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Actors, artists, filmmakers and events in the news September 22-30, 2019

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

 

Alliance September show featuring Carve Stone and Pat Zalisko closes Sept. 28 (09-26-19)

The Alliance for the Arts’ September exhibition, The Shape of Things: Carve Stone & Pat Zalisko, closes September 28. This thought-provoking exhibition features contemporary art forms from intricate, color rich collages and acrylic paintings to graceful carved marble sculpture and silhouettes.

Carve Stone creates sculptures from marble, chlorite and alabaster. As a child, she collected pebbles and rocks, which was the start of her fascination with rock quarried from the earth. As a university student, the ease and passion of her stone carving grew. Her award winning body of work includes women’s high heel shoes, pointe ballet slippers, female torsos, as well as flowers, heart people and abstracts. Her stone sculptures are exhibited in museums, universities and art galleries as well as in private collections throughout North America.

Born and raised in New York City, Pat Zalisko has wonderful childhood memories of painting intricate Ukrainian eggs, pysanky, one of her first creative experiences. After retiring from a successful legal career, she renewed her passion for painting when she moved to Florida. Her body of work includes large abstract color-filled collages on canvas. Her multi-dimensional images are influenced by the color wheel and the written word using abstract shapes that beg the viewer to liken them to something in reality, yet defy definition. Over the past several years, her contemporary art has been featured in major private and public collections in the Unites States. She was one of only four artists with connections to Florida to exhibit her body of work in the Florida Contemporary exhibit at Artis Naples – Baker Museum.

The opening reception will be from 5:00-7:00 p.m. this evening. The opening will feature light refreshments, beer tastings from Eight Foot Brewing and the kick-off of the Alliance’s 19-20 Season. The event is free to attend, but an RSVP is requested online at www.ArtInLee.org/Shape.

You can also meet and engage with Carve Stone and Pat Zalisko during a conversational tour through the gallery at 10:00 a.m. on September 7 during the Alliance for the Arts weekly GreenMarket.

HomeGrown and Art Lives Here will be on display in the member galleries during the month of September. The HomeGrown Exhibit features works from The Union Artist Studios. The Art Lives Here Exhibit showcases all nine original paintings that are featured on billboards throughout Lee County. The Art Lives Here Campaign is made possible by Alliance season sponsor, Carter-Pritchett Advertising.

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For Pat Zalisko, the written word is the prompt for her unique brand of abstract expressionism (09-26-19)

The late Hollis Jeffcoat drew inspiration for her abstract expressionist compositions from the unique panoply of sounds she heard on her beloved Sanibel Island. Blessed (or cursed) with Chromesthesia, the warbling of birds, lapping of water and rustling of palm fronds on a breezy day triggered the perception of colors (called photisms). In much the same way, words and snippets of poetry and prose spark creative impulses in Pat Zalisko, whose abstract expressionist work is on display with the sculpture of Carve Stone at the Alliance for the Arts through September 28.

“I’ll read something – it can be very random – and it will create a visual for me,” Zalisko explained at the opening of The Shape of Things: Carve Stone & Pat Zalisko. “The written word triggers a feeling, and that’s what I’m expressing in my paintings.”

Her painting titled Both Poetry and Plot (2nd photo) provides a clue as to the importance of the written word in her creative process.

And as Purple Above and Below (3rd photo) belies, even her color choices are predicated on what she reads.

“My reading is never simple,” Pat confides.

She gravitates toward complex, multi-tiered novels, which she devours three or more at a time.

Her summer reading list includes The Turn of the Key by psychological thriller writer Ruth Ware (In a Dark, Dark Wood, The Woman in Cabin 10, The Lying Game), Sarah Winman’s sparsely written and achingly beautiful Tin Man (which celebrates love in all its forms) and Fake Like Me, in which a young painter tracks the mysterious life and death of her role model in a dark, glamorous, and addictive story of good intentions gone awry from the critically acclaimed author Barbara Bourland (I’ll Eat When I’m Dead).

“They’re all very different, all very layered and all of them are creeping into my work.”

When asked for an example, Zalikso walks over to a large-scale work called Across the River Absheron (4th photo).

“This was prompted by something I read in the news that, in turn, made me think of something I read in Dante’s Inferno. I went back and re-read it. The quote is ‘The hottest place in hell is reserved for those who in times of moral crisis preserve their neutrality.’”

In Dante’s great poem, people who in times of crisis never take a side are relegated to the mouth and vestibule of Hell. There, they are buffeted unceasingly by clouds of red sand, their faces bitten by wasps and hornets. Because they’d spent their lives on the sideline, watching to see which way the wind was likely to blow, they are denied the moral dignity of a place even in hell itself. “Heaven will not have them, and the deep Hell receives them not lest the wicked there should have some glory over them.” And the line that Zalisko quotes has been cited by the likes of Teddy Roosevelt and John F. Kennedy, among others.

While musical lyrics can prompt a paintworthy emotional response, that only happens outside the studio.

“While I do listen to music as I work, it’s more to tune out the world. But I never put on opera [while I’m painting] because it’s too emotional for me and would interfere with what I’m working on.”

Besides, she’s yet to find a happy opera.

Jewel of the Desert (5th photo) was a rare exception to the word-prompt rule.

“That one started as a portrait of my daughter,” Pat says ruefully. “It wasn’t going well. I was at a low moment. Someone had made a careless remark to me. And [while I was working on the painting], my daughter called to see if I’d gotten some papers she’d sent me. So while we were talking, I started gluing her papers and some papers I had from years ago onto the canvas.”

And that experience has led Zalisko to expand her painterly tool box to include collage, graffiti and other mixed media.

While the written word may be her prompt, Zalisko speaks in the language of abstract expressionism. Those were the works that bowled her over in the museums and galleries she frequented from the time she was a little girl.

“My parents were always dragging me to something artistic. So I had that exposure. I was always looking at art.”

Her parents may have planted the seed, but it was Pat herself who tilled the soil and cultivated and the crop.

“Both my parents worked and my sister was seven years older than me. I had nothing to do between 3:00 and 5:00 when they got home from work. I figured out early on that I could go to MoMA because they let in kids under 13 for free. So I would take the subway [and while away my afternoons looking at modern art].”

It wasn’t initially Jackson Pollock or Willem de Kooning that rocked her world, but rather Ad Reinhardt and possibly Robert Rauschenberg or Kazimir Malevich.

“I remember there being these two paintings hung one floor above the other. One was totally white [either Kazimir Malevich’s Suprematist composition White on White or Rauschenberg’s 1951 White Painting] and the other was totally black [probably Ad Reinhardt’s 1963 work, which he described as ‘a pure, abstract, non-objective, timeless, spaceless, changeless, relationless, disinterested painting—an object that is self-conscious (no unconsciousness), ideal, transcendent, aware of no thing but art’]. I kept running up and down the stairs trying to figure out what the paintings were saying. A security guard stopped me and wanted to know what I was doing. When I asked him to explain why the paintings had been hung one floor above and below the other and what the artists were trying to convey, he asked where my parents were. When I told him I was there alone, he told me that I needed to go home.”

Still, those were halcyon days in which to be a young woman living in New York City.

“I remember running into Louise Nevelson one day while she was dumpster diving with false eyelashes. She pulled out a wooden chair.”

She was eight and on her way to church with her dad. It was years later before she realized who they’d seen that day.

On another Sunday morning, they passed a tavern in their neighborhood in the Lower East Side. Inside were a group of boisterous men who were smoking and socializing.

“In hindsight, one may have been Mark Rothko.”

In spite of all these and many other early influences, Zalisko did not go into art. Instead, she established a career in law.

“I got into art school, but mother wouldn’t let me go.”

An academic, Pat’s mom knew that most artists lived troubled lives and died broke like van Gogh. The Warhols were few and far between.

But when she retired from government law and mediation in 2004 and relocated to a small community near New Smyrna Beach, she finally indulged her desire to study art, working with a handful of renowned artists and art coaches at or through the Atlantic Center for the Arts [a nonprofit interdisciplinary artists’ community and arts education facility providing artists an opportunity to work and collaborate with contemporary artists in the fields of composing, visual, literary, and performing arts] and accepting a number of self-directed residencies.

And after a decade and a half of course work, self-study and experimentation, she’s found her own voice and makes her own unique contribution to the field of abstract expressionism. You can see a number of examples of her most recent work in The Shape of Things: Carve Stone & Pat Zalisko. The show is on view in the main gallery of the Alliance for the Arts now through September 28.

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‘Dia de los Muertos: A Juried Exhibit’ returns to Alliance on October 4 (09-26-19)

Dia de los Muertos: A Juried Exhibit returns to the Alliance for the Arts on October 4. It’s a show that features traditional Mexican sugar skulls in a variety of media ranging from painting in oil, acrylic, watercolor and collage to photography, prints, drawing and sculpture.

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.

Exhibiting artists 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, 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.

The show’s opening reception is scheduled for 5:00-7:00 p.m. on October 4, with awards being announced at 6:00. There will be a $250 prize for Best in Show, $125 for 2nd place and $75 for 3rd place. The exhibition runs through November 2. And there will be a screening of the Rocky Horror Picture Show (which celebrated the 44th anniversary of its U.S. release yesterday) on October 12 (see next post).

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

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Rocky Horror Picture Show returns to Alliance on October 12 (09-26-19)

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 Oct. 12 screening (09-26-19)

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

PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS SHOWING IS ALREADY SOLD OUT!

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Alliance announces dates for ‘Off the Wall’ holiday exhibit (09-26-19)

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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‘DC vs. AC’ opening in Edison Ford Caretaker’s House on October 4 (09-25-19)

The public is invited to an exhibit opening in the Edison Caretaker’s House at Edison and Ford Winter Estates at 6:00 p.m. on October 4. DC vs. AC: Edison, Tesla, Westinghouse, and the Race to Electrify America explores the differences and similarities of the genius inventors, as well as the differences between alternating and direct current. Chief Curator Brent Newman will give a gallery talk on these relationships in the context of 19th century history and science.

The event coincides with the opening of The Current War, a movie about how Thomas Edison and Nikola Tesla disagreed on which type of electric current was best. Edison believed his direct current was superior to Tesla’s alternating current; however, Tesla ultimately won that war, as alternating current is used around the world today.

Opening attendees to the exhibit will receive a complimentary glass of beer or champagne, light hors d’oeuvres will be provided and a pianist will play period music. A cash bar will be available. Admission is free for Edison Ford members; $10 for non-members (does not include admission to the museum, laboratory or tours of the homes).

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DAAS exhibiton featuring visual/tattoo artist Mully closes September 28 (09-24-19)

DAAS CO-OP Art Gallery’s show featuring the work of visual and tattoo artist Mully closes September 28.

Originally from Braintree, Massachusetts, the artist moved to Florida in 2003 to pursue his artistic career. He has been producing fine art painting since 2007.

Mully has a refined yet loose approach. His genres range from tattoo-inspired to classical portraiture and figurative work. His recognizable style features drips, a bit of chaos, or what he considers “happy little accidents” (quoting the iconic painter Bob Ross). His medium is acrylic paint, combined with a plethora of mixed media materials which give each piece its own unique contrasts and textures.

Before embracing his artistic talents, Mully studied Business Management and worked in the financial field as an accountant. He immediately recognized that the corporate world was not for him and sought the opportunity to become a tattoo artist. This led to a career that has allowed him to produce fine art and experiment with multiple mediums.

“First came wood burning and then painting with acrylics and oils,” says Mully, who finds the use of various mediums as the outlet for his creativity. “I think it is important to stay in a creative mindset and be inspired by bringing what I learn from each medium to my paintings.”

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DAAS exhibiting Brignoni’s ‘It Is What It Is’ in October (09-24-19)

DAAS CO-OP Art Gallery & Gifts will feature 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 opening reception run contemporaneously with Fort Myers Art Walk from 6:00 to 10:00 p.m. on Friday, October 4, 2019. The exhibition will be on display through October 26, 2019.

DAAS CO-OP is located in Unit 3 at 1815 Fowler Street, Fort Myers, FL 33901. Business hours are Tuesday to Saturday, from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. The gallery opens to the public on the first Sunday of every month from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. More information can be found at daascoop.com or by calling 239-590-8645.

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‘Motus en Tempus’ on view in Davis Art Center through September 26 (09-24-19)

Motus en Tempus is on view in the grand atrium of the Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center through September 26. Curated by Cesar Aguilera, it features large scale paintings by four Cuban-American artists, Dayron Gonzalez, Julio Figueroa Beltran, Reynier Ferrer and Reynier Llanes.

The work included in Motus en Tempus expresses the artists’ unique culture and heritage, while drawing attention to the realities of exile, immigration and assimilation into a new culture. Their subjects include a range of figures, animals, abstractions and distortions. Thematically, these motifs embrace fantasy, spirituality, history, philosophy, humor, violence, social customs, and nature. The strong use of metaphor lies in the core of this exhibition, and it is through this artistic device that viewers are able to experience and connect with each artist’s personal reflection depicted through their subjects and choice of medium, which include oil, watercolor, pastels, charcoal, coffee, and bleach.

Exiled and immigrant Cuban-born artists have settled in the United States since the revolution of 1959. The first arrivals came before the Cuban missile crisis of October, 1962. They were part of an exodus of some 215,000 people who fled the island in the aftermath of Fidel Castro’s seizure of power. Additional arrivals included the 14,000 children who formed part the Peter Pan Operation, sponsored by the Miami Catholic Archdiocese.

In 1980, the exiles from the Mariel boatlift brought another wave of Cubans and Cuban artists to Miami. Since the early 1990s, the collapse of the Soviet Union precipitated another exodus and raft people (balseros). In 1994 alone, 33,000 Cubans were intercepted by the U.S. Coast Guard. In response, U.S. and Cuban governments worked to establish a solution that would prevent Cubans from risking their lives at sea. The result, in 1995, came to be known as the “wet foot, dry foot” policy: Any Cuban who successfully arrives on U.S. soil is accepted; those stopped at sea are repatriated. The policy remains in effect to this day.

Some Cuban-American artists came to the United States as adults. Others came as children or adolescents. And yet others have been born in this country. The relationships and interactions between these groups are complex and diverse. All are joined by their divided identity, split between their Cuban and American sides and by their experience of exile, which for many has been the defining element in their lives.

An estimated 2 million Hispanics of Cuban origin live in the United States, of which roughly 60 percent or 1.2 million were born in Cuba. While this population provides a context and an audience for Cuban-American art, works like those featured in Motus en Tempus have gained increasing interest among a wide range of collectors. Not only is Cuban-American art finding its way into an increasing number of U.S. private, corporate and museum collections, but those in Europe and Cuba itself.

Motus en Tempus still has two weeks to run. You can see it at the Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center, which is located at 2301 First Street in the heart of the downtown Fort Myers River District.

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Playwright Rich Orloff to perform ‘Beautiful Wound’ at Alliance tonight (09-23-19)

Rich Orloff will perform It’s a Beautiful Wound at the Alliance for the Arts at 7:30 p.m. tonight. It’s the tale of one person’s journey towards reconciliation with the soul… with a slight detour for an appendectomy.

The play is the true story of Rich’s adventures in underground therapy using MDMA (a.k.a. Ecstasy) and psilocybin mushrooms. Based on cutting-edge experiments to help people heal from deep psychological wounds, these sessions propel Rich beyond his ego and defenses into a journey that both challenges his perceptions and reveals possibilities he never before considered. Inspired by the autobiographical monologues of Spalding Gray, It’s a Beautiful Wound takes the audience through the experience of psychedelic-assisted therapy in an honest, amusing, and deeply compelling way (in much the way that Dr. John C. Lilly took readers into the inner life of a scientist exploring inner space through LSD and other methods of mystical experience in the 1960s counterculture classic Center of the Cyclone: An Autobiography of Inner Space).

Orloff is the author of 15 award-winning full-length comedies, three comic revues, dozens of short plays (61 of which have been published by Playscripts, Inc. in eight collections), and the documentary-style play Vietnam 101: The War on Campus, which has had over 40 productions at theaters and schools around the country. His two-person comedy Romantic Fools has had 100 productions around the world and has had two productions in Madrid (where apparently they’re no better at romance than we are). His comedy Funny as a Crutch was a New York Times Critic’s Pick, a Backstage Critic’s Pick, and nytheatre.com’s Pick of the Week.

Rich’s full-length plays also include The Naked Truth (“a rare gem of a comedy” – Show Business Weekly), Big Boys (“rip-roaringly funny” – The New York Times), Someone’s Knocking (Back Stage West Critic’s Pick) and several others. They’ve been presented at such theaters as Arizona Theatre Company, Arkansas Repertory Theatre, Dayton Playhouse, Florida Studio Theatre, New Jersey Rep, Phoenix Theatre Company, West Coast Ensemble, and three times at the Key West Theatre Festival. His plays have won such awards and contests as the Festival of Emerging American Theatre, the Playwrights First Award, the InterPlay International Play Festival, the Pickering Award for Playwriting Excellence and the Abeles Foundation Playwrights Award. And, of course, his comedy Engagement Rules was the Theatre Conspiracy at the Alliance New Play Contest Winner and is being performed in the Foulds Theatre through October 6, 2019.

Rich’s short plays have received over 1800 productions on six of the seven continents (and a staged reading in Antarctica) and are particularly popular in schools and community theaters. His short comedies have been published seven times in the annual Best American Short Plays anthology series, three times in the annual Best Ten-Minute Plays series, and in The Art of the One-Act Play, Take Ten II, The Bedford Introduction to Literature and An Anthology of American Short Plays (published in China).

Orloff is a popular guest on college campuses, where he has given lectures and workshops on playwriting at New York University, Ohio State University, Oberlin College, Central Washington University, Western Michigan University, and other schools throughout America. He lives in New York City but loves getting out of town.

For more about Rich Orloff and his plays, visit www.richorloff.com.

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New Play Contest Winner ‘Engagement Rules’ poignant and profound (09-23-19)

Theatre Conspiracy at the Alliance for the Arts is bringing Engagement Rules to the stage. Poignant and profound, Engagement Rules follows the intertwined lives of two couples who advise and support each other on challenges involving marriage, abortion, sex, religion and the soul. The younger couple (early 30s) is recently engaged, and the older (in their 70s) has been married over fifty years.

Go here for the rest of this advance.

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Spotlight on ‘Engagement Rules’ actor Cantrella Canady (09-23-19)

Cantrella Canady plays Donna in Engagement Rules, the Theatre Conspiracy New Play Contest winner by Rich Orloff that runs through October 6 at the Alliance for the Arts. The play is billed as a comedy with bite, and comedies, of course, are Cantrella’s jam – although it’s been awhile since this talented actor has laughed and giggled this much during rehearsals. Cantrella has been in an incredible number of shows all over Southwest Florida, but Engagement Rules represents the first time she’s worked with Theatre Con Producing Artistic Director Bill Taylor. For more on the girl who just likes to act, go here.

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Spotlight on ‘Engagement Rules’ actor Lemec Bernard (09-23-19)

Lemec Bernard is an imposing figure. He made his presence known in Theatre Conspiracy’s production of August Wilson’s Joe Turner’s Come and Gone. But as Tom in Engagement Rules, we get to see a much softer, sentimental side of this talented young actor who clearly has the acting chops to convincingly play both dramatic and comedic roles.

Fun fact, too: Lemec was Cantrella Canady’s on-stage husband in Joe Turner. This time his character is engaged to Ms. Trella’s, although whether they’ll make it to the altar is anybody’s guess.

Engagement Rules plays in the Foulds Theatre through October 6.

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Spotlight on ‘Engagement Rules’ actor Jim Yarnes (09-23-19)

Jim Yarnes was last seen on the Foulds Theatre boards in August Wilson’s Joe Turner’s Come and Gone. He’s made a triumphant return to the Alliance for the Arts in the role of Phil in New Play Contest winner Engagement Rules. After his buddy makes an off-hand comment about merging spiritually with his partner during sex, Phil will do anything and everything to touch his wife’s soul when they make love – including gobbling Viagra like they’re Skittles, reading the Kama Sutra to her in bed and even going to church if that’s what it takes to set the mood. Possessed of Cabernet-dry humor and impeccable split-second timing, Jim will have you laughing your ass off at his expense. Engagement Rules resumes on Thursday, September 26 at 7:30 p.m.

Go here for the rest of Jim’s credits.

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Spotlight on ‘Engagement Rules’ actor Carolyn England (09-23-19)

In Engagement Rules (opening September 20 at Theatre Conspiracy at the Alliance for the Arts), Carolyn England plays Rose, a woman who’s been married to a guy named Phil (Jim Yarnes) for over half a century. Theater Conspiracy audiences wlll remember England from Murderers, a comedy in which she portrayed Lucy Stickler, the long-suffering wife of a septuagenarian with a roving eye. But that play was no laughing matter for Carolyn, who was injured in a car wreck prior to opening night. But ever the gamer, Carolyn soldiered on with a walker in order to play her part! Fortunately for all, Carolyn is the picture of health in Engagement Rules.

In addition to Murderers, Carolyn’s recent credits include Ivan Menchell’s The Cemetery Club and Jack Neary’s The Porch, both for Cape Coral Cultural Park.

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Alliance, Broadway Palm bringing Fringe to Fort Myers (09-23-19)

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.”

Artist applications are now open at ArtInLee.org/Fringe. Applications must be submitted no later than Thursday, November 15, 2019 at 5 p.m. EST.

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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‘Once’ closes September 28 (09-23-19)

Once is now on stage at Broadway Palm Dinner Theatre. Winner of eight 2012 Tony Awards (including Best Musical) and winner of the 2013 Grammy Award for Best Musical Theater Album, the musical closes September 28.

Once is based on the 2007 Academy Award-winning film of the same name which was written and directed by John Carney and starred Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová, with original music and lyrics by Mr. Hansard and Ms. Irglová. Featuring an impressive ensemble of actor/musicians who play their own instruments onstage, Once tells the enchanting tale of a Dublin street musician who’s about to give up on his dream when a beautiful young Czech immigrant takes a sudden interest in his haunting love songs. As the chemistry between them grows, his music soars to powerful new heights – but their unlikely connection turns out to be deeper and more complex than your everyday romance. Emotionally captivating and theatrically breathtaking, Once draws you in from the very first note. It is an unforgettable story about going for your dreams… not living in fear… and the power of music to connect all of us.

Michael Zygo, who performed in the Broadway production as the Emcee, will be recreating the original staging and movement by John Tiffany and Steven Hoggett, respectively. As an original Broadway and Off-Broadway cast member, he feels a special attachment to the incredible work realized by the original cast and creative team. Mr. Zygo’s recent credits include Director of Once at Pittsburgh CLO, Music Director / Associate Choreographer of Once at The Fulton Theatre / Virginia Repertory Theatre. He was also featured on the Grammy Award winning cast album of Once. Other acting credits include Broadway: School Of Rock; Off-Broadway: Once (NYTW); Tours: Rock Of Ages – first National, The Wedding Singer, Bridges of Madison County – first National, Annie – 30th Anniversary tour, and Oklahoma! – first National.

The cast is led by Jack Gerhard as Guy and Mariah Lotz as Girl. Jack is a recent graduate of Rider University with a BFA in Musical Theatre. Previous regional credits include Jesus in Jesus Christ Superstar at the Tibbits Opera House in Coldwater, Michigan.

Mariah is also a graduate of Rider University and has premiered numerous new shows in New York and was part of the Rising Star program at Fifth Avenue Theatre.

The ensemble includes Todd Aulwurm (Bank Manager/Cello/Guitar), Carrie Lyn Brandon (Swing), Carlos Castillo (Andrej/Guitar/Bass Guitar/Ukulele), Trevor Craft (Svec/Mandolin/Guitar/Drums/Banjo), Richard Daniel (Da/Mandolin), Elleon Dobias (Ex Girlfriend/ Violin), Emily Gregonis (Reza/Violin), Caleb Hartsfield (Emcee/Guitar), Jody Alan Lee (Swing), Sam Saint Ours (Swing), Jon Patrick Penick (Billy/Guitar), Marta Rymer (Swing), Matthew Staley (Eamon/Guitar/Piano/Cajon) and Tracy Thomas (Baruska/Accordian).

The production features scenic and costume design by Tony Award winner Bob Crowley (Aida, An American in Paris, Carousel, Mary Poppins) with additional designs by Southwest Florida BroadwayWorld winner Evan Adamson (Mamma Mia), lighting design by Russell A. Thompson (international tour of The Wizard of Oz, US tours Million Dollar Quartet, Fiddler on the Roof) and sound design by David Temby (Clearwing Productions/national tour of Memphis). The production also includes a pre-show onstage bar atmosphere where performers play a variety of traditional Irish and Czech tunes each night. The bar will be open prior to the performance and at intermission and theatregoers are able to go onstage and purchase beer and wine.

After it closes at Broadway Palm, Once begins the travels to the Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Center in Fort Myers before going on the road. For more tour and cast information, please visit www.OncetheMusicalTour.com.

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‘Finding Neverland’ opens at Broadway Palm October 3 (09-23-19)

The enchanting Broadway musical, Finding Neverland, soars onto the Broadway Palm stage from October 3 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 present tap-happy musical parody ‘Dames at Sea’ (09-23-19)

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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Future ‘Funny Shorts Live’ and related auditions (09-23-19)

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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‘Cause and Affection’ to incorporate video component into live action on stage (09-23-19)

The Center for the Performing Arts Bonita Springs will be performing the world premiere of Cause and Affection, an original multi-media comedic play.

Cause and Affection follows an aging soap star by the name of Preston whose evening plans are ruined when his elderly 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 Preston with a problem of his own to solve.

One of the distinguishing aspects of this production is the incorporation of three videos into the action taking place on stage. As you may suspect, the videos are episodes or outtakes from the soap opera, in which Preston stars as a handsome politician. Although CFABS cast actors especially for the soap opera videos, only the actor playing the part of Preston appears both on stage and in the soap opera videos!

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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Center for Performing Arts presenting staged readings of ‘Good Jews” and ‘Book Club Thief’ (09-23-19)

The Center for Performing Arts Bonita is presenting staged readings of Good Jew 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 introduces 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 (09-23-19)

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 creepy thriller ‘Ghost in the Meadow’ opens September 27 (09-23-19)

Do you like good old-fashioned ghost stories? Then you’re in for a treat when The Ghost in the Meadow opens at Cultural Park Theatre in Cape Coral on September 27. Playwright Joe Simonelli wrote this atmospheric piece just for stage … with plenty of chills coupled with a liberal dose of tension breaking comic relief.

Sprinkled with humor, this creepy thriller follows two sisters who relocate from Manhattan to an old farm house in upstate New York. They quickly realize that they may not be alone in the house. An old boyfriend drops in to visit and when the strange occurrences continue, he calls on the services of a psychic colleague to try to quell the restless spirits.

Ghost in the Meadow runs September 27-October 6. Tickets are $22 for adults, $19 for seniors and $16 for students. To reserve your seats or for more information, please call 239-772-5862 or visit http://www.culturalparktheater.com.

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Spotlight on ‘Ghost in the Meadow’ actor Stacy Stauffer (09-23-19)

Stacy Stauffer will appear in the role of Sheila in Cultural Park Theatre’s production of Joe Simonelli’s The Ghost in the Meadow. Stauffer’s credits include Lab Theater’s world premiere production of Zalman Velvel’s DMV (various roles, including the mayor), The Musical Comedy Murders of the 1940s, Sarah Ruhl’s Stage Kiss, Laura Lorusso’s Scrooge TV: A Modern Christmas Carol, Standing on Ceremony: The Gay Marriage Plays (Stacy was Hannah in “This Flight Tonight” and Cate in “A Traditional Wedding”), Rumors and the Vagina Monologues.

Go here to see the rest of Stacy’s theatrical profile.

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Spotlight on ‘Ghost in the Meadow’ playwright Joe Simonelli (09-23-19)

On September 27, The Ghost in the Meadow opens at Cultural Park Theatre. Written by Staten Island playwright Joe Simonelli, the story is based on a Civil War-era story tale that originated in Pennsylvania.

Joseph Simonelli is an American playwright. Although known for his popular comedies such as Men are Dogs and Old Ringers (which get performed regularly around the United States and Canada), Simonelli also writes across theatrical genres. He has written a popular musical about internet dating titled Romance.com and his ghost story thriller, The Ghost in the Meadow, has had many professional and amateur performances (most notably an extended run at The State Theatre of Virginia, (The Barter), an old line LORT venue). Other works include Ladies in Lingerie, Heaven Help Me, A Rainbow Holiday, The Haunting of Billop House, Sicilians in the Basement, A Christmas Tail, Stocks and Blonds, Injustice for All, Out at Third, Rommates, Wretched Asylum, Where There’s a Will, With this Ring and Wake Me at Midnight.

Simonelli grew up in the Bay Ridge section of Brooklyn, New York, where his father, Phillip, was a local orchestra leader. Joe was exposed to Broadway at an early age as his parents encouraged him and his four siblings to attend the theater. From the age of seven he saw such stars as Danny Kaye in Two by Two and Katharine Hepburn in Coco.

Simonelli appeared on stage as early as the second grade, beginning with elementary school productions at St. Patrick’s Grammar School. In his senior year at Xaverian High School in Brooklyn, he was featured as one of the jets in West Side Story. But Joe didn’t get serious about theater and writing until the age of forty when he tried out for a local community theater production in New Jersey. Shortly thereafter he started writing plays and submitting them in New York City and Los Angeles.

Simonelli is a full member of the Dramatist Guild of America and is represented by Brian Sherman and Ipex theatricals. His legal representative in Los Angeles is Gary DaSilva, who once commented that he finds Simonelli in good company with such notable playwrights as Neil Simon, Larry Gelbart and Mart Crowley, whom DiSilva also represents.

Joe has three children and currently resides in New York City, but is planning to relocate to the Southwest Florida. He is proud to be associated with Cultural Park Theatre in Cape Coral, which has presented many of his plays and looks forward to being the venue for his stage thriller The Ghost in the Meadow September 27 through October 6.

For more information about Joe, please visit http://joesimonelli.com/.

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‘Always … Patsy Cline’ opens in ArtStage Theatre September 27 (09-23-19)

Always … Patsy Cline opens in the Florida Repertory Theatre ArtStage Studio Theatre with four nearly-sold-out discounted preview performances September 24 to 26, with the formal opening on September 27.

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.

Always … Patsy Cline is already breaking box office records in the ArtStage Studio Theatre, and the run is extended to November 24 due to overwhelming demand. 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.

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.

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Florida Rep kicking off touring theater program on September 28 (09-23-19)

Junie B. Jones the Musical and The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe will kick off Florida Rep’s 2019-2020 Touring Theatre program. Due to interest and demand, Florida Rep Education will offer a one-time-only family-friendly public performance of these two shows at 1:00 and 6:00 p.m. on September 28 before they pack-up and hit the road to area schools .

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 (6th photo), 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.

Tickets for the public performances are $15 for adults and $10 for students, and available online at www.FloridaRepEducation.org and through the box office at 239-332-4488. 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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Looking at rest of Ghostbird’s 2019-2020 schedule (09-23-19)

With 3 in the books, here’s what’s on tap for the rest of Ghostbird Theatre Company’s 2019-2020 season:

  • October House to be performed October 31 and November 1, 2, 7, 8 and 9 at the historic Langford-Kingston Home;
  • Thistletoe Cabaret, a one-night performance scheduled for December 17 in the Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center;
  • the 24-Hour Festival on March 1 in the Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center; and
  • Ori by Barry Cavin in April of 2020 to be performed at the Calusa Nature Center Planetarium in Fort Myers.

For the rest of this advance, go here.

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Lab’s ‘Crucible’ product of savvy direction, inspired production and break-out performances (09-23-19)

Arthur Miller’s allegorical play The Crucible opened this past weekend at Lab Theater. The play featured predictably powerful portrayals by Steven Coe, TJ Albertson and Paul Graffy, but the audiences who caught these shows witnessed 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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Focus on Crucible’s Steven Coe (09-23-19)

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 (09-23-19)

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 (09-23-19)

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 (09-23-19)

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 Todd Lyman (09-23-19)

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 (09-23-19)

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 (09-23-19)

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 (09-235-19)

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 (09-15-19)

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 (09-23-19)

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 (09-15-19)

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 (09-15-19)

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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Richard O’Brien’s ‘Rocky Horror Show’ coming to New Phoenix October 3 (09-23-19)

New Phoenix Theatre will perform 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.

Performances are October 3, 4, 5, 10, 11, 12, 17, 18, 19, 24, 25, 26 and 31 at 8:00 p.m. and October 6, 13, 20 and 27 at 3:00 p.m.

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Spotlight on actor Cameron Rogers, who plays Brad Majors (09-23-19)

Cameron Rogers will appear 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 (09-23-19)

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 Sam Bostic, who plays Riff Raff (09-23-19)

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 (09-23-19)

Shelley Sanders has been tapped by Director Brenda Kensler for the role of Columbia in Richard O’Brien’s Rocky Horror Show. Based on her performances as Lulu in Cabaret (which Kensler directed) and Marjorie in Hand to God, she’s the perfect choice to play the tap-dancing degenerate with mad crazy burlesque skills who rooms with Magenta and is involved with both Frank and quintessential bad boy Eddie.

As Columbia, Shelley 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 Lisa Kuchinski (09-23-19)

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 (09-23-19)

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 (09-23-19)

Sage Meyers will play 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’ opening at The Naples Players on October 2 with red carpet party (09-23-19)

The Naples Players is bringing The Great Gatsby to the stage. 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, October 2 through 27 in Blackburn Hall. A special Red Carpet Party will be held at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, October 2 on The Baker Stage before the 7:30 Opening Night performance with live music and complimentary refreshments. 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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‘Church & State’ fast-paced dramedy about faith, politics and ‘The Twitter’ (09-23-19)

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 (09-23-19)

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 Sharon Isern (09-23-19)

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 (09-23-19)

Daniel Cancio plays multiple roles (Tom/Marshall/Security Guy/News Anchor) in The Studio Players’ upcoming 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. 

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Deadlines loom for number of Boulderbrook Southwest Florida art festivals (09-22-19)

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

  • The Art Festival at Mercato (January 25 & 26, 2020);  application deadline now closed;
  • Bonita Springs Invitational Art Festival (November 23 & 24); application deadline now closed;
  • Sanibel Masters Art Festival (Novembe 29 & 30); application deadline now closed;
  • Art Festival at the Sanibel Shops (December 7 & 8); deadline: application deadline now closed;
  • Sarasota Masters Art Festival (February 1 & 2, 2020); application deadline now closed;
  • Bonita Springs Invitational at The Promenade (February 15 & 16, 2020); October 1;
  • Peace River National Art Festival (March 21 & 22, 2020); deadline October 1;
  • The Sanibel SCA Art Festival (January 17 & 18, 2020); deadline: October 4;
  • Boca Grande Art Festival (March 7 & 8, 2020); deadline: October 14; and
  • Bonita Springs Masters Art Festival (March 28 & 29, 20209); deadline October 14.

You must apply online at  http://www.boulderbrook.net/.

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Hot Works accepting applications for Naples Fine Art Show through November 13 (09-22-19)

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 National Art Show through October 28 (09-22-19)

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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Naples Art accepting applications for Naples Downtown Art Show through December 8 (09-22-18)

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 (09-22-19)

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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