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Actors, artists, filmmakers and events in the news October 8-14, 2019

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

 

FSW Black Box Theatre tackling Checkhov’s ‘Seagull’ in November (10-13-19)

Florida SouthWestern State College’s Black Box Theatre is bringing the community Anton Chekhov’s The Seagull in November.

The Seagull is a slice-of-life drama set in the Russian countryside at the end of the 19th century. The cast of characters is dissatisfied with their lives. Some desire love. Others desire success. A few desire artistic genius. As these goals, desires and worthwhile pursuits clash and conflict, no one ever seems to attain happiness. But while they may be vain and often miserable, the folks who populate The Seagull are philosophically aware of the tragi-comical aspects of their existence.

Go here for the rest of this advance.
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‘Seagull” cast features Kiana Raine-Pinder (10-13-19)

Kiana Raine Pinder will appear in FSW Black Box Theatre’s production of Anton Chekhov’s The Seagull. She is an actor, singer, dancer, stage manager and an Education Intern at Florida Repertory Theatre. Her credits include I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change, (in which she portrays seven different characters; FSW Theatre Program), Tilly in She Kills Monsters (FSW Theatre Program), the Assistant Choreographer Lara in A Chorus Line (Florida Rep Conservancy) and Claire in This Random World (FSW Theatre Program). She was also a shadow dancer in Florida Rep’s Spring Awakening and stage manager for FSW’s production of Wellesley Girl.

Go here for more.

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‘Seagull” cast features Chance Cintron (10-13-19)

Chance Cintron will appear in FSW Black Box Theatre’s production of Anton Chekhov’s The Seagull. Cintron is a Fort Myers television and stage actor. He has booked a role as a principal in the new television series Go Iguanas. His stage credits include Mr. Wormwood in Florida Repertory Theatre Education’s conservancy production of Matilda, Florida Rep’s production of Native Gardens (landscape laborer), Florida Repertory Theatre Education’s conservancy production of A Chorus Line, Qui Nguyen’s fantasy romp She Kills Monsters (Miles) …  Go here for the rest of this profile.

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‘Seagull” cast features Lexie Anne Cole (10-13-19)

Lexie Anne Cole will appear in FSW Black Box Theatre’s production of Anton Chekhov’s The Seagull. She is a theater student who is enrolled at Florida SouthWestern State College. Among her previous acting credits are Joe DePietro’s I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change (various roles), Brandan Pelsue’s Wellesley Girl (Supreme Court Chief Justice Donna Landesman), A Chorus Line (Tricia, for Florida Rep), Heathers: The Musical (Ensemble/Principal Gowan, Florida Rep), Lab Theater’s production of the 1997 Tony-winning comedy/drama The Last Night of Ballyhoo (Lala Levy) and Lab Theater’s production of Gore Vidal’s The Best Man (political candidate William Russell’s smitten campaign aide Catherine).

Go here for Lexie’s full profile.

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‘Seagull” cast features Jorge Cabal (10-13-19)

Jorge Cabal will appear in FSW Black Box Theatre’s production of Anton Chekhov’s The SeagullCabal’s stage credits include multiple roles in I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change, Max in Wellesley Girl, Chuck the Dungeon Master in She Kills Monsters all for Florida SouthWestern State College. He’s also appeared in Cultural Park’s production of Neil Simon’s Fools. In high school, he not only performed in a number of productions, he also wrote, directed and starred in a play of his own.

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‘Seagull” cast features Danica Murray (10-13-19)

Danica Murray will appear in FSW Black Box Theatre’s production of Anton Chekhov’s The Seagull. Danica is a theater student at Florida SouthWestern State College. Murray characterizes herself as a comedic actor, but she fully embraces dramatic parts, such as Barblin in Lab Theater’s production of Max Frisch’s Andorra and Marie in FSW’s production of Brendan Pelsue’s futuristic dystopian drama Wellesley Girl. She has already amassed an impressive resume, thanks in large measure to her participation in Florida Repertory Theatre’s Conservancy program. Go here for her full resume.

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Alliance announces winners of Dia de los Muertos exhibition (10-13-19)

Artists from Southwest Florida and beyond submitted more than 100 pieces to the Alliance for the Arts for inclusion in its Dia de los Muertos Exhibit. From these, the juror chose 60, and these were unveiled to the public during an opening reception on October 4. The evening featured an awards ceremony, beer tasting from Millennial Brewing Company, face painting by Krafty Kate’s Face Painting Kreations LLC and authentic Mexican cuisine provided by Gina’s Tamales.

What exactly is Day of the Dead? In many parts of Mexico, South America and the United States, Dia de los Muertos is a time to remember and celebrate the lives of family and friends. More about reveling in life than remembering death, this unique day encourages us to connect with loved ones while reflecting on the ties that bind the past to present.

The artists whose work was juried into the show include Cesar Aguilera, Jacqueline Barr, Mina Bobel, Della Boynton, Eric Brown, Donna Chase, Diane Chernow, Steve Conley, Elodie Cotton, Jan Cox, Meghan Cuthbertson, David Del Rio, Linda Finlan, Melissa Flaugher, Stephanie Flis, Anne Friedman, Janice Heligman, Bradford Hermann, Mal Hope, Krista Johnson, Jay Lana, Krista Johnson, Susan Maas, Mariapia Malerba, Spyter Marie, Sonya McCarter, Lourdes Mora-Shay, Julie Obney, Jeff & Dale Ocasio, Nancy Polomski, Cynthia Porter, Tanya Ragbeer, Gregory Read, Sharon Rodgers, Laura Rucoba, Mary Beth Scott, Terry Lynn Spry, Paul Stackpole, Brandy Stark, Madeline Sugerman, Diana Talavera, Nancy Terrell, Pamela Volz, Roseline Young, Holly Zammerilla and Amanda Zirzow.

Della Boynton was awarded $250 for Best in Show for her acrylic piece, Rituals.

Terry Lynn Spry won 2nd place for her piece, Gemela.

Mariapia Malerba won 3rd place for One Night He Came Back Singing.

The exhibit will continue through November 2.

For more information about this exhibit, visit ArtInLee.org/SugarSkulls or call 239-939-2787.

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Youth artwork being sought for Martin Luther King, Jr. Youth Art Exhibition (10-13-19)

The Alliance for the Arts is partnering with the Dunbar Festival Committee and The Black History Society to sponsor a youth art show celebrating the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. It is open to Lee County students in grades K through 12 and will be displayed on January 20, 2020 at Centennial Park, 2000 W First St, Fort Myers, FL 33901.

Students must select one of three themes that characterize Dr. King’s life and work: love, peace or unity. All entries must be submitted by Wednesday, December 18, 2019. Students must complete the entry form and drop it off along with their artwork to Alliance for the Arts, 10091 McGregor Blvd, Ft. Myers 33919 (open Monday – Friday 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. and Saturday 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.) or Lee County Black History Society, 1936 Henderson Ave, Ft. Myers 33916 (open Wednesday- Friday 11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.). Prizes will be given for each division (K through 6 grade and 7 through 12 grade), including $100 for first place, $75 for second place and $50 for third place.

This exhibit is sponsored by Attorney Joe North, North Law Firm, P.A.

For more information or to download the submissions form, visit ArtInLee.org/MLKContest or call 239-939-2787.

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Alliance announces dates for ‘Off the Wall’ holiday exhibit (10-13-19)

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

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

This year’s show runs from December 6 through December 28. The opening reception is scheduled for 5:00-7:00 p.m. on Friday, December 6. For more information, please visit www.artinlee.org or telephone 239-939-2787.

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Shake off traditional ‘look-but-don’t-touch’ gallery experience with ‘Touchable Art’ (10-12-18)

Exhibiting through October 30 in the Frederick O. Watson Gallery on the ground floor of the Naples Art Association is Touchable Art: A Multi-Experiential Exhibition, 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.”

This is a juried exhibition, with Lauren Huff serving as juror. Huff is the Programs Coordinator and Gallery Manager at BIG ARTS. She has overseen the BIG ARTS galleries and select programs for the past six years.

Huff started her career while still in college as a gallery docent at the Savannah College of Art and Design galleries, Gutstein Gallery and Pei Ling Chan Gallery. After graduation, she returned to Southwest Florida, working for various local artists. She interned for Marcus Jansen at Unit A Contemporary Art Space in 2011. She then worked as gallery assistant to Veron Ennis and VEMA from 2012 to 2015. In 2013, she began interning at BIG ARTS and has been a part of the BIG ARTS family ever since. Besides creating art of her own, Lauren does freelance work for artists in data and inventory management, as well as photographing artwork.

Huff studied at the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD), where she received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Art History, with minors in Photography and Printmaking. She is part of the Young Professionals of Sanibel-Captiva and frequently attends openings and art events throughout Southwest Florida.

For more information, please telephone 239-262-6517 or visit http://www.NaplesArt.org.

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NAA bringing ‘Scene to be Seen” back on November 1 (10-12-19)

In 2017, Naples Art Association introduced Scene to be Seen: A Runway Art Show. The popular event returns on Friday, November 1 at the prestigious Flexjet private terminal hangar. Artwear in all media and styles including garments, ensembles, hats and handbags for both men and women will be featured.

“This extraordinary event elevates haute couture to spectacular works of art in a classic luxury runway fashion format,” touts NAA, “all while fundraising for significant children’s programs offered exclusively by the Naples Art Association.”

The welcome reception with appetizing hors d’oeuvres, cocktails and music begins at 6:30 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.

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53rd Founders Juried Awards Exhibition opens December 6 (10-12-19)

The 53rd Founders Juried Awards Exhibition opens December 6 in the Naples Art Association’s ground floor galleries. It will include 2-dimensional and 3-dimensional artwork by artists residing in the United States and run through January 9, 2020.

The show is being judged by FGCU Gallery Director John Loscuito, American University Professor R.W. Lovejoy and Associate Professor and Lourdes University Art Department Chair Erin Palmer Szavuly. (See below.)

$3,500 in cash awards will be presented to artists during a reception the evening Thursday, December 5, broken down as follows:

  • $1,000 Best of Show
  • $800 First Place
  • $600 Second Place
  • $400 Juror’s Choice Award
  • $200 Award of Merit (2 awards)
  • $100 Honorable Mention (3 awards)

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Spotlight on 53rd Founders Exhibition juror John Loscuito (10-12-19)

John Loscuito will be one of three jurors to judge the Naples Art Association’s 53rd Founders Juried Awards Exhibition. Loscuito is the Florida Gulf Coast University Art Gallery Director, overseeing both the Wasmer Art Gallery in the Arts Complex and the ArtLab in the Library. He also teaches Professional Practices, preparing students for a career after graduation.

Loscuito earned a Master of Fine Arts degree in Painting and Drawing from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and a Master of Business Administration from Marquette University in Milwaukee. During his six years at FGCU he has curated over eighteen exhibitions featuring nationally recognized artists that explore a broad range of themes and materials.

Prior to coming to FGCU he taught a variety of studio courses at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design. He was the Registrar at the Haggerty Museum of Art for seven years as well as an independent curator and producer of art events. He currently serves as an Executive Committee Member on the United Arts Council of Collier County’s Board of Directors.

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Spotlight on NAA 53rd Founders Exhibition juror R.W. Lovejoy (10-12-19)

American University Professor R.W. Lovejoy will be one of three jurors to judge the Naples Art Association’s 53rd Founders Juried Awards Exhibition. At American University, Professor Lovejoy teaches courses on graphic design history. He has a Master of Arts degree in art history from the University of South Florida and a PhD in History from the University of Manchester, Manchester, UK. He is a founding member of the History of Illustration project and a contributing author to the first textbook on the History of Illustration (2018), for which he wrote chapters on European eighteenth- and nineteenth-century print culture, the prints of José Guadalupe Posada, pulp magazine illustration, the art of alternative periodicals and newspapers, rock posters and underground comix. Dr. Lovejoy has also taught the history of illustration, sequential art, and the history of political art and persuasive imagery for Ringling College of Art and Design in Sarasota, Florida.

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Spotlight on NAA 53rd Founders Exhibition juror Erin Palmer Szavuly (10-12-19)

Erin Palmer Szavuly will be one of three jurors to judge the Naples Art Association’s 53rd Founders Juried Awards Exhibition. Szavuly is Associate Professor and Chair of the Art Department at Lourdes University in Sylvania, Ohio. She studied at Bowling Green State University and received a Master of Fine Arts degree in Drawing and a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Painting and Drawing. She has been on the faculty at Lourdes University since 1990.

In addition to teaching painting and drawing, she coordinates the annual Sr. Jane Mary Sorosiak Lecture Series, involving presentations on topics in the arts. “The Sights and Sounds of Judaism” with composer Dr. Samuel Adler and art historian Ruthy Behare Light was the 2019 series topic. Past presentations have included “Censorship in the Arts” with Dr. Brian Kennedy, “Cover Stories” with Thomas Allen, “Digital Photography in the Commercial Market” with Eric Eggly, “Painter and Muralist: Hubert Massey” and “Portrait of an Artist” with Leslie Adams, and “Celebration of Food, Ceramic Objects and Thoughtful Dialog” with Jeni Hansen Gard.

Erin Palmer Szavuly is on the community boards of the Toledo Area Cultural Leaders and The Toledo Federation of Art Societies (past President). She is a past President of the Medici Circle Advisory Council at Bowling Green State University and is a member of the Athena Art Society, the Toledo areas oldest women’s invitational art organization. She curates exhibitions at the Canticle Center Gallery at Lourdes University and has more than 15 year’s gallery experience working with the former Spectrum Gallery at Toledo Botanical Gardens and the Lourdes Gallery Loft.

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FGCU Reunion Series features Adriana Flores and Felipe Maldonado (10-12-19)

On view in the FGCU ArtLab through November 7 is the 2019 edition of the FGCU Reunion Series: Nosotros: Adriana Flores and Felipe Maldonado.

Adriana Flores is a member of the Class of 2017). Felipe Maldonado hails from the Class of 2016. And together, these two American artists of Latino descent explore their heritage in Nosotros and express an appreciation for one’s origins, character, values and personal accomplishments. Culturally-diverse, Flores and Maldonado also celebrate their lives as U.S. citizens while acknowledging the histories and traditions of their familial roots.

Adriana Flores currently lives in Southwest Florida, working in her studio and teaching art full-time. Her paintings are influenced by the chiaroscuro techniques of the old masters, such as Rembrandt, da Vinci and Caravaggio. She concentrates heavily on light and shadows to push the feelings and emotions in her work. Flores’ inspiration comes from the people she interacts with daily and the happenings of everyday life to keep her paintings as authentic as possible. Being a mother and working in a title one elementary school, Adriana has experienced and witnessed the strength and courage mothers go through every day to care for their child. Her paintings are wonderfully candid moments in everyday life.

Felipe Maldonado is currently the Department Head and Ceramics teacher at North Fort Myers High School Center for the Arts and Media. He references social and cultural influences to understand his role in society while struggling to understand a more authentic perception of himself in his own life. His ceramic work is an based upon an abstraction of ideas and are represented through the use of color, pattern, and texture. In creating work for Nosotros, Maldonado has returned to the platter as a canvas for his work.

This exhibition and series continues to demonstrate the contribution of FGCU’s Art Program to the region.

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First ever survey of Enrique Chagoya work exhibiting at FGCU Wasner Gallery (10-12-19)

Everyone is an Alienígeno: Enrique Chagoya opens in FGCU’s Wasner Gallery on October 17 with a 5:00-7:00 p.m. reception and artist talk.

Enrique Chagoya is world renowned as a political and social justice artist tackling issues of borders, immigration and cultural conflicts. This will be the first ever survey exhibition of Enrique Chagoya’s work in Florida covering his political and social activism through his innovative prints and paintings.

Using pop culture icons, current events and historical images, Chagoya creates layered narratives dealing with immigration and cultural identity as a basis for social reflection.

“I believe that everybody is an alien. I think that we all come from somewhere else,” Chogoya explains, who is a mix of ethnicities that include Native American, Iberian, Ashkenazi Jew and Middle Eastern Arab, among others. “Nobody is pure ethnically. Those times are gone.”

“Those who win the wars write history,” Chagoya expounds. “That includes the Aztecs who burnt books of cultures they conquered. History written by the victors is an ideological construction more than a science. So I decided that as an artist I have the right to make my own construction of history, not necessarily ideological but by using artistic license to construct a narrative, with humor and a more contemporary feel, that is different from the dominant history. I began to do my codices based on the history I learnt and I pretended to be an indigenous artist who traveled through time making codices and creating similar visual language.” Born in Mexico City, Chagoya immigrated to the United States in 1977, where he worked as a freelance illustrator and graphic designer, and became an American citizen in 2000.

He is currently Full Professor at Stanford University’s department of Art and Art History and his work can be found in many public collections including the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Metropolitan Museum, the Whitney Museum of American Art, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco among others. He has been the recipient of numerous awards such as two NEA artists fellowships, one more from the National Academy of Arts and Letters in New York, residencies at Giverny and Cite Internationale des Arts in France, and a Tiffany fellowship to mention a few.

This exhibition is made possible through the generous loans from Shark’s Ink. in Lyons, CO and George Adams Gallery in New York, and is sponsored by Gene and Lee Seidler, the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs and the Florida Council on Arts and Culture and WGCU Public Media.

The exhibition runs through November 14.

Image credit for first three photos, top to bottom:

  • Enrique Chagoya, Everyone is an Alienígeno, 2018. Color lithograph with collage, Ed. 30, 22 x 30 in. ©Enrique Chagoya 2018, Photo credit: Bud Shark
  • Enrique Chagoya, Aliens Sans Frontiéres, 2016, Color lithograph on handmade Amate paper, Ed. 30, 24 x 28 in. ©Enrique Chagoya 2016
  • Enrique Chagoya, The Ghost of Liberty, 2004, Color lithograph/chine collé, Ed. 30, 11.5 x 85 in. ©Enrique Chagoya 2004

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FSW celebrating 40th anniversary of art gallery with ‘Rauschenberg 40’ exhibition (10-12-19)

Florida SouthWestern State College is celebrating the 40th anniversary of the Bob Rauschenberg Gallery with a major solo exhibition of gallery namesake Bob Rauschenberg. Four decades since the founding of the Gallery in 1979, this celebratory show is drawn from several prominent local collections and includes a number of never-previously-exhibited original paintings from the Gluts, Urban Bourbon, Anagrams (A Pun) and Waterworks series.

Beginning chronologically with the portfolio edition of “XXXIV Drawings for Dante’s Inferno” (1965) that was illustrated on his first extended visit to the Sunshine State’s Gulf Coast, Rauschenberg often joked that he had “gone through Hell to move to Florida.” Widely-acknowledged as one of the most important artists of the 20th Century, Rauschenberg is credited with pioneering the transition from European modernism to American pop art and has been the subject of recent retrospectives at the Tate Modern in London, Museum of Modern Art in New York and the San Francisco MoMA. However, this is the first exhibition to exclusively survey works produced by the artist while living and working in Southwest Florida and to feature seldom or never-before-seen works that have remained in the community that he so proudly called home.

As RAUSCHENBERG 40: The Fortieth Anniversary of the Bob Rauschenberg Gallery at FSW makes evident and Bob Rauschenberg often repeated: “Fort Myers is as small as your mind is. It can be just as large as the world is.”

When (then Edison State College) established an art gallery on its Lee campus in 1979, the school named it The Gallery of Fine Art. Over the ensuing decades, the Gallery worked closely with Rauschenberg to present world premiere exhibitions of his work, including multiple installations of the ¼ Mile or Two Furlong Piece. To commemorate its long-standing association and friendship with the artist, the College decided on June 4, 2004 to rename the gallery. The school originally proposed naming the space the Robert Rauschenberg Gallery, but the artist insisted on naming it the Bob Rauschenberg Gallery to better convey the intimate, informal relationship he maintained with both our local Southwest Florida community and FSW.

The exhibition is on view through December 14. Gallery Hours are Monday – Friday from 10:00 a.m. through 4:00 p.m. and on Saturday from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. For additional information, please call 239-489-9313 or visit www.RauschenbergGallery.com.

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Taking stock of #SLUT filmmaker Sophia Watson on Int’l Day of the Girl (10-11-19)

Today is International Day of the Girl, which celebrates girls as they inspire, break boundaries and take control of their future. One young woman who is doing just that is Atlanta-based filmmaker Sophia Watson.

Watson wrote and starred in a short film titled #SLUT. It explores the central themes of cyberbullying, slut shaming and sexual predation. It also features a female director, Jenna Kanell.

“So many people are bullied in high school,” Sophia explains. “School can be so overwhelmingly negative some times. There’s this hierarchy and [the kids at the bottom] can so easily think badly about themselves because of the negative things other people are saying. The title is #SLUT because [the film’s protagonist is] being called that and she’s being harassing on social media. It’s such a big insult [even in today’s hook-up culture] that I decided to make it the film’s title to kind of take the word back and use it in an empowering way. The movie is about bringing [the use of the word by cyber and other bullies] to light and taking the word back for anyone who’s ever been called that. To take the power away from those who are using the term derogatorily.”

Go here for the rest of this post.

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Centers for Performing Arts to screen ‘Rocky Horror’ tomorrow (10-11-19)

The Center for Performing Arts Bonita Springs will be conducting an interactive screening tomorrow of the cult classic The Rocky Horror Picture Show – where people are encouraged to yell back lines at the screen, dress in costume and act out the film. Attendance includes a bag of ‘essential’ Rocky Horror viewing items! Come dressed in costume a la Rocky Horror and receive a raffle ticket to win terrific Rocky Horror memorabilia.

The screening takes place at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, October 12 in the Moe Auditorium at 10150 Bonita Beach Rd, Bonita Springs FL 34135.

For more information, please telephone 239-495-8989 or visit www.artcenterbonita.org.

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Rocky Horror Picture Show returns to Alliance tomorrow (10-11-19)

Guaranteed to thrill you, chill you and fulfill you, the Rocky Horror Picture Show returns to the Alliance on October 12th! Hike up your fishnets and unleash your inner Sweet Transvestite as the mother of all cult classics hits the big screen replete with audience participation and local shadow cast The Forbidden Triffids pantomiming the film (see next post).

A beloved, rowdy, nocturnal tradition, The Rocky Horror Picture Show has been tantalizing audiences for over 40 years. Rocky Horror is meant to be experienced: be part of a decades-long tradition of crowd participation as guests are encouraged to dance along to the Time Warp, yell obscenities, and throw props in time with the action on screen.

Compete against fellow creatures of the night in a costume contest; give yourself over to absolute pleasure with food trucks and drinks; enter a Rocky raffle; pick up your official prop bags; and enjoy a night under the stars with your favorite Transylvanians.

The Rocky Horror Picture Show film is Rated R – Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian, contains some adult material. This screening involves audience participation and many lines or jokes shouted by audience members or the shadow cast may be offensive beyond the film’s R rating. Viewer discretion is advised.

PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS SHOWING IS ALREADY SOLD OUT!

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Forbidden Triffids to pantomime ‘Rocky Horror’ at Alliance’s screening tomorrow (10-11-19)

The Forbidden Triffids will be pantomiming the already sold-out Rocky Horror Picture Show when it returns October 12 to the Alliance for the Arts. The Forbidden Triffids is a Lee County shadow cast who help audiences relive the cult classic movie.

The troupe formed in 2013, starting as street performers after the previous Fort Myers cast split. They are notable for combining other kinds of performers with the show such as fursuiters and fire performers. At the moment they perform in the Halloween season on stage and perform at art shows off season.

In addition to the Alliance of the Arts, The Forbidden Triffids has appeared at the AMC movie theater, Red Headed Witches, Peace Day in the Park, Mystery Walk, CGA show and Zombicon.

2019 Show Cast, which may change depending on availability and understudies, consists of:

  • Dr. Frank-N-Furter (A Scientist): TBA
  • Janet Weiss (A Heroine):               Chandler Burwell
  • Brad Majors (A Hero):                    Caitlin Karcher
  • Riff Raff (A Handyman):                Takua Lockwood
  • Magenta (A Domestic):                   Kimberly Reichenbecher
  • Columbia (A Groupie):                    Kathi Reichenbecher
  • Dr. Everett V. Scott:                         Bjorn Ugland
  • Rocky Horror (A Creation):            Mike Heidenreich
  • Eddie (Ex Delivery Boy):                 Bjorn Ugland
  • The Criminologist (An Expert):     David Condoluci
  • Trixie (The Lips):                              Takua Lockwood

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‘Dark Art 2019’ at Davis Art Center through October 18 (10-10-19)

Dark Art 2019 is on view in the grand atrium of the Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center through October 18. Presented by the Syzygy Collaborative Art Project, this juried exhibition consists of a collection of works by a wide variety of local painters, sculptors, photographers and mixed media artists who have all met the challenge of exploring the darkest themes in art in the spirit of Halloween and the macabre.

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‘Shock Rocked: Punk Subculture’ in Davis Art Center Capitol Gallery through October 18 (10-10-19)

Shock Rocked: Punk Subculture is on display in the Capitol Gallery at the Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center through October 18. Participating artists include Shelby Elmore, Jeremy Nemeth, Alexis Dunford, Spencer Duke Elles, Willow Cada, Mully and Johnathan Nazario.

The Punk subculture from album covers to zines, the aesthetic of punk rock has always existed to shock and intrigue its viewers. Widely considered to have been born in New York City, punk music and the art scene have overlapped from as early as the 1970s. With artistic influences from the likes of John Holmstrom and Jimmy De Sana, artists have used various outlets and media to document the prime time of the punk rock music scene. With years of representation under its belt, punk rock aesthetic continues to influence and inspire the youth of today. With deep roots in the subject of rebellion and political injustice, the backbone of punk art runs deeper than its edgy aesthetic. Challenging the mainstream idea of what art should look like, punk art exists to push the boundaries of what a larger society expects from the high-end art scene.

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DAAS exhibiting Brignoni’s ‘It Is What It Is’ in October (10-10-19)

DAAS CO-OP Art Gallery & Gifts is featuring the work of visual artist and co-owner Xavier Brignoni during the month of October. Entitled It Is What It Is, this show is a collection of bold, vibrant and edgy works created within the last two years.

Brignoni moved to Southwest Florida almost two decades ago. Since then, he has immersed himself in the area’s vibrant art scene. Alongside other prominent artists and gallerists, he participated in the establishment of Fort Myers Art Walk in 2008, co-founded the Union Artist Studios in 2012 and the new DAAS CO-OP Art Gallery & Gifts in 2016. He is the recipient of the 2017 FACE Award for his diversity and inclusive work within the artistic community.

In June of 2018, Brignoni presented an over-the-top, symbolic and emotionally charged exhibition at DAAS CO-OP entitled The Balancing Act. Inspired by a very personal phase of his life, the show cemented Brignoni’s reputation as one of the area’s most popular creatives.

For It Is What It Is, Xavier’s focus shifts to current affairs and his views on the world and other experiences. In this body of work, Brignoni experiments with new techniques, including spray painting, gold leaf application, stencils, and more. In addition to his renowned fine-art decoupage technique, he adds vibrancy with a 70’s inspired color palette in his minimalistic/pop-style execution.

The exhibition will be on display through October 26, 2019.

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Gardner, Obrien and Nazario being featured by DAAS in November (10-10-19)

Continuing a trend of out-of-the-box exhibitions and displays, DAAS CO-OP has invited three local artists to showcase their inspiring works during the month of November. An opening reception is scheduled for Friday, November 1st from 6:00 to 10:00 p.m. The reception party is in conjunction with the monthly Fort Myers Art Walk. The artists will be present for a meet and greet, during the event hours.

Jay Gardner is one of the featured artists in November. He is a professional tattoo artist, illustrator and designer by trade. Gardner incorporates dynamic facial expressions as well as unique objects to help sink his characters deeper into their own fantastical worlds. His photo-realistic works are full of fantasy and vibrancy, not to mention strikingly beautiful.

“My love for visual art and drawing began at a very early age when I became fascinated with the idea of capturing reality on paper,” Gardner divulges. “From my very first cave scribbles on my bedroom walls as a child, to pieces I work on today, I have always loved creating details and forms that convince the eye of depth and realness. That simple obsession led to a world of design and art theory. Since then my style is one that is moving and shifting swiftly as I learn and explore new possibilities. In no simple terms can I begin to explain what I represent as a fine artist. I just create art that I love.” –

Colin Obrien and John Nazario are joining Gardner in this exhibition. Their works complement each other in a cohesive and mesmerizing display.

DAAS CO-OP is located at 1815 Fowler Street, inside the Butterfly Estates of Fort Myers. Hours of operation are Tuesday to Saturday, 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and first Sundays of the month from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. For more information, event details and directions visit daascoop.com or call 239-590-8645.

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DAAS issues call to artists for Small Format exhibition (10-10-19)

DAAS CO-OP Gallery is inviting artists from all over the area to participate in this year’s Small Format exhibition. The full prospectus is available on the gallery’s website at daascoop.com. There is a size limitation of twelve inches on any side and artists can submit up to three pieces for the show. Delivery of submissions starts on November 26, 2019. Last day for entries is November 30. A People’s Choice Award will be granted to the best piece.

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Solo show of Jansen work in Paris’ Danysz Galerie closes October 12 (10-10-19)

Fort Myers artist Marcus Jansen solo show Stop, Look and Listen at the Danysz Galerie in Paris closes October 12.

The Press Release announcing the show draws a parallel between Jansen’s formative experiences and those of Jackson Pollock. In Pollock’s case, he learned to throw sand to make pictures from the Hopi Indians. Back in New York City from Desert Storm, Jansen was influenced by the graffiti he saw on the sides of subway trains when he traveled from the Bronx to Manhattan to sell his work on Prince Street in Soho in order to survive.

Described alternately as urban expressionism and post-urban cataclysmic surrealism, his unique blend of abstract and the figurative belies the influences of the Iraqi war and the intensity of his post-conflict urban environment. He got his big break when his work drew the attention of Jerome A. Donson, who organized exhibitions of such prestigious artists as Jackson Pollock, Robert Rauschenberg, Jasper Johns, Willem de Kooning and Franz Kline as Director of MOMA’s American Vanguard Exhibitions in Europe.

Danysz Galerie is located at 78 rue Amelot. For more information, you may email the gallery at clemence@danyszgallery.com or Unit A Space at unitaspaceinfo@gmail.com.

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Jansen opens studio in South Bronx (10-10-19)

Marcus Jansen has opened a second studio in the emerging Mott Haven/Port Morris section of the South Bronx, not far from where his journey began 51 years ago. Jansen will join the South Bronx Independent Artist Coalition on E 132nd street starting in November.

While Jansen will continue to maintain his main headquarters in his 7,500-square-foot warehouse in Fort Myers, he has decided to return to his native South Bronx to contribute to the growth that is beginning to take place there.

“I think it’s exciting,” Jansen comments. “The South Bronx has always been a cradle for creativity. I hope my art can contribute just a bit to that. It’s the birthplace of Hip Hop and graffiti art culture that has changed the art world permanently and it’s nice going back to my roots.”

The studio will be directed by Sarah Sagarin, who is part of a group of artists and artisans who work in the South Bronx neighborhoods of Port Morris and Mott Haven.

It will be part of the South Bronx Independent Artists Coalition, which was founded in 2018 with the goal of broadening the artistic community by connecting, supporting, and promoting South Bronx artists with events and programming throughout the year.

Jansen and his family lived between Boynton and Story Ave in the Soundview area of the Bronx in the early 1970s and spent his first years there before moving to Queens and later Germany, where he was educated. After serving in the Armed Forces in Iraq during Desert Storm, Jansen returned to New York, selling his early work on street corners in lower Manhattan. He successfully presented his street-and-graffiti- influenced art in exhibitions at renowned international museums while pioneering urban landscape paintings in the late 1990s.

Today, Jansen is considered one of the most important painters of his generation according to critics and scholars. He is collected by the likes of Singer Nicole Scherzinger, NBA Superstar Carmelo Anthony, Hollywood actor John Ortiz, top 200 collector list members Amy and John Phelan and Collector Peggy Cooper Cafritz. His commissions include corporations such as Absolut Vodka, Warner Brothers, Illuminum, FIFA World Cup and Ford Motor Company. He is represented by galleries in London, Paris, Vienna, Dusseldorf, Shanghai and here in the United States. His first U.S. solo museum traveling exhibition starts in 2020.

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‘5 Lesbians Eating a Quiche’ egg-ceptional combo of hysterical laughs and delicious sexual innuendo (10-09-19)

Next up at Theatre Conspiracy at the Alliance for the Arts is Andrew Hobgood and Evan Linder’s 5 Lesbians Eating a Quiche. Originating in Chicago and winner of the 2012 NYC International Fringe Festival as Best Overall Production, 5 Lesbians Eating A Quiche is a tasty recipe of hysterical laughs, sexual innuendoes, unsuccessful repressions, and delicious discoveries.

Read the remainder of this advance here.

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

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Spotlight on ‘5 Lesbians’ actor Dena Galyean (10-09-19)

Dena Galyean will star in Theatre Conspiracy at the Alliance’s production of 5 Lesbians Eating a Quiche. Since relocating to Southwest Florida from Chicagoland, Dena Galyean seems to have a penchant for landing fascinating roles. Among her most recent – and memorable – are Susan B. Anthony in Theatre Conspiracy’s production of The Agitators, Nora Helmer in Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll House (also for Theatre Conspiracy) and Stella Kowalski in The Studio Players’ production of Tennessee William’s A Streetcar Named Desire at the Golden Gate Community Center.

Read the rest of Dena’s resume here. And you can read here how for this rising star, acting feeds the soul.

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Spotlight on ‘5 Lesbians’ actor Karen Goldberg (10-09-19)

Included in Director Stephanie Davis’ cast for 5 Lesbians Eating a Quiche is Karen Goldberg. Goldberg is a graduate of FSU’s School of Theatre and a founding member of Theatre Conspiracy. Among her favorite roles are Kristine Linde in A Doll’s House, Anna Berniers in Lillian Hellman’s Toys in the Attic, Maureen in The Beauty Queen of Leenane and Jean in Good People. She has also enjoyed roles in Women in Jeopardy, The Bad Seed, Invasion of Privacy and See How They Run. For more on Karen, go here.

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Spotlight on ‘5 Lesbians’ actor Lucy Sundby (10-09-19)

Lucy Sundby is part of Director Stephanie Davis’ cast for 5 Lesbians Eating a Quiche. Lucy is a local actor whose stage credits include “The Woman Who Loved to Make Vaginas Happy” in The Vagina Monologues, Lenny in Crimes of the Heart, Nicky in Michele Lowe’s murderously funny tragi-comedy, The Smell of the Kill, Cabaret, The Altruists, The Last Days of Judas Iscariot, In The Next Room or The Vibrator Play, Picasso at The Lapine Agile, Mame, Nunsense, Steel Magnolias and many others as a member of the cast of The Naples Players. Go here for more.

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Spotlight on ‘5 Lesbians’ actor Anna Grilli (10-09-19)

Anna Grilli is part of Director Stephanie Davis’ 5 Lesbians Eating a Quiche cast. Anna’s other stage credits include Much the Miller’s Son in Marian, or the True Tale of Robin Hood, Bianca in The Taming, Matilda Cartwright in Guys and Dolls, Cecily Pigeon in The Odd Couple, and being part of the ensemble in Chicago. Anna actually started out learning to play the piano at the age of six, but it would be some two decades later before she took voice lessons and began to perform on stage.

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Spotlight on ‘5 Lesbians’ director Stephanie Davis (10-09-19)

Stephanie Davis directs 5 Lesbians Eating a Quiche. Stephanie made her directorial debut at Lab Theater in 2012 with Extremities, but local audiences are still talking about the 2016 production of Joshua Harmon’s Bad Jews, in which Davis directed Stella Ruiz, Matt DeNoncour, Kate Dirrigl and Daniel Cancio. She also had the pleasure of directing Theatre Conspiracy’s production of the Lillian Hellman classic, Toys in the Attic, starring Rachel Burttram, Karen Goldberg, Jason Drew and Ashley Kellam.

For more on Stephanie’s theatrical credits on both sides of the footlights, go here.

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Artist applications for inaugural Fringe Fort Myers now open (10-09-19)

Artist applications for the inaugural Fringe Fort Myers Festival are open at ArtInLee.org/Fringe. Applications must be submitted no later than Thursday, November 15, 2019 at 5:00 p.m. EST.

Emerging and experienced artists in all disciplines are encouraged to apply. Categories include, but are not limited to, theatre, dance, magic, film, music, stand-up comedy, puppetry, performance art and more. Whether you are an accomplished singer, hilarious clown, emotive mime, or just want to stand up in front of a bunch of people with complaints about the weather, Fringe Fort Myers is your perfect venue.

One of the great things about Fringe is its accessibility. Toward that end, the selection process for Fringe Fort Myers will occur via a lottery on November 22, when all of the applications that have been timely submitted are placed in a hat with the lucky ones that are pulled from the hat that night getting into the festival.

Each performer or performing group is guaranteed 3 performances in the same venue and are given a 3 hour tech rehearsal before opening.

Artists applying to Fringe Fort Myers are encouraged to hit the Florida fringe trifecta. Tampa International Fringe runs April 30 through May 10, 2020, with Orlando International Fringe running May 12 through May 25, 2020. This is your chance for over a month of performances in sunny paradise!

For housing and performance details or for more information, visit ArtInLee.org/Fringe. For more information, call 239-939-2787 or visit ArtInLee.org/Fringe.

And for more on Fringe Fort Myers and the fringe movement in general, read the next post.

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Alliance, Broadway Palm bringing Fringe to Fort Myers (10-09-19)

In partnership with the Broadway Palm Dinner Theatre, the Alliance for the Arts will present the first ever Fringe Fort Myers festival April 22 – 26, 2020. Festival tickets go on sale January 2020.

What’s Fringe?

Fringe traces it origins to Edinburgh, Scotland. At the 1947 Edinburgh International Festival, actors, musicians and the like who were not invited to participate in the festival performed at various alternative venues in and about Edinburgh. The following year, local journalist Robert Kemp wrote that “round the fringe of official Festival drama, there seems to be more private enterprise than before…” The term caught on and thus fringe was born.

Fringe performing arts festivals can now be found all over the world. Dozens thrive in the United States. Among the most notable are the Tampa Fringe, Orlando International Fringe, Atlanta Fringe Festival, Capital Fringe, Minnesota Fringe Festival, PortFringe, Hollywood Fringe and the San Diego Fringe Festival.

As the newest Fringe festival in the United States, Fringe Fort Myers will maintain long-standing Fringe traditions of being 100 percent uncensored, 100 percent unjuried and 100 percent inclusive. Even better, 100 percent of ticket sales go directly to the artists.

Fringe Fort Myers kicks off on April 22, 2020 with the fun and frenetic Teaser Show. The Teaser Show is a great opportunity for audiences to learn what the shows in the festival are about. Each performance group gets 2 minutes to sell their show to the audience. How they do it is up to them – as long as they don’t go over 2 minutes.

Over the next four days, Fringe will play host to 48 performances on 4 different stages at the Alliance for the Arts and Broadway Palm Dinner Theatre. After the final curtain, Fringe Fort Myers will host its first Fringe awards ceremony celebrating the artists that made Fringe an incredible experience.

Florida Rep Education will also offer Kids Fringe, which will operate a family-friendly festival within Fringe Fort Myers.

“Fringe offers an incredible diversity of high quality work with the goal of being as affordable and accessible as possible to all members of the community,” says Bill Taylor, the Producing Artistic Director of Theatre Conspiracy at the Alliance. “This event will enhance our area both culturally and economically.”

Sponsorship opportunities are available at ArtInLee.org/Fringe or by contacting Jessica Wisdom at Jessica@ArtInLee.org. For more information, call 239-939-2787 or visit ArtInLee.org/Fringe.

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Theater Conspiracy auditioning for Fringe-bound ‘Vampire Lesbians of Sodom’ (10-09-19)

Theatre Conspiracy at the Alliance for the Arts will be holding auditions for its upcoming production of Vampire Lesbians of Sodom on Saturday, October 19, from 11:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at the Alliance for the Arts in Fort Myers. The show will be performed as a fundraiser for Fringe Fort Myers.

Vampire Lesbians of Sodom is one of the longest running Off-Broadway shows ever. The show tells the saga of two fatally seductive vampiresses whose paths first collide in ancient Sodom. Their bitter rivalry as bloodsuckers but more importantly, as actresses, endures for two thousand years with stops along the way in 1920’s silent movie Hollywood and contemporary Las Vegas.

You can reserve a time to audition by emailing theatre@artinlee.org. Roles include:

  • Male: Hujar and Zack. Hujar is a hunky guard on the make for pretty much anything, and Zack is the big-guy on the chorus line, the bitch’s bitchy nemesis.
  • Male: Etienne and Danny Etienne is a butler, a really high-strung butler; Danny is the bitchiest boy at the chorus call, you know him.
  • Male: King Carslile is a big-time (and don’t you damn well forget it) movie star with an equally big-time secret.
  • Madeleine Astarte Male in drag: The role that made Charles Busch famous, but equally dazzling when taken over by other actors begins as a naïve (but growing wiser by the second) virgin sacrifice, through Rosalind Russell to Lauren Bacall in her 90th “final engagement” nightclub act.
  • Male: Oatsie Carewe a Hollywood gossip columnist, who turns out to be Van Helsing/Otto Preminger in drag to destroy “the ladies.” Bad move.
  • Male: Ali and PJ Ali is a hunky, but naive, slave guard, then PJ is the “new kid chorus boy.’ Note: Must be comfortable with momentary faked nudity; g-string or “nude” dance belt during “chase scene.”
  • Female: La Condesa/Succubus to play female, a succubus, cold yet likable, must posses superb comedic timing skills and excel at camp.
  • Female: Renee Vein/Tracy the ingénue, a starlet who longs for success and fortune at any cost.

The show will run February 21 – March 1 at the Alliance for the Arts.

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‘Finding Neverland’ on stage at Broadway Palm through November 16 (10-09-19)

The enchanting Broadway musical, Finding Neverland, is on stage at the Broadway Palm Dinner Theatre through November 16, 2019. The winner of Broadway.com’s Audience Choice Award for Best Musical, this breathtaking smash is “a spirited, tuneful, nimbly staged delight!” says TIME Magazine. Based on the Academy Award-winning Miramax motion picture by David Magee and the play The Man Who Was Peter Pan by Allan Knee, Finding Neverland follows the relationship between playwright J.M. Barrie and the family that inspired Peter Pan – one of the most beloved stories of all time.

Finding Neverland tells the incredible story of how playwright J.M. Barrie struggles to find inspiration until he meets four young brothers and their beautiful widowed mother. Mesmerized by the boys’ enchanting make-believe adventures, he sets out to write a play that will astound London theatergoers. With a little bit of pixie dust and a lot of faith, Barrie takes this monumental leap, leaving his old world behind for Neverland, where nothing is impossible and the wonder of childhood lasts forever.

The magic of Barrie’s classic tale springs spectacularly to life in this heartwarming theatrical event. Critics raved that Finding Neverland is “far and away the best musical of the year!” (NPR) and Vogue cheered, “It’s a must-see you’ll remember for years to come!”

Diane Paulus’ Finding Neverland will have her direction recreated by Tour Director Mia Walker and Associate Choreographer Camden Loeser. The musical has a book by Olivier Award®-nominee James Graham, music and lyrics by Gary Barlow (Take That) and Grammy Award®- winner Eliot Kennedy, and original choreography by Emmy Award®-winner Mia Michaels (So You Think You Can Dance, Cirque du Soleil’s Delirium). Finding Neverland is packed with spellbinding visuals, irresistible songs and plenty of laughs making it a timeless story about the power of imagination … and spectacular proof that you never really have to grow up.

Finding Neverland plays October 3 through November 16. Performances are Wednesday through Sunday evenings with selected matinees. Tickets are $48 to $73 with children and group prices available. Tickets are now on sale and can be reserved by calling (239) 278-4422, visiting BroadwayPalm.com or in person at 1380 Colonial Boulevard in Fort Myers.

Following its run in Fort Myers, Finding Neverland will head out on the road for a national tour throughout the U.S. and Canada. The tour is produced by APEX Touring, who is in their fourth national tour season with the international tour of The Wizard of Oz which just ended a run in China and is currently touring in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Past tours include 2019 tour of The Wizard of Oz, the 2018 tour of Cabaret and 2017 tour of Pippin.

 

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Off Broadway Palm presenting tap-happy musical parody ‘Dames at Sea’ (10-09-19)

Dames at Sea plays now through November 2 in the Off Broadway Palm. This is the campy long-running Off Broadway production that brought stardom to Bernadette Peters. Fueled by the nostalgia of 1930s Hollywood musicals, Dames at Sea is a tap dance-filled musical parody of the golden era of Hollywood musicals that The New York Times called “A Winner! A gem of a musical!” and NBC New York says “[is] delightful, and doesn’t take itself seriously for a minute…”

Ruby heads to New York to become the next Broadway star, but after landing a job in the chorus, her dreams are almost shattered when the theatre is set for demolition. With the help of two sailors, the show is moved to their ship and when the leading lady becomes sick, Ruby has the chance to jump in and save the day! Hear Broadway Baby, Choo-Choo Honeymoon, Dames at Sea and more!

Directing Dames at Sea is the Off Broadway Palm’s Artistic Director Paul Bernier, with Amy Marie McCleary providing the choreography. The cast includes Broadway Palm favorites Sami Doherty as Joan, Amy Marie McCleary as Mona and Victor Legarreta as Hennessey/Captain. Also in the performance are Shannon Conboy, AJ Foggiano and Collin Yates.

If you’re looking for a boatful of laughs tap on over to the Off Broadway Palm Theatre for Dames at Sea. The Off Broadway Palm is an intimate 100-seat theatre located just off the main lobby of Broadway Palm. Performances are Wednesday through Sunday evenings with selected matinees. Ticket prices range from $42 to $62 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 BroadwayPalm.com or in person at 1380 Colonial Boulevard in Fort Myers.

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‘Cause and Affection’ opens at Center for Performing Arts Bonita on October 14 (10-09-19)

Cause and Affection opens at The Center for the Performing Arts Bonita Springs on October 24.

The plot centers around Eliot, aging soap opera star who performs under the stage name of “Preston” in Cause and Affection, a fictitious daytime drama. His planned romantic evening is derailed when his elderly (and possibly senile) neighbor gets locked out of her apartment and his best friend, Barry, shows up needing marital advice. While trying to help them solve their problems, a bombshell drops, leaving Eliot with a problem of his own to solve.

Todd Irby stars as Eliot/Preston. Luis Pages plays his best friend and local weatherman Barry. Pages recently starred in I Hate Hamlet at the Center and appeared in several short plays as part of Funny Shorts LIVE!

Marilyn Hilbert portrays neighbor Mrs. Fisherman and Melissa Hennig plays Barry’s longsuffering wife, Tracy. Hilbert has appeared on many stages throughout Southwest Florida. Hennig has been seen regularly in Funny Shorts LIVE!, Just For Laughs comedy/variety show and has created many memorable characters for local audiences these last few years.

Rounding out the cast, Buck Biestek and Maryann Connelly appear in the filmed segments of the television version of Cause and Affection as the soap opera co-stars—yet they do not appear live in the stage play.

The play comes from award-winning New York screenwriter Andrea Magder, and is her first foray into playwriting. The Center’s recent push toward new plays and providing playwright exposure along with the unique mixture of film and live theatre made this the perfect selection for the 2019-2020 season.

Performances are at 7:00 p.m. Thursday – Saturday, October 24 – 26, 2019 and at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday & Sunday, October 26 & 27 in the Center for Performing Arts – Moe Auditorium & Film Center, 10150 Bonita Beach Rd, Bonita Springs FL 34135. For more information or tickets, please call 239-495-8989 or visit www.artcenterbonita.org.

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Spotlight on ‘Cause & Affection’ playwright Andrea Magder (10-09-19)

Centers for Performing Arts Bonita Springs will present the brand new comedy CAUSE AND AFFECTION, October 24-27. The play comes from award-winning New York screenwriter Andrea Magder, and is her first foray into playwriting.

Magder is a writer/producer based in New York City. Andrea’s love for the theater began while working as a teen at the John Drew Theatre in East Hampton, New York. From there, she went on to work in almost every facet of the film industry – from assisting the late legendary costume designer Ruth Morley to various production jobs in film and television. She produced two feature films, Morning and Briar Patch aka Plain Dirty, as well as having produced an e-commerce series for the web.

Longing to return to the creative side, Andrea began writing screenplays in 2006 and has been the recipient of many screenwriting awards including the IFP emerging narrative award for her screenplay, My Father’s Son. Another screenplay, Dining with Alex, is currently in development as a feature film. Most recently, Andrea turned her attention toward writing for the stage. Cause and Affection is her first stage play.

The Center’s recent push toward new plays and providing playwright exposure along with the unique mixture of film and live theatre made this the perfect selection for the 2019-2020 season.

Performances are at 7:00 p.m. Thursday – Saturday, October 24 – 26, 2019 and at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday & Sunday, October 26 & 27 in the Center for Performing Arts – Moe Auditorium & Film Center, 10150 Bonita Beach Rd, Bonita Springs FL 34135. For more information or tickets, please call 239-495-8989 or visit www.artcenterbonita.org.

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Spotlight on ‘Cause & Affection’ director Elizabeth D’Onofrio (10-09-19)

D’Onofrio is a professional film and stage actor, producer, director and instructor. Her full resume spans more than 20 years.

Her directing credits include an indie feature, The Secret Lives of Karaoke Junkies, two original plays (On The Hard by Faye Graetz, and Sisters of the Sea by Sandra Riley on Fort Myers Beach), and Talk Radio for the Laboratory Theater of Florida. She also directed Cleaning the Garage for Funny Shorts LIVE! at CFABS, and the staged reading of Cause and Affection in New York City.

As a producer, she has three short films to her credit. She acted in all three and for Awaken the Dawn, she also wrote the screenplay and directed the film.

Elizabeth recently played Mrs. Castellano in the TV pilot The Neapolitan, and Ruth in Later Life by A.R. Gurney at CFABS. Other credits include Simple Things, Awaken the Dawn, Dear Angry (2005) and The Chocolate Fetish (2004).

CFABS members and students know Elizabeth as an acting instructor. She has instructed classes and workshops around the United States based on her studies at the American Stanislavski Theater and with Sharon Chatten of The Actors Studio. She is one of the founders of the River Run Film Festival in North Carolina along with her brother, Vincent, and their father, Gene D’Onofrio. Elizabeth volunteered as the Artistic Director of the Fort Myers Beach Film Festival for four years and judged films in the early years of the Fort Myers Film Festival and Naples International Film Festival.

Cause & Affection runs October 24-27, 2019 in the Moe Auditorium and Film Center, 10150 Bonita Beach Road, Bonita Springs, Florida. For more information and tickets, please telephone 239-495-8989 or visit www.artcenterbonita.org.

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Future ‘Funny Shorts Live’ and related auditions (10-09-19)

The Center for Performing Arts Bonita Springs will be conducting more Funny Shorts Live at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, December 13 in the Moe Auditorium & Film Center. Auditions for this show will be held at 6:00 p.m. on Wednesday, November 6 and 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, November 9. Auditions will be cold readings from scripts as assigned at the audition. Although walk-ins are always welcome, you can request a preferred date and time in advance via email at theaterfilm@artsbonita.org.

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Center for Performing Arts presenting staged readings of ‘Good Jews” and ‘Book Club Thief’ (10-09-19)

The Center for Performing Arts Bonita is presenting staged readings of Good Jews and The Book Club Thief at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, November 8. Watch the transformative power of acting as directors and actors introduce us to works that illuminate the Center’s mainstage work or introduce us to future programming possibilities. After readings, you’re invited to meet the cast and discuss the play with director and actors. This lively and informative discussion brings new insight to the art of theater.

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Upcoming staged readings auditions at Center for Performing Arts Bonita (10-09-19)

The Center for Performing Arts Bonita Springs will be conducting staged readings at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, November 8 in the Moe Auditorium & Film Center and at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, January 10, 2020. It will conduct auditions for the November staged readings at 6:00 p.m. on Wednesday, October 16 and at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, October 19 and for the January staged readings at 6:00 p.m. on Tuesday, December 17 and 1:00 p.m. on Wednesday, December 18. Auditions will be cold readings from scripts as assigned at the audition. Although walk-ins are always welcome, you can request a preferred date and time in advance via email at theaterfilm@artsbonita.org.

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Cultural Park’s ‘On Golden Pond’ illustrates life’s hilarious, heartbreaking human moments (10-09-19)

Up next at Cape Coral’s Cultural Park Theatre is the 1979 classic On Golden Pond by Ernest Thompson.

This is the love story of Ethel and Norman Thayer, who are returning to their summer home on Golden Pond in Maine for the forty-eighth year. He is a curmudgeonly nearly-80-year-old retired professor with heart palpitations and a failing memory, but he’s still as tart-tongued, observant and eager for life as ever. She is ten years his junior and delights in all the small things that have enriched and continue to enrich their long life together. But this year, their delightful summer routine–fishing, picking strawberries, enjoying old mementoes, listening to the loons call–is given a bitterly comedic edge by Norman’s unreliable memory and cantankerously morbid statements.

Go here for the rest of this advance.

Go here for ‘On Golden Pond’s play dates, times and ticket info.

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Spotlight on ‘Golden Pond’ actor Greg Wojciechowski (10-09-19)

Greg Wojciechowski will be playing Norman Thayer in Cultural Park Theatre’s production of On Golden Pond. Wojciechowski was exceedingly believable as conniving lawyer Ken in New Phoenix Theatre’s production of Neil Simon’s Rumors last season. Of course, he should have been, having practiced law in Chicago, where he acted in court and tapped danced around the facts in front of juries for more than 25 years. For this show, he’ll have to get his curmudgeon on!

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Spotlight on ‘Golden Pond’ actor Gerrie Benzing (10-09-19)

Gerrie Benzing plays the part of Ethel Thayer in On Golden Pond. Gerrie Benzing is a local stage and film actor, director, musical theatre instructor and the owner and creative director of Monologues4kids.com. She has appeared in more than 14 productions at Cultural Park Theater, three shows at Lab Theater and made her debut at Theatre Conspiracy at the Alliance for the Arts in 2019 as Lucy and Tommy of No Consequence in Adam Szymkowics’s Marian, or the True Story of Robin Hood. Go here for Gerrie’s full profile.

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FGCU TheatreLab presenting ‘Mystery Cycles’ at end of month (10-09-19)

The FGCU TheatreLab is presenting Mystery Cycles October 25 through November 3.

After having banned theater from much of Europe for centuries, the Christian church brought it back during the Middle Ages in the form of popular street entertainment. Actors, working with local trade guilds, produced bible stories on wagons and presented them to an audience desperate for a distraction from the various threats of living in a newly forming urban society. Some of the plays were funny, some frightening, but all were fully secular and very much a part of the human condition.

Barry Cavin adapts and directs a contemporary retelling of three ancient cycle plays in a production that promises to capture the spirit and fun of the original work while making the event relevant and interesting to today’s audiences.

Performances are October 25 & 26 and November 1 & 2 at 7:30 p.m., with 2:00 p.m. matinees on October 27 and November 2* & 3 at 2:00 p.m. There will be a discussion with the cast and crew following the November 2 matinee performance.

Tickets are $10 for the general public and $7 for students.

TheatreLab is the black box performance space for the productions of the FGCU Theatre Program. The theatre is located in the Arts Complex on the FGCU campus, seats up to 90, and the configuration often changes depending on the production, so every play has a unique feel.

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‘Always … Patsy Cline’ in Florida Rep ArtStage Theatre through November 24 (10-09-19)

Always … Patsy Cline is on stage in the Florida Repertory Theatre ArtStage Studio Theatre now through November 24. Performances are Tuesday through Thursday at 7:00 p.m., Friday and Saturday at 8:00 p.m. and 2:00 p.m. matinees on Thursday, Saturday and Sunday.

This heartfelt and compelling true story celebrates the most popular female country singer in recording history and is told through the eyes of her biggest fan and unlikely best friend, Louise Seger. Patsy Cline’s legendary voice and rise to stardom took America by storm, and from her early performances in dusty Texas honky-tonks to sell-out concerts at the Grand Ole Opry, Patsy’s music left an indelible mark on country music and American culture. This musical tribute features all of her most beloved songs, including “Walkin’ After Midnight,” “I Fall to Pieces,” the number one Jukebox hit of all time, “Crazy,” and many more!

“What a delight to open our new season with a musical salute to one of the greatest female recording artists in American music history,” said Florida Rep Artistic Director Greg Longenhagen. “This musical premiered Off-Broadway over 30 years ago, and it remains one of the most popular and most beloved – not only because it’s packed with all of Patsy’s greatest hits, but because it is filled with humor, hope, and is a love letter to the power of friendship. We’ve also assembled an all-star cast, including one of the original cast members, Becky Barta, who’s performed both roles extensively across the country since its original New York run. You are in for a treat…if you can get a ticket.”

Always … Patsy Cline stars Becky Barta (2nd photo) as Louise Seger and Bethany Gwen Perkins (3rd photo) as Patsy Cline. Both New York actors have a history with the musical. Perkins reprises her role after a recent appearance at The Depot Theatre in Ithaca, New York, and Barta’s appearance at Florida Rep marks her 30th production of the musical. Barta has played both Patsy and Louise in productions across the country since her appearance in the original Off-Broadway production.

Florida Rep Ensemble Member Maureen Heffernan (4th photo) directs the production after recently helming Florida Rep’s The Miracle Worker, Sylvia and others. Heffernan is joined by Musical Director Alex Shields (Cabaret), Set Designer Tim Billman (Too Marvelous for Words), Costume Designer Kristina Tollefson (Florida Rep Debut), Lighting Designer Anne Carncross (Florida Rep debut), Sound Designer Katie Lowe (Million Dollar Quartet), and ensemble Stage Manager Amy Massari (Native Gardens).

Created and originally directed by Ted Swindley, Always … Patsy Cline is generously sponsored by Sam Galloway Ford Lincoln, Kearns Restaurant Group, Alexandra Bremner, and Martin & Mary Ann McLaughlin.

Tickets start at $55 for regular performances and $35 for discounted previews. For this musical, onstage cafe table seating is available for $75, and includes two drinks per person and table service. Tickets are available online at www.FloridaRep.org and through the box office at 239-332-4488.

Subscriptions are also on sale now and offer the best seats at the biggest discount. Packages for 9, 8, 7, and 6 shows are now on sale and start as low as $174 for six plays. The popular Six-Show Arcade Theatre Rush Pass is now on sale for $175 and offers the best available seats in the Historic Arcade Theatre 90-minutes before any performance. Subscriptions are available through the box office at 239-332-4488 or toll-free at 877-787-8053.

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Florida Rep kicks off touring theater program (10-09-19)

Florida Rep kicked off its 2019-2020 Touring Theatre program on September 28 with Junie B. Jones the Musical and The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe.

Junie B. Jones the Musical is based on the bestselling book series by Barbara Park. The musical adaptation features book and lyrics by Marcy Heisler and music by Zina Goldrich. Florida Rep Education Director Kody C Jones directs.

The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe is a loving retelling of C.S. Lewis’ timeless story of courage and hope. It has been adapted to the stage by Don Quinn. Florida Rep’s Associate Artistic Director, Jason Parrish directs.

“We couldn’t be more excited for this lineup of professional TYA tours that will be visiting schools all over SW Florida,” said Education Director Kody C. Jones.

“This year’s titles will take students on a wild ride through magical realms of Narnia and the everyday hardships at the Elementary School of Junie B. Jones. These wonderful tales have important messages to bring our area students that are not only educational but entertaining and fun!”

Florida Rep’s popular Theatre for Young Audiences (TYA) program is designed s to make live professional theatre accessible to young people across Southwest Florida by touring its productions to schools and venues in Lee, Collier, Charlotte, Glades and the surrounding counties. The TYA series takes the arts directly into the schools or invites students into the theatre to view specifically designed productions paired with study guides tailored to meet Sunshine State Standards of Learning.

Both productions star Florida Rep’s 2019-2020 Acting Intern Company, Hunter Clarke (3rd photo), Thomas Hadzeriga, Kylie Mask (4th photo), Bethany Mansfield, Bailey Tyler and Asher Van Meter (5th photo), all of whom are beginning their professional careers with Florida Rep this season. The productions also feature a professional design team, including Scenic Designer Jordan Moore (Million Dollar Quartet), Costume Designer Jacquelyn Loy (Hay Fever), Sound Designer Katie Lowe (Native Gardens), and Stage Manager CayceLynn Hoggard (Spring Awakening). Rosalind Metcalf (Spring Awakening) served as musical director and Kayley Stevens (A Chorus Line) as choreographer for the musical adaptation of Junie B. Jones.

Both productions are available for tour bookings through May of 2020, and information is available online or by calling the Tour Manager at 239-219-1551.

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Ghostbird Theatre Company bringing ‘October House’ to Langford-Kington Home (10-09-19)

This Halloween, join Ghostbird Theatre Company at the historic Langford-Kingston Home in downtown Fort Myers for a unique immersive experience. It’s called October House, and will feature performances of Jet of Blood by Antonin Artaud and Breath, Not I and Rockaby by Samuel Beckett in separate rooms.

Not able to ditch the kiddos and trick-or-treating? No worries. October House runs October 31 through November 9.

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Focus on ‘October House’ actor Terry Tincher (10-09-19)

Colorful leaves and pumpkin spice are nice this time of year. But as summer begins its long painfully slow demise here, the taste at Ghostbird Theatre Company runs toward a more absurd kind of treat. During October House, Ghostbird will perform not one, but three separate short plays in the historic Langford-Kingston Home in the downtown Fort Myers River District. One of those plays is Jet of Blood by Antonin Artaud and the cast for this show includes Scott Michael as Huge Voice, Joshua Needle as Young Man, Dana Lynn Raulerson as Young Girls, Hanny Zuniga as Knight, Jim Brock as Wet Nurse and Shelbie Tyndall as Bawd. Terry Tincher plays the part of the Priest. Jet of Blood represents Terry Tincher’s third Ghostbird production. He previously appeared in Barry Cavin’s Boxes Are for What We Keep and Jim Brock’s Everyone on this Train. For more on Terry, go here.

October House will be performed October 31 through November 9. In addition to Jet of Blood, Ghostbird will also present two plays by Samuel Beckett: Breath, Not I and Rockaby. Each play will take place in a separate room of the house, and the audience will carefully proceed from room to room. Tickets are $20 general admission and $10 student. The run time of the show is just over an hour and is not suitable for children or pets.

Tickets and more information are available on-line at www.GhostbirdTheatreCompany.org.

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Focus on ‘October House’ actor Dr. Scott Michael (10-09-19)

Colorful leaves and pumpkin spice are nice this time of year. But as summer begins its long painfully slow demise here, the taste at Ghostbird Theatre Company runs toward a more absurd kind of treat. During October House, Ghostbird will perform not one, but three separate short plays in the historic Langford-Kingston Home in the downtown Fort Myers River District, and FGCU virologist Dr. Scott Michael will play Huge Voice in Antonin Artaud’s Jet of Blood.

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. He last appeared for Ghostbird in Boxes Are for What We Keep.

“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 quipped in advance of Boxes Are for What We Keep. “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!”

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Focus on October House actor Hanny Zuniga (10-09-19)

Colorful leaves and pumpkin spice are nice this time of year. But as summer begins its long painfully slow demise here, the taste at Ghostbird Theatre Company runs toward a more absurd kind of treat. During October House, Ghostbird will perform not one, but three separate short plays in the historic Langford-Kingston Home in the downtown Fort Myers River District. One of those plays is Jet of Blood by Antonin Artaud and the cast for this show includes Terry Tincher as the Priest, Dr. Scott Michael as Huge Voice, Joshua Needle as Young Man, Dana Lynn Raulerson as Young Girls, Jim Brock as Wet Nurse, Shelbie Tyndall as Bawd and Hanny Zuniga as Knight. Go here for Hanny’s acting and playwrighting credits.

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Focus on ‘October House’ actor and Ghostbird co-founder Jim Brock (10-09-19)

Colorful leaves and pumpkin spice are nice this time of year. But as summer begins its long painfully slow demise here, the taste at Ghostbird Theatre Company runs toward a more absurd kind of treat. During October House, Ghostbird will perform not one, but three separate short plays in the historic Langford-Kingston Home in the downtown Fort Myers River District. One of those plays is Jet of Blood by Antonin Artaud and the cast for this show includes Terry Tincher as the Priest, Dr. Scott Michael as Huge Voice, Joshua Needle as Young Man, Dana Lynn Raulerson as Young Girls, Hanny Zuniga as Knight, Shelbie Tyndall as Bawd and Jim Brock as Wet Nurse. Go here for all of Jim Brock’s stage, playwriting and other credits. 

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Focus on ‘October House’ actor Josh Needle (10-09-19)

Colorful leaves and pumpkin spice are nice this time of year. But as summer begins its long painfully slow demise here, the taste at Ghostbird Theatre Company runs toward a more absurd kind of treat. During October House, Ghostbird will perform not one, but three separate short plays in the historic Langford-Kingston Home in the downtown Fort Myers River District. One of those plays is Jet of Blood by Antonin Artaud and the cast for this show includes Joshua Needle in the role of Young Man. Joshua last appeared for Ghostbird in Everyone on this Train, where he portrayed a luckless Manhattan commuter by the name of Sam who is contemplating his imminent firing and unemployment. He also played the part off Officer Barrel in the TheatreZone/FGCU TheatreLab collaborative production of Urinetown the Musical.

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Focus on ‘October House’ actor and filmmaker Shelbie Tyndall (10-09-19)

Colorful leaves and pumpkin spice are nice this time of year. But as summer begins its long painfully slow demise here, the taste at Ghostbird Theatre Company runs toward a more absurd kind of treat. During October House, Ghostbird will perform not one, but three separate short plays in the historic Langford-Kingston Home in the downtown Fort Myers River District. One of those plays is Jet of Blood by Antonin Artaud and the cast for this show includes Shelbie Tyndall as Bawd. An FGCU English major, Tyndall is a screenwriter, producer, playwright and actor. Read here about her considerable achievements to date.

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Focus on ‘October House’ actor Dana Lynn Raulerson (10-09-19)

Colorful leaves and pumpkin spice are nice this time of year. But as summer begins its long painfully slow demise here, the taste at Ghostbird Theatre Company runs toward a more absurd kind of treat. During October House, Ghostbird will perform not one, but three separate short plays in the historic Langford-Kingston Home in the downtown Fort Myers River District. One of those plays is Jet of Blood by Antonin Artaud and the cast for this show includes Dana Lynn Raulerson, who previously performed in the Langford-Kingston Home in the role of the impatient, obnoxiously officious Director in Ghostbird’s production of Samuel Beckett’s Catastrophe.

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Focus on ‘October House’ actor Stella Zuri (10-09-19)

Colorful leaves and pumpkin spice are nice this time of year. But as summer begins its long painfully slow demise here, the taste at Ghostbird Theatre Company runs toward a more absurd kind of treat. During October House, Ghostbird will perform not one, but three separate short plays in the historic Langford-Kingston Home in the downtown Fort Myers River District. One of those plays is Samuel Beckett’s Not I, starring Stella Zuri. Stella has a reputation for playing smart, surly and somewhat mercurial female characters. One of her most memorable was that of the acerbic Daphna in Joshua Harmon’s Bad Jews (for Lab Theater). Another was the brutally judgmental Eva in Robert Caisley’s Happy (also for Lab). Go here to see all of Stella’s impressive theatrical resume.

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Focus on ‘October House’ actor Sharon Isern (10-09-19)

Colorful leaves and pumpkin spice are nice this time of year. But as summer begins its long painfully slow demise here, the taste at Ghostbird Theatre Company runs toward a more absurd kind of treat. During October House, Ghostbird will perform not one, but three separate short plays in the historic Langford-Kingston Home in the downtown Fort Myers River District. One of those plays is Samuel Beckett’s Rockaby, and playing the role of The Rocker is Sharon Isern.

Isern is currently playing the part of Alex Klein in The Studio Players’ October production of Jason Odell Williams’ dramedy Church & State. Although new to acting, Sharon has already made a mark in the Southwest Florida theater community. She made her debut in January 0f 2019 in Ghostbird Theatre’s production of Everyone on this Train, excelling in the role of a mother fleeing the Chechen war with her daughter. And she recently turned in a tearfully painful portrayal of a doting daughter caring for her terminally ill mother who is also afflicted with dementia in New Phoenix Theatre’s production of The Shadow Box. For more on Sharon’s acting accomplishments and chops, read here.

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Focus on ‘October House’ actor Violet Shindler (10-09-19)

Colorful leaves and pumpkin spice are nice this time of year. But as summer begins its long painfully slow demise here, the taste at Ghostbird Theatre Company runs toward a more absurd kind of treat. During October House, Ghostbird will perform not one, but three separate short plays in the historic Langford-Kingston Home in the downtown Fort Myers River District. One of those plays is Samuel Beckett’s Rockaby, and playing the role of Woman in Chair is Violet Shindler. If you’re not familiar with Shindler’s body of work, go here.

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Lab’s ‘Crucible’ product of savvy direction, inspired production and break-out performances (10-09-19)

Arthur Miller’s allegorical play The Crucible closes this weekend at Lab Theater. The play features predictably powerful portrayals by Steven Coe, TJ Albertson and Paul Graffy, but the audiences who catch the remaining shows will get to witness break-out performances by two relative newcomers, Kinley Gomez and Imani Lee Williams.

Gomez plays Abigail Williams, the 17-year-old niece of Salem’s pastor, Reverend Samuel Parris (played by Casey Davis). Before the timeline of the play, Abigail worked in the home of John and Elizabeth Proctor (portrayed by Steven Coe and Imani Lee Williams). But Elizabeth Proctor insisted that she be dismissed after discovering that her husband and Abigail had an affair right under her nose.

Whether she seduced him or John stole her innocence, Abigail’s sexual experience and liberation has made her the “it” girl among her peers – in a Regina George (Rachel McAdams, Mean Girls), Heather Chandler (Kim Walker, Heathers), Kathryn Merteuil (Sarah Michelle Gellar, Cruel Intentions) sort of way. Living once again in her uncle’s house, she leads a group of young girls that includes her cousin, Betty (marvelously portrayed by Isabel Isenhower), the Right Reverend’s slave Tituba (mystically played by Melanie Payne), and her friends, Mercy Lewis (Emmie Spiller) and Mary Warren (Ruthgena Augustin) in a “lascivious dance to wanton ditties” around a campfire in the forest.

You may access the balance of this review here.

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Could ‘The Crucible’ happen again in 2019? (10-09-19)

All theater companies assay to include socially and politically relevant plays in their programming each season. Lab Theater especially takes this responsibility seriously, but who could have predicted that The Crucible would resonate so strongly in today’s socio-political climate or that the same factors that gave rise to the Salem witch trials would exist today?

Arthur Miller wrote the play to satirize the so-called McCarthy Trials – proceedings brought before the House Committee on Un-American Activities in which Senator Joseph McCarthy ruined the careers of scores of people through the artifice of making unfounded and supported accusations that they were either Communists or Communist sympathizers. The trials occurred during a period known as the Red Scare, when ordinary American citizens were in a panic over the possibility that Soviet spies (“the reds”) were living among us with nefarious plans to overthrow our democracy.

McCarthy claimed to have a piece of paper with the names of 205 Communist party members. Thousands were investigated by the Committee and FBI. Those found guilty were blacklisted, fined, jailed and deported.

Go here for the rest of this post.

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Focus on Crucible’s Steven Coe (10-09-19)

Fort Myers actor Steven Coe is so much in demand, that although he was starring opposite Madelaine Weymouth in The Studio Players’ production of Venus in Fur, he was rehearsing for Lab Theater’s production of The Crucible, in which he plays farmer John Proctor, a flawed man whose wife is accused of witchcraft by the Proctors’ former maid with whom John has maintained an adulterous affair.

Steven has a reputation for placing himself in challenging roles and situations that build confidence. Besides Venus in Fur, his evolving body of work includes starring roles as Andri in Andorra, The Boy in Veronica’s Room, and Doug in Neil LaBute’s The Way We Get By, as well as memorable supporting and ensemble appearances in Hush Up Sweet Charlotte, Whatever Happened to Baby Jane: A Parody of the Horror, Arthur Kopit’s Wings, Rick Abbot’s Play On!, The Last Night of Ballyhoo and The Musical Comedy Murders of 1940.

Go here to read Steven’s full profile.

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Focus on Crucible’s Imani Lee Williams (10-09-19)

Included in the large and talented cast of Lab Theater’s production of The Crucible (opening September 20) is Imani Lee Williams. She plays the part of Elizabeth Proctor, an aggrieved wife accused of witchcraft by her ex-housekeeper and husband’s former mistress.

Lab Theater audiences are still raving about her performance in the role of Jo in the Southwest Florida premiere of Matthew Lopez’s The Legend of Georgia McBride. After participating in the Alliance for the Arts’ inaugural CHANGE course, she also had the distinction of performing a monologue in George Wolfe’s edgy The Color Museum. To read Imani’s full profile, go here.

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Focus on Crucible’s Paul Graffy (10-09-19)

Paul Graffy is part of the large and talented cast of The Crucible, opening September 20 at the Laboratory Theater of Florida. He turns in a chilling performance as the Salem witch trials’ chief inquisitor, Deputy Governor Danforth. Over the past 15 years, Paul has appeared in more than 25 productions and directed over a dozen others at such theaters as The Naples Players, Artis Naples, TheatreZone, The Studio Players, The Naples Dinner Theater and the Laboratory Theater of Florida. Among his acting credits are General Thomas F. Waverly in Irving Berlin’s White Christmas (The Naples Players), Pale in Burn This! (for The Lab), Senator Joe Cantwell in The Best Man (also for Lab), Frank Sr. in Catch Me if You Can, Johnny Lowell in Stage Kiss, Alan in God of Carnage and George in Moon Over Buffalo, both at The Naples Players in 2014. He’s been great in all these shows, but his performance in The Crucible is really special!

Go here for the rest of Paul’s prodigious profile.

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Focus on Crucible’s TJ Albertson (10-09-19)

Included in the large and talented cast of Lab Theater’s production of The Crucible (running through October 12) is TJ Albertson, fresh from his tour de force, raised fist in a sequined glove performance as Rexy Nervosa in The Legend of Georgia McBride. In addition to Georgia McBride, TJ has turned in outstanding performances in just the last year as The Soldier in Andorra, Tyler Johnes in And the Winner Is … and Timmy in Hand to God. For more on this Fairfax, Virginia transplant, go here.

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Focus on Crucible’s Kinley Gomez (10-09-19)

Based on her performance as Abigail Williams in Lab Theater’s production of The Crucible, Kinley Gomez is an emerging star in the Southwest Florida theater scene. She first appeared at The Lab in the Vagina Monologues (“Ask a 6 Year Old”), as well as the 24-hour playwriting challenge. She has also performed in the ensemble of Willy Wonka and Big River for Florida Repertory Theatre, Alice in Wonderland Jr. (Rose) for Creative Theater Workshop (CTW) and numerous shows at Canterbury School.

Go here for the rest of Kinley’s resume.

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Focus on Crucible’s Isabel Esenhower (10-09-19)

Isabel Isenhower is a young actor, singer and dancer who is lives and goes to school in Fort Myers.

Musical theater is currently her forte. In that regard, she has appeared in numerous musicals in the Fort Myers area, including Canterbury School and the Creative Theater Workshop (CTW), where she performed in Alice in Wonderland JR (Cheshire Cat 1) in 2019 and Willy Wonka JR (Mrs. Beauregarde) in 2018.

But she recently demonstrated talent in drama in the role of Betty Parris in Lab Theater’s production of The Crucible.

Go here for all of Isabel’s credits and accomplishments.

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Focus on Crucible’s Ruthgena Augustin (10-09-19)

Ruthgena Augustin is a Fort Myers based actor, singer and dancer. She is currently portraying Mary Warren in Lab Theater’s production of Arthur Miller’s The Crucible. Her acting credits include Molly Cunningham in Joe Turner’s Come and Gone (for Theatre Conspiracy at the Alliance), Lorraine in All Shook Up (Cultural Park Theatre), Kala in Tarzan (Cultural Park), Brenda in The Pajama Game (Cultural Park), Featured Nun in Sister Act: The Musical (Cultural Park), Vanessa in In the Heights (Lab Theater) and A Motown Christmas (West Coast Black Theatre).

Go here for the rest of Ruthgena’s resume.

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Focus on Crucible’s Todd Lyman (10-09-19)

Todd Lyman plays the part of Thomas Putnam in Lab Theater’s production of The Crucible (on stage through October 12). Todd’s credits include multiple roles in Lab Theater’s production of Zalman Velvel’s farce D.M.V., Teddy in Mitch Albom’s And the Winner Is …, theater critic Ira Drew in Terrence McNally’s It’s Only a Play (which marked Todd’s Lab Theater debut), Bud Frump in How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, Enoch Snow in Carousel, Hysterium in A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum and Ivan in Anton Chekhov’s The Marriage Proposal. To get inside Todd’s very busy brain, go here.

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Focus on Crucible’s Lauren Miller (10-09-19)

Lauren Miller plays the part of Ann Putnam in “The Crucible,” which is one of her bucket list shows. Her character is a tragic figure. Having suffered multiple stillbirths, she accuses her midwife of being a witch in despair and to avenge her loss. Lab Theater audiences will remember Lauren as Kit Kat Girl Texas in Brenda Kensler’s blockbuster production of Cabaret in 2015. She is a seasoned stage performer, with appearances as Mazeppa in Gypsy, Sister Mary Hubert in Nunsense, and Henrietta in All Shook Up. She also performed with The Naples Players in Chicago (Matron Mama Morton), Les Miserables, Little Shop of Horrors, Smokey Joe’s Café and Disney’s Beauty and the Beast.

Go here for the rest of Miller’s theatrical credits.

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Focus on Crucible’s Heather Johnson (10-09-19)

In “The Crucible,” Heather Johnson plays Rebecca Nurse, a midwife who had the misfortune of assisting Ann Putnam in multiple stillbirth deliveries. Women who practiced midwifery, herbal healing and other “pagan practices” were often accused of witchcraft and devil worship in Puritan Massachusetts (though their real crime was violating religious and societal norms by failing to conform to their expected roles in a patriarchal society). In Rebecca Nurse’s case, what sealed her fate was her ability to calm a distraught and inconsolable Betty Parris by a simple touch. Under principles set forth in the Malleus Maleficarum or Witches Hammer (a book that prescribed tests for identifying witches and warlocks), a person could only calm a person in throws of a fit by a simple touch by reabsorbing the evil causing the fit, thereby proving that they were indeed a witch.

Heather is a recent theatrical transplant from Starkville, Mississippi. After arriving in Southwest Florida, Heather made her Lab Theater debut as the dip-spittin’ sheriff in Hush Up Sweet Charlotte.

Go here for the rest of Heather’s theatrical credits.

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Focus on Crucible’s Art Keen (10-09-19)

Included in the large and talented cast of Lab Theater’s production of The Crucible is Art Keen, who plays Judge Hawthorne. Originally from Long Island, Art has come to the Southwest Florida theater community by way of retirement. A certified theater arts and social studies teacher with a B.S. in Theater Arts from SUNY Oneonta, Art’s theater resume is wide and varied. His most recent work includes portraying Jimmy Rogers in Lab Theater’s world premiere of Zalman Velvel’s D.M.V. and playing Manolo Costazuela in Del Tura Repertory Company’s production of The Odd Couple: Female Version. 

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Focus on Crucible’s Tamicka Armstrong (10-09-19)

Included in the large and talented cast of Lab Theater’s production of The Crucible (opening September 20) is Tamicka Armstrong. Tamicka is a former “choir kid” and karaoke aficionado with a decade’s worth of experience in ensemble and solo work. In 2017, she relocated to Southwest Florida from Wyoming and after taking improv classes at the Alliance for the Arts, she decided to take a chance and audition at Theatre Conspiracy, landing the role of Cindy in 2017 New Play Contest winner Repossessed. The Crucible marks her Lab Theater debut.

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Focus on Crucible’s Emmie Spiller (10-09-19)

Returning to the boards at Lab Theater in The Crucible is Emmie Spiller. She is one of the girls caught dancing in the woods and becomes a staunch and unflinching ally of Accuser in Chief, Abigail Williams. Emmie was last seen as the captain (#25) of the Wolves indoor soccer team in the summer intern production of Sarah DeLappe’s The Wolves. She was previously seen as Cheryl in Lab’s production of Evil Dead: The Musical last summer.

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Focus on Crucible’s Melanie Payne (10-09-19)

Included in the large and talented cast of Lab Theater’s production of The Crucible (opening September 20) is Melanie Payne. Hers is a fascinating character as Tituba is a slave from the Caribbean island of Barbados where singing, dancing and casting spells were considered spiritual as they derived from her African roots. “Devil, him be pleasure-man in Barbados, him be singin and dancing,” she says as the play winds down. “It’s you folks—you riles him up ’round here… He freeze his soul in Massachusetts, but in Barbados he just sweet.” We never really find out what happens to Tituba, and that’s by design. The lack of clarity about her fate serves to further underscore that whether or she or any of the other women who’ve been accused are in fact witches is totally beside the point. It’s a great role for Melanie, who’s new to the stage. Read about her background here.

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Focus on Crucible’s Mike Dinko (10-09-19)

Included in the large and talented cast of Lab Theater’s production of The Crucible is Mike Dinko. He plays a farmer by the name of Francis Nurse, whose wife is accused of witchcraft. Its a role that gives Mike a rare opportunity to display a softer side, exploring emotions such as sorrow, sentimentality and grief. It’s something of a departure from some of his most recent roles, and he does a really good job with the character. Mike stays busy with both stage and film acting. Go here for the rest of Mike’s credits.

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Lab bringing first licensed U.S. production of ‘Sex Tips for Straight Women by a Gay Man (10-09-19)

After its wildly successful run off Broadway, Lab Theater will present the first licensed U.S. production of Matt Murphy’s Sex Tips for Straight Women from a Gay Man, opening on October 25th.

The play is set at Lab Community College’s auditorium where the Contemporary Literature Department holds its monthly Meet the Authors series. Things take a turn towards hilarity when the originating professor dies just before curtain, and her replacement is more than a tad uncomfortable with the subject matter of the book titled “Sex Tips for Straight Women from a Gay Man.” What ensues is a book club talkback meets bachelorette party event that is perfect for date night fun.

You can read the rest of this advance here.

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

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Spotlight on ‘Sex Tips’ Madelaine Weymouth (10-09-19)

Madelaine Weymouth stars in the first licensed U.S. production of Sex Tips for Straight Women from a Gay Man. Weymouth is a local actor and director. Her acting credits include Vandy Jordan in Venus in Fur (for The Studio Players), Forgive Me; I Put You in a Play, Boberg’s Timer and Dash in the Middle in Lab Theater’s inaugural Festival of Tens, Serenity in And the Winner Is, The Musical Comedy Murders of the 1940s and Stage Kiss, as well as a number of staged readings at the Laboratory Theater of Florida. Go here for the rest of her profile.

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Spotlight on ‘Sex Tips’ Steven Michael Kennedy (10-09-19)

Steven Michael Kennedy burst on the Southwest Florida community theater scene with his portrayal of Casey in The Legend of Georgia McBride. His other credits include 35mm: A Musical Exhibition, Larry in Burn This and the titular role in Pippin. He appears next in the first licensed U.S. production of Sex Tips for Straight Women from a Gay Man by Lab Theater.

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Richard O’Brien’s ‘Rocky Horror Show’ coming to New Phoenix October 3 (10-09-19)

New Phoenix Theatre is performing Richard O’Brien’s Rocky Horror Show live in October. If you have never experienced Rocky Horror, this is yours chance. If you have, you won’t want to miss this opportunity to do the time warp again. Audience participation is encouraged, but not necessary, so feel free to dress up as your favorite character. Prizes will be awarded for the best costumes.

Remaining performances are October 10, 11, 12, 17, 18, 19, 24, 25, 26 and 31 at 8:00 p.m. and October 13, 20 and 27 at 3:00 p.m.

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Spotlight on ‘Rocky Horror’ narrator Brian Linthicum (10-09-19)

Brian Linthicum is the Narrator in New Phoenix Theatre’s production of Richard O’Brien’s Rocky Horror Show. With a deep resonant voice, a sardonic grin and conspiratorial nod, he is adept at encouraging the audience to participate in the show – even at his own expense. Southwest Florida theater-goers are still raving about his performance in the title role of the isolated, crazed denizen of Sam Hollis’ antebellum Louisiana mansion in Hush Up Sweet Charlotte. A native of Toledo, Ohio, Brian has been performing in various theaters in Ohio, Michigan and Texas for nearly 40 years.

You will find all of Brian’s stage credits here.

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Spotlight on actor Cameron Rogers, who plays Brad Majors (10-09-19)

Cameron Rogers appears in the role of Brad Majors in New Phoenix Theatre’s production of Richard O’Brien’s Rocky Horror Show … assuming, that is, that he doesn’t get a flat tire on the way to the show. Cameron’s acting credits include Lab Theater’s production of Terrence McNally’s It’s Only a Play (Gus P. Head, an aspiring actor who’s on the scene to take and return the coats of the guests attending the opening night after-party for the Golden Egg), Evil Dead, the Musical (Ash) and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime at Cypress Lake High School.

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Spotlight on actor Gabrielle Lansden, who plays good girl Janet Weiss (10-09-19)

Gabrielle Lansden is an FGCU theatre major and has also worked as a self-employed voice actor for the past two and a half years.

She plays the part of Janet Weiss in New Phoenix Theatre’s production of Richard O’Brien’s Rocky Horror Show. Her acting credits include Ghostbird Theatre Company’s production of Barry Cavin’s Boxes Are for What We Keep (Tina from Trilla), and three shows under Stuart Brown’s direction at Florida SouthWestern State College, Paragon Springs, Sonnets for an Old Century and She Kills Monsters (in which she played Agnes Evans, the lead).

Go here for more on Gabrielle.

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Spotlight on actor Joey Bostic, who plays Frank N Furter (10-09-19)

Joey Bostic is a Fort Myers based actor and aspiring director. His stage credits include Frank N Furter in New Phoenix Theatre’s production of Richard O’Brien’s Rocky Horror Show, Jacob in La Cage Aux Folles, Seymour in Little Shop of Horrors, Christopher Wren in The Mousetrap and Pablo in Standing on Ceremony: The Gay Marriage Plays for Lab Theater.

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Spotlight on actor Sam Bostic, who plays Riff Raff (10-09-19)

Sam Bostic plays the role of Riff Raff in Richard O’Brien’s Rocky Horror Show. In a galaxy far, far away is Riff Raff’s home planet, a rock called Transexual. On Earth, Riff is Frank N Furter’s servant. But we cannot exactly call him faithful or loyal, as you’ll see as the plot unfolds. It’s a fun role for Bostic, who was last on stage at New Phoenix in the role of Lenny in Neil Simon’s Rumors. But go here for all of Sam’s acting credits.

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Spotlight on actor Shelley Sanders, who plays Columbia (10-09-19)

Shelley Sanders plays Columbia in Richard O’Brien’s Rocky Horror Show. Columbia experiences the widest range of emotions over the course of the storyline, and Sanders meets and exceeds the demands made upon her by the role. A triple threat with shows like Cabaret and Sordid Lives under her belt, she’s not just a terrific actor – she sings like a dream and commands the stage during the dance sequences. She’s one of those movers you just can’t take your eyes from whenever she’s on stage.

As Columbia, Shelley also gets to dress down Frank, “My God! I can’t stand any more of this! First you spurn me for Eddie, and then you throw him off like an old overcoat for Rocky! You chew people up and then spit them out again. I loved you. Do you hear me? I loved you! And what did it get me? Yeah, I’ll tell you: a big nothing. You’re like a sponge. You take, take, take and drain others of their love and emotion. Yeah, well, I’ve had enough.”

For more on Shelley’s acting credits, go here. And to see how she continually re-invents herself wit the roles she plays, read this interview.

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Spotlight on ‘Rocky Horror’ actor Nikki Hagel, who plays Magenta (10-09-19)

Nikki Hagel plays Riff Raff’s sister Magenta in New Phoenix Theatre’s production of Richard O’Brien’s Rocky Horror Show. Prior to being cast in the role, she played Columbia and Eddie in the Rocky Horror Shadowcast. She was a Priscilla girl in Thoroughly Modern Millie. Nikki is a Paul Mitchell educator and has a local business called Nerdyknitz.

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Spotlight on ‘Rocky Horror’ actor Lisa Kuchinski (10-09-19)

Lisa Kuchinski plays one of the Phantoms in New Phoenix Theatre’s production of Richard O’Brien’s Rocky Horror Show. Lisa Kuchinski is a local actor who performs at a variety of Southwest Florida venues, including Broadway Palm Dinner Theatre, Cultural Park Theater (where she is also Director of Fundraising), TheatreZone and Theatre Conspiracy at the Alliance. Some of her most memorable local roles include Roxy in Chicago (for which she won a Cultural Park Theatre Marquee Award for Best Leading Actress in a Musical) and Sister Mary Theresa in Sister Act (for which she received a Cultural Park Theater Marquee Award for Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play or Musical). Go here for all of Lisa’s credits.

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Spotlight on ‘Rocky Horror’ actor Eren Sisk (10-09-19)

Eren Sisk plays an Usherette and one of the Phantoms in New Phoenix Theatre’s production of Richard O’Brien’s Rocky Horror Show. Her credits include the babysitter in Rancho Mirage for Theatre Conspiracy at the Alliance, Barblin in Andorra (taking over on less than four hours’ notice when Danica Murray fell ill and had to be hospitalized for the remainder of the show’s run), Helene in Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll House, Annie in Evil Dead the Musical,  and young Blanche Hudson and next-door-neighbor Abby Bates in Whatever Happened to Baby Jane: A Parody of the Horror. Go here for all of Eren’s stage credits.

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Spotlight on ‘Rocky Horror’ actor Sage Meyers (10-09-19)

Sage Meyers plays one of the Phantoms in New Phoenix Theatre’s production of Richard O’Brien’s Rocky Horror Show. Among Sage’s stage credits are Dora Peterson in Deborah Lake Fortson’s Body & Sold (for Lab Theater), Louise in the farcical tragicomedy An Empty Plate in the Café du Grand Beouf and multiple roles in The Rauschenberg Project Play, which drew attention to the adversities faced by 12-24 year old members of our LGBTQ community. Other credits include Little Shop of Horrors, Smokey Joe’s Café, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum and Cole Porter’s classic musical Anything Goes. She has also appeared in Lab Theater’s 24-Hour Playwriting Challenge.

Behind the scenes, Meyers has also worked at The Lab as a hair stylist and makeup artist.

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‘Great Gatsby’ on  stage at The Naples Players through October 27 (10-09-19)

On stage now through October 27 at The Naples Players is The Great Gatsby. The play is a contemporary adaptation by Simon Levy of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic novel, and features much of his language along with the legendary decadence of the 1920s.

The story, of course, follows Jay Gatsby, a self-made millionaire who passionately pursues the elusive Daisy Buchanan. Nick Carraway, a young newcomer to Long Island and a distant cousin of Daisy, is drawn into their world of obsession, self-absorption, and greed. The dominant themes of love, desire, and obsession wash over Fitzgerald’s characters rich with hope and dreams positioned within an Art Deco stage design that artfully sets the stage for their decadent world in the Jazz Era. From the moment the curtain goes up, you’ve stepped inside a time machine rewinding back to 1920s Long Island. Simon Levy has lovingly taken F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic American novel to the stage while remaining true to the original material.

Bryce Alexander directs a cast that consists of Bo Popoola as Jay Gatsby, Sydney Mixon as Daisy Buchanan, Nathan Eichhorn as Nick Carraway, Paul LoPresti plays Tom Buchanan, Brooke Rosenbluth is Jordan Baker, Bernardo Santana is George Wilson, Victoria Diebler is Myrtle Wilson, Shelley Gothard plays Mrs. McKee, Robin Gray is Mrs. Michaelis, Joe Loiacono is Meyer Wolfsheim, Perry Ventro is Chester McKee, and Len Becker is the Policeman.

The Great Gatsby ensemble includes Rebecca Borchardt, Lucas Bueno, Ariana Da Frota, Austin Estremera, Kenneth Hardcastle, Gianna Koprowski, Brad Kielty, Harvey Millar, Mary Mitchell, and Paula Shute.

Performances run Wednesdays – Sundays through October 27 in Blackburn Hall. Tickets are $40 and are available to the public on Tuesday, September 3, 2019 at the Box Office or NaplesPlayers.org.

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‘Escanaba in Da Moonlight’ opens in Tobye Studio Theatre with red carpet gala on October 23 (10-09-19)

The hysterical Tony Award-Nominated comedy Escanaba in Da Moonlight opens October 23 in the Tobye Studio Theatre.

Written by Tony Award and Oscar-nominated actor Jeff Daniels, Escanaba in Da Moonlight is set in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, where the beer flows freely and pasties are a staple of the local diet. It’s the best day of da’ year – the opening of deer season, and forty-five-year-old Reuben Soady is still (as they say in the U.P) “without venison,” leaving him bound and determined to finally bag his buck this year. Escanaba in da Moonlight is a hilarious tale of humor and heart as Reuben goes to any and all lengths to remove himself from the wrong end of the family record book.

“You will fall in love with the Soadys and you will laugh the entire evening,” says director Jessica Walck, “My hope is that everyone learns a little bit about this corner of the country and walks away a little lighter having had the laugh of a lifetime.”

Escanaba in Da Moonlight performances run Wednesdays – Sundays, October 23 – November 17, 2019 in the Tobye Studio Theatre.

A Red Carpet Party kicks-off at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, October 23, 2019, on The Baker Stage for Opening Night before the 7:30 p.m. performance with music and complimentary refreshments from The Naples Players Red Carpet Partners: Truluck’s, Riptide Brewery, and The Spice & Tea Exchange of Naples.

Tickets are $40 and available at the Box Office in-person at 701 5th Avenue South 10 am – 4 pm, or by calling (239) 263-7990, or online at NaplesPlayers.org.

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‘Church & State’ fast-paced dramedy about faith, politics and ‘The Twitter’ (10-09-19)

It is three days before Charles Whitmore’s Senate re-election and he’s decided to finally tell the public exactly what’s on his mind, no filter. What could possibly go wrong? Church & State is a fast-paced dramedy about faith, politics and “The Twitter.” Directed by Brett Marston, it will be performed by The Studio Players October 4-20.

Keith Gahagan plays Senator Charles Whitmore, with Suzanne Sole portraying his wife, Sara Whitmore. Sharon Isern is Alex Klein and Danny Cancio tackles multiple roles, playing Tom/Marshall/Security Guy/News Anchor.

Church & State playwright Jason Odell Williams is an Emmy-nominated writer and producer (Brain Games). He has also received an Ovation Award nomination.

Church & State is his latest play and was originally produced as a National New Play Network Rolling World Premiere at The Skylight Theatre in L.A. and JCC CenterStage in Rochester, NY.

Please go here for the remainder of this advance.

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Spotlight on actor Keith Gahagan (10-09-19)

Keith Gahagan will play the role of Senator Charles Whitmore in The Studio Players’ upcoming production of Jason Odell Williams’ dramedy Church & State. Keith has performed in community theater productions in Marco Island, Bonita Springs and Fort Myers since 2007. Among his stage credits are Curt in Don’t Talk to the Actors (The Studio Players) Eddie the bar owner in The Legend of Georgia McBride (Lab Theater, June 2019), Mitch in A Streetcar Named Desire (The Studio Players, January 2018), August Osage County, Things Being What They Are and A Clockwork Orange a decade ago. Most recently, Keith took part in Stage It Playwrights Festival in Bonita Springs, which followed his performance in  the Waverly Gallery at the Center for Performing Arts Bonita.

Go here for the rest of Keith’s profile.

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Spotlight on ‘Church & State’ actor Suzanne Sole (10-09-19)

Suzanne Sole is an actor, singer and comedian. Now a Naples resident, she is currently working on a number of original creative projects.

She is currently portraying Sara Whitmore in The Studio Players’ production of Church & State. Her previous theater credits include Muriel Eubanks in the National Tour of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Woman 2 in Jason Robert Brown’s Songs for a New World (at American Theatre of Actors) EB Janet in the North American tour of SPANK! The Fifty Shades Parody, and Dolly Tate in a staged production of Annie Get Your Gun starring Patti LuPone. Most recently, Sole portrayed the Eastern European, beehive donning, young Italian stud loving, stage mother extraordinaire, Ivana Trump, in the irreverent, hilarious satire The First Annual Trump Family Special starring Gina Gershon.

Go here for the rest of Suzanne’s profile.

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Spotlight on ‘Church & State’ actor Sharon Isern (10-09-19)

Sharon Isern will be playing the part of Alex Klein in The Studio Players’ October production of Jason Odell Williams’ dramedy Church & State. Sharon Isern is an actor, artist (steampunkphage.com) and recovering academic (@profpathogen) who spends her days teaching and doing virus research with undergraduate students as a Professor of Biology at FGCU. Although new to acting, Sharon has made a mark already in the Southwest Florida theater community. She made her debut in January 0f 2019 in Ghostbird Theatre’s production of Everyone on this Train, excelling in the role of a mother fleeing the Chechen war with her daughter. And she recently turned in a tearfully painful portrayal of a doting daughter caring for her terminally ill mother who is also afflicted with dementia in New Phoenix Theatre’s production of The Shadow Box. For more on Sharon’s acting accomplishments and chops, read here.

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Spotlight on ‘Church & State’ cast member Daniel Cancio (10-09-19)

Daniel Cancio plays multiple roles (Tom/Marshall/Security Guy/News Anchor) in The Studio Players’ production of Church & State. An FGCU theatre grad, Daniel is an emerging talent in the local theater scene. While at FGCU, he appeared in productions of The Tempest, Mr. Perfect, 12 Angry Men and The Zoo. His credits also include Jerry in The Studio Players’ production of Don’t Talk to the Actors, Bear in Ghostbird Theatre Company’s production of Orbs! and Laboratory Theater’ss 2016 production of Joshua Harmon’s Bad Jews. He additionally took part in a staged reading of Robert Caisley’s The Open Hand. You can read Daniel’s full profile here.

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Stage 2 Improv returns to Studio Players on October 26 (10-09-19

Stage 2 Improv returns to The Studio Players on October 26. Stage 2 is an improvisational comedy group that uses suggestions from the audience to fuel its unscripted shows. They use games, routines, and songs to entertain you! Every show is different from the last and all of their shows have different content. The doors open at 7:30, with the show beginning at 8:00 p.m. Tickets are $15 online or call 239-398-9192.

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Studio Players performing one-act comedies between November 15 and December 1 (10-09-19)

The Studio Players will be performing three one-act comedies between November 15 and December 1. Two come from long-time Naples resident and award-winning one-act playwright Natalie King: Saved by The Bell and Where is Man – directed by Annie Rosemond and performed fully staged. The other is Edward Albee’s The Zoo Story, a one-act dark comedy directed by Scott Lilly and starring Danny Cancio (pictured) and Matt Flynn. Performances are at 7:30, with matinees at 3:00 p.m. For more information, please visit http://www.thestudioplayers.org or telephone 239-398-9192.

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Art After Dark makes its annual return to Crayton Cove on October 12 (10-08-19)

Art After Dark makes its annual return to Crayton Cove on Saturday, October 12. It’s an Art-Walk-type evening that gives art enthusiasts and collectors an exceptional opportunity to combine fine art with fine dining alongside picturesque Naples Bay. Participating galleries include Phil Fisher Gallery & Studio, Guess-Fisher Gallery, Tianna Fisher Studio and Random Acts of Art, who band together from 6:00-9:00 p.m. to present an evening of art receptions, refreshments and live music which serve as companionable backdrop for viewing the newest works in the Crayton Cove galleries.

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Naples Artcrafters show returns to Cambier Park October 19 (10-08-19)

On Saturday, October 19, the Naples Artcrafters Fine Art & Craft Show returns to Cambier Park. The Naples Artcrafters is an established fine art and craft organization with more than 45 years of history in Naples, Florida, and this Saturday art fair places a spotlight on a wide array of artistic genres, styles and media, including paintings (in oil, acrylics and watercolors), drawings (in pen and ink, pencil, and pastels), scissors art, multi-media and collage, photography, ceramics, jewelry (including metalsmithing, metal clays, lapidary and beading), sculpture, pottery, clay, stained glass and fused glass, wood turning and carving, and basket weaving. The show features work by 90 juried artists.

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Deadline for Boca Grande and Bonita Springs Masters art festivals is October 14 (10-08-19)

The Boca Grande Art Festival takes place March 7 & 8, 2020. The Bonita Springs Masters Art Festival runs March 28 & 29. The deadline for applying to Boulderbrooks Productions for inclusion in these boutique outdoor art festivals is October 14.

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Naples Art accepting applications for Naples National Art Show through October 28 (10-08-19)

Crowd Shot BestThe Naples Art Association is currently accepting applications for inclusion in its three outstanding outdoor art festivals, The Naples New Year’s Art Show 2020, Naples National Art Festival and The Downtown Naples Festival of the Arts.

Naples National is consistently voted among the top 25 art festivals in the country by Sunshine Artist Magazine and was ranked #24 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. 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 22-23, 2020
  • Festival Hours: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
  • Accept 194 artists max
  • Application fee: $35
  • Booth fee: $625 for 10×10
  • Cancellation refund policy: Full refund: 01/10/20; 50% refund: 01/31/20 (subject to $25 processing fee)
  • Set up specifics: Friday set up on 2/21,
  • Park and street setting
  • Application deadline: 10/28/19
  • Jury Process begins: 11/01/19
  • Status Notification: 11/25/19
  • Booth Fee Due: 12/16/19
  • Artist Info Emailed: 01/20/19
  • Wait List Acceptance: 12/16/19
  • Application available online at http://www.zapplication.org/ beginning June 1, 2019

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 194. “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.

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Hot Works accepting applications for Naples Fine Art Show through November 13 (10-08-19)

Hot Works LLC is now accepting submissions for the 3rd Naples Fine Art Show. It will take place on Saturday and Sunday, March 28 & 29, 2020 at the Naples Italian-American Foundation 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 application deadline is midnight of November 13, 2019. Applications can be found online at https://www.zapplication.org/event-info.php?ID=7719. For more information, please contact Executive Director Patty Narozny at patty@hotworks.org or 248-684-2613.

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Naples Art accepting applications for Naples Downtown Art Show through December 8 (10-08-18)

Crowd Shot 01 (4)The Naples Art Association is currently accepting applications for inclusion in its three outstanding outdoor art festivals, The Naples New Year’s Art Show, Naples National Art Festival and The Naples Downtown Art Show.

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. This festival was rated #34 by Sunshine Artist’s Magazine 2018 ARTIST 200 Best Shows in America.

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

  • Dates: Saturday and Sunday, March 21-224, 2020
  • Festival Hours: Saturday: 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.; Sunday: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
  • Location: 5th Avenue South, Downtown Naples
  • Accept 250 artists max
  • Application fee: $35
  • Booth fee: $450 for 10×10
  • Cancellation refund policy: Full refund: 02/07/20; 50% refund: 02/21/20 (subject to $25 processing fee)
  • Set up specifics: 4 a.m., early morning set up only;
  • On street set up in quads: No electrical
  • Application deadline: 12/08/19
  • Jury Process begins: 12/13/19
  • Status Notification: 12/27/19
  • Booth Fee Due: 01/18/20
  • Artist Info Emailed: 02/26/20
  • Wait List Acceptance: 01/18/20
  • Application available online at http://www.zapplication.org/ beginning June 1, 2018

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Naples Art accepting submissions for next season’s Art in the Park (10-08-19)

Art in the Park LogoAre you ready for the 2019-2020 season of Art in the Park? The Naples Art Association (NAA) proudly connects artists with art shoppers in another terrific season of Art in the Park.

Since 1957, Art in the Park has showcased paintings in oil and acrylics, watercolors, mixed Art in the Park 01media, 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 2019-2020 art fair and festival season.

Art in the Park 04Art in the Park is held between 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. on the first Saturday of each month from November through April. 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 Art in the Park 05work while broadening their customer base,” notes the Naples Art Association in its call to artists for the 2019-2020 season. “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.”

Make and Take Art 01The one-day fair takes place on Park Street adjacent to The Naples Art Association in the northwest corner of Cambier Park. 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 Art, Call of Africa’s Native Visions Gallery and Shaw Gallery of Fine Art Demo Booth 01Art. 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 Downtown Naples New Year’s Art Fair, which will be held next season on Saturday and Sunday, January 4 & 5, 2020.

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