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Actors, artists, directors, filmmakers and events in the news October 1-7, 2021


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


1      ACTORS


Ruthgena Faraco playing the lead, Celie, in Lab’s production of ‘The Color Purple’

Ruthgena Faraco was brilliant in the role of Mary Warren in Arthur Miller’s The Crucible, but her performance in the lead (as Celie) in Lab Theater’s production of The Color Purple is nothing short of groundbreaking. Add powerful, resonating vocals to superb acting and commanding stage presence, and a star is born!

In addition to The Crucible and The Color Purple, Ruthgena played Molly Cunningham in Joe Turner’s Come and Gone (for Theatre Conspiracy at the Alliance), Lorraine in All Shook Up (Cultural Park Theatre) and Kala in Tarzan (for which she garnered a 2018 Cultural Park Theatre Marquee Awards nomination for Lead Actress in a Musical). Go here to see all of Ruthgena’s theatrical credits.



Tijuanna Clemons plays Doris in ‘Color Purple’

Tijuanna Clemons appears in the role of Doris in the Southwest Florida premiere of The Color Purple for Lab Theater. She has appeared previously as Diana Dahner in Steven Dietz’s Rancho Mirage, Bertha Holly in August Wilson’s Joe Turner’s Come and Gone and Louise in August Wilson’s Seven Guitars, and Ruby in August Wilson’s King Hedley II, all for Theatre Conspiracy at the Alliance for the Arts.



Cantrella Canady is Sofia in Lab Theatre’s ‘Color Purple’

Hell yes! Cantrella Canady is Sophia in The Color Purple and, as expected, she is stupendous in the role. But what you’ll especially appreciate in her portrayal is the uncanny ability to be both tough and vulnerable, brash then humbled, street smart yet politically naive. Her performance is another example of why I’d crawl a thousand miles on broken glass to see Cantrella Canady.

Canady was seen most recently in Bulletproof Backpack for Florida Repertory Theatre and at Lab Theater in David Mamet’s Race. She has an ambitious 2020-2021 schedule, with performances going forward in West Side Story for Florida Rep November 23-December 15), The Colored Museum for the Alliance for the Arts (January 8-22) and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time for Players Circle Theatre (February 16-March 6). Go here to access Canady’s full profile.



Kim Hardin is Shug Avery in Lab’s ‘The Color Purple’

The Color Purple plays for two more weeks at the Laboratory Theater of Florida. The production is denoted by tremendous vocals, terrific acting and an inspired story by Marsha Norman. It’s small wonder that the final two weekends are already sold out.

There are many stand-outs in the cast, including Kim Hardin who plays the part of Shug Avery. She is an absolute joy to watch. Her interactions with Celie anchor the plot and storyline. Her soulful duets with Ruthgena Faraco linger long after their final notes.

A native of Fort Myers, Hardin is a Christian music artist and has been an assistant choir director and teacher for the past 20 years. Kim was a finalist in the 2007 America’s Got Talent auditions and makes her Lab Theater debut in The Color Purple.



Cadrick Smith’s Harpo wins the audience’s favor and affection over the course of the play

Cadrick Smith plays the part of Harpo in Lab Theater’s production of The Color Purple. The role calls for Smith to be sensitive and buoyant, traits that are (mis)interpreted as effeminate in the male-dominated world in which Harpo struggles to fit in. Clever and an inveterate survivor, Harpo makes his own niche by opening a successful juke joint in the home he once shared with his wife, Sophia (brilliantly played by Cantrella Canady) after he tries to bend her to his will by beating her, taking a whipping at her hands instead. Smith negotiates his character’s emotional ups and downs, trials and tribulations, with aplomb , winning the audience’s favor and affection over the course of the play.

A native of Lee County, Cadrick has performed all across the country, including world-renowned Carnegie Hall. Cadrick comes to Lab Theater with an extensive background in performing arts and arts education. From teaching public school music and performing to music therapy, he remains an advocate for the arts and the progression of arts education in the community, school system, and around the world.



Robert Barner terrific in the role of Mister in Lab’s ‘Color Purple’

Robert Barner makes his theatrical debut as Mister in the Southwest Florida premiere of Marsha Norman’s The Color Purple, on stage now through October 2 at the Laboratory Theater of Florida. It’s a tough part even for a veteran actor. Physically and emotionally abusive, Mister only married to have someone cook, clean and look after his children (by multiple women) while he philanders, primarily with a lounge singer by the name of Shug Avery. But after both Shug and Celie leave him, Mister realizes how much he depended on them and how cruelly he acted toward Celie in particular, to whom he apologizes after finding religion toward the end of the story. Barner is terrific in the part, and the role won’t be his last at Lab. Robert is scheduled to appear in at least two more Laboratory Theater productions during the 2021-2022 season.



Julissa Jean-Bart is Nettie in Lab’s ‘Color Purple’

Julissa Jean-Bart appears in the role of Nettie in Lab Theater’s production of Marsha Norman’s The Color Purple. (She’s also in the ensemble. The role marks her Lab Theater debut, but she is no stranger to theater. As a Lehigh Senior High School alum, she started her musical theatre journey as a speed typist in George Hill’s Thoroughly Modern Millie. Ensuing roles included Rizzo in Grease and the lead in Aida. After completing Santa Fe College, Julissa continued her studies toward a career in medical services at Independence University online.



Jade Lashay Green plays Squeak for Lab in ‘The Color Purple’

Jade Lashay Green plays the part of Squeak for Lab Theater in The Color Purple. She enjoys some of the more memorable scenes in the show, which include bitch-slapping Cantrella Canady’s character, Sophia, and then being laid out by a wicked right cross – not to mention a saucy, flirtatious dance sequence in Harpo’s juke joint in which she sizzles. But audiences will remember her most for her fast-talking riffs and the sound she makes that gives rise to her character’s name.

Born in Alexandria, Louisiana, Jade started singing at age six in her grandfather’s church where she was known as “the little girl with the big voice.” She graduated from Riverdale in 2007 and then had the privilege of singing with the “The Young Americans.” After high school, she was accepted into the music program at Full Sail University. Currently, you can find her singing live all over Lee County.



Hoyt Goodine plays Grady for Lab in ‘Color Purple’

The Color Purple plays for two more weeks at the Laboratory Theater of Florida. The production is denoted by tremendous vocals, terrific acting and an inspired story by Marsha Norman. It’s small wonder that the final two weekends are already sold out.

Hoyt Goodine plays the part of Grady (and is in the ensemble, as well). Born and raised in Toledo, Ohio, Hoyt was active in drama club and did many plays in high school. Last year, you may have seen him in The Full Monty at the New Phoenix Theater, where his lawnmower dance moves took on legendary proportions. Hoyt wants the ladies to know that he is “currently single and dangerously good looking from certain angles.” We’ll be looking forward to seeing the modest-to-a-fault Hoyt in more shows in the future.



David Anderson is Pa & Buster in Lab’s ‘The Color Purple’

David Anderson plays the dual roles of Pa and Buster in Lab Theater’s production of The Color Purple. The part marks his Lab Theater debut. David is native of Fort Myers, where he graduated from Dunbar High School. He was an American Idol audition finalist for the 2018 season and enjoys traveling, spending time with his family and friends. He currently works as a family support specialist at LSF and strives to be that light in a dark place for ANY CHILD.



Bill Shideler is the doctor in New Phoenix Theatre’s ‘Young Frankenstein’

Bill Shideler brilliantly portrays Victor Frankenstein’s grandson Frederick for New Phoenix Theatre in Young Frankenstein. He was last on the New Phoenix stage as trou-dropping Ethan Girard in the COVID-abbreviated production of The Full Monty. Bill has sung and danced his way around the world (as far away as Singapore) and onto the high seas (with Royal Caribbean and Scandinavian World Cruises) playing the title roles in Pippin, Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat and Jesus Christ Superstar.



Greg Wojciechowski goes from Max to Monster in ‘Young Frankenstein’

Greg Wojciechowski went from Max von Mayerling in Lab’s summer spoof Sunset Schmoulevard to the Monster in Young Frankenstein for New Phoenix Theatre. Greg’s other stage credits include Norman Thayer in On Golden Pond for Cultural Park Theater, Teddy Brewster in Arsenic and Old Lace, Ken Gorman in Rumors at New Phoenix Theatre, and Lady Bracknell in The Importance of Being Earnest for Cultural Park Theater.



Kenneth Bradley Johnson is Igor in ‘Young Frankenstein’

When New Phoenix patrons last saw Kenneth Bradley Johnson, he was reprising the role of Jerry Lukowski in The Full Monty. Now he’s on the New Phoenix stage in the role of deliriously happy hunchback Igor in Young Frankenstein, which runs through October 24. His local acting credits include the roles of editor Richard Ehrlich in Time Stands Still, Milford, Ivan and Oscar Saperstein in Topher Payne’s Let Nothing You Dismay, Phaedra (the enigma) in La Cage aux Folles for New Phoenix Theatre, Paster Greg in  Hand to God, Earl “Brother Boy” Ingram in Sordid Lives for Lab Theater and Noli Timeri (Don’t Be Afraid) for Theatre Conspiracy at the Alliance. Ken has also appeared at Florida Repertory Theatre, Broadway Palm Dinner Theatre and The Cape Playhouse. You can access Ken’s full theater resume here.



Tricia Hennessy is leggy lab assistant Inga in ‘Young Frankenstein’

Tricia Hennessy appears in the role of Inga in New Phoenix Theatre’s production of Young Frankenstein, playing through October 24. Hennessy has been in the dance and theatre world for the last 30 years. Over that span, Tricia has performed in numerous community and regional theater productions. In addition to acting, Tricia has choreographed three productions, served as an assistant director in another and performed in a number of operas. Go here to access all of Tricia’s theatrical and related credits.



Nikki Hagel plays Frankenstein fiancee Elizabeth Benning in ‘Young Frankenstein’

Nikki Hagel appears in the role of Frederick Frankenstein fiancee Elizabeth Benning in New Phoenix Theatre’s production of Young Frankenstein. A local business woman (she owns and operates Nerdy Knitz on Etsy), Nikki’s most recent stage credits include The Full Monty for New Phoenix Theatre, the memorable role of Magenta in New Phoenix Theatre’s production of Richard O’Brien’s Rocky Horror Show, Columbia and Eddie in the Rocky Horror Shadowcast and a Priscilla girl in Thoroughly Modern Millie.



Cindi Heimberg plays Frau Blucher for New Phoenix in ‘Young Frankenstein’

Cindi Heimberg plays the part of Frau Blucher for New Phoenix Theatre in Young Frankenstein. She is absolutely fierce in the role! Her other stage credits include the roles of  Ruby in Nancy Stetson’s Rest Stops of America, Artistic Director Zorah Bloch in New Phoenix Theatre’s production of Daniel Sullivan’s Inspecting Carol, the nursing home administrator in Marvin’s Room, La Cage Aux Folles at New Phoenix, Lavonda Dupree in Del Shores black comedy Sordid Lives, the neighbor in Whatever Happened to Baby Jane: A Parody of the HorrorPlay On!, zany psychic Helga ten Dorp in Deathtrap, along with parts in Rumors, Barefoot in the Park, Men are Dogs, Musical Comedy Murders of the 1940s, and Last of the Red-Hot Lovers.



Gerrie Benzing in the ensemble of ‘Young Frankenstein’

After tearing it up eighteen months ago in The Full Monty, Gerrie Benzing makes her triumphant return to the New Phoenix stage as, among other roles, a frightened villager in Young Frankenstein. A local stage and film actor, director, musical theatre instructor and the owner and creative director of, Benzing has appeared in more than 14 productions at Cultural Park Theater, three shows at Lab Theater and shows for a number of other Southwest Florida theater companies. Go here to see all of her stage and other credits.



Tracy Meier in ‘Young Frankenstein’ ensemble

Tracy Meier is a local actor who is currently performing in the ensemble of Young Frankenstein for New Phoenix Theatre. He previously portrayed Dr. Scott in Richard O’Brien’s Rocky Horror Show. Meier has also been featured in the inaugural seasons of Theatre Conspiracy at the Alliance for the Arts and FGCU’s TheatreLab. He was also a founding dancer with Gulfcoast Dance.



Bernardo Santana plays Bernard for TNP in ‘Boeing Boeing’

Bernardo Santana plays Bernard for TNP in Boeing Boeing. You know the type. Swarthy, debonair, smooth as a silky cabernet. It would be a mistake to label him a rake. Bernard is the penultimate charmer, possessed of the uncommon and uncanny ability to make women feel prized, cherished and the most important person that he’d ever met. Santana plays the role with the class and panache of Disraeli, bringing to bear his formidable talent and experience in both theater and film. This is Santana’s seventh show for TNP. Surely, it won’t be his last. Go here to see a fuller summary of his extensive resume.



Luke Lauchle plays Robert for TNP in ‘Boeing Boeing’

In Boeing Boeing, the character of Robert cannot believe his good fortune when he drops by to visit his friend Bernard, who is engaged to three airline beauties and ends up helping Bernard keep them from running into each other after a storms grounds their flights at the same time in gay Paris. Lauchle is a recent graduate of Wells College, where he majored in both theater and film. In addition to Boeing Boeing, Luke’s stage credits include the roles of William Barfee in The 25 Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Hans in We Will Not Be Silent, Jimmy in Incendiary Agents and Riff Raff and the Narrator in The Rocky Horror Show (which he also co-directed). Go here to see all of Luke’s stage and related credits.



Emilie Baartman plays TWA stewardess Gloria in Naples Players’ ‘Boeing Boeing’

Emilie Baartman appears in the role of TWA airline stewardess (they were still called that back in the 1960s) Gloria in Boeing Boeing for The Naples Players. A Naples actor, singer, dancer and costume designer, Emilie impressed as Pam Lukowski in The Full Monty for New Phoenix Theatre in March of 2020. Go here to see all of her theatrical credits:…/baartman-emilie/emilie-baartman.



Erica Jones plays the part of Gabriella for TNP in ‘Boeing Boeing’

Erica Jones plays the part of Alitalia flight attendant Gabriella for The Naples Players in Boeing Boeing. She’s terrific in the role of Bernard’s strong, smart, fiery-bordering-on-mercurial Italian fiancee, giving the audience a rooting interest for which of the three ladies are able to tame the flame of the philandering Casanova played by Bernardo Santana. The role marks Erica’s TNP debut. She has recently returned to Naples from Ohio, where she was an active member of Improve Cincinnati.



Sarah Deleonibus is blond bombshell Gretchen in ‘Boeing Boeing’

Sarah Deleonibus plays the part of blond bombshell Lufthansa flight attendant Gretchen in TNP’s production of Boeing Boeing. Sarah studied with the Maryland Ensemble Theatre as well as with Charles Johnson and has been recognized at state and national levels for her International Thespian Society performances. Boeing Boeing represents Sarah’s return to the stage after a three year hiatus to complete her Bachelor’s degree in Marketing at FGCU.



Pamela Austin plays the part of Berthe for TNP in ‘Boeing Boeing’

In Boeing Boeing, Pamela Austin plays the part of Berthe, the longsuffering housekeeper who is tasked with helping her employer, a rich European architect, juggle the schedules of his three fiancees, who work as flight attendants for TWA, Air Alitalia and Lufthansa. A SAG-AFTRA member who trained at the Neighborhood Playhouse School of Theatre in New York City, Pamela built her resume working various summer stock theaters throughout New England, adding screen and television credits from Boston to L.A. Pamela was recently seen at TNP as Williamina Fleming in Silent Sky and Monette Gentry in Always a Bridesmaid.




Harvey Evans lands lead in Les Miserables for Melody Lane Theatre

Harvey Evans will play the lead for Director Dana Alvarez when Melody Lane Theatre brings Les Miserables to the stage. Evans is a young Southwest Florida actor whose stage credits include Christopher Boone in The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time for Players Circle Theatre, Quasimodo in The Hunchback of Notre Dame for the Alliance Youth Theatre, the Scarecrow in The Wizard of Oz and Jem in To Kill a Mockingbird for Florida Repertory Theatre. As a theatre major at North Fort Myers High School, he also performed as Robert in Boeing Boeing and Billy Lawlor in 42nd Street.



Rachael Endrizzi plays Barbara in Off Broadway Palm’s ‘Social Security’

Rachael Endrizzi is an Off Broadway Palm stalwart. She’s on stage in the role of Barbara now through November 6 in Social Security, a hilarious comedy is about a happily married couple whose idyllic Manhattan art world existence is upended when Barb’s goody-two-shoes sister, uptight brother-in-law and aging mom arrive for a visit. Rachael’s extensive acting resume includes both theater and film, and Broadway Palm patrons will recall her as Bridget in Nana Does Vegas and Anna in ‘Til Death Do Us Part. Go here for the rest of her stage and other credits.



Follow Dave Yudowitz down the ‘White Rabbit Red Rabbit’ hole

Dave Yudowitz will open the Southwest Florida premiere of White Rabbit Red Rabbit at 8:00 p.m. on Thursday, October 14 at the Laboratory Theater of Florida. David 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 and 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. Go here for more.



Follow Eric Raddatz down the ‘White Rabbit Red Rabbit’ hole

Follow Fort Myers Film Festival founder Eric Raddatz down the White Rabbit Red Rabbit hole at Lab Theater at 8:00 p.m. on Friday, October 15. Raddatz is a multi award-winning presentation editor for Florida Weekly, the largest circulating newsweekly in Southwest Florida. But he is perhaps better known locally as the founder and motivating force behind the Fort Myers Film Festival, now in its 12th season. With television, film and theatrical experience – including hosting T.G.I.M. each season – he is no stranger to acting or the creative process. So it should be fun following Eric down the White Rabbit Red Rabbit hole. Go here for more on the irreverently talented Eric Raddatz.



Follow Randall Kenneth Jones down the ‘White Rabbit Red Rabbit’ hole

Follow Randall Kenneth Jones down the White Rabbit Red Rabbit hole at Lab Theater at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, October 16. Highly intelligent, deeply introspective and ridiculously well-connected, Jones made quite the splash in the gender-bending roles of femme fatale Cousin Miriam in Hush Up Sweet Charlotte and Baby Jane Hudson in Whatever Happened to Baby Jane: A Parody of the Horror, both produced by Laboratory Theater. Besides Miriam and Baby Jane, his favorite stage roles include The Monster in Young Frankenstein, Professor Callahan in Legally Blonde, Roger DeBris in The Producers and Bottom in A Midsummer Night’s DreamGo here for the rest of this announcement.



Follow Stephanie Davis down the ‘White Rabbit Red Rabbit’ hole

Follow Diva Diaries’ Stephanie Davis down the White Rabbit Red Rabbit hole at Lab Theater at 8:00 p.m. on Saturday, October 16. A consummate actor, Stephanie Davis has appeared on a variety of Southwest Florida stages over the past 30 years. She has worked with Theatre Conspiracy at the Alliance, Laboratory Theater of Florida and Florida Repertory Theatre, where she also served as Associate Director when the company was first founded. During her two-decade association with Theatre Conspiracy, she’s played Liz in Women in Jeopardy, L’il Bit in How I Learned to Drive, Lady Lillian Loveworthy in Love Loves a Pornographer, multiple roles in A.R. Gurney’s The Dining Room and Dottie in David Lindsay-Abaire’s Good PeopleGo here for the rest of his advance.



Follow Melanie Payne down the ‘White Rabbit Red Rabbit’ hole

Follow Melanie Payne down the White Rabbit Red Rabbit hole at Lab Theater at 2:00 p.m. on Sunday, October 17. Melanie Payne is best known in Southwest Florida as an investigative reporter with The News-Press/USA Today Network. In that capacity, she has exposed scams, corruption and bad deals, and she wrote the consumer column, Tell Mel, for more than a decade. Melanie has also published two nonfiction books and is a nationally-ranked Scrabble player. She is relatively new to the stage. The role of Tituba in Lab Theater’s production of Arthur Miller’s The Crucible was her first major part. Go here for the rest of this advance.



Follow P.J. McCready down the ‘White Rabbit Red Rabbit’ hole

Follow PJ McCready down the White Rabbit Red Rabbit hole at Lab Theater at 8:00 p.m. on Thursday, October 21. McCready is best known to Lab audiences as the one, the only, the incomparable Hedwig as in Hedwig and the Angry Inch. He is returning to his home town from Orlando and is celebrating his homecoming with the one-night-only extravaganza. So reserve your seats early if you want to follow PJ down the White Rabbit Red Rabbit hole. Go here for more.



Follow Lucy Sundby down the ‘White Rabbit Red Rabbit’ hole

Follow Lucy Sundby down the White Rabbit Red Rabbit hole at Lab Theater at 8:00 p.m. on Friday, October 22. Lab Theater audiences last saw Lucy asClaudia Louise (CL) in LabTV’s production of The Realish Housewives of Fort Myers. Other productions include “The Woman Who Loved to Make Vaginas Happy” in The Vagina Monologues, Lenny in Crimes of the Heart and Nicky in Michele Lowe’s murderously funny tragi-comedy, The Smell of the Kill. A student of improv, Lucy has been performing and teaching improv since 2000. Find out more here.



Follow Sonya McCarter down the ‘White Rabbit Red Rabbit’ hole

Follow Sonya McCarter down the White Rabbit Red Rabbit hole at Lab Theater at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, October 23. Sonya is the director of The Color Purple, whose remaining run is completely sold out. Besides The Color Purple, McCarter’s directing credits include Lorraine Hansberry’s A Raisin in the Sun, August Wilson’s King Hedley IISeven Guitars and Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, Lydia Diamond’s The Bluest Eye and George C. Wolff’s The Colored Museum. Her acting credits include the part of Camae in Katori Hall’s Mountaintop, Louise Parker Neese in Steven Dietz’s Rancho Mirage, Corryn Fell in Gideon’s Knot and Ntozake Shange’s choreopoem For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Enuf. For more on Sonya and White Rabbit Red Rabbit, go here.



Shelley Sanders in gender-bending ‘Men on Boats’ at Alliance

The incomparable Shelley Sanders is one of ten female actors in the Alliance for the Arts’ upcoming production of Men on Boats. Theatre Conspiracy fans are still talking about her performances in a variety of roles in Ken Ludwig’s Baskerville: A Sherlock Holmes Mystery by Ken Ludwig, the lead in Marian, or the True Tale of Robin Hood (Theatre Conspiracy at the Alliance), Minka Lupino in Murderers and Marjorie Pinchwife in The Country Wife. Fans of the cult classic Rocky Horror Show applauded her performance as Columbia for New Phoenix Theatre. For all of Shelley’s stage and other credits, go here.



Anna Grilli in gender-bending ‘Men on Boats’ for Alliance

Anna Grilli is one of ten female actors in the talented cast assembled by Director Rachael Endrizzi and the Alliance for the Arts for Men on Boats. She is a Theatre Conspiracy fan favorite, having played Emma in The Role of Della (part of Auditions, Diners and Weddings), Ginny in 5 Lesbians Eating a Quiche, Much the Miller’s Son in Marian, or the True Tale of Robin Hood and Bianca in The Taming. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Anna also appeared in Ken Preuss’ Taking Sum Lumpsin the Alliance for the Arts’ The Best Seats in Your House video production. Please go here to see what else Anna has been in.



Holly Zammerilla in gender-bending ‘Men in Boats’ at Alliance

Alliance for the Arts patrons remember Holly as Tammie Sue in The Lives of Great Waitresses, one of three 0ne-act plays in the Alliance for the Arts 2021 production of Auditions, Diners and Weddings. Holly is a relative newcomer to the stage, having only made her stage debut in 2019 in Lab Theater’s Christmas Show Let Nothing You Dismay. Holly previously worked back stage at the Alliance as a quick change dresser for Baskerville: A Sherlock Holmes Mystery.



Kay O’Connell in ‘Men on Boats’ at the Alliance

Kay O’Connell is one of ten female actors in the talented cast assembled by Director Rachael Endrizzi and the Alliance for the Arts for Men on Boats. Kay has been working in theater for twenty years. Over that span, she had done everything from performing, stage management, set design and playwriting. She won the hearts of Alliance patrons as Renee Vein/Tracy in Vampire Lesbians of Sodom in 2020. Go here for more on Kay’s stage and other credits.



Carmen Crussard in ‘Men on Boats’ at the Alliance

Carmen Crussard is one of ten female actors in the talented cast assembled by Director Rachael Endrizzi and the Alliance for the Arts for Men on Boats. She dazzled audiences as Conchita in Anna in the Tropics and Pocahontas in SoDis TV’s filmed theatrical production of Disenchanted, A New Musical Comedy, but Men on Boats marks her Theatre Conspiracy debut. For more on Ms. Crussard, go here.



Kendra Weaver in Men on Boats for Alliance

Kendra Weaver is one of ten female actors in the talented cast assembled by Director Rachael Endrizzi and the Alliance for the Arts for Men on Boats. Kendra’s stage credits include the Vagina Monologues (Lab Theater, Season 10), stage manager Aggie Manville in Play On! (Lab Theater, Season 8), the Captain and a guard in Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night (Lab Theater, Season 7) and several characters (reporter, a Midwestern mother endorsing a conversion therapy camp (comedic) and a mother telling her daughter that she and her father are sending her to that camp (dramatic)) in the Rauschenberg Play Project (Lab Theater, Season 7). To see what else Kendra’s been in, please go here.



Stacy Stauffer in ‘Men on Boats’ for the Alliance

Stacy Stauffer is one of ten female actors in the talented cast assembled by Director Rachael Endrizzi and the Alliance for the Arts for Men on Boats. Stauffer is a talented character actor who lives and performs in Fort Myers. Her credits include Sarah Goodwin in New Phoenix Theatre’s production of Time Stands Still, Sheila in Joe Simonelli’s The Ghost in the Meadow (Cultural Park Theatre), Lab Theater’s world premiere production of Zalman Velvel’s DMV (various roles, including the mayor) and Bessie in Marvin’s Room. Please go here to see what else Stacy’s been in.



Madelaine Weymouth is ‘Nuts’ over role of Claudia Faith Draper

Madelaine Weymouth portrays Claudia Faith Draper for The Studio Players in Nuts, a divorcee turned high-class call girl who is charged with manslaughter after she kills a violent “john” in self-defense. When her mother and rich stepfather try to have her declared mentally incompetent to avoid a publicly embarrassing trial, Claudia launches a fierce battle to convince the court that she is sane. It’s a part for which Weymouth seems particularly suited in light of her performances as Vandy Jordan in Venus in Fur, Clarice Orsini in Botticelli in the Fire and Jolene in Darlyne Franklin’s short film Florida Couple. To see what else Weymouth has been in, please go here.



Tom Rex is Franklin MacMillan in ‘Nuts’

Tom Rex will play Franklin MacMillan for The Studio Players in Nuts. After training extensively with The Studio Players, Tom has gone on to play Schultz in The Studio Players’ production of Annie Baker’s Circle Mirror Transformation and Joe Foster in The Naples Players’ virtual performance of Becky’s New Car. Other credits include TNP’s Escanaba in da Moonlight, Don’t Talk to the Actors for The Studio Players and West Side Story for TNP’s Readers Theatre



Daniel Cancio is Aaron Levinsky in ‘Nuts’

Daniel Cancio will play the part of Aaron Levinsky for The Studio Players in Nuts. An FGCU theatre grad, Daniel Cancio is an emerging talent in the local theater scene. A fan favorite among Studio Players patrons, his post-graduate credits include The Waverly Gallery, Jerry in The Zoo Story, the bartender in Speed Dating, the owl in Where is Man?, Senator Charles Whitmore’s campaign aide in Church & State, and Jerry in Don’t Talk to the Actors. You will find the rest of Daniel’s stage credits here.



Paul Graffy portrays writer John D’Agata in ‘Lifespan of a Fact’ for Players Circle

Paul Graffy portrays writer John D’Agata in Lifespan of a Fact for Players Circle Theatre. D’Agata has penned an essay for a leading U.S. magazine, but it turns out that he made up much of the information contained in the piece. Graffy is at his absolute best when he plays the temperamental, self-righteous, officious type, as he did in The Dining Room, The Crucible (where Lab Theater patrons are still haunted by his narrowed, scathing, impatient eyes in the role of Judge Thomas Danforth) and The Best Man (where he played amoral, power-hungry Senator Joe Cantwell). But he’s equally adept at displaying an unexpected sentimental side. His depth and versatility explain why he is always in high demand.   Since 2001, Paul has appeared in more than 30 productions and directed over a dozen others at such theaters as The Naples Players, Artis Naples, TheatreZone, The Studio Players, The Naples Dinner Theater, the Laboratory Theater of Florida and, of course, The Players Circle.



Steven Coe plays factchecker Jim Fingal for Players Circle in ‘Lifespan of a Fact’

Steven Coe plays factchecker Jim Fingal for Players Circle in Lifespan of a Fact. Coe plays opposite Paul Graffy, who portrays writer John D’Agata. The two faced off in The Crucible, and to a lesser degree in How to Transcend a Happy Marriage. Coe originally cut his theatrical teeth doing comedy, but of recent he has wowed area audiences with such dramatic roles as Sandro Botticelli in Botticelli in the Fire, Thomas Novacheck in Venus in Fur and Andri in Andorra. He’s best at playing the put-upon, under-fire character who refuses to be anyone’s victim, so he seems perfectly suited to the role of Jim Fingal.



Carrie Lund plays publisher Emily Penrose in ‘Lifespan of a Fact’ for Players Circle

Carrie Lund plays publisher Emily Penrose in Lifespan of a Fact for Players Circle. Lund’s on-stage career spans more than 35 years. She has performed regionally in theaters in New York, Vermont, Pennsylvania and North Carolina. In Southwest Florida, Carrie has starred in more than 100 productions. As a member of the Actor’s Equity Association, she acted 451 weeks over 21 years. In Florida Rep’’ 19th season, she acted in the one-woman show Erma Bombeck, At Wit’s End, and all nine Wall Street Journal reviewed shows. Some of her favorite credits include Private Lives, Talley’s Folly, August Osage County, God of Carnage and Becky’s New Car. She was named Best Actress by Florida Weekly in 2011. She’s a force in any role and every production.





Sonya McCarter directing ‘The Color Purple’

Sonya McCarter is directing The Color Purple for Lab Theater. McCarter is an actor, director and an instructor in the Alliance for the Arts’ CHANGE (Communities Harnessing the Arts to Nurture and Grow Equity) program. In addition to The Color Purple, her directing credits include Lorraine Hansberry’s A Raisin in the Sun, August Wilson’s King Hedley IISeven Guitars and Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, Lydia Diamond’s The Bluest Eye and George C. Wolff’s The Colored Museum.

Go here to see Sonya’s full theatrical profile.



Bianca ‘JustBee’ Russell choreography in ‘The Color Purple’ another tour de force

An all-around artist, Bianca “JustBee” Russell dances, sings and paints. And she is also a pre-eminent choreographer, as her work for Lab Theater in The Color Purple amply demonstrates. Kind and humble, Bianca is known as a vocal advocate of her culture and heritage and proponent of traditional West African dance. Besides Color Purple, her choreography credits already include such noteworthy productions as Subzero, The MAAFA, Ophelia, Thesis, Raw Impulse, Legends Who Rock and Inspire and The Soul Train Experience. Judges Laurieann Gibson, Chriss Judd and Mia Michaels gave her high marks and a performance scholarship for her choreography on So You Can Think You Can Dance, and she was also awarded a performance scholarship from Americas Best Dance Crew. Her work in The Color Purple is another tour de force. For more on Ms. Russell, please go here.



Dana Alvarez directing ‘Les Miserables’ for Melody Lane Theatre

Dana Alvarez is directing Les Miserables for Melody Lane Theatre, for which she serves as Artistic Director. A storied theater veteran, Alvarez is intimately familiar with both sides of the footlights. As a performer, she has appeared in the roles of Audrey in Little Shop of Horrors, Gertrude in Seussical, Marian in Music Man, Emma in Jekyll and Hyde and Nellie in South Pacific, all at Cultural Park Theater. On the other side of the boards, she has directed more than 25 major musicals, including three Disney pilot productions.




Choreography for Melody Lane’s ‘Les Mis’ comes compliments of Sami Doherty

Victor Hugo’s Les Miserables comes to the Melody Lane Theatre stage in October with choreography compliments of Sami Doherty.

“As a choreographer who is a musical theater performer herself, Sami always challenges her students to dive deep and understand the motivation for each character’s movement,” observes Melody Lane Theatre Department Director Dana Alvarez. But Doherty’s legacy extends far beyond work ethic, motivation and technique.

“The lessons they learn from Sami are life lessons,” Ginger Lynn remarks. “Even if they choose not to pursue a career in theater or dance, they’ll carry those lessons with them into adulthood. She’s teaching them the importance of education, how to apply for a job, handle an interview, navigate the pitfalls of social media. Sami does a whole lot more than just teach dance.”

Most know Doherty through her work on stage at Broadway Palm Dinner Theatre. Her skills as an actor, singer and dancer make her the consummate triple threat.

Her stage credits are extensive and include Lila Dixon in Irving Berlin’s Holiday Inn, Mamma Mia,  Kinky Boots (she was Charlie’s materialistic girlfriend, Nicola), Sounds of Christmas (where she rocked “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree”), Dames at Sea (in the Off Broadway Palm), Disney’s Beauty & the Beast (Babette), Guys & Dolls (not only was she in the ensemble, she served as dance captain as well), Saturday Night Fever (Connie/Ensemble), Elf, the Musical (Matthews) Clue the Musical (where she performed a dramatic Spanish two-step that would have the ten paddles coming out on Dancing with the Stars), and 42nd Street (for which she received a Broadway World Best Actress in a Musical (Professional) Award for her portrayal of Anytime Annie).

But whether she’s performing herself or providing dance instruction or choreography for Melody Lane Theatre, what distinguishes Doherty is her dedication and commitment to conscientiously and lovingly pass along her talents and special skills to the young singers, dancers and actors who will become tomorrow’s standard bearers in local, regional and national theater.





Theatre Conspiracy at the Alliance having fun with history in ‘Men on Boats’

Ten explorers. Four boats. One Grand Canyon. Jacklyn Backhaus’ adventure dramedy, Men On Boats, is the true(ish) history of an 1869 expedition, when a one-armed captain and a crew of insane yet loyal volunteers set out to chart the course of the Colorado River. Now you can join them in their erudite expedition. Men on Boats opens in the Alliance for the Arts Foulds Theatre on October 21 and runs through October 31. The rest of this advance is here.

And go here for play dates, times and ticket information.



‘A Night on Broadway’ at Broadway Palm through October 2

Broadway Palm opened its 29th season on September 9 with A Night On Broadway, playing through October 2, 2021. This original concert style musical revue will feature the best of Broadway, combining favorites from the past along with the most recent musical hit sensations.

The bright lights of Broadway will shine on the Broadway Palm stage with this all-new musical revue that showcases some of the greatest Broadway songs of all time. The talented cast will sing their way through decades of Broadway favorites from shows such as Les Misérables, Phantom of the Opera, CATS, Oklahoma, Wicked, 42nd Street and more! You’ll treasure the nostalgia of over a century of entertainment and magnificent music.

Directing A Night On Broadway is Victor Legarreta. Legarreta has directed and appeared in numerous Broadway Palm productions. In addition, he created Yesterday’s: The 50s and 60s Musical, Groovin’: The 60s and 70s Musical, Let’s Go To The Movies, Dino and Friends, Til Theft Do Us Part, and No Claus For Alarm, to name a few.

Broadway Palm is offering a Season Opener Special and all tickets are just $55 for dinner and the show. Performances are Wednesday through Sunday evenings with selected matinees. Tickets are now on sale and can be reserved by calling (239) 278-4422, by visiting or by stopping by the box office at 1380 Colonial Boulevard in Fort Myers.



‘Social Security’ on stage in Off Broadway Palm through November 6

The Off Broadway Palm Theatre opens its 2021-2022 Season with the laugh-out-loud Social Security playing September 23 through November 6, 2021. The production was originally produced on Broadway by David Geffen and the Schubert Organization at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre in New York City on April 17, 1986.

The hilarious comedy is about a happily married couple who live in the art world of New York. Their domestic tranquility is shattered upon the arrival of the wife’s goody-goody sister, her uptight brother-in-law, and her aging mother. The comedic sparks really begin to fly when the mother hits it off with an elderly minimalist artist who is the art dealers’ best client!

The cast features all Broadway Palm alumni including Rachael Endrizzi, Kay Francis, Megan Orlowski, Ken Quiricone, Christopher Russell and Michael Weaver. Directing Social Security is the Off Broadway Palm’s Artistic Director Paul Bernier.

The Off Broadway Palm is an intimate theatre, located in the main lobby of Broadway Palm. Performances are Wednesday through Sunday evenings with selected matinees.

Ticket prices range from $45 to $65 with discounts available for groups of 20 or more. Tickets can be reserved by calling (239) 278-4422, visiting or in person at 1380 Colonial Boulevard in Fort Myers.



‘The Color Purple’ shifts paradigm of what it means to be a black woman

On stage at Lab Theater through October 2 is The Color Purple. Nearly four decades after the movie’s 1985 Los Angeles premiere, The Color Purple connects with African American women in much the same way that Sex in the City resonated with single white 30-something female urbanites. Why? Both gave their female audiences permission to be who they are rather than the codification of what society expects them to be.

“Black women identify with the characters,” agrees Director Sonya McCarter wholeheartedly. “’Oh I see myself as Celie.’ ‘My grandmother was that person.’ ‘My aunt is that person.’ ‘Oh, I’ve experienced that.’ There’s a visceral connection to this story and these characters that is so precious; so much so in our community that we quote the film. It’s that ingrained.”

McCarter bemusedly references actor, director, producer and screenwriter Tyler Perry as someone who regularly quotes from the film. But he’s far from alone. Beyonce’ included a line from The Color Purple in her very first solo album.



No rehearsals, sealed script, ‘White Rabbit Red Rabbit’ promises to be transformative

In association with Aurora Nova Productions and Boat Rocker Entertainment, the Laboratory Theater of Florida will present the Southwest Florida premiere of White Rabbit Red Rabbit from October 14 through October 23. With no rehearsal, no director, a different actor each night, and a script waiting in a sealed envelope on stage, this show is a theatrical experience that reminds us of the transformative power of theater.

Go here for the full advance.

Go here for play dates, times and ticket information.



Melody Lane Theatre opening 2021-22 season with Young Adult musical ‘Les Miserables’

Melody Lane Theatre is opening its 2021-2022 season with the Young Adult Musical Les Miserables. Seen by more than 70 million people and performed in over 40 countries and 22 languages, Les Mis brings Victor Hugo’s revolutionary novel blazingly to life. With a lush, swelling score that features such famed songs as “I Dreamed a Dream,” “On My Own” and “Bring Him Home,” Les Miserables is one of the world’s most iconic and longest-running musicals.

The rest of this advance is here.

Go here for play dates, times and ticket info.



‘Young Frankenstein’ an unforgettably hilarious Transylvanian adventure

Opening on September 30 at New Phoenix Theatre is Young Frankenstein, the musical in which Mel Brooks’ madcap comedy collides with Mary Shelley’s classic monster tale.

The mad scientist of legend, Victor Frankenstein, has died and bequeathed everything to his grandson, but young Frederick wants no part of his family’s notorious legacy. Still, a castle is a castle and Fred travels to Transylvania to settle granddad’s estate.

Go here for the rest of this advance.

Go here for cast members, play dates, times and ticket information.



With ‘Lifespan of a Fact,’ Players Circle jumps into the fray of the alternative facts debate

In an interview he gave The New Yorker several weeks ago, filmmaker Morgan Neville remarked that that he had blended AI-generated voiceovers with clips from Anthony Bourdain’s television shows, radio and podcast appearances, and audiobooks in his documentary about the late travel-chef titled Roadrunner. The disclosure triggered a debate among documentarians and film critics about the ethics of employing “expansive storytelling techniques” in order to dramatize a seemingly fact-based biopic. Indeed, we are all buffeted with a constant stream of “fake news,” “alternative facts” and manipulative algorithms in the content we view in media outlets ranging from broadcast and cable news to social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. And with its upcoming production of Lifespan of a Fact, Players Circle Theatre jumps into the fray with this dramedy based on the true story of John D’Agata and Jim Fingal.

The rest of this advance is here.

Go here for play dates, times and ticket information.



‘Boeing Boeing’ takes flight at The Naples Players beginning September 29

Get ready to take a trip to the 1960’s, an era when air travel was still a glamorous affair.  Sponsored locally by The Inn on Fifth, Boeing Boeing runs from September 29th to October 24th in Blackburn Hall at The Naples Players. This crowd pleasing comedic farce, directed by Jessica Walck, was written by the French playwright Marc Camoletti and translated by Beverley Cross & Francis Evans.

Playboy Bernard (Bernardo Santana) lives in Paris with his fiancé, TWA airline stewardess Gloria (Emilie Baartman) – and his fiancé Lufthansa stewardess Gretchen (Sarah DeLeonibus) – and his fiancé Alitalia stewardess Gabriella (Erica Jones). You guessed it – none of the women know about the other two.

Bernard’s trusty live-in maid, Berthe (Pamela Austin), is able to keep up the ruse by remembering each woman’s food preferences, clothing, and even changes out their photographs. All is going well until Bernard’s friend, Robert (Luke Lauchle) comes for a visit.  Due to a faster Boeing jet, all three women arrive at Bernard’s apartment on the same day! Will he be able to keep up his scheme. Better yet, will he even survive the day?!

“We couldn’t be more excited to give our community an important chance to come together, have a good laugh, and enjoy the amazing artists that SWFL has to offer,” remarks CEO/Artistic Director Bryce Alexander.

“The arts are open – and these community events are more important now than ever. It’s a hilarious show!”

A Red Carpet event open to the public is slated for 6:30-7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, September 29, and features local vendors, food, drinks, and live music from the band Chariot.

Performances are Wednesdays & Thursdays at 7:30 p.m., Fridays & Saturday at 8:00 p.m., and Sunday at 2:00 p.m. from September 29 through October 24. Both general public and season tickets are on sale at the TNP Box Office.  Those interested can visit anytime or call the TNP Box Office at (239) 263-7990.




‘Nuts’ is so much more than best courtroom drama since ‘Witness for the Prosecution’

For several years now, America has been divided over pop star Britney Spears’ struggles to end the conservatorship that a California court ordered in 2008 at the behest of her father. While there is growing sentiment to “Free Britney,” there are those who point to instances of bad behavior as evidence that the singer/entertainer is “nuts” and needs to have every aspect of her personal, professional and public life managed and controlled. Claudia Faith Draper knows exactly how Britney feels. In The Studio Players’ production of Tom Topor’s Nuts, Claudia too struggles for control of her life when her mother and stepfather seek to have her declared mentally incompetent after Claudia kills a violent “john” in self-defense and is charged with manslaughter in the first degree. The rest of this advance is here.






Marcus Jansens ‘Transitions’ chosen as 2021 Naples International Film Festival poster

Each year, Artis—Naples observes its multidisciplinary mission by featuring the work of a living visual artist on the Naples International Film Festival poster. This year’s poster features the work of internationally-acclaimed expressionist artist Marcus Jansen.

The poster features Jansen’s painting Transitions (2013), one of 18 works included in the spring 2021 exhibition at The Baker Museum titled Marcus Jansen: Two Decades of Relevance. Its expressionistic brushwork highlights the isolation of the anonymous figure at the center, evoking feelings of tension and uncertainty. The dramatic and cinematic quality make it the perfect work for this year’s NIFF.

Jansen grew up in New York and Germany, and now exhibits in museums and galleries throughout the U.S., Europe and Asia. He maintains studios in Fort Myers and the Bronx in New York City.

For more information on NIFF 2021 and this year’s poster, visit…/2021/poster.



Naples’ Sheldon Fine Art featuring work of David Noalia

Naples’ Sheldon Fine Art is featuring work by David Noalia, an artist whose name is associated with vision, style and colour. Renowned for his signature abstract equestrian paintings and portraiture, one of Naolia’s reoccurring subjects is the Andalusian horse, which captures the flavor of Spain at its best – its passion, color and drama.

David combines artistic inspiration with timeless beauty to create memorable canvasses that have the power to transform lives. Reflecting the palette and light of Sorolla, brushstrokes of Velazquez and freshness of Gerard Richter, Noalia’s paintings playfully reference the weighty history of painting in a contemporary and vivid light.

Noalia’s continually developing collections of paintings continue to draw admirers and collectors across the UK, Europe, USA and Middle East.

Sheldon Fine Art is located at 460 5th Ave S in Naples. For more information, please visit or telephone 239-649-6255.





‘Dia de los Muertos’ returns to Alliance in October by popular demand

By popular demand, Dia de los Muertos or Day of the Dead is returning to the Alliance for the Arts.

Contrary to what the title might suggest, Day of the Dead is a celebration of both life and death – a time to remember and commemorate the lives of family and friends who have passed from this world into the next realm. The holiday springs from the observation that death is a natural and inevitable part of the human experience – the end point on a continuum that begins with birth, progresses through childhood and culminates with the process of becoming a contributing member of the community. On Dia de los Muertos, the dead take their place among the living as part of the community, awakened from their eternal sleep to share celebrations with their loved ones. And believing that the dead would be insulted by mourning or sadness, Dia de los Muertos celebrates the lives of the deceased (children on Day 1 and adults on Day 2) with food, drink, parties, and activities the dead enjoyed in life.

During Dia de los Muertos, families decorate altars, or ofrendas, with candles, photographs, toys, food, and bright colors to honor their loved ones and lead their visiting spirits home. The most familiar symbols of Dia de los Muertos are calacas and calaveras (skeletons and skulls), which appear everywhere during the holiday – in candied sweets, as parade masks and as dolls. But rather than somber or macabre, calacas and calaveras are almost always portrayed in a positive, uplifting manner, frequently dressed in fancy clothes and entertaining situations.

In fact, calaverita de azucar, or sugar skulls, are a prominent symbol in the Dia de los Muertos tradition. These brightly decorated sugar skulls are placed on the altars of the deceased, especially children, as a whimsical reminder of precious life. The monarch butterfly is also commonly associated with Dia de los Muertos as they are thought to bring with them the spirits of deceased loved ones during their migration to Mexico. Another common symbol includes the use of cempasuchil, a brightly colored Mexican marigold, whose smell is believed to attract spirits to visit their families during Dia de los Muertos.

This, then, is the context for the art that exhibitors bring to the Alliance for the Arts to display in its Dia de los Muertos exhibition. As the family and community play integral roles in this cultural celebration, the congregation of local art to honor the deceased maintains the power of community in the Dia de los Muertos tradition. Each artist explores their own interpretation of this rich holiday, and brings to light not only the honor associated with death in Mexican culture, but remind us of the vivacity and significance of the lives of our loved ones who have passed.

The show exhibits October 1-30, 2021, and opens with a 5:00-7:00 p.m. in-person reception in the main gallery. Awards will be given of $250 for Best in Show, $125 for 2nd Place and $75 for 3rd Place. The deadline for submissions is Friday, September 17.



Alliance ‘Arts on Tap’ fundraiser set for November 12 & 13

The annual Alliance for the Arts fundraiser, Arts On Tap, returns November 12 & 13 with an exciting mash-up of Southwest Florida’s burgeoning craft beer and vibrant arts scenes and a performance by two-time Grammy-nominated hip hop group the Nappy Roots.

On Friday, November 12, guests will mingle, play, sip and savor as local craft brewers pour award-winning, rare and brand new artisan brews, play twisted pub games, rub elbows with craft brewers and Grammy-nominated hip hop group the Nappy Roots, bid on silent auction items and enjoy live music. Participating crafters include Bone Hook Brewing, Coastal Dayz Brewery, Crazy Dingo Brewing,  Eight Foot Brewing, Fort Myers Brewing, Hopsized Brewing, LaBelle Brewing, Millennial Brewing Company, Palm City Brewing, Point Ybel Brewing and Riptide Brewing. Restaurant partners include The American Grilled Cheese Kitchen and The Standard.

The celebration continues on Saturday, November 13 with a night of food trucks, beer, art, VIP lounge experiences and a once-in-a-lifetime performance by the Nappy Roots.

Tickets go on sale in September. Sponsorships and visibility opportunities are available at or by contacting Jessica Wisdom at or calling 239-939-2787.

Arts On Tap is a fundraising event for the Alliance for the Arts, a nonprofit visual and performing arts center located in the heart of Fort Myers. Since 1975, the Alliance has been transforming lives and improving community through the arts. Event proceeds support a creative hub that spurs self-expression, imagination and individuality. The event is sponsored by GMA Architects, Nice Guys Pizza, Sanibel Captiva Community Bank and Priority Business Solutions.

For more information, call 239-939-2787 or visit



Wegman & Massing ‘Two Clever by Half’ at Rauschenberg Gallery through December 4

Florida Southwestern State College is exhibiting William WEGMAN & Jack MASSING: TWO CLEVER BY HALF – A Call & Response Project at the Bob Rauschenberg Gallery from September 2 through December 4, 2021.  Described by the artists as “an experimental visual discussion in a studio setting within the Gallery,” this site-specific exhibition will premiere newly-commissioned collaborative works in a frequently evolving installation.

With the artists-in-residence often creating work in “full-view” during regular/public Gallery hours, this exhibition will provide an unprecedented opportunity to experience the “work-in-progress” of internationally-renowned (yet, first-time) collaborators, Jack Massing and William Wegman.

Go here for the rest of this summary.


Palm’s Gallery exhibiting work by Chari Mooradian

The Broadway Palm Dinner Theatre has space between the main stage and their Off Broadway theater that it dedicates to exhibiting visual art. Called the Palm’s Gallery, it will be featuring the  works of local artist and longtime Broadway Palm employee Chari (Klackle) Mooradian now through December 25, 2021.

Mooradian’s vibrant pieces showcase a variety of subjects from Fort Myers’ landscapes to flora and fauna. The highlight of the exhibition is the show-stopping, six-foot resin painting of Fort Myers Beach titled Purple Rain, in which Chari stated her “use of color and composition creates a dreamlike effect.”

Chari’s work has been exhibited at Arts for Act, Harborside Events Center, Kelly Greens Country Club, The Alliance for the Arts, Fort Myers City Hall, Williams Academy Black History Museum, and more.

Chari has been published in Time of the Islands magazines, Aesthetic Magazine, and in numerous newspapers.

The Palm’s Gallery is inside Broadway Palm Dinner Theatre at 1380 Colonial Boulevard in Fort Myers. The art show is open daily and there is no charge for admission. For more information on Broadway Palm call (239) 278-4422 or visit



DAAS featuring female figurative paintings of Cecilia Valadez in October

DAAS CO-OP Art Gallery will showcase the artwork of Mexican artist Cecilia Valadez during the month of October. Valadez’s art is influenced by her homeland of Mexico, and the Southwest Florida environment. Her paintings provide an extraordinary insight into human nature, especially women, who have been the central theme of hers.

As the main figure, the woman is the centerpiece of Valadez’s works and is expressed in integrated textures and monochromatic tones. In these forms of expression, she evokes extraordinary visions and transitions of life as the main inspiration, influenced and touched by the new life that she chose to live. Her female figurative paintings symbolize the artistic essence of life and explore the spontaneity and drama of the Spanish language. The visual intensity and psychological drama in these magnificent paintings reveal a timeless perspective and capture the passion, emotion and visceral mystique of the female figure. Her passionate creative strokes capture a unique artistic vision.

Valadez’ easel art has been included in important exhibitions such as SWFL History Museum, Naples Depot, Baker Artis Museum Naples, International Art Fair and Biennial in Miami, Gulf Coast University, Hodges University and others in New York and Mexico. In addition, several of her works are part of private European collections.

The opening reception is scheduled for 6:00-9:30 p.m. on Friday, October 1, 2021 in conjunction with the monthly Fort Myers Art Walk event. The exhibition will be on display through October 31, 2021.





Deadlines loom for Boulderbrook art festivals

Boulderbrook Productions hosts a number of boutique art festivals in Southwest Florida each season. It is currently accepting submissions for:

  • The Art Festival at University Village Shops located by Miromar Lakes Country Club on Ben Hill Griffin Parkway (date in February to be determined); application deadline not given;
  • Boca Grande Art Festival (March 5 & 6); application deadline October 30, 2021;
  • Sanibel Captiva Lions Club Art Festival (March 11 & 12); application deadline October 30, 2021;
  • Peace River National Art Festival in Laishley Park (March 19 & 20, 2022); application deadline October 30, 2021; and
  • Bonita Springs Masters Art Festival in The Promenade at Bonita Bay (March 26 & 27, 2022); application deadline October 30, 2021.

You must register and apply online at

N.B.: The application deadline has closed for the Bonita Springs Fall Art Festival (October 23 & 24, 2021), the Bonita Springs Invitational Art Festival (November 20 & 21, 2021), Sanibel Masters Art Festival (November 26 & 27, 2021), Peace River National Art Festival (December 4 & 5, 2021), Bonita Springs Art Walk at the Promenade at Bonita Bay (January 15 & 16, 2022), Sanibel Invitational Art Fest at Sanibel Community House (January 21 & 22, 2022), Art Festival at Mercato (January 29 & 30, 2022) and Bonita Springs Fine Arts at The Promenade (February 26 & 27, 2022).



Deadline for Hot Works’ 2022 Naples Fine Art Show is November 1

Hot Works LLC is accepting submissions through November 1 for its 6th Naples Fine Art Show scheduled for March 26 & 27, 2022 outdoors at the Naples Italian-American Club at the corner of Airport Pulling and Orange Blossom Roads. The show features original work in a wide array of disciplines, including painting, clay, glass, fiber, sculpture, wood, photography, jewelry and more.

The cost of a 10 x 10′ booth is $425; $635 for a 10 x 15′ space; and $850 for a 10 x 20′ booth. But add $75 for a corner booth location and $50 for electric. Notifications will be sent out by November 5.

There are also opportunities to participate in a number of upcoming Sarasota Open Air Fine Art Shows, vis:

  • 6th Sarasota Open Air Fine Art Show, January 15 & 16, 2022, Phillippi Estate Park; app deadline: September 20, 2021
  • 7th Sarasota Open Air Fine Art Show, February 12 & 13, 2022, Phillippi Estate Park; app deadline: not provided.
  • 8th Sarasota Open Air Fine Art Show, March 12 & 13, 2022, Phillippi Estate Park; app deadline:  October 20, 2021.

Artist applications are accepted electronically at or manually at For more information, please contact Executive Director Patty Narozny at or 248-684-2613.



Naples National Art Show application deadline is October 29

The deadline for artists to apply for admission into Naples Art Association’s 43rd Annual Naples National Art Festival is October 29, 2021. Naples National is consistently voted among the top 100 art festivals in the country by Sunshine Artist Magazine and was ranked #24 in 2019. In addition, Naples National was named one of Art Fair SourceBook Blue Chip 100 Fine Art Events for 2019 and’s America’s Best Art Fairs. As one of the oldest festivals in Collier County, Naples National is counted by the local community as among its premiere, must–see events, thanks to the high quality of art, the engaging personalities of the artists and the festive atmosphere. The show is held in scenic Cambier Park and along 8th Street South, one block from downtown Naples’ premier shopping and dining district.

If you are interested in exhibiting in the 41st Naples National Art Festival, here’s what you will need to know:

  • Dates: Saturday & Sunday, February 19-20, 2022
  • Festival Hours: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
  • Accepts 190 artists max
  • Application fee: $35
  • Booth fee: $650 for 10×10
  • Cancellation refund policy: Full refund: 01/07/22 (subject to $50 processing fee)
  • Set up specifics: Friday set up on 2/18/22
  • Park and street setting
  • Application deadline: 10/29/21
  • Jury Process begins: 11/05/21
  • Status Notification: 11/19/21
  • Booth Fee Deposit Due: 12/17/21
  • Artist Info Emailed: 01/28/22
  • Wait List Acceptance: 12/18/21
  • No Refund Deadline: 01/29/22
  • Application available online at

To improve the quality of the show and to provide more sales opportunities for our artists, NAA has limited the number of booths to 221, with 190 selected by the jury and 31 who are specially invited to participate in the show. “This will allow artists greater exposure and less competition,” states NAA in its prospectus for the show. “Additionally, the park layout, will consist of one loop making it easier for customers to view all artist’s booths. However, there is a corresponding increase in booth fees.”

This is the only Naples Art Association show that offers cash awards for Best of Show, Best 2D, Best 3D and Awards of Distinction in 2D and 3D. The amounts are:

  • Best of Show – $2,000
  • Best 2D – $500
  • Best 3D – $500
  • Awards of Distinction 2D – 5 awards at $200 each
  • Awards of Distinction 3D – 5 awards at $200 each

Awards will be presented at the band shell in Cambier Park at 3:00 pm on Saturday. NAA staff or volunteers will notify an artist if they need to be present at the awards ceremony on Saturday. Awards are given based on the same criteria used for the jury process. The winning artists are invited to participate in the following year’s show and receive jury exempt status but must still pay his/her booth fee.

The mission of the Naples Art Association is to expand cultural opportunities, broaden education and enrich SWF through the visual arts. Proceeds from the Naples National Art Show support educational programming at The Naples Art Association.



Deadline for Naples Downtown Art Show is December 10

Crowd Shot 01 (4)The deadline for artist applications for Naples Art Association’s Naples Downtown Art Show is December 10, 2021. Now in its 34th year, the Naples Downtown Art Show is one of the last major art festivals of the winter season and a favorite festival for artists, art enthusiasts and collectors.

This festival was rated #34 by Sunshine Artist Magazine 2018.

If you would like to exhibit in this show, here’s what you will need to know:

  • Dates: Saturday and Sunday, March 19 & 20, 2022
  • Festival Hours:  10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
  • Location: 5th Avenue South, Downtown Naples
  • Accept 250 artists max
  • Application fee: $35
  • Booth fee: $540 for 10×10
  • Cancellation refund policy: TBA
  • Set up specifics: 4 a.m., early morning set up only;
  • On street set up in quads: No electrical
  • Application deadline: December 10, 2021
  • Jury Process begins: December 17, 2021
  • Status Notification: December 29, 2021
  • Booth Fee Due: January 21, 2022
  • Artist Info Emailed: March 4, 2022
  • Wait List Acceptance: January 22, 2022
  • Full Refund Deadline:  February 4, 2022 (subject to $50 processing fee)
  • No Refund Deadline:  February 18, 2022

There are openings for 250 artists.



Naples Art accepting submissions for next season’s Art in the Park

Artists wishing to exhibit this season in Naples’ Art in the Park will have two opportunities to gain admission into the show this season. The jury process will begin virtually on:

  • October 14, 2021 and
  • January 13, 2022.

You must register for the jury process by 5:00 p.m. one day before the jury date in which you wish to participate. If you want to exhibit multiple mediums, you must be separately juried for each one.

Since 1957, Art in the Park has showcased 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. For art lovers, it’s a casual, fun-filled venue for meeting local artists and becoming acquainted with their work. It is believed to be the first outdoor art show held in Naples. And the tradition continues for the 2021-2022 art fair and festival season.

Because of its long tradition, prestige and the interest and number of people who routinely turn out for the show, many NAA members seek admission to the show. Applicants go through a jury process.

“Art in the Park is a membership opportunity, providing artists a venue to sell and market their work while broadening their customer base,” notes the Naples Art Association. “It also provides a setting for artists to interact with other artists sharing ideas, industry changes and the camaraderie of creative people. It is an opportunity for both artists and the public to engage in enlightening conversations about art.”

The one-day fair takes place on Park Street adjacent to The Naples Art Association in the northwest corner of Cambier Park on five dates this season:

  • November 6, 2021
  • December 4, 2021
  • February 5, 2022
  • March 5, 2022
  • April 2, 2022

N.B. The January show date has been pre-empted this year by the

. 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. The January show is also held in conjunction with the Naples New Year’s Art Show, which takes place Saturday and Sunday, January 8 & 9, 2022.




Art Committee, CRA seeking artists for $100,000 Dunbar gateway artwork

A new gateway artwork is coming to the intersection of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Veronica S. Shoemaker Boulevards. Planned for installation in the Spring of 2022, the installation will commemorate local culture and express the concepts of Hope, Dreams and Civil Rights – ideals vigorously advanced by both luminaries during their storied lives. Artists who are interested in being considered for the project have until Friday, October 28 to submit their qualifications on Café.

The site for the artwork is an open, grassy area located to the south of Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard, one of the City’s main east-west thoroughfares, and between the north and southbound lanes of Veronica S. Shoemaker Boulevard. The MLK-Veronica Shoemaker intersection is a critical gateway connecting the historic Dunbar Community (once referred to as Safety Hill) to downtown Fort Myers.

Go here for the rest of this announcement.

Go here for the Press Release announcing the RFQ.



Public Art Committee seeking artists for outdoor artwork at new fire station

The Fort Myers Public Art Committee is seeking artists for a representational, three-dimensional outdoor artwork to be installed at a new fire station serving the City of Fort Myers. The sculpture is to be installed at Station 17, a Missile Level E Essential Facility providing fire and EMS services to business locations and residential developments along Six Mile Cypress Parkway that are located south of Colonial Boulevard and north of Daniels Parkway, as well as the southbound lanes of I-75. Located in Ward 6 (represented by Councilperson Darla Bonk), the station is expected to be completed in late Spring or early summer of 2022.

Go here for the rest of this announcement.


8.  FILM


TGIM returns to Davis Art Center on October 4

T.G.I.M. returns to the Davis Art Center on Monday, October 4. As in years past, T.G.I.M. gives area cineastes a look at how the Fort Myers Film Festival views submissions and a voice in the selection process.

“This is one of the highlights of our season,” says Melissa Tschari DeHaven, producer and co-host of T.G.I.M. and the Fort Myers Film Festival. “It’s so much fun! Everyone loves coming out on Monday nights. There’s always something happening that you wouldn’t expect on a weeknight.”

Go here for the rest of this advance.



‘Everyday Gourmet’ Blakely Trattenero one of October’s TGIM celebrity judges

T.G.I.M. returns to the Davis Art Center on Monday, October 4. This month’s celebrity judges are food and travel writer Blakely Trettenero, artist/curator Cesar Aguilera and TV personality and anchor Amy Oshier.

Blakely Trettenero is a popular food and travel blogger and television personality. A Florida native, Blakely studied culinary arts at Le Cordon Bleu in Orlando. She has appeared on morning cooking shows throughout the East Coast and has a loyal following on her YouTube channel and her websites and

Go here for more.



Artsemble’s Cesar Aguilera one of October’s TGIM celebrity judges

T.G.I.M. returns to the Davis Art Center on Monday, October 4. This month’s celebrity judges are food and travel writer Blakely Trettenero, artist/curator Cesar Aguilera and TV personality and anchor Amy Oshier.

Many know Aguilera through his mixed media paintings, but he is also accomplished in drawing, painting, sculpture, film, special effects, make-up, costume design, fashion design, acting and even performance art. His mixed media pieces not only embrace traditional media such as oils and acrylics, but unconventional materials such as coffee, bleach, discarded technology and found objects of every ilk and design.

The rest of this announcement is here.



Health reporter and host Amy Oshier one of October’s TGIM celebrity judges

T.G.I.M. returns to the Davis Art Center on Monday, October 4. This month’s celebrity judges are food and travel writer Blakely Trettenero, artist/curator Cesar Aguilera and TV personality and anchor Amy Oshier.

Amy Oshier is an award-winning broadcast journalist, with both an Edward R. Murrow and Telly to her credit. She can be seen on Health Matters and her new series A Better You.

As a reporter for Health Matters, Amy selects and researches topics, conducts interviews, and drafts content for daily news broadcasts.

More on Amy Oshier is here.



Naples International Film Festival is October 21-24

Naples International Film Festival opens with a red carpet event starting at 7:00 p.m. on October 21 that includes a post-screening VIP party on the third floor rooftop terrace of The Baker Museum addition. Operated by Artis-Naples, the festival features films at Silverspot Cinema as well as outdoor films on Friday and Saturday evening in the Norris Garden between Hayes Hall and The Baker Museum. The festival concludes on October 24 with Back to the Future starring Michael J. Fox and Christopher Lloyd and a live soundtrack performed by the Naples Philharmonic under the direction of conductor Jack Everly and an awards ceremony in Hayes Hall.

In addition to 67 films in a variety of genres (that were culled from nearly 900 submissions), one of this year’s highlights is a poster created for the festival by internationally-renowned artist Marcus Jansen, whose works were exhibited last spring in a solo show in The Baker Museum. Titled Transitions, the poster serves as a metaphor as the arts, theater and film industries seek to re-emerge from the shut-downs and quarantines that typified the COVID-19 pandemic of the previous 18 months.

Tickets for opening night and the awards ceremony can be purchased from Artis-Naples. Individual and multi-film packages are available through Silverspot Cinema in the Mercato center.

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