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Actors, artists, filmmakers and events in the news October 22-31, 2018


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


Theatre Conspiracy’s 20th Annual New Play Contest is Saturday night (10-30-18)

Theatre Conspiracy at the Alliance for the Arts will hold its 20th Annual New Play Contest on Saturday, November 3. This year, Theatre Conspiracy received in excess of 500 entries. The New Play Contest provides the opportunity for audiences to get involved with the production process itself, rather than the end result.

The evening begins at 7:00 p.m. with a reception in the gallery with food, wine and drink. At 8:00, Theatre Conspiracy will conduct readings from its top three finalists. Following the last reading, the audience will choose the winner. That play will receive the Janet & Bruce Bunch New Play Contest Award and be produced during the company’s 2019-2020 season.

These are the finalists:

Flying by Sheila Cowley (St. Petersburg, FL)

The background of this play is drawn from oral histories and memoirs of women who served in the WASP program in World War II. It explores the aftermath of war and the quiet, daily acts of heroism that never earn a medal.

Susan flew military planes in WW II, so men could go and fight. She’s been sent home to her normal life, but life in her hometown is anything but normal as folks wait for her hero husband to return home. Susan uses Bob’s legend to keep his family airfield going, so when his wounded gunner shows up looking for a job, she’s forced to hire him. Fisher struggles with an artificial leg and an airfield run by women, as the stories of the town reveal Susan through what they leave out. Flying looks at life propelled by stories, as the town tells glory tales of Bob and Susan tries to put away her memories of flying.

Engagement Rules, mostly a comedy by Rich Orloff (New York, NY)

A four-character comedy with bite, Engagement Rules follows the intertwined lives of two couples who advise and support each other on challenges of love, sex and the soul. The younger couple (early 30’s) is recently engaged, and the older (in their 70’s) has been married over fifty years.

Both couples face problems caused by sex, complicated by spiritual differences, forcing everyone to face seemingly irreconcilable differences and answer questions that none of them can answer easily. Engagement Rules is a play that strives to avoid old arguments and pat answers as it explores with compassion and humor the challenge of love and commitment.

America’s Sexiest Couple, a comedy by Ken Levine (Los Angeles, CA)

Two actors who were “America’s Sexiest Couple” on a popular ‘80s sitcom reunite for the first time in 30 years. They face a lifetime of unresolved issues, longings, resentments, and regrets. Plus, the network wants to reboot the show. Career and personal aspirations collide. Professionally and personally, where do they go from here?

Past winners include Repossessed by Greg Lam, which was performed earlier this season, and Noli Timeri by Jared Michael Delaney, which Theatre Conspiracy produced in May of 2017.



Spotlight on ‘Elephant Man’ actor Stephen Hooper (10-30-18)

One of the members of the cast of Theatre Conspiracy at the Alliance’s upcoming production of The Elephant Man is local actor, director and playwright Stephen Hooper. For more on his resume, please read here.



Spotlight on ‘Elephant Man’ actor Joann Haley (10-30-18)

One of the members of the cast of Theatre Conspiracy at the Alliance’s upcoming production of The Elephant Man is local actor Joann Haley, who was just on stage in the Foulds Theatre in Repossessed. For more on her resume, please read here.



CFABS Youth Players holding Legally Blonde Jr. auditions tomorrow & Thursday (10-29-18)

The CFABS Youth Players is holding auditions from 5:00-7:00 p.m. on October 30 and November 1 for Legally Blonde the Musical JR. All actors should be prepared to sing, dance, and act. Actors must bring in 16 bars of a prepared song. CD accompaniment is allowed without lyrics or you can sing without music. Actors will be grouped with other actors and asked to read from the script. No advance monologue preparation is required. Actors will learn a short dance routine with a group taught by the choreographer. Actors can expect their audition to last about an hour. Actors must be 12 or older.

Rehearsals will be from 5:00-7:00 p.m. Mondays, Wednesdays & Fridays starting November 5 through February 8, as well as from 5:00-8:00 p.m. Monday through Thursday the week of the show, vis: February 11-14.

Performances will be at 7:00 p.m. on Friday, February 15, 2019; at 2:00 and 7:00 p.m. on Saturday, February 16 and at 2:00 p.m. on Sunday, February 17, 2019.

Legally Blonde JR. follows the transformation of Elle Woods as she tackles stereotypes, snobbery and scandal in pursuit of her dreams. When Elle’s boyfriend, Warner, dumps her and heads to Harvard, claiming she’s not “serious” enough, Elle takes matters into her own hands, crafting a showy song-and-dance personal essay and charming her way into law school. Befriending classmate, Emmett, and spunky hairdresser, Paulette, along the way, Elle finds that books and looks aren’t mutually exclusive. As Elle begins outsmarting her peers, she realizes that law may be her natural calling after all.

Based on the award-winning Broadway musical and the smash hit motion picture, Legally Blonde The Musical JR. is a fabulously fun journey of self-empowerment and expanding horizons. The show’s instantly recognizable songs are filled with humor, wit and sass – leaving cast members and audiences alike seeing pink!

You must call 239-495-8989 to reserve your audition spot.



‘Adventures of Stuart Little’ up next for CFABS Youth Players (10-29-18)

The Centers for the Arts Bonita Springs Youth Players will present four performances of The Adventures of Stuart Little in the Moe Auditorium this November 16, 17 & 18. Based on the award-winning book by E.B. White and adapted for the stage by Joseph Robinette, Stuart Little is a charming tale about an adventuresome boy from New York City who is normal in every way – except that he is only four inches high and looks exactly like a mouse. Tickets to this classic allegory about “a modest mouse” who finds himself facing the dangers of the great big world are $20 for reserved seating and $15 for general admission, with a 10% discount for current CFABS members. Shows are Friday & Saturday, November 16 & 17, 2018 at 7:00 p.m. and at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday & Sunday, November 17 & 18. The Moe Auditorium is located 10150 Bonita Beach Road.



Next Fort Myers Art Walk comes to River District November 3 & 4 (10-29-18)

The River District will come alive on Friday, November 2, when Art Walk returns to downtown Fort Myers. Now a two-day event, Art Walk will continue Saturday, November 3, 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



Art in the Park kicks off new season on November 3 (10-29-18)

On Saturday,  November 3, Art in the Park returns to downtown Naples. Now celebrating 60 years as Naples’ oldest art fair, Art in the Park features Naples Art Association members showcasing a variety of original paintings, photographs, unique décor, wearables, collectibles and gifts. Nestled on the Park Street side of the Naples Art Association, this juried art fair is held the first Saturday of the month November through April.



1st Wednesday Studio & Gallery Tour returns November 7 to Naples Art District (10-29-18)

On Wednesday, November 7, the 1st Wednesday Studio & Gallery Tour returns to the Naples Art District with its full complement of galleries and artist studios for a 5-8 p.m. drive-and-park event that affords casual, curious art lovers and serious art collectors alike an unparalleled opportunity to not only visit some of Southwest Florida’s most interesting galleries, but immerse themselves 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.



Painter Jerry Rose joins Arsenault Studio & Banyan Gallery (10-28-18)

Artist Jerry Rose has obtained representation by Arsenault Studio & Banyan Arts Gallery. His Gifts from the Sea exhibit opens there on November 7 with a reception from 5:30-7:00 p.m. It features motifs from the Bahamas.

Jerry believes that great paintings are a product of love and respect for the subject. Drawn to coastal communities where people make their living from the sea and land, Jerry divides his painting time between coastal Maine and the Bahamas. He paints on site, which strengthens his understanding of the landscapes and people in these locations. His paintings cover a variety of techniques, which are done in watercolor, oil, acrylic and egg tempera.

Jerry received his formal training in fine arts from Ohio University and in graphic design from the University of Cincinnati, but his interest in realism came together 35 years ago when he felt it was important to paint a way of life that was quickly disappearing in the outlying islands of the Bahamas. That need created the search for methods of painting that would best describe the vanishing life before him and has helped him understand some of the old world techniques to which he subscribes.

Rose is a professional member of the International Society of Marine Painters and a signature member of the Florida Watercolor Society. He has received numerous awards and has had many one-man gallery, museum and private exhibitions. Jerry maintains a studio and home in Sedgwick, Maine and is currently building a home and studio in Green Turtle Cay, Abaco, Bahama.

Arsenault Studio & Banyan Arts Gallery is located at 1199 Third Street South in Naples. For more information or to RSVP for the reception, please telephone 239263-1214.



Painter Mark Brown places own spin on age-old genre of still life painting (10-28-18)

Mark Brown is a realist who specializes in staged still life paintings that incorporate fruit, flowers, myriad shells, glassware and blue-and-white china and ceramic ginger jars, vases and plates. What sets Brown’s compositions apart from other artists working in this thousand-year-old genre, Brown’s subjects are reflected on the glass tabletops on which he arranges his motifs. The mirror images convey circular, curved and serpentine kinetic energy which draws the eye to the center of the composition and holds it fast.

Edouard Manet once called still life “the touchstone of painting.” Characterized by an interest in the insentient, this genre of art has been popular across movements, cultures, and periods, with major figures like Paul Cézanne and Pablo Picasso sharing the Impressionist artist‘s view. Van Gogh’s sunflowers are perhaps the most notable examples of this genre of paining, which derives its name from the Dutch word stilleven, which gained prominence during the 16th century. While still life painting gained prominence during this time, it actually dates back in the annals of art history to funerary paintings made by ancient Egyptians in the 15th century BC.

Brown says his love for art manifested itself early in life. During his childhood, he spent many hours in his bedroom drawing cars, animals and things conjured by his active imagination.

Over the years he studied the paintings of the masters through books and visits to museums. He developed and held an abiding fascination for the realism of the Dutch masters. While enjoying a wide spectrum of styles and subject matter, Mark discovered that his temperament and passion took him in the direction of classical realism. In the pursuit of that goal he furthered his studies at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, in Philadelphia PA.

After his studies were complete, he and his wife, Elizabeth, moved to Carlisle PA where they now reside with their three children, Luke, Eliana and Aliya. Mark has been enjoying painting full time as an artist since 2000, as he and his family travel throughout the United States exhibiting in outdoor art shows, gallery and group shows.

Mark has received numerous awards at outdoor shows, including three best-in-shows, several 1st place in oils and numerous other awards. He has also been selected as a finalist in the Artists Magazine annual contest during two different years. He was pleased to be included in the 2009 Oil Painters of America National Competition, with his painting of “The Chocolate Pot.” Mark’s painting “Bananas” was included in the 2011 National Oil Painters of America competition, being one of just 168 paintings chosen from 2,100 submissions.

Sheldon Fine Art at 460 Fifth Avenue South has a number of his works on exhibit. For more information, please telephone 239.649.6255 or email SheldonFineArts@aol.



FGCU alum Megan Kissinger focuses on conservation at ‘Tropical Reunion’ (10-28-18)

Megan Kissinger is an FGCU Class of 2004 alumnus. She also works as Museum Conservator and Exhibit Designer for the Edison Ford Winter Estates. She is one of two artists being featured now through November 8 in the ArtLab in Library East on the Florida Gulf Coast University campus.

As an artist, Megan’s medium in acrylics. A realist, her motifs express her overarching concern with conservation. Toward that end, she depicts animals and scenes from throughout the Southeastern United States in all their glory in order to show viewers the beautiful natural world that is disappearing before our very eyes.

“In my work as a museum conservator, I am constantly aware of the ravages of time, both natural and man-made,” states Megan in her Artist Statement accompanying her exhibited ArtLab works. “As I go about my duties, my work keeps me examining everything: how it works, what condition it’s in, what factors affect its stability and what repairs I can make that won’t do more damage than just leaving it alone?”

Read here for the rest of this post.



Sanibel’s Watson MacRae Gallery hosting Hollis Jeffcoat retrospective (10-28-18)

Hollis Garland Jeffcoat devoted the major part of her adult life sharing with viewers her visceral experience and unique perception of the beauty of the natural environment in which she lived. When she died on April 28 in Fort Myers at the age of 65, Hollis left behind a trove of elegant, gestural, color-saturated paintings that attest to her genius, and to fulfill Jeffcoat’s wish that she be remembered for her work, her long-time friend and partner Maureen Watson is curating a retrospective at Sanibel’s Watson MacRae Gallery in November that will celebrate her life and accomplishments.

Hollis Jeffcoat: My Life in Paint will begin with her first painting as a professional in France in 1976 and end with her last painting in Sanibel Island in 2017,” posts Maureen Watson in the gallery’s online newsletter. “Paintings, drawings and prints from her major series will fill the gallery.”

Read here for an expose on Hollis’ work.

“Please join us for this wonderful exhibit, as we remember our beloved Hollis Jeffcoat,” invites Maureen Watson. The opening reception for Hollis Jeffcoat: My Life in Paint takes place from 5:00-7:00 p.m. on Thursday, November 15.

Watson MacRae Gallery is located in Suite B3 at 2340 Periwinkle Way, Sanibel, FL 33957. For more information, please visit or telephone 239-472-3386.



Dozen local artists taking part in Alliance’s ‘Arts & End Holiday Sale’ (10-27-18)

Work by Jayne Baker (first photo), Dana JamJoum, Alexandra Jaramillo (2nd photo), Cicero McCarter (3rd photo), Susan Mills, Laura Moynahan (4th photo), Alicia Schmidt, Marta Sicajan, MiMi Stirn, Pamela Volz and Union Artist Studios will be featured by the Alliance for the Arts in its upcoming Arts & End Holiday Sale, which opens on Saturday, November 10 from 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. at the Alliance campus at 10091 McGregor Blvd. Fort Myers, FL 33919. Coinciding with the onset of the holiday shopping season, this event encourages purchasers to consider buying local art when shopping for gifts. The art sale will also feature activities throughout the day, including interactive art projects, artist demos, and more.

The Arts & Ends Holiday Sale takes place during the Off the Wall Exhibit: 200 Pieces Under $200. This non-traditional art show features works in all mediums priced at $200 or less. All sales are “cash and carry,” meaning purchasers will get to take the piece with them when they buy it, instead of waiting until the end of the exhibit. The exhibit runs through December 29. Guests can also shop works from over 75 local and regional artists in the gift shop.

“We hope that this event and exhibit inspires shoppers to consider buying from local artists this season,” said Krista Johnson, exhibitions coordinator at the Alliance for the Arts. “Purchasing local art is a gift that gives back to a thriving creative economy.”

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



Alliance’s ‘Off the Wall’ holiday exhibit opens November 9 (10-27-18)

The Alliance’s Off the Wall holiday exhibition opens November 9 with a 5:00-7:00 p.m. reception.

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

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

The show runs through December 29. For more information, please visit or telephone 239-939-2787.



Alliance accepting submissions for 33rd Annual All Florida Juried Exhibit (10-27-18)

The Alliance’s annual All Florida Juried Exhibition features pieces created by artists working in a wide variety of media from all over the 65,000 square miles that make up Florida. The juried entries come together for an award-winning and exciting exhibition representing today’s contemporary Florida artists. The Alliance is accepting submissions online now through Monday, January 28, 2019. The show will exhibit March 8-29, with an opening reception from 5:00-7:00 p.m. on Friday, March 8. A conversational walk and talk through the gallery with the artists and juror will take place at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, March 9.

Please visit for a prospectus or telephone 239-939-2787 for more information.



Today is ‘What Dreams May Fly’ second anniversary (10-26-18)

Dream 08Today is the third anniversary of the installation of What Dreams May Fly and How They Fly in Clemente Park by Maryland artist Cheryl Foster. The brightly colored 5×10 foot plasma-cut steel sculpture with mosaic elements was commissioned by the City of Fort Myers Public Art Committee.

The piece depicts the silhouetted heads of an dream-02African-American male, female and child, and includes fused glass pieces that the community helped Foster make at an event she hosted on Easter Sunday in 2015 at the Friendship Missionary Baptist Church on Palm Avenue. Through the piece, both Foster and the City of Fort Myers Public Art Community seek to draw attention to the accomplishments of the Dunbar community, both past and future, speak to the rich cheryl-foster-1and complex history of the African-American community, enhance the park, promote a deeper sense of community and reinforce the Black Historical Society’s mission.

Foster was selected in 2014 by the Public Art Committee from a national field of 67 applicants for the $20,000 commission.

Please click here for the rest of this story and for more information about Maryland public artist Cheryl Foster.



Thomas Marsh undertaking challenging role of ‘Elephant Man’ Joe Merrick (10-26-18)

Local actor Tom Marsh is undertaking his most challenging role to date. He’ll be portraying Joseph Merrick in Theatre Conspiracy’s upcoming production of Bernard Pomerance’s The Elephant Man. Rick Sebastian directs, with Scott Carpenter, Joann Haley, Stephen Hooper, Rob Green, David Pimentel, Anna Grilli and Scott Thomson rounding out the cast.

The play could not be more timely, as it underscores the pitfalls of judging people on their outward appearance and the emotional damage inflicted on people who don’t measure up to our Hollywood-Madison-Avenue-imposed concept of beauty, ability and intelligence.

It’s no secret that slim, good-looking men and women have a decided advantage over more-qualified but less attractive candidates when it comes to job applications, promotions and political office. Shaming people over their weight or appearance is commonplace.

We would all like to believe that we’ve evolved in temperament and tolerance over the past 100 years, when opponents of women’s suffrage reviled suffragettes as snaggle-tooth hags too ugly to land husbands. But after the women’s march on the day after President Trump’s inauguration in 2016, one federal judge posted on Facebook that “after just one day in office, Trump managed to achieve something that no one else has been able to do: he got a million fat women out walking,” with a Nebraska state senator retweeting an image of three participants holding signs that objected to the President’s Accent Hollywood remarks along with the words, “Ladies, I think you’re safe.”

Read here for the rest of this advance.



Scott Carpenter tackling role of Dr. Frederick Teves in ‘The Elephant Man’ (10-26-18)

Scott Carpenter’s next role will be that of Dr. Frederick Teves in Theatre Conspiracy’s upcoming production of The Elephant Man. You can read about Scott’s prior theater appearances here. Carpenter was recently honored with the Cape Coral Community Foundation ENPY award for “2018 Nonprofit Volunteer of the Year Award” for his work with Lab Theater.



Submissions for ‘Stage It!’ 3 now open (10-26-18)

The Center for Performing Arts Bonita Springs is now accepting submissions for its next STAGE IT! 10-MINUTE PLAYS challenge. The deadline for submission is January 20, 2018. Interested playwrights may submit up to three 10-minute plays. The submission fee for the first entry is $15 and $10 for each additional entry up to three. Plays should be in generally-accepted script format and must be emailed to or mailed to the Center for Performing Arts, 10150 Bonita Beach Road, Bonita Springs, FL 34135, c/o: STAGE IT.

Submissions will be reviewed by at least two theatre professionals on a blind jury basis (so do not place your name on the script itself). The judges’ critique forms will be available to the playwrights after the competition, by request.

Ten plays will be selected for live performances at the Moe Auditorium andFilm Center on the campus of the Center for the Performing Arts, and will be published by Centers for the Arts Bonita Springs in their third collection of STAGE IT! Ten-Minute Plays. The Center will most likely invite more plays for publication in the book as well as future performances in its Funny Shorts LIVE! shows that are featuring three times a year. Set, lighting and sound requirements should be minimal as the Center for Performing Arts does not have a limitless production budget and will cut for cost.

An “Audience Favorite” will be named following the performances, with the winner receiving a $100 cash prize.

For additional information, please email or call 239-495-8989.

For information on last year’s Stage It! Ten-Minute Play Festival and Book Release, read here.



Scope out this season’s Southwest Florida art fairs and festivals (10-25-18)

Southwest Florida is home to more than 60 outdoor art fairs, festivals and other shows each season, which officially started on October 3 with the First Wednesday Studio & Gallery Tour in the Naples Art District. It’s never too soon to start marking on your calendar the art fairs, festivals and other shows you want to catch this season, and to assist you in this effort, Art Southwest Florida features a detailed month-by-month calendar for October, 2018 through April, 2019. So check it out here.



Application deadline for Naples National Art Festival is October 30  (10-25-18)

Crowd Shot BestThe Naples Art Association is currently accepting applications for inclusion in two of its outstanding outdoor art festivals, Naples National Art Festival and The Downtown Naples Festival of the Arts. (The app deadline for The Downtown Naples New Year’s Weekend Art Fair is now closed.)

Naples National is consistently voted among the Crowd Shot 01top 25 art festivals in the country by Sunshine Artist Magazine and was ranked #15 last year. 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.

Aerial 02If you are interested in exhibiting in the 40th Naples National Art Festival, here’s what you will need to know:

  • Dates: Saturday & Sunday, February 23-24, 2019
  • Festival Hours: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
  • Location: Cambier Park & 8th Street South, downtown Naples
  • Accept 190 artists max
  • Application fee: $35
  • Crowd Shot GreatBooth fee: $625 for 10×10
  • Cancellation refund policy: Full refund: 01/11/19; 50% refund: 2/04/19
  • Set up specifics: Friday set up on 2/22,
  • Park and street setting
  • Application deadline: 10/30/18
  • Jury Process begins: 11/09/18
  • Status Notification: 11/27/18
  • Booth Fee Due: 12/15/18
  • Crowd Shot 04Artist Info Sent: 01/21/19
  • Wait List Acceptance: 12/15/18
  • Application available online at beginning June 1, 2018

To improve the quality of the show and to provide more sales opportunities for our artists, NAA has reduced the number of booths available from 270 to 190. “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.”

The 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 5:00 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.



App deadline for 31st Annual Downtown Naples Festival of the Arts is Dec. 9 (10-25-18)

Crowd Shot 01 (4)The Naples Art Association is currently accepting applications for inclusion in two of its outstanding outdoor art festivals, Naples National Art Festival and The Downtown Naples Festival of the Arts. (The app deadline for The Downtown Naples New Year’s Weekend Art Fair is now closed.)

The 31st Annual Downtown Naples Festival of the Arts is one of the last major art festivals of the winter season and a favorite festival for artists, art enthusiasts and collectors. If you would like to Tents 03exhibit in this show, here’s what you will need to know:

  • Dates: Saturday and Sunday, March 23-24, 2019
  • Festival Hours: Saturday: 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.; Sunday: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
  • Location: 5th Avenue South, Downtown Naples
  • Premier Crowd Shot 01Accept 250 artists max
  • Application fee: $35
  • Booth fee: $450 for 10×10
  • Cancellation refund policy: Full refund: 02/04/18; 50% refund: 02/25/18
  • Set up specifics: 4 a.m., early morning set up only;
  • On street set up in quads: No electrical
  • Application deadline: 12/09/18
  • Jury Process begins: 12/14/18
  • Crowd Shot 11Status Notification: 12/28/18
  • Booth Fee Due: 01/18/19
  • Artist Info Sent: 02/26/19
  • Wait List Acceptance: 01/18/19
  • Application available online at beginning June 1, 2018

The Naples Downtown Art Show was voted one of the top five favorite events by local businesses and residents. It was also rated in the top 15 by Sunshine Artist’s survey of all artists in the country.



Hot Works’ Naples Fine Art Shows promise to be intimate, boutique affairs (10-25-18)

Hot Works LLC has announced that it will be holding two weekend art shows in Naples during the upcoming season. Both will be held at the Galleria Shoppes on Vanderbilt. The 1st Bi-Annual Naples Fine Art Show will take place on Saturday and Sunday, December 15 and 16, with the second returning to the Galleria Shoppes on Saturday and Sunday, March 30 and 31, 2019.

The shows will be organized and conducted as intimate, boutique affairs that feature original work by no more than 150 nationally and internationally acclaimed artists in painting (oil, acrylic and watercolor), drawing (pastels, colored pencil and pen-and-ink), photography, digital imagery, sculpture (metal and stone), clay, ceramics, wood working and carving, glass, fiber art (including batik and tapestry), art jewelry and more.

The size and arrangement of these shows encourages art lovers and collectors to engage the artists about their inspiration, process and what makes them unique within the highly-competitive realm of fine arts and fine crafts. But Executive Director Patty Narozny employs a number of other time-honored techniques to make Hot Works’ shows a positive experience both for participating artists and patrons.


First and foremost, she enlists a team of art professionals with more than 120 years of combined experience to judge the work of the hundreds of applicants who wish to participate in Hot Works’ shows. Narozny is choosey, and her interest goes well beyond digital images and paper applications. She visits many of her artists in their homes and studios to make sure that their work makes a contribution to the quality of her shows and a statement in the collections of the people who patronize them.

But Narozny also understands that most of the folks who come to her shows are far from experienced collectors. In fact, many are newbies – or have yet to take the plunge and buy their first artwork. They are still in the process of defining their tastes and have yet to figure out what they like and why is speaks to them. With that in mind, she builds variety into every Hot Works show.

Further, she and her team strive to ensure that the work presented covers a wide range of price points. There is art for every budget.

Last but not least, purchasers can buy with confidence. Because Narozny does her homework so meticulously, they know they’re not only getting an original work of art from a credentialed artist, they are getting value as well.

While the business side of the equation is serious work, attending a Hot Works show is a relaxing, casual experience. It’s like taking a leisurely stroll through a park filled with artwork. There’s no pressure to do anything more than look and envision what that great painting, photograph or sculpture might look like in your home or office. And if you need a little help in the latter category, all of the exhibiting artists are only too happy to bring one or more artworks to your house after hours so that you can see exactly what it looks like on your bookcase, floor or wall.

If you haven’t been to a Hot Works fine art show before, it’s a treat you deserve. For more information, please visit or email And don’t forget Hot Works’ other Southwest Florida fine art show at Jet Blue Park. The Estero Fine Art Show will take place on January 5 & 6, 2019.



‘Feel the Art’ on ‘view’ at NAA through October 27 (10-24-18)

Exhibiting now through October 27 in the Frederick O. Watson Gallery on the ground floor of the Naples Art Association is Feel the Art, an exhibition of artwork by sighted, visually-impaired and blind artists. As the title implies, visitors will be invited to shake off the traditional gallery experience and use their sense of touch to explore the exhibit.

“Art is generally considered to be a visual experience,” notes NAA in the prospectus for the show. “But our appreciation of art does not need to come purely from sight. Touching is a basic instinct and a way to experience objects, gather information and build awareness.”

Deborah Patterson Butler served as juror for this show. Butler is a scholar, artist and native Floridian who has enjoyed an extensive art career in Southwest Florida. She was Professor of Art History and Humanities at Florida SouthWestern State College for 34 years and served on the college’s Rauschenberg Gallery board. She currently serves on the Board of the International Society of Experimental Artists and chairs the Visual Arts Committee at BIG ARTS on Sanibel Island, where she arranges exhibitions for the center’s Phillips and Founders Galleries.

Butler’s additive sculpture, collage and mixed-media works have been exhibited in Sarasota, Fort Myers and Sanibel, as well as in Traverse City, Michigan. She received a Master of Arts degree in Art History and Humanities from Florida State University in Tallahassee, a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from FSU, and an Associates of Arts from Saint Petersburg College. She has been awarded multiple grants by the National Endowment for the Humanities for study and research at the University of California and John Hopkins University, as well as for programs in Naples, Italy.

For more information, please telephone 239-262-6517 or visit



NAA’s ‘Morris Herstein: A Fusion of Fotos’ closes November 3 (10-24-18)

Morris Herstein: A Fusion of Fotos is on view at the Naples Art Association through November 3. Presented in this solo exhibition are vivid examples of flowers from his Abstract and Fleur Collections, a never before seen sixteen-foot panorama of Miami’s Brickell Ave and Brickell Bay, Havana street scenes as well as delicately executed photographs of Ellis Island and the Palouse region of the Pacific Northwest. Herstein transferred his knowledge of color technology into the art of photography after a successful career as a scientist and product developer with cosmetic giants Revlon and Estee Lauder. You’ll find the exhibition on the first and second levels in the Elizabeth & William Barrick, Millicent & Charles Marshall, Elizabeth & Alan Harris, John H. & Lucile Harris Foundation and Minnesota Lobby Galleries.



NAA bringing ‘Scene to be Seen” back on November 1 (10-24-18)

Last year, Naples Art Association introduced Scene to be Seen: A Runway Art Show. The popular event returns on Thursday, November 1. Artwear in all media and styles including garments, ensembles, hats and handbags for both men and women will be featured.

“This event combines the sophistication of Naples with the thrill and excitement of top international couture runway shows,” states NAA in its announcement for the show. “High fashion collides with high art for a unique, exciting opportunity to see the creative process and own a unique piece of artwear yourself.”

The evening will have an immersive atmosphere, giving attendees a chance to socialize and experience the thrill of creativity — including a fully staged runway show, sales gallery, and live auction featuring men’s and women’s garments, ensembles, hats, jewelry and handbags created by artists from Los Angeles, New York, the Philippines and Italy as well as right here in Southwest Florida.

The welcome reception with appetizing hors d’oeuvres and cocktails begins at 7:00 and will be followed by the extraordinary fashion show and auction. After the show, stay for a fabulous after-party with music and a full cash bar.

NAA is currently accepting submissions for the show. A panel of Fashion/Art Centric professionals will select entries from digital images or sketches based upon originality, creativity, artistry, and complexity of workmanship.

Artists may submit model names, however, they must go through committee approval. For more information, including an application form, please visit



Naples Art ‘Celebrating Light’ on October 31 (10-24-18)

Bright sunlight, multicolored carnival lights, chiaroscuro and control of lighting effects have produced some of the most spectacular images in art. With this in mind, the Naples Art Association will be exhibiting Celebrating Light October 31 – December 1, 2018. The exhibition will feature work by artists in a variety of media that explore and reveal how dramatic and other light effects impact the viewer.



Naples Art looking for artists for its immigration-themed 2019 show (10-24-18)

Immigration affects many areas such as work-force demographics, entitlement programs and finances. Artists have a lot to share on this important topic. And so the Naples Art Association is bringing Immigration: Does it Matter? to the Collier community January 12 – February 24, 2019. Artists who are interested in participating in this social-themed show should bring one exhibition ready artwork to Gallery 104 on January 3, 2019 between 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m.



Rookery Bay’s ‘Parallel Harmonies’ closes October 31 (10-24-18)

Rookery Bay Environmental Learning Center’s current exhibit, Parallel Harmonies: Art and Nature, closes October 31. The exhibition features a collection of work by Cesar Aguilera, Paul Arsenault, Juan Diaz, Ehren Fritz Gerhard and Katia Miranda that celebrates the relationship between the artist and the natural world that inspires him or her.

This relationship has evolved over the millennia and is still a central focus of contemporary practice for many artists today. Relationships are symbiotic, one taking care of the other. In a time of global climate change, artists are using the inspiration of nature and its current health to bring light and change to human patterns of behavior. They aim to protect this relationship and care for what inspires them: wind, color, trees, texture, sun and vibrancy.



Clayton’s conservation to be completed in time for 20th anniversary (10-23-18)

On a clear, crisp morning twenty years ago this Veteran’s Day, 10-year-old Kendra Myers screamed and ducked for cover as musket fire reverberated through Centennial Park before being swallowed by the still waters of the Caloosahatchee River. The reports issued from matchlocks shot by members of RHL DabneyAmerican Legion Post 192 who were attired that morning in the uniform of Union foot soldiers. No, it wasn’t part of a Civil War re-enactment. Post 192 was on hand with U.S. Army General Johnny Edward Wilson, U.S. Rep. Alcee Hastings and State Senator Tom Rossin (D-West Palm Beach) to dedicate a monument to companies D & I of the 2nd Regiment of the United States Colored Troops that had been installed in Centennial Park by North Fort Myers sculptor Don J. Wilkins at the request of the Fort Myers Beautification Advisory Board.

The monument consists of a heroic-size Union sergeant who stands atop a landing in front of an opening between two gently curving concrete walls. The fictional African-American soldier in the monument represents the 168 men from companies D & I who were stationed in Fort Myers during the last 18 months of the Civil War. That contingent was responsible for repelling an attack on February 20, 1865 initiated by Major William Footman and 275 members of the Florida Special Cavalry, 1st Battalion, popularly known as the “Cow Cavalry.” Footman and the Cow Cavalry had orders to burn Fort Myers to the ground. Had they succeeded, it’s likely that the settlers who arrived a year later would have gone elsewhere to build their homes. So in a very real sense, the town of Fort Myers owes its existence to the men of companies D & I of the USCT 2d Regiment.

The monument has needed some repairs and maintenance since 2014. Some of the coping on one of the walls was knocked off by falling limbs during Hurricane Irma. By then, the City had already allocated funds to put the monument and several other public artworks in good repair, but because of the storm damage, the City Manager had to find additional funding in order to initiate the work.

The work finally started on October 1 ….

Read here for the rest of this story.


Conservation of two popular Fort Myers public artworks under way



15 of City’s new Carmona sculptures to be moved to City’s other five wards (10-23-18)

This past August, the City of Fort Myers purchased the 23 rust-colored sculptures that line the streets downtown and the east promenade that circles the City’s 1.8 acre river basin. But only seven of them will remain in River District locations. The City’s Public Art Committee resolved on Tuesday to move one of the pieces to the Edison & Ford Winter Estates and relocate 15 others to sites in the City’s other five wards.

Over the past several years, City Council has regularly expressed the sentiment that public art should be interspersed throughout Fort Myers’ six wards so that all of its citizens can enjoy and be inspired by its public art collection. For a variety of reasons, the vast majority of the City’s 46 public artworks are located downtown. Many (such as Fire Dance, The Great Turtle Chase, Uncommon Friends, the USCT 2nd Regiment Monument and the Buckingham & Paige Army Air Field Memorial) reside in Centennial Park. Since relocating monumental sculptures and permanent installations is expensive and fraught with technological challenges, the idea was to site new commissions in Wards 1, 2, 3, 5 and 6.


But then the Great Recession struck and donations to the City’s public art fund dried up as building and development slowed and then stopped altogether. Thus, acquisition of the Allure/Carmona sculptures represents the first meaningful opportunity for the City’s Public Art Committee to place art on sites outside of Ward 4.

Go here and scroll down for the rest of this announcement.



’42nd Street’ on Broadway Palm main stage through November 17 (10-22-18)

The musical extravaganza 42nd Street is on stage at the Broadway Palm now through November 17.

Here’s the storyline: Aspiring chorus girl Peggy Sawyer heads to New York City and quickly lands her first big gig in the ensemble of a glitzy new Broadway show. Just before opening night, the leading lady breaks her ankle, and her misfortune just might provide Peggy with her own big break – a chance to step in and become a star!

42nd Street sparkles with some of the greatest songs in musical theatre history including We’re In The Money, Lullaby of Broadway, Shuffle Off To Buffalo, Dames, I Only Have Eyes For You and the title song 42nd Street. During its Broadway run, 42nd Street received eight Tony Award nominations and was the winner of Best Musical in 1981.

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



Legarreta, Endrizzi, Pankow headline ‘Don’t Dress for Dinner’ Off-Broadway cast (10-22-18)

Kelly Legarreta, Rachael Endrizzi, Michael H. Heath, John Keckeisen, Katie Pankow and Ken Quiricone are appearing now through November 10 in the Off Broadway Palm Theatre’s production of Don’t Dress For Dinner. Written by Marc Camoletti, the wildly funny comedy was nominated for two Tony Awards and was a long running hit in London.

Here’s the plot: When Bernard’s wife decides to visit her mother for a few days, he makes plans to spend a romantic weekend with his chic, new, Parisian mistress in his charming converted French farmhouse. He invites his friend Robert as an alibi, but when his wife finds out Robert will be in town, she changes her plans for a surprise tryst of her own. Throw in a cook with the same name as the mistress and an evening of sidesplitting confusion ensues as Bernard and Robert improvise at breakneck speed.

Off Broadway Palm’s Artistic Director Paul Bernier directs. Bernier’s directing credits include the hits Unnecessary Farce, The Savannah Sipping Society, The Dixie Swim Club and The Odd Couple, among many more.

The Off Broadway Palm is an intimate 100-seat theater located off the main lobby of Broadway Palm. Performances are Wednesday through Sunday evenings with selected matinees. Ticket prices range from $39 to $59 with group discounts available for parties of 20 or more. Tickets are now on sale and can be reserved by calling (239) 278-4422, visiting or in person at 1380 Colonial Boulevard in Fort Myers.


  1. Don’t Dress For Dinner Bernard and Robert: John Keckeisen as Bernard and Ken Quiricone as Robert.
  2. Don’t Dress For Dinner Robert, Suzanne, Bernard and Jacqueline: Ken Quiricone as Robert, Rachael Endrizzi as Suzanne, John Keckeisen as Bernard and Katie Pankow as Jacqueline.
  3. Don’t Dress For Dinner Suzette, George, Robert and Bernard: Kelly Legarreta as Suzette, Michael Heath as George, Ken Quiricone as Robert and John Keckeisen as Bernard.



‘Don’t Drink the Water’ opens at Cultural Park on October 26 (10-22-18)

Don’t Drink the Water opens onstage at Cultural Park on October 26. Performances are October 26 and 27 at 8:00 p.m. and October 28 at 3:00 p.m. as well as November 2 and 3 at 8:00 p.m. and November 4 at 3:00 p.m.



Florida Rep’s ‘Becoming Dr. Ruth’ extended through October 28 (10-22-18)

By popular demand, Florida Repertory Theatre’s 2018-2019 season opener, Mark St. Germain’s Becoming Dr. Ruth, has been extended through October 28.

If the name Mark St. Germain seems familiar, it’s because his resume includes such Florida Rep hits as Best of Enemies, last season’s world premiere of George Washington’s Teeth, and the first play to be performed in the new ArtStage Studio Theatre, Camping with Henry and Tom.

Chris Clavelli returns to Florida Rep to direct the production. He also directed last year’s season opener, Outside Mullingar, as well as a recent production at Sarasota’s newest professional company, Dog Days Theatre.

Clavelli’s creative team includes set designer Bert Scott (Over the River and Through the Woods), costume designer Jacqueline Loy (Florida Rep debut), lighting and projection designer Rob Siler (Disgraced), sound designer Katie Lowe, and ensemble stage manager Amy Massari (George Washington’s Teeth).

Regional theater veteran Susan Greenhill stars in the iconic title role. Greenhill is no stranger to the role, having appeared as Dr. Ruth at Studio Theatre in Sarasota and the Kravis Center in West Palm Beach.

”Dr. Ruth’s unbelievable life story is a profile in courage, and it is in capable hands with Chris Clavelli and Susan Greenhill,” observes Florida Rep Interim Artistic Director Jason Parrish.

Becoming Dr. Ruth is moving, incredibly funny and a fascinating look at a life well-lived, and full of Dr. Ruth’s signature personality and charm,” he adds. For Charles Runnels slant on Dr. Ruth and the play, read here.

Tickets are available online at and through the box office at 239-332-4488. Tickets are at $55 and $49 for regular performances, and $35 and $29 for previews. Subscriptions start as low as $150 for six plays and offer the best seats and the most significant savings, and are available through the box office. Box office hours are Monday through Friday, 10:00 a.m to 5:00 p.m. New this season, Florida Rep’s parking lot will open two hours before each performance and offers guests limited free parking across the street from the Arcade Theatre.

And to see what else Florida Rep has in store for audiences this season, read here.



‘Steel Magnolias’ on stage at Florida Rep through November 7 (10-22-18)

Playing now through November 7 in the historic Arcade Theatre at Florida Repertory Theatre is Robert Harling’s Steel Magnolias. The show stars Rachel Burttram as Truvy Jones, Betsy Helmer as Annelle, Sara Morsey as Ouiser Boudreaux, Alison Campbell as Shelby Eatenton, Patricia Idlette as Clairee Belcher and Amy Tribbey as M’Lynn Eatenton.

Every Southern woman knows there are few institutions more important than the town beauty parlor. At Truvy’s salon in Chinquapin, Louisiana, six women gather to swap stories, share gossip and, of course, have their hair done. But when tragedy strikes, the women prove they can weather any storm as long as they’re there to lift one another up.

Join Truvy, M’Lynn, Shelby, Annelle, Clairee, and Oiuser for the stage-play that inspired the 1989 film classic – and which proves there is nothing more beautiful or more durable than the bonds of female friendship.




Spotlight on ‘Steel Magnolias’ actor Rachel Burttram (10-22-18)

Playing now through November 7 in the historic Arcade Theatre at Florida Repertory Theatre is Robert Harling’s Steel Magnolias. The show stars Rachel Burttram as Truvy Jones, Betsy Helmer as Annelle, Sara Morsey as Ouiser Boudreaux, Alison Campbell as Shelby Eatenton, Patricia Idlette as Clairee Belcher and Amy Tribbey as M’Lynn Eatenton. Read here for more on Rachel Burttram.



Spotlight on ‘Steel Magnolias’ actor Patricia Idlette (10-22-18)

Playing now through November 7 in the historic Arcade Theatre at Florida Repertory Theatre is Robert Harling’s Steel Magnolias. The show stars Rachel Burttram as Truvy Jones, Betsy Helmer as Annelle, Sara Morsey as Ouiser Boudreaux, Alison Campbell as Shelby Eatenton, Patricia Idlette as Clairee Belcher and Amy Tribbey as M’Lynn Eatenton. Read here for more on Patricia Idlette.



The Southeastern premiere of ‘Damascus’ opens Nov. 6 at Florida Rep (10-22-18)

Damascus by Bennett Fisher opens at Florida Rep on November 6. It stars Jeremiah Clapp as Lloyd, Darian Dauchan as Hassan and Laura Shatkus playing multiple roles. The play is an electrifying psychological thriller that challenges conventional stereotypes while investigating the fine line between caution and paranoia. The action takes place late one night at the Minneapolis airport when a stranded teenager pleads with a Somali-American shuttle driver to rush him to Chicago. Chosen from Florida Rep’s 2017 PlayLab, Damascus runs in the ArtStage Studio Theatre through December 9.



Terry Tincher and Dr. Scott Michael joining cast for Ghostbird’s next show (10-22-18)

Cultural dynamo Terry Tincher and FGCU virologist Dr. Scott Michael are joining the cast for Ghostbird Theatre Partners’ next production, Boxes Are for What We Keep. FGCU theater major Gabrielle Lansden and FGCU alum Daniel De La Rosa will also be joining company members Jim Brock, Katelyn Gravel and Stella Ruiz for the show, which was written by Barry Cavin and will be staged on November 10 & 11 and 17 & 18 at the Happehatchee Center in Estero.

“With each production, we are on the constant lookout for new flockmates to play with us,” explains Brock, who is a founding member of the company. “Somehow, we have been able to sweet talk Fort Myers impresario Terry Tincher to perform with us, and we have been graced by his kindness, good humor, and dedication.”

Dr. Scott Michael is Professor of Biological Sciences at Florida Gulf Coast University. A long-time patron of the arts, Michael spent time on the boards in both high school and college.

“We are pretty sure we are the only theatre company in the United States to have an actor who is a nationally-recognized expert in virology,” Brock quips. “He can answer your questions about certain Wolbachia strains and how that, once populated in mosquito cells, they can inhibit, even block, the replication of Zika virus – which can disrupt the transmission of this disease. Oh, and don’t get him started talking about Dengue Fever!”


Unlike Tincher and Dr. Michael, Daniel De La Rosa has some history with Ghostbird. He performed in Wooden Mouth ten years ago. That was the show that originally inspired Brittney Brady, Philip Heubeck, Katelyn Gravel and Jim Brock to start a theater company of their own.

You’ll find the rest of this announcement here.




Spotlight on ‘Boxes Are for What We Keep’ actor Jim Brock (10-22-18)

Ghostbird Theatre Company’s next production comes to the Happehatchee Center in Estero on November 10 & 11 and 17 & 18. It introduces Terry Tincher, Dr. Scott Michael and FGCU theater major Gabrielle Lansden and welcomes back FGCU alum Daniel De La Rosa. But it stars Ghostbird co-founders Jim Brock and Katelyn Gravel as well as Ghostbird mainstay Stella Ruiz. For more about Jim Brock, read here.



Spotlight on ‘Boxes Are for What We Keep’ actor Katelyn Gravel (10-22-18)

Ghostbird Theatre Company’s next production comes to the Happehatchee Center in Estero on November 10 & 11 and 17 & 18. It introduces Terry Tincher, Dr. Scott Michael and FGCU theater major Gabrielle Lansden and welcomes back FGCU alum Daniel De La Rosa. But it stars Ghostbird co-founders Jim Brock and Katelyn Gravel as well as Ghostbird mainstay Stella Ruiz. For more on Katelyn Gravel, read here.



Spotlight on ‘Boxes Are for What We Keep’ actor Stella Ruiz (10-22-18)

Ghostbird Theatre Company’s next production comes to the Happehatchee Center in Estero on November 10 & 11 and 17 & 18. It introduces Terry Tincher, Dr. Scott Michael and FGCU theater major Gabrielle Lansden and welcomes back FGCU alum Daniel De La Rosa. But it stars Ghostbird co-founders Jim Brock and Katelyn Gravel as well as Ghostbird mainstay Stella Ruiz. For more on Stella Ruiz, read here.



Spotlight on ‘Boxes Are for What We Keep’ newcomer Terry Tincher (10-22-18)

Ghostbird Theatre Company’s next production comes to the Happehatchee Center in Estero on November 10 & 11 and 17 & 18. It introduces Terry Tincher, Dr. Scott Michael and FGCU theater major Gabrielle Lansden and welcomes back FGCU alum Daniel De La Rosa. But it stars Ghostbird co-founders Jim Brock and Katelyn Gravel as well as Ghostbird mainstay Stella Ruiz. For more on Terry Tincher, read here.



‘Hand to God’ raw, raunchy, irreverent and sexy – what more could you want? (10-22-18)

Keeping up with the tradition of providing fresh new experiences for southwest Florida, Laboratory Theater of Florida is excited to bring Robert Askins’ Hand to God to the stage. Generously sponsored by Art Zupko, the production marks the play’s Southwest Florida premiere.

Admit it. You’ve had certain…impulses, right? Ones you’ve thought about, but would never actually act upon or say out loud? It’s human nature. And that darkest human nature is exposed when a Texas church youth-group assignment to create original hand puppets goes strangely awry.


Cypress, Texas is a small, conservative, and extremely devout town. Margery is a recent widow who needs something to occupy her time, so the local pastor has asked her to run the church puppet club, whose members include her son Jason, his next-door neighbor Jessica (who Jason has a crush on), and Timmy, the neighborhood troublemaker whose mother attends support meetings at the church. The puppet club has been asked to put on a performance at the church next Sunday at the request of Pastor Greg. Jason’s hand puppet, Tyrone, takes on a life of his own, announces that he is Satan, leads them into sin, and expresses secrets that the characters would rather have left unacknowledged.

Read here for the rest of this review.

And you’ll find play dates, times and ticket information here.



Spotlight on ‘Hand to God’ actor Shelley Sanders (10-22-18)

On stage now through November 3 at Lab Theater is Off-Broadway Alliance’s 2014 Best New Play winner Hand to God. Chock full of sex, seduction, adult language, blood and puppet love, the play stars Shelley Sanders, Steven Coe, Kenneth Bradley Johnson, T.J. Albertson and Sofia Weymouth, with inspired direction by Lab co-founder Nykkie Rizley. For more on Shelley Sanders, read here.



From Brother Boy to Pastor Greg, ‘Hand to God’ actor Ken Johnson rocks (10-22-18)

On stage now through November 3 at Lab Theater is Off-Broadway Alliance’s 2014 Best New Play winner Hand to God. Chock full of sex, seduction, adult language, blood and puppet love, the play stars Shelley Sanders, Steven Coe, Kenneth Bradley Johnson, T.J. Albertson and Sofia Weymouth, with inspired direction by Lab co-founder Nykkie Rizley. For more on Kenneth Bradley Johnson, read here.



Spotlight on ‘Hand to God’ actor Steven Coe (10-22-18)

On stage now through November 3 at Lab Theater is Off-Broadway Alliance’s 2014 Best New Play winner Hand to God. Chock full of sex, seduction, adult language, blood and puppet love, the play stars Shelley Sanders, Steven Coe, Kenneth Bradley Johnson, T.J. Albertson and Sofia Weymouth, with inspired direction by Lab co-founder Nykkie Rizley. For more on Steven Coe, read here.



New Phoenix Theatre holding auditions of ‘Marvin’s Room’ on November 3 (10-22-18)

New Phoenix Theatre is holding auditions for Marvin’s Room by Scott McPherson at 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, November 3 at De LaSalle Academy, which is located at 6401 Techster Boulevard in Fort Myers 33966. (Come to Door 6.)

The play revolves around a 40-something woman by the name of Bessie, who is caring for her pain-ridden aunt and ailing bed-ridden father in Florida. When Bessie is diagnosed with leukemia, she’s constrained to contact her long-estranged sister, Lee, to see if their bone marrow is compatible for a transplant. Lee reluctantly makes the trip from Ohio to Florida, bringing along her two sons. The sisters’ reunion is uneasy, with long buried recriminations coming to the surface even as love slowly overwhelms Lee’s veneer of selfishness and glib denial. Beloved for its mordant humor and unflinching wisdom, Scott McPherson’s dark comedy allows us a moving view of one woman’s commitment to family and response to despair.

These are the characters New Phoenix is casting:

  • Bessie (40 year-old)
  • Lee, Bessie’s Sister, (late 30’s)
  • Hank, Lee’s 17-year-old son
  • Charlie, Hank’s younger brother
  • Ruth, Bessie’s Aunt (over 70 years old)
  • Doctor Wally
  • Bob, Dr. Wally’s brother and receptionist
  • Doctor Charlotte
  • Retirement Home Director
  • Marvin, Bessie’s Father

Marvin’s Room will be performed January 10, 11, 12, 17, 18, 19, 24, 25, 26 at 8:00 p.m. and on January 13, 20 and 27 at 2:00 p.m.



‘Peter and the Starcatcher’ closes October 28 (10-22-18)

On stage now through October 28 in Blackburn Hall at the Sugden Community Theatre on Naples’ fabled Fifth Avenue South is The Naples Players’ production of Peter and the Starcatcher. 

Written by Rick Elice and with music by Wayne Barker, Peter and the Starcatcher is based on the novel by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson. The Tony Award-winning musical upends the century-old story of how a miserable orphan comes to be The Boy Who Would Not Grow Up (a.k.a. Peter Pan). The musical features flying, dreaming, adventure and the tale of growing up. From marauding pirates and jungle tyrants to unwilling comrades and unlikely heroes, Peter and the Starcatcher playfully explores the depths of greed and despair and the bonds of friendship, duty and love. It’s an exciting adult origin story that’s great for kids, too!

The play provides a backstory for the characters of Peter Pan, Mrs. Darling, Tinker Bell and Hook and serves as a prequel to J. M. Barrie’s Peter and Wendy. A young orphan and his mates are shipped off from Victorian England to a distant island ruled by the evil King Zarboff. They know nothing of the mysterious trunk in the captain’s cabin, which contains a precious, otherworldly cargo. At sea, the boys are discovered by a precocious young girl named Molly, a Starcatcher-in-training who realizes that the trunk’s precious cargo is starstuff, a celestial substance so powerful that it must never fall into the wrong hands. When the ship is taken over by pirates – led by the fearsome Black Stache, a villain determined to claim the trunk and its treasure for his own – the journey quickly becomes a thrilling adventure.

New York guest artist Emma Canalese (photo 4, right) directs.

“When offered the opportunity to direct at The Naples Players, I immediately jumped at the chance to direct Peter and The Starcatcher,” relates Ms. Canalese. “The possibilities of what can be created are only limited by the imagination of the creative team and I have been incredibly lucky to have had a dream team to work with. While I was initially drawn to the show because of its energy and movement, what has really excited me is the meat of the play. Yes, the show is fast, exciting and funny but it also asks us to look at profound questions about life, like what is it that matters to us and what mark do we leave on the world? What does time take from us and what does it mean to grow up?”

Joseph Brauer provides musical direction; Dan Granke serves as Fight Director.


Newcomer Harvey Millar (3rd photo) portrays Boy (Peter), with seasoned favorite Mark Vanagas (5th photo) as the incomparable Black Stache and rising star Alex Portaro (6th photo) as Molly Aster.

Other performers in the cast include:

  • Alex Alfaro as Captain Scott,
  • Jamielynn Bucci as Smee,
  • Kylie Campbell as Prentiss,
  • Michael Chernini as Fighting Prawn,
  • Julia Cornwall as Sanchez/Hawking Clam,
  • Brian Hann as Alf,
  • Kenneth Hardcastle as Lord Aster,
  • Les Prebbleas as Mrs. Bumbrake/Teacher,
  • Misha Ritter as Slank, and
  • Briallen Sanchez-Thurber as Ted.

Tickets are $40 for adults, $35 for subscribers and are available for purchase online at or by contacting the Box Office at (239) 263-7990.

N.B.:  Photo 2: pictured from left are Julia Cornwall, Michael Cheribini, JamieLynn Bucci, Mark Vanagas, Kenneth Hardcastle, Misha Ritter, Alex Alfaro, and PaulPolomsky. Courtesy of Neubek Photography.



TNP’s ‘June & Jason’s Survival Guide to Divorce’ opens October 24 (10-22-18)

June & Jason’s Survival Guide to Divorce opens October 24 in Tobye Studio at The Naples Players Sugden Theatre. The dystopian comedy runs through November 18.

Reminiscent of great sitcom humor, this quick-witted farce introduces an unforgettable collection of zany neighbors and friends who try to save June and Jason from a looming divorce. In a clever combination of The Dick Van Dyke Show meets Friends meets Will and Grace, this fresh and modern comedy places marriage and its trials and tribulations front and center with a fun and modern twist.

June & Jason’s Survival Guide to Divorce was written by Naples playwright Laura Lorusso and is directed by Naples Players Associate Artistic Director Jessica Walck. Walck also directed a staged reading of the play last November at the Laboratory Theater of Florida.


Cole Butcher stars as Jason Cooney and Caitlynn Crawford plays June. Local audiences may recall her from TNP’s sold-out run of Love, Loss and What I Wore.

Ellen Cooper stars as Josephine Rossi, the classic Italian grandmother, who inspired the playwright from her portrayal of Momma Nonna in Joey & Maria’s Comedy Italian Wedding. Alexandra Holmes is a newcomer to the TNP stage and plays the always-ready-to-party Lacy Brock.

Read here for more.




Erica Sample making transition from Roxie Hart to Judy Haynes (10-22-18)

The Naples Players (TNP) has announced the cast for their upcoming classic musical production of Irving Berlin’s White Christmas, and Erica Sample is making the transition from Chicago’s Roxie Hart to Judy Haynes. Tina Maroni will portray Judy’s devoted sister Betty Haynes, with fan favorite James Littleplays as Bob Wallace and newcomer Jimmy Flannery as Phil Davis.

The musical is based on the beloved and timeless film of the same name, and features the Irving Berlin classics White Christmas and Blue Skies. The story revolves around two WWII buddies with a successful song-and-dance act who follow two beautiful singing sisters en route to a Christmas gig in a Vermont lodge, which just happens to be owned by their former army commander.

Stage veteran Paul Graffy plays General Waverly, Alyssia Pellegrini is his daughter, Susan, and Naples favorite Debi Guthery plays Martha Watson. Amanda Telebrco and Lisa Kuchinski play the Oxydol girls, Rita and Rhonda.

Scott Davis plays Ralph Sheldrake and last season’s favorite Jerry Rannow is Ezekiel/Mr. Snoring. The ensemble includes KidzAct graduates Gaby Biagi, Abby Ciabaton, Frankie Federico, Elizabeth Fincher, Jeremy Giovinazzo, Weifta Jean, Jack Norkeliunas, Lila Prince, Hunter Reum, Eileen Reynolds, Thomas Richardson, Brooke Rosenbluth, Megan Ruhl and Eifta Jean.

Sample received rave reviews for her portrayal of Roxie Hart in The Naples Players production of Chicago this summer.

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And read here for play dates and ticket information.



Stage vet Paul Graffy to play General Thomas Waverly in TNP’s ‘White Christmas’ (10-22-18)

Stage veteran Paul Graffy has been cast in the role of Major General Thomas Waverly in The Naples Players’ upcoming production of Irving Berlin’s White Christmas. Dean Jagger played the general in the eponymous movie starring Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye. If you’re not familiar with Graffy’s stage work here in Southwest Florida, then read here to see the impressive resume of this Naples thespian.



Lisa Kuchinski to play Oxidol girl Rhonda in TNP’s ‘White Christmas” (10-22-18)

Cultural Park Theater Marquee Outstanding Featured Actress Lisa Kuchinski will be taking on the role of Oxidol girl Rhonda in The Naples Players’ upcoming production of Irving Berlin’s White Christmas. The perky Cape Coral actor couldn’t be more perfect for the part. But don’t expect Lisa to have an answer when Doris asks Ms. Rhonda, “Well how do you like that? Not so much as a ‘kiss my foot’ or ‘have an apple.’” She’s still finding her place in Southwest Florida’s active community theater. For more on Lisa, read here.




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