‘The King’ (02-23-19)

The 4th Annual Bonita Springs International Film Festival opened Thursday night with a cocktail party, a screening of The King, and a Freddie Mercury Tour performance that rocked Hinman Auditorium. In addition to sampling sumptuous hors d’oeuvres by Suzanne Migeot, attendees snapped selfies with Elvis tribute artists Dan Cunningham and Rob E. Lutz and had their pictures taken alongside a Rolls Royce known as Julie – a 1965 Silver Cloud just like the one Elvis owned and featured in the film.

The festival continues with screenings today and tomorrow before culminating in a closing night cocktail party, awards presentation and 8:00 p.m. concert featuring The Screaming Orphans.

For more on the opening night film, The King, read here:

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Freddie Mercury Tour rocks huge BIFF opening night crowd (02-23-19)

There was a big turn-out last night for the opening of the 4th Annual Bonita Springs International Film Festival. In addition to a lively cocktail party beginning at 5:00 p.m. (which featured not one, but two Elvis impersonators), the opening featured “The King,” a sobering documentary by Eugene Jarecki that was followed by a performance by the Freddie Mercury Tour.

“Mercury” stars international opera star Terry Barber, a former member of the two-time Grammy Award winning group “Chanticleer.” His most recent album was nominated for six Grammy Awards. Barber is a countertenor with a 4 octave range (just like Freddie) and has performed for the Metropolitan Opera, Moscow’s Svetlanov Hall, and at Carnegie Hall. Terry’s voice can be heard on every major record label with a variety of artists from Madonna to the London Philharmonic.

Read here for more.

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Blocker screenwriting workshop a Bonita Int’l Film Festival highlight (02-23-19)

One of the highlights of this year’s Bonita Springs International Film Festival was a screenwriting workshop offered by BIFF co-producer, SAG/AFTRA performer and playwright Frank Blocker. The workshop focused on the process of screenwriting and how to create great characters, but Blocker tailored the class for the writers in the room, concentrating on existing work.

For more on Frank Blocker and his long and prestigious body of work, read here.

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BIFF’s D’Onofrio ‘Cold Reading & Monologue’ workshop today at 1:30 (02-23-19)

The Bonita Springs International Film Festival opens Thursday night with a screening of Eugene Jarecki’s The King, followed by a concert featuring Freddie Mercury music.The festival runs through Sunday night’s awards ceremony and includes many highlights and points of interest for cineastes, producers, directors, actors and other filmmaking professionals and wannabes, including a Cold Reading & Monologue workshop by Elizabeth D’Onofrio. The workshop includes Cold Readings from actual film and TV sides, Script analysis, and self-tape auditions. Students will receive their taped audition through email.

The rest of the details can be found here.

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Locally-produced ‘Actors Anonymous’ screens tonight in Shorts Package II (02-23-19)

Locally produced short, Actors Anonymous, was screened yesterday by the 4th Annual Bonita Springs International Film Festival (BIFF) during Shorts Package I. After the screening, actor and co-producer Judy Copeland shared some interesting behind-the-scenes stories with the audience about the making of the film.

Copeland had actually quit acting for more than three decades before “relapsing” following her retirement from advertising. So when New York filmmaker Mark Stolzenberg told her about a project he had under development about a diverse group of people undergoing therapy for their addiction to acting, it struck a responsive chord.

“I was doing fine, but then I was shopping in North Fort Myers Beach one day when I overhead a woman talking about an acting class she was teaching,” related Copeland.

The woman turned out to be Elizabeth D’Onofrio.

“When she told me her name, I asked if she was related to [actor] Vincent D’Onofrio [Full Metal Jacket, Law & Order: Criminal Intent, Jurassic World].

You’ll find the rest of this story here.

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4th Annual Bonita Int’l Film Festival will close with Screaming Orphans concert (02-23-19)

The 4th Annual Bonita Int’l Film Festival will close with the Screaming Orphans. Comprised of four sisters from Donegal, Ireland, The Screaming Orphans are known for their high-energy music that blends melodic old-school pop rock with traditional folk/Irish music and songs. Their mesmerizing, dynamic and electric live performances and stage presence have taken the festival, theater and club circuit by storm.

Their wide and varied sound has been compared to such artists as ABBA, the Cranberries and The Chieftains. The band is also renowned for their trademark spine-tingling four part harmony.

“While we can never forget our roots in traditional Irish music, the Screaming Orphans draw on a diverse set of influences ranging from Simon and Garfunkel, The Bangles to The McNulty Family, with a strong focus on melody-driven songs with pop and rocks strains,” state band, which consists of Angela Diver on bass, violin and vocals; Joan Diver on drums and vocals; Thérèse Diver on the keyboard, accordion and vocals; and Gráinne Diver on guitar and vocals.

For more on the group, read here.

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Alliance’s next CHANGE course scheduled for March 30 & 31 (02-22-19)

The Alliance for the Arts CHANGE Program is offering its next class on March 30 and 31. Titled “Acting Social Workshop – What Is Your Mask?,” the 2-day course explores how society connects who we are, how we were raised, experiences, economic status and contributions through a lens of diverse identities.

Students will utilize the arts and social discourse to explore ways to articulate and express identity. The workshop promises to foster an appreciation of the common and unique experiences that shape our character, our personality, our distinctiveness and the essence of our identity.

As part of the course, facilitators Jarrett Eady, Jonathan Harrison, Derek Lively, Sonya McCarter and Stephen Hooper will have students view a performance introducing the theme. Students will then participate in a group exercise and group discussion exploring race, stereotyping and privilege. With guidance from the facilitators, the participants will thereafter collaborate to create an artistic demonstration of their exploration of identity. Family and friends will be invited to attend the demonstration on the second day of the workshop and participate in the talkback activity. (Talkbacks allow the audience to ask questions and express their thoughts and ideas on issues revealed in a work of art or performance through the form of meaningful discussion.)

The class will be taught at the Alliance for the Arts, 10091 McGregor Blvd. Fort Myers, FL 33919. Saturday workshop hours are 1:00-4:00 p.m.. Sunday hours are 1:00-3:30 p.m. with the performance and talk-back beginning at 2:30 p.m. The cost is $20 for Alliance members or $25 for future members. The performance is free to attend.

Registration is required and can be completed online at ArtInLee.org/Education or by calling 239-939-2787.

The CHANGE Program (Communities Harnessing the Arts to Nurture and Grow Equity) provides performance opportunities and a platform to convene dialogue on social issues that challenge our community through creative, artistic expression. This project is supported in part by the Southwest Florida Community Foundation and the Florida Humanities Council. For more information on this program, visit ArtInLee.org/CHANGE.

Later this year, the CHANGE Program will offer an Acting Intensive and Playwriting class.

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Meet the CHANGE ‘What is Your Mask’ workshop facilitators (02-22-19)

The Alliance for the Arts CHANGE Program is offering its next class on March 30 and 31. Titled “Acting Social Workshop – What Is Your Mask?,” the 2-day course explores how society connects who we are, how we were raised, experiences, economic status and contributions through a lens of diverse identities.

The course will be taught by these five facilitators:

Jarrett Eady: Jarrett is a fourth generation resident of Fort Myers and an alumnus of Fort Myers High School. He attended Florida State University, where he majored in Political Science with minors in History, Urban Regional Planning and Black Studies. He currently serves as Director of Diversity and Inclusion for the School District of Lee County and has served as a Professional Development and Leadership Specialist, 9-12 Social Content Lead and District Director of the Advancement via Individual Determination Program with the School District of Lee County’s Department of Curriculum and Staff Development. Jarrett’s community and civic involvement in Southwest Florida includes serving as the President of the National Pan-Hellenic Council of Southwest Florida, as the Chairman of the Lee County Black History Society and Williams Academy Black History Museum, and as the Parliamentarian of the Xi Omicron Lambda Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc.

Jonathan Harrison: Jonathan is an adjunct Professor in Sociology at Florida Gulf Coast University and Hodges University whose PhD was in the field of racism and anti-Semitism. Dr. Jonathan Harrison has devoted his career to studying and teaching on the topics of gender identity, sexual orientation, world religions and sociology of diversity. In 2006, he moved to Florida from the United Kingdom. He teaches sociology in the Liberal Arts program while researching race, gender identity, sexual orientation and world dance. In the summer of 2015, his research paper on African American history in Fort Myers was published in the Florida Historical Quarterly. Harrison has also appeared on WGCU Gulf Coast Live and in the Fort Myers News-Press to discuss his research.

Derek Lively: Derek is professional actor and has appeared in productions ranging from Shakespeare to Eugene O’Neill and has worked in regional theaters and Off-Broadway, including The Public Theater and LaMama E.T.C. His solo show, Welcome To My Soul, which he wrote and performed, led to a first-look development deal with NBC (Universal). He is a proud member of Actors’ Equity Association and SAG-AFTRA. Go here for more on Derek’s numerous credits and achievements.

Sonya McCarter: Sonya is the Community Engagement Coordinator at the Alliance for the Arts as well as a director and actress. Her heart’s passion is to help facilitate engaging, compelling and meaningful theatre in Fort Myers that features strong African-American characters and stories. Sonya has appeared in television (Burn Notice), film (The Florida Project) and theatre. Her directing credits include: The Bluest Eye, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, Seven Guitars and Raisin in the Sun. She holds two Master’s Degrees in Oral Interpretation of Speech and Theatre Arts.

Stephen E. Hooper: Stephen has been working in theater as an actor, director and producer for nearly 35 years. Favorite stage roles include Col. Jessup in A Few Good Men (Peninsula Players); Juror #2 in Twelve Angry Men (Florida Rep); and Mittler in Dispatches From Hell (Alliance for the Arts). Steve most recently directed Repossessed at the Alliance for the Arts and is a proud member of Theatre Conspiracy Playwrights. Read here for all of Stephen’s credits and achievements.

The CHANGE Program (Communities Harnessing the Arts to Nurture and Grow Equity) provides performance opportunities and a platform to convene dialogue on social issues that challenge our community through creative, artistic expression. This project is supported in part by the Southwest Florida Community Foundation and the Florida Humanities Council. For more information on this program, visit ArtInLee.org/CHANGE.

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‘Guys & Dolls’ on Broadway Palm main stage through March 30 (02-22-19)

Guys and Dolls is on the Broadway Palm main stage now through March 30.

The story revolves around Nathan Detroit, the ultimate gambling man and operator of “the world’s largest floating crap game.” He spends his days staying one step ahead of New York’s finest and evading marriage to his chorus girl fiancée of 14 years. Things really heat up when dashing, big time gambler Sky Masterson meets up with a refined Salvation Army girl Miss Sarah Brown. Masterson, who’ll bet on anything, gets talked into what appears to be an unwinnable bet involving the girl, setting up an unpredictable chain of hilarious events.

Guys and Dolls features one of the best musical scores in American theatre history with hits that include “Luck Be A Lady,” “I’ve Never Been In Love Before,” “Sue Me,” “A Bushel And A Peck” and more! The musical is the winner of eight Tony Awards, a New York Drama Critics Circle Award and a Grammy for Best Cast Album.

Performances are Tuesday through Sunday evenings with selected matinees. Tickets are $45 to $70 with group prices available. Tickets are now on sale and can be reserved by calling (239) 278-4422, visiting BroadwayPalm.com or in person at 1380 Colonial Boulevard in Fort Myers.

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Off Broadway Palm’s ‘MID LIFE 2’ closes tomorrow (02-22-19)

Off Broadway Palm’s ever-hysterical follow-up to Mid-Life The Crisis Musical – MID LIFE 2! #WhatDidIComeInHereFor? closes tomorrow, February 23. 

This uproariously funny comedy takes us back into middle age once again with a hilariously tuneful look at the aches, pains, and joys of getting older. From ever-increasing trips to the doctor’s office, to the horrifying moment when one qualifies for a senior discount, Baby Boomers and beyond are sure to see their lives reflected in this brand new, witty musical revue. If you bought some Gingko-Biloba, but can’t remember where you put it – then you’re ready for MID-LIFE 2! (The Crisis Continues).

For tickets, please call the box office as at 239-278-4422.

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‘Chicago’ opens at Cultural Park Theater on March 1 (02-22-19)

Few shows come with more anticipation or fanfare than Chicago. With still-timely songs and libretto, groundbreaking choreography that pays homage to the great Bob Fosse, and a couple of powerful female leads who can both sing and dance, the musical has it all. It’s no wonder that the six-time Emmy winner is the longest running American musical in Broadway history. (In fact, only Phantom of the Opera has had a longer run.) And now it’s being produced by Cultural Park Theater. Three-time Marquee Award Best Director (Sister Act, Boeing Boeing, Peter Pan) Gerrie Benzing directs.

The musical is based on true, headline-grabbing murders and their corresponding trials that took place in Chicago in the 1920s. One murderous thread follows an aspiring vaudevillian by the name of Roxie Hart (played by Lisa Kuchinski), who is arrested for murdering her extramarital lover. The other focuses on Velma Kelly (starring Angela Pierre), a night club entertainer and double-murderess that Roxie meets in jail. Unaccustomed to sharing the spotlight with anyone, Velma does not take well to being upstaged by the spoiled, self-absorbed newcomer. Simmering emotion boils over when the feisty vixens fight for the spotlight after hiring the same headline-grabbing opportunist criminal defense attorney, Billy Flynn (portrayed by A.J. Ford).

Read here for the rest of this advance.

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Three time Marquee Award Best Director Gerrie Benzing directing ‘Chicago’ (02-22-19)

It only makes sense for a three time Marquee Award Best Director to direct a six time Emmy winner in the guise of Chicago. Gerri has directed five mainstage productions at Cultural Park Theater, including Sister Act in 2018 (for which she won a Cultural Park Theatre Best Director Marquee Award), Boeing, Boeing in 2016 (for which she won as Cultural Park Theatre Best Director Marquee Award) and Peter Pan (for which she garnered a Cultural Park Best Director of a Musical Marquee Award in 2014).

For the skinny on all of Gerrie’s acting, directing and other accomplishments, see here.

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Lisa Kuchinski to reprise role of Roxie Hart in Cultural Park’s ‘Chicago’ (02-22-19)

Lisa Kuchinski’s star is ascendant. In just the last five months, she’s risen from serving drinks to Rachel Burttram and Brendan Powers in Repossessed and the kiss-my-foot Oxidol girl in Irving Berlin’s White Christmas to next-in-command in Marian, or the True Tale of Robin Hood. But her best is yet to come when Lisa reprises the role of foxy Roxie Hart in Cultural Park’s production of Chicago.

Read here to see all of Lisa’s acting credits and achievements.

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Ninety years later, ‘Machinal’ still resonates with female viewers (02-22-19)

FGCU TheatreLab will perform Sophie Treadwell’s Machinal at 7:30 p.m. on February 22 & 23 and at 2:00 p.m. on February 23 & 24.

The dark and dire Expressionist drama features a talk-back following the February 23 matinee.

“The play was inspired by a murder,” divulges Assistant Professor of Theatre Dan Bacalzo, who directs the play. “When Sophie Treadwell premiered it on Broadway in 1928, the nation was still talking about the trial, held just the previous year. Audience members entered the theatre knowing that’s what it was about. It was no so much a ‘whodunnit’ as a ‘why was it done.’”

It’s not a true crime story. Treadwell changed the names and other identifying details to protect the innocent … and the guilty. But in her estimation, the murder itself was the least important detail for purposes of the message she wanted to convey.

“Instead, the playwright wants you to focus on the young woman at the heart of the tale,” continues Bacalzo.

“Her name, we eventually find out, is Helen. There is nothing extraordinary about her. And she faces life choices that are typical of women of the 1920s – the era in which the play was written and takes place. Helen follows the path that seems laid out in front of her – to a point.”

But from her standpoint, the young woman feels that she’s compelled to submit to a life that’s predetermined, as if she is merely a cog in a machine that can only fulfill one purpose.

You’ll find the rest of this review here.

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Subtle line speaks volumes about ‘Machinal’ director, actor and psychodrama (02-22-19)

This weekend, Machinal will be on stage in the FGCU TheatreLab. Written in 1927 and debuting a year later on Broadway, the play is eerily relevant today to women struggling under the yoke of a host of intractable #metoo, #time’s up, LGBTQ and gender inequality issues. Living in a patriarchal, male-dominated society is enough to drive a woman crazy. This is precisely what happens to the protagonist in Machinal, a young lady by the name of Helen.

Playwright Sophie Treadwell doesn’t give us much backstory about Helen’s early life or upbringing, but it’s clear that her mother has drummed societal expectations and strictures into her daughter with the iron fist of a drill sergeant. Apparently Helen has passed the age at which most girls marry and start families, and mom’s anxious to get her daughter married off, even if her daughter finds her suitor repugnant, sexually and otherwise.

Helen is being pursued by her boss. He paws her during dictation. Dictation takes place behind closed doors. Her co-workers know the boss’ dirty little secret. They talk openly among themselves about Helen and the workplace seduction unfolding behind closed doors. Helen tries to talk to her mother about the situation. She’s hoping that mom will tell her to quit her job and find another. But all mom can see is that Helen’s not getting any younger and the boss has the ability to support not only Helen, but her too. Mom didn’t marry for love, so why should her daughter? Life’s about having a place to live, food on the table, and clothes on your back.

Read here for more.

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Register, make plans now for Ghostbird’s 24-hour festival March 2-3 (02-20-19)

Ghostbird Theatre Company alights at the Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center on Sunday, March 3 for its annual 24-Hour Festival.

The day before, visual artists, filmmakers, theatre artists, dancers, musicians and poets will convene at the Davis Art Center. After receiving prompts from Barry Cavin, they’ll race against the clock to create unique works that will be screened and performed in the grand atrium beginning at 7:00 p.m., with cash awards of $500 being given to best visual artwork, best video, best live performance and best musical performance.

Artists of all types and ages are invited to participate. No one knows how creative you can be in 24 hours, but you’ll have so much fun trying that you won’t even feel the sleep deprivation. Best of all, this is a free event to celebrate creativity in our community!

Artists must register to participate through Ghostbird’s on-line registration process–all guidelines are posted there. “If you’re daring and willing, we encourage you to register,” touts Ghostbird co-founder Jim Brock in an email announcing the event. “Available slots are limited, so sign up now!”

Doors open at 6:30 with a cash bar.

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More about Ghostbird co-founder and playwright Barry Cavin (02-22-19)

Ghostbird Theatre Company’s 24-Hour Festival takes place next weekend at the Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center. The craziness starts on March 2, when Ghostbird co-founder, FGCU Theatre Professor and playwright Barry Cavin provides prompts to a group consisting of visual artists, filmmakers, thespians, dancers, musicians and poets. They’ll then have just 24 hours (1,440 minutes) to create unique works that will be screened and performed in the grand atrium beginning at 7:00 p.m., with cash awards of $500 being given to best visual artwork, best video, best live performance and best musical performance.

Knowing Barry Cavin and his body of work, the prompts are likely to be inventive, challenging and somewhat esoteric, which means that both participants and viewers are in for a treat. Anything can and is likely to happen.

Over the course of his career, Barry has designed and directed more than 40 fully-produced plays. More than a dozen of these have been staged at FGCU, where TheatreLab audiences will recall The Mansion at Hangman’s Bog (a wild and hilarious comedy that opened on February 19, 2016), Wooden Mouth and The Living Blog: Apocalypse.

For Ghostbird, Cavin’s latest plays include Boxes Are for What We Keep (performed at the Happehatchee Center in Estero), Windowstories (performed in the storefront window of The Franklin Shops on First), Ibb and Writing Shadows (performed in the historic Langford-Kingston Home), No. 27 (a collaboration with Ghostbird co-founder and talented actor Katelyn Gravel that the theater group performed at Shangri-La Gardens in Bonita Springs), two tropes about Dr. Cyrus Teed (ORBS! and The Perfect Island of Dr. Teed, both performed at Koreshan State Park).

From the chair, Barry’s directing credits extend to a full spectrum of classic and contemporary plays, including The Tempest, Agamemnon, Beyond Therapy, Exit the King, No Exit, Psychosis 4.48, Three Sisters and Woyzeck. He also directs student work. Paler Than Grass and Orphan Bunko are two of these.

In both his capacity as a theatre professor and as a playwright, Cavin seeks to build an interest in the lively art of theatre.

“I like to think of myself as an artist who uses theatre as a medium,” says Cavin. “I draw upon my training as a director, my experience as a designer, and my passion as an actor to render works for the stage that are unique in vision but effectively serve the story passed on by the playwright. Most importantly, I appreciate the role of the audience as co-creators in our temporal magic. Without the audience, my work in the theatre is pointless. I embrace Artaud’s challenge: ‘We are not free. And the sky can still fall on our heads. And the theater has been created to teach us that first of all.’ Horace too guides my understanding of the purpose of theatre. He believed that the audience should be treated to profit and to delight. That is the simple aim of every theatre work I create.”

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Mitch Albom’s ‘And the Winner Is’ makes SWFL premier at Lab Theater (02-22-19)

Mitch Albom’s And the Winner Is … mades its Southwest Florida premier at Laboratory Theater of Florida on Thursday, February 21. The production furthers The Lab’s tradition of bringing fresh and edgy theater to the Southwest Florida.

The play revolves around an egomaniacal actor by the name of Tyler Johnes. He’s been nominated as Best Supporting Actor and wants to get to the Dolby Theatre to accept his Oscar he can’t help but win. There’s just one tiny little glitch. He’s stuck in a seedy Irish pub where things are not quite right and Seamus the bartender isn’t helping matters either. While Tyler continues to try to make it onto the red carpet, he is interrupted by a host of unusual visitors. The situation spirals out of control from there.

“Mitch Albom’s And the Winner Is… is a hilarious comedy that is sure to arouse, not only some belly laughs, but some spiritual and philosophical introspection, as well,” promises Director Carmen Crussard. “When an actor, Tyler Johnes (played by TJ Albertson) dies the night before the Oscars, an event that he has worked toward for his entire career and forsaken everything in order to achieve, he is forced to re-evaluate the things that really matter in life. This is the best kind of comedy: one that lets us laugh at ourselves while also making us think about our own paths. Also: Strippers.”

Read the rest of this advance here.

 

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Spotlight on ‘And the Winner Is’ actor Danielle Channell (02-22-19)

Danielle Channell is a talented comedic actor living and working in Southwest Florida. She is currently appearing at Lab Theater in the Florida premier of Mitch Albom’s And the Winner Is! Past credits include the role of producer Julia Budder in It’s Only a Play, Broadway producer Elsa Von Grossenkneuten in The Musical Comedy Murders of the 1940s and the beautiful, charming and talented Meg McGrath in Beth Henley’s Southern Gothic tragi-comedy, Crimes of the Heart.

Read here for the rest of Danielle’s profile.

 

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Spotlight on “And the Winner Is’ actor Dave Yudowitz (02-22-19)

Dave Youdowitz is a local actor who has appeared in numerous local productions including Mitch Albom’s And the Winner Is, David Yaverbaum’s An Act of God (Dave played the archangel Michael), 55 and Over (where he played Moe, a cantankerous 75-year-old who gets evicted from his apartment because he opts to buy groceries and his expensive heart medication in lieu of paying rent), The Diary of Anne Frank, 2014’s summer stock hit, Standing on Ceremony: The Gay Marriage Plays (in which he rendered a riveting and touching eulogy for his recently-deceased gay partner of many years in a vignette titled London Mosquitoes) ….

You’ll find the rest of Dave’s profile here.

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Spotlight on ‘And the Winner Is’ actor Todd Lyman (02-22-19)

Todd Lyman is an actor who is presently appearing in Lab Theater’s production of Mitch Albom’s And the Winner Is. Previous credits include theater critic Ira Drew in Terrence McNally’s It’s Only a Play (which marked Todd’s Lab Theater debut), Bud Frump in How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, Enoch Snow in Carousel, Hysterium in A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum and Ivan in Anton Chekhov’s The Marriage Proposal.

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Lab to give staged reading to Robert Hilliard’s ‘The Politician’ (02-22-19)

On February 25, the Laboratory Theater of Florida will hold a staged reading of The Politician, a new work from Robert Hilliard.

In this one-act satirical fantasy an egotistical, abrasive American entrepreneur makes a deal with officials of a foreign power to which he owes billions of dollars. The foreign officials propose cancellation of the debt if he runs for and becomes President, expecting that his dictatorial personality and behavior will alienate America’s allies and destroy America’s standing and credibility in the world. What happens when the theater troupe putting on the play finds it increasingly unbelievable?

A Purple Heart World War II veteran, Robert Hilliard has been a member of Actors Equity Association, a theater director, scene designer, and New York drama critic. He is the author of over 35 books and 20 plays. Some of his plays have been seen at Southwest Florida theaters, including Laboratory Theater.

The Politician is presented as a one night staged reading at 7:00 p.m. on February 25. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.

Read here for more on Lab’s staged readings.

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New Phoenix holding ‘Shadow Box’ auditions on February 23 & 24 (02-22-19)

New Phoenix Theatre is holding auditions for its upcoming production of The Shadow Box by Michael Cristofer. The auditions will takes place from 3:30-6:00 p.m. on Saturday, February 23 and 3:30-6:00 p.m. on Sunday, February 24.

In this compelling dramatic triptych, three terminal cancer patients dwell in separate cottages on a hospital’s grounds. The three are attended and visited by family and close friends. First, there’s Agnes and her mother Felicity, who are estranged further by the latter’s dementia. Next are Brian and Beverly, whose marital complications are exacerbated by Brian’s new lover, Mark. And finally, there’s Joe and Maggie, unready for the strain of Joe’s impending death and its effect on their teenage son.

New Phoenix is casting for the following roles:

COTTAGE ONE:

  • JOE – 40’s – 50’s
  • MAGGIE – 40’s – 50’s
  • STEVE – 14 – 16

COTTAGE TWO:

  • BRIAN – 50’s 60’s
  • MARK – late 30’s early 40’s
  • BEVERLY – 50’s – 60’s

COTTAGE THREE:

  • FELICITY- 70’s – 80’s
  • AGNES – 40’s

INTERVIEWER – (Not seen onstage) Strong speaking voice

New Phoenix Theatre, 13211 McGregor Boulevard, #1-2, Fort Myers, FL 33919. There is no need to bring a prepared monologue or other materials as auditioning actors will be reading from the script.

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‘Joe Turner’s Come and Gone’ opens March 1 at Alliance (02-22-19)

Next up at the Alliance for the Arts is August Wilson’s Joe Turner’s Come and Gone. It is reputed to be the most spellbinding and emotionally rich of Wilson’s Cycle Series. It’s also the third Cycle play to be produced by Theatre Conspiracy, following Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom and last season’s Seven Guitars. Follow these links for more on this show:

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Francis, Hardcastle, Garnett and Kimball star in TNP’s ‘Marjorie Prime’ (02-22-19)

On stage at The Naples Players through March 3 is Jordan Harrison’s Marjorie Prime. Clever and captivating, this Pulitzer Prize-winning play explores the mysteries of human identity and the limits – if any – of what technology can replace.

In the future, the inevitable pain of losing a loved one is mitigated through a prime of artificial intelligence. As 85-year-old Marjorie loses the ability to recall memories at will, her daughter and son-in-law provide her with a “prime.” Among the questions the play poses is the connection between memory and family dynamics.

But what about you? If given the chance, what would you choose to remember and what would you choose to forget? And if technology offered you the chance to speak with your lost loved ones, would you take it?

TNP Executive Artistic Director Bryce Anderson directs a cast that features Kay Francis as Marjorie, Kenneth Hardcastle as her husband, Walter, Debi Garnett (Kalamazoo) plays her daughter, Tess, with Kevin Kimball in the role of Tess’ husband, Jon.

Sponsored by Naples Audiology, the creative team for this production includes Scenic Design by Alyssa LeBlanc, Sound Design by Bradley Van Houten, Lighting Design by Chris Riley, Sound Design by Bradley Van Houten, Costume Design by Dot Auchmoody and Stage Management by Kenzie Currie.

Marjorie Prime runs March 3 in the Tobye Studio Theatre at The Naples Players at Sugden Theatre, 701 5th Avenue South in Naples. Tickets are $40 and are available for purchase online at www.NaplesPlayers.org or by contacting the Box Office at (239) 263-7990.

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More on TNP’s ‘Marjorie Prime’ (02-22-19)

The Naples Players’ production of Pulitzer Prize-finalist Marjorie Prime portrays a family grappling with the difference between a life lived and a life remembered as 85-year-old Marjorie struggles to keep a grasp on her memories and identity – assisted gently by an artificial version of her late husband, Walter. An exploration of aging, memory and technology, Marjorie Prime peers into what lies ahead and how our past is rewritten to face today.

Marjorie Prime is directed by Naples Players Executive Artistic Director Bryce Alexander. The TNP production features Kay Francis as Marjorie. Kenneth Hardcastle plays her husband, Walter. Debi Garnett (Kalamazoo) is her daughter Tess and Kevin Kimball is Tess’ husband, Jon.

Marjorie Prime runs through March 3, 2019 in the Tobye Studio Theatre at The Naples Players at Sugden Theatre, located at 701 5th Avenue South in Naples.

Talk Backs will be held after every Sunday performance. Tickets are $40 and are available for purchase online at www.NaplesPlayers.org or by contacting the Box Office at (239) 263-7990.

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‘Marjorie Prime’ postulates digital replicas and artificial intelligence (02-22-19)

Marjorie Prime is on stage at The Naples Players at Sugden Theatre through March 3. The play was written by Jordan Harrison. The New York Times hails Marjorie Prime as “elegant, thoughtful and quietly unsettling.”

The play was a Pulitzer Prize finalist in 2015. It premiered at the Mark Taper Forum and had its New York premiere at Playwrights Horizons. A 2017 film adaptation, directed by Michael Almereyda, starred actors Lois Smith, Geena Davis, Tim Robbins and Jon Hamm.

Marjorie Prime challenges the traditional ideals of family by considering how a digital replica may or may not be embraced or loved. It’s a fascinating and exciting production.” shares Naples Players Executive Artistic Director Bryce Alexander (photos 2 & 3). “The concept of artificial intelligence is developing every day while our identities are being linked more and more to technology. What if that trend continues beyond our lifetimes?”

Both the play and movie received considerable critical acclaim. However, judge for yourself. Marjorie Prime runs February 6 – March 3, 2019 in the Tobye Studio Theatre at The Naples Players Sugden Theatre.

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Vanagas, Coccari and Campbell headlining TNP’s ‘Midsummer Night’s Dream’ (02-22-19)

Mark Vanagas, Alisa Marie Coccari and Titania Kylie Campbell headline the cast of The Naples Players’ ongoing production of William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Directed by John McKerrow, A Midsummer Night’s Dream is being performed free on the Baker Stage as part of TNP’s continuing effort to provide accessible Shakespeare to the community. Audience members are invited to bring lawn chairs and picnics to enjoy Shakespeare under the trees and stars in the Sugden Plaza. The show will run Saturdays at 2:00 p.m. and Sundays at 6:00 in the evening now until March 10, 2019.

Shakespeare wrote A Midsummer Night’s Dream in 1595-1596. It is the mischievous and light comedy consisting of four plots, interconnected by the wedding celebration of Theseus, the Duke of Athens, and the Amazon Queen, Hippolyta. The classic story is about order and chaos, reality and appearance, and love and marriage.

In modern tradition, the cast of ten actors will play multiple roles:

  • Mark Vanagas as Thesus and Oberon
  • Alisa Marie Coccari as Hipployta and Titania
  • Kylie Campbell as Puck, Egeus, Snout and Moon
  • Kacey Canas plays Hermia
  • Jennifer Valiente is Helena and Mustardseed
  • Zachary Pachol is Lysander
  • Brandon Kade Somers plays Demetrius, Snug and Lion
  • David Whalley is Bottom and Pyramus
  • Robert Ball is Peter Quince, Prologue, Wall and Cobweb
  • Shelley Gothard plays Flute, Thisbe and Peaseblossom.

A Midsummer Night’s Dream is one of Shakespeare’s most popular and most performed plays, because people still like to laugh and love is as a fickle and unexplainable as it has always been,” observes Director John McKerrow. “I love that we are bringing Shakespeare to our community on our outdoor stage. We are enlightening our audiences on how fun, timeless, and entertaining Shakespeare’s plays can be. Our goal, as I believe was Shakespeare’s goal, is to entertain and allow our audience to laugh.”

McKerrow’s passion for Shakespeare runs deep. Most recently, McKerrow was seen on the Naples Players stage as John Barrymore in I Hate Hamlet, and he has taught Acting and the Shakespeare class for The Naples Players’ adult education program, Shakespeare in Paradise’s youth program, Opera Naples and for the Bonita Arts Center.

John is the founder of Shakespeare in Paradise offering private coaching to area students. John’s directing credits include Macbeth, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Twelfth Night, and The Tempest. His acting credits include Petruccio in The Taming of The Shrew, Benedick in Much Ado about Nothing, Macbeth, Demetrius in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and Richard in Lion in Winter. John studied acting and Shakespeare at HB Studios in Manhattan with Edward Morehouse. He worked off-Broadway, on tour in regional theatre, in national commercials with recent television appearances in Bloodline with Sissy Spacek and Ballers with Dwayne Johnson.

A Midsummer’s Night Dream is sponsored by Neapolitan Family Magazine. The production’s Scenic Designer is Mike Santos with assistance by Megan Macker. Costume Design is by Mark Vanagas, Lighting Design by Chris Riley, and Sound Design by Bradley Van Houten and Grey Conderman. Lisa Nuccio will serve as Stage Manager.

As the show is free to the public, no ticket reservations are required to attend. But audience members are encouraged to arrive early with lawn chairs and picnic blankets.

Now celebrating its 65th season, The Naples Players Sugden Community Theatre is Naples’ oldest theater and is a vital part of the exciting experience of Downtown Naples. The Naples Players continually seeks to enrich, educate, and entertain the community through a superior theater experience. TNP is inspiring passion for the performing arts through life-long opportunities to participate in vibrant theatrical experiences.

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Dawn and Charles Fornara leading ‘Guys & Dolls’ musical direction (02-22-19)

Guys & Dolls opens in Blackburn Hall at The Naples Players Sugden Theatre on March 6. And leading the choreography and musical direction is the creative team of Dawn Lebrecht Fornara (directing & choreography) and Charles Fornara (musical direction). This is the same artistic duet that led the creative and musical direction behind TNP’s sell-out productions, Chicago and Irving Berlin’s White Christmas.

Interestingly, it was Guys & Dolls that brought Charlie and Dawn together for the first time fifteen years ago. Now, they are poised to re-live those moments, but as a married couple.

Guys & Dolls is a classic American musical featuring some of Frank Loesser’s most memorable tunes, including the hilarious “Adelaide’s Lament,” the romantic “I’ve Never Been in Love Before,” the exuberant “If I Were a Bell,” and the classic “Luck Be a Lady.” Involving the unlikeliest of Manhattan pairings, Guys & Dolls follows the story of a high-rolling gambler and a puritanical missionary, a showgirl dreaming of the straight-and-narrow and a crap game manager who is anything but.

Guys & Dolls takes us from bustle of Times Square to the dance clubs of Havana to the sewers of New York City as it demonstrates the great lengths to which a guy will go when he truly falls in love with a “doll”.

Stage Management is by Cole Butcher and Jules Branche and Amy Tran are the Assistant Stage Managers. Guys & Dolls is produced with Scenic Design by Mike Santos, Lighting Design by Craig Walck and Chris Riley, Sound Design by Bradley Van Houten, and Costume Design by Dot Auchmoody.

Guys & Dolls runs March 6 – April 7, 2019. Tickets are $45 and are available for purchase online at www.NaplesPlayers.org or by contacting the Box Office at (239) 263-7990.

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Amy and Jesse Hughes headline ‘Guys & Dolls’ cast (02-22-19)

Guys & Dolls opens in Blackburn Hall at The Naples Players Sugden Theatre on March 6. Amy Hughes and Jesse Hughes headline the large and talented cast of this masterful and unforgettable musical.

Amy and Jesse Hughes are remembered for notable performances as Marian and Harold Hill in TNP’s Music Man. In Guys & Dolls, the couple (who are married in real life) play Sarah Brown and Sky Masterson respectively.

TNP newcomer David Shaffer plays Nathan Detroit, with Jessica Walck (Sylvia, Chicago) portraying Miss Adelaide.

Reprising the successful and memorable TNP Guys & Dolls production from 15 years ago, Joseph Loiacono returns to perform again as Arvide Abernathy.

Jim Corsica is Nicely-Nicely Johnson. Bev Canell (oft referred to with the upmost admiration as “The General” within the walls of the Sugden Community Theatre) is reprising her unforgettable role as General Cartwright.

Completing the cast is Len Becker as Harry the Horse, Bob Patteri as Big Jule, Paul Lopresti as Lieutenant Brannigan, Jason Eugenides as Benny Southstreet, Evelyn Kasper as Agatha and Jack Weld as Rusty Charlie.

Ensemble members include Gaby Biagi, Mackenzie Black, Julia Cornwall, Sophia Costa, Adam Fasano, Frankie Federico, Jeremy Giovinazzo, Wiefta Jean, Kevin Kenneally, Elizabeth Marcantonio, Harry McCartney, Stephanie Nelson, Jack Norkeliunas, Ella Pflaumer, Thomas Richardson, Ryan Roberge, Logan Szittai, Sharon True, Perry Ventro, Lindsey Walsh and Elyse Yun.

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TNP hosting Ed Asner and his prostate for interactive talk-back on March 16 (02-22-19)

Seven time Emmy winner and television icon Ed Asner is starring in his new comedy stage-play, A Man and His Prostate, at Unity Church of Naples on Friday, March 15 and Saturday, March 16, 2019. Both performances of this comical and poignant show, which draws attention to men’s health, start at 7:00 p.m.

And at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, March 16, The Naples Players (TNP) will present a live audience talk-back with Asner in TNP’s Blackburn Hall.

Asner was last seen on the Broadway stage in Craig Wright’s tragicomedy, Grace, in which he co-starred with Paul Rudd. Asner is one of the most honored actors in television history, with 16 Emmy nominations, five Golden Globe Awards, and a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Screen Actors Guild. He is best known for his praised role as Lou Grant from The Mary Tyler Moore Show, and for voicing Carl Frederickson in the Pixar box-office smash UP (which won an Oscar for Best Animated Feature). He is also widely known for his television roles in Roots, Rich Man Poor Man, The Good Wife, Criminal Minds, Mom, The Crazy Ones, Chasing Life, and Men at Work.

Asner also starred in the blockbuster film Elf as Santa and All of My Heart. For the stage, he toured across the country in his one-man stage-play FDR based on the life and career of President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

A Man and His Prostate was created and written by award-winning Ed Weinberger, who has been showered with Emmys (9) and Golden Globes (3) and has earned a Peabody Award. Weinberger wrote for Bob Hope, The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson, The Dean Martin Comedy Hour, Taxi, and the Bill Cosby Show for eight seasons.

A Man and His Prostate is based on Ed Weinberger’s true-life experience while vacationing in Italy and being rushed to a hospital for prostate cancer surgery. Media critics have referred to the stage-play as a “hilarious” evening of entertainment. According to Weinberger, Asner was born to play this role of an old codger who won’t take any of life’s injustices sitting down, as he prepares for surgery.

 

Tickets for A Man and his Prostate, produced by Fubble Entertainment at Unity Church of Naples are $150 for VIP tickets (reserved seating and a meet-n-greet after the show) and $50 general admission for the 80-minute show. Tickets for the show are available online at https://www.unitynaples.org/project/edasner/

Tickets for The Naples Players’ 2:00 p.m. interactive talk-back and Q & A with Asner on Saturday, March 16th are $20 and available by contacting The Naples Players Box Office (239) 263-7990 or NaplesPlayers.org.

 

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