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Actors, artists, directors, filmmakers and events in the news October 22-30, 2022


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


1     ACTORS


Giusseppe Anthony makes Lab Theater debut in ‘Play That Goes Wrong’

Giusseppe Anthony makes his Lab Theater debut in The Play That Goes Wrong. A play within a play, Anthony plays the part of Dennis Tyde who, in turn, portrays a butler named Perkins in The Murder at Haversham Manor. Originally from Michigan, Giusseppe trained in acting in both New York and Los Angeles.



Kathleen Barney conjures her inner spiritualist as Madame Arcani in TNP’s ‘Blithe Spirit’

Southwest Florida theater veteran Kathleen Barney makes her Naples Players debut in the role of local spiritualist and medium Madame Arcati in Noel Coward’s Blithe Spirit. The seer conjures novelist Charles Condomine’s late wife, Elvira, from the other side but then can’t quite figure out how to send her back when Elvira decides she wants to hang around – permanently. Among Kathleen’s stage credits are Patty in Walter Cronkite Is Dead, Aida in Over The River and Through The Woods and Martha in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf, all for The Studio Players. But there’s more here.



Joey Bostic reprises role of Frank N Furter for Fort Myers Theatre

Joey Bostic is a Fort Myers based actor and aspiring director. After making his Fort Myers Theatre debut in Rent in the role of Benny, Bostic reprises the role of Frank N Furter in Fort Myers Theatre’s production of The Rocky Horror Picture Show. In addition to Frank N Furter in Richard O’Brien’s Rocky Horror Show at New Phoenix Theatre, Joey’s other stage credits include virgin-turned-vampire Madeleine Astarte in Charles Busch’s Vampire Lesbians of Sodom and the butler Jacob in La Cage Aux Folles. 



Danielle Channell plays Sandra/Florence Collymoore in ‘The Play That Goes Wrong’

Naples-based actor Danielle Channell resumes her reign as comedic royalty in the roles of Sandra and Florence Collymoore in Lab Theater’s production of The Play That Goes Wrong. The Queen of Farce’s previous stage credits include vodka-guzzling middle sister Melanie in Lewis Black’s One Slight Hitch, and Mae Flynn Pollitt in Tennessee Williams’ Cat on a Hot Tin Roof for The Studio Players. You will find Danielle’s theatrical profile here.



Paola Cifuentes plays Janet for Fort Myers Theatre in ‘Rocky Horror’

Paola Andrea Cifuentes stars as Janet for Fort Myers Theatre in its production of The Rocky Horror Show. She previously starred as Morticia in The Addams Family Musical, a role that played to all of Cifuentes strengths. Paola relocated to Florida from California in June of 2021 and quickly landed roles at Fort Myers Theatre as the Ghost of Christmas Future in A Christmas Carol and ChaCha DiGregorio in GreaseFor more on Paola, please go here.



Miguel Cintron plays dual roles in ‘The Play That Goes Wrong’ for Lab Theater

Miguel Cintron plays the dual roles of Robert and Thomas Colleymoore in Lewis, Sayer and Shields’ farce The Play That Goes Wrong at Lab Theater. Miguel’s theater career is denoted by many highlights, but perhaps none as lofty as playing a sarcastically irascible Almighty in Lab Theater’s An Act of God. Other stage credits include Usman in The Chechens for the Alliance for the Arts, Palomo in Anna in the Tropics and Yvan in Yasmina Reza’s Art. Please go here to view Miguel’s other theatrical credits.



Parrish Danesh plays Brad Majors for Fort Myers Theatre in ‘Rocky Horror’

Parrish Danesh is local actor. He plays Brad Majors for Fort Myers Theatre in The Rocky Horror Show. His previous credits include director/choreographer Zack in A Chorus Line, Gomez Addams in The Addams Family musical, Teen Angel & Johnny Casino in Grease (March 2022), Ghost of Christmas Past in A Christmas Carol the Musical (December 2021) and Reverend Shaw Moore in Footloose the Musical (September 2021). Go here to see all of Parrish’s theatrical credits.



James Duggan is Charles Condomine in ‘Blithe Spirit’ at The Naples Players

James Duggan plays Charles for The Naples Players in Blithe Spirit.  James previously directed Boeing Boeing this past January and appeared in Don’t Dress for Dinner, Making God Laugh and Maple and Vine, to name a few. James serves as the Director of Patron Services for The Naples Players.



Shelley Gothard plays Mrs. Bradman for TNP in ‘Blithe Spirit’

Shelley Gothard portrays Mrs. Bradman in The Naples Players’ production of Noel Coward’s Blithe Spirit. She has been involved in many productions at The Naples Players and other local theaters. Shelley was last seen as Hannah in Sarah Treem’s When We Were Young and Unafraid. Other stage credits include Mrs. Marchmont in TNP’s production of An Ideal Husband and work in the ensemble of A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder.



Nikki Hagel plays prostitute Nellie in ‘Jekyll & Hyde the Musical’

Nikki Hagel appears in the role of a prostitute by the name of Nelly in Jekyll & Hyde the Musical, which opens October 13 at New Phoenix Theatre. Previous roles included Pamela in Head over Heels, Frederick Frankenstein fiancee Elizabeth Benning in Young Frankenstein, Georgie Buckatinsky in The Full Monty, and the memorable role of sax-playing Magenta in Richard O’Brien’s Rocky Horror Show, all for New Phoenix Theatre.



Tricia Hennessy is spellbinding as Lucy Harris in ‘Jekyll & Hyde’

With a career in dance and theatre spanning more than 30 years, Tricia Hennessy plays the part of Lucy Harris in New Phoenix Theatre’s production of Jekyll & Hyde the Musical. Captivating. Spellbinding. Enthralling. These are just some of the adjectives that come to mind to describe Tricia’s performance in the role. Tricia last appeared in the roles of Inga in Young Frankenstein for New Phoenix Theatre and the title role in The Drowsy Chaperone for Creative Theater Workshop. Go here to view all of Tricia’s theatrical credits.



Heather Johnson plays Annie in ‘The Play That Goes Wrong’ at Lab

Heather McLemore Johnson appears in Lab Theater’s Henry Lewis-Jonathan Sayer-Henry Shields comedy The Play That Goes Wrong, where she’ll play Annie. Heather’s stage credits include various roles in Lab Theater’s summer spoof of The Birds, Sharla in the Southwest Florida premiere of Killer Joe, Jane in the Florida premiere of Sarah Ruhl’s How to Transcend a Happy Marriage, Rebecca Nurse in Arthur Miller’s The Crucible, and an aggrieved soccer mom (and the only adult cast member) in The Wolves. Go here to view the rest of Heather’s theatrical credits.



Erica Jones plays dead in ‘Blithe Spirit’

Erica Jones plays Elvira Condomine in Blithe Spirit.  In life, Elvira was spirited, outgoing, wild and carefree. In death, she’s no different, regularly having cocktails with Genghis Khan, among others. It’s a terrific role for Jones, who is highly spirited in real life as well. “Her comedic chops and energy are worth the ticket price alone,” comments cast mate and Assistant TNP Artistic Director Jessica Walck. Erica She was last seen as Gabriella in Boeing Boeing. 



Terry Lavy narrates ‘Rocky Horror’ at Fort Myers Theater

Terry Lavy assumes the role of the Narrator in The Rocky Horror Show, which he hopes will remind audiences of the ghost host at Disney’s Haunted Mansion along with a dash of Alastair Cooke. He was last seen at Fort Myers Theater in the role of Uncle Fester in Addams Family and appears next in the role of the Von Trapp family’s butler, Franz, in The Sound of Music.



Allison Lund is Magenta in ‘Rocky Horror’

Allison Lund appears in the role of Magenta for Fort Myers Theatre in The Rocky Horror Show. Allison’s previous credits include both Stage Manager and Ensemble member in Rent, Clairee Belcher in Steel Magnolias and Jordan Baker in The Great Gatsby.  Allison has also been involved with directing, choreographing, and writing numerous children’s performances for both FMT and her own program, Camp HSR!



Trace Meier plays Sir Danvers Carew in ‘Jekyll & Hyde’ for New Phoenix

Trace Meier appears in the role of Sir Danvers Carew for New Phoenix Theatre in their October production of Jekyll & Hyde the Musical. Trace’s stage credits include Quartet, multiple roles in Young Frankenstein and Dr. Scott in Richard O’Brien’s Rocky Horror Show for New Phoenix Theatre; and the priest in Andorra and roles in A Clockwork Orange and Chekhov’s The Bear for Lab Theater. He previously appeared in the role of Simon Stride in Jekyll & Hyde for Cultural Park Theater.

Go here for all of Trace’s theatrical credits.



Ariana Milian is one of Rocky Horror’s phantoms

Ariana Milian returns to the Fort Myers Theatre stage as one of the phantoms in the Rocky Horror Picture Show. She previously appeared in the ensemble of Rent, as one of the cut dancers in Fort Myers Theatre’s production of A Chorus Line and Alice in Alice in Wonderland. A Florida Gulf Coast University alum, Ariana has loved theatre and being onstage since she was very young.



Danica Murray plays multiple roles in touring production of ‘Lion, Witch and Wardrobe’

From September 27, 2022 through May 31, 2023, Danica and Cameron Rogers will play multiple roles in the Naples Performing Art Center’s Theatre for Young Audiences production of CS Lewis’ The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe. She has already amassed an impressive resume, thanks in large measure to her participation in Florida Repertory Theatre’s Conservancy program. Her acting credits include CFABS Youth Theatre’s bold reimagining of Thorton Wilder’s Our Town, Caitlin O’Hare in Over the River and Through the Woods at Off Broadway Palm, The Woman in Woman in Black and Cloe in Bulletproof Backpack. Go here for all of Danica’s stage credits.



Brittany Ringsdore is Columbia in ‘Rocky Horror’

Brittany Ringsdore makes her debut at Fort Myers Theater in the Rocky Horror Picture Show in the role of Columbia, a groupie who’s loved both Frank and one of his minions, Eddie (played by Michael Messina). She’s also the one who sees Frank for what he is, and she delivers the musical’s most penetrating, heartfelt and longest monologue. Go here for the rest of Brittany’s theatrical credits.



Daniel Sabiston plays Jonathan and Charles Haversham in ‘The Play That Goes Wrong’

Daniel Sabiston appears in the roles of Jonathan and Charles Haversham in The Play That Goes Wrong. Daniel’s previous credits include various roles for Lab Theater in its summer spoof, The Birds: A Parody, Azalon in Dangerous Liaisons, Trinculo in The Tempest, Alan in Torch Song for The Studio Players, various roles in the summer spoof Sunset Schmoulevard, and Poggio di Chullu in the regional premiere of Jordan Tannahill’s Botticelli in the Fire. Go here to see the rest of Daniel’s stage credits.



Cassie Sampson in ensemble of ‘Jekyll & Hyde’

Once New Phoenix royalty, Cassie Sampson will now appear as one of London’s street people as a member of the ensemble of Jekyll & Hyde the Musical for New Phoenix Theatre, where she was last seen in the role of Queen Gynecia in Head Over Heels. She also played Melissa in Lives of the Great Waitresses for Theatre Conspiracy at the Alliance for the Arts, as well as Leaf Coneybear in The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Sister Robert Anne in Nunsense 2: The Second Coming and Leann in A Piece of My Heart for Cultural Park Theater. Go here to view her full and formidable profile.



Cassy Terwilliger plays Jekyll fiancee for New Phoenix in ‘Jekyll & Hyde’

Cassy Terwilliger plays the role of Emma Carew in New Phoenix Theatre’s production of Jekyll & Hyde the Musical. Her character in the show is Dr. Jekyll’s increasingly troubled fiancee who, in one of the show’s many highlights, sings a beautiful, soulful duet titled “In His Eyes” with a prostitute by the name of Lucy Harris, who becomes involved with both Jekyll and Hyde. Terwilliger was last seen in New Phoenix Theatre’s production of Head Over Heels, which marked her New Phoenix debut. Go here for all of Cassy’s theatrical credits.



Jessica Walck plays part of Ruth Condomine in TNP’s ‘Blithe Spirit’

Jessica Walck appears in Noel Coward’s Blithe Spirit for TNP in the role of Charles Condomine’s second wife, Ruth. Witty and sophisticated, stuffy and predictable, Ruth is quite the society matron. Understandably, she is concerned, then convinced that her husband has lost his mind when Charles tells her that the medium, Madame Arcati, has not only made contact his deceased first wife, Elvira, but has brought her over from the other side. It is precisely the type of role that plays to Walck’s comedic talent and dramatic flair.

Go here to view all of Jessica’s theatrical credits.





Scott Carpenter directs ‘Jekyll & Hyde the Musical’ for New Phoenix Theatre

Scott Carpenter directs a star-studded cast in Jekyll & Hyde the Musical for New Phoenix Theatre.

Scott’s previous directing credits include last Spring’s production of Head over Heels for New Phoenix Theatre, as well as the Florida premiere of the spoof Death of a Streetcar Named Virginia Woolf: A Parody,  Rumors for Lab Theater, Same Time, Next Year, Jekyll & Hyde the Musical, South Pacific, Mame, and Steel Magnolias.

Go here to view all of Scott’s theatrical credits.




Artistic Director Kimberly Suskind directs ’13 the Musical’ for Gypsy Playhouse

A recent transplant from Greater Philadelphia, Kimberly Suskind is an actor, singer, dancer and the Artistic Director of Robin Dawn Academy’s Gypsy Playhouse. In that capacity, she is directing 13 the Musical, which runs at the Playhouse September 30-October 2. Kimberly has worked at many professional regional theatres across the country, including Walnut Street Theatre (PA), Cape May Stage (NJ), Delaware Theatre Company (DE), The Theatre Barn (NY), Eagle Theatre (NJ), Bucks County Playhouse (PA), Nightcap Cabaret (PA), Metro Stage Company (MA) and Village Theatre & Civic Light Opera (WA). Go here to view her impressive (and extensive) theatrical credits.



Carling Witt provides choreography for New Phoenix musical ‘Jekyll & Hyde’

Carling Witt provides the choreography for New Phoenix Theatre’s production of Jekyll & Hyde the Musical. Witt distinguished herself with her portrayal of Mopsa in Head Over Heels. Other acting credits include Johanna in Sweeney Todd, Penny in Hairspray and Vivienne in Legally Blonde. Carling is employed as a musician and vocalist and has performed for Disney, Warner Bros, and Universal Studios.





Audio for IMAG’s ‘Man Playing Flute’ now live on Otocast

The audio for the Edgardo Carmona sculpture Duo Sinfonica or Man Playing Flute is now live on Otocast. Man Playing Flute is one of two Carmona sculptures that have been moved to IMAG History & Science Center in the City’s third ward. Man Playing Flute leans against a stone pillar that anchors the wrought iron fence running along Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard.

With Man Playing Flute, sculptor Edgardo Carmona captures a moment in time during which a flutist and his beautiful tunes attracts a chirping bird to sing in tandem with him. This artwork was positioned to look across the street towards McCollum Hall on purpose. Go here for more.





Fringe Fort Myers coming to Southwest Florida in 2023

Fort Myers will soon be joining more than 250 cities around the globe that host fringe performing arts festivals. A collaboration between the Alliance for the Arts and Broadway Palm Dinner Theatre, the first-ever Fringe Fort Myers will take place June 1-4, 2023. The full story, which details the application process for artists interesting in winning a berth, is available on WGCU.



Fort Myers Theatre contributes to ‘Rocky Horror’ mystique

On stage October 20 through the 30th at Fort Myers Theatre is The Rocky Horror Show. Whether you’re a Rocky Horror virgin or a veteran who’s seen the movie 20, 30, 40 or more times, there’s just something so damn satisfying about watching a live performance of this cult classic with an audience filled with Rocky Horror zealots, many dressed specifically for the occasion. With two midnight shows, Fort Myers Theatre contributes to Rocky Horror brand and mystique. Go here for the rest of his advance.

Go here for play dates, times and ticket information.



Fort Myers Theater’s ‘Rocky Horror’ showcased on WGCU

In 1975, the Rocky Horror Picture Show was a box office flop. It grossed just a little more than $21,000, compared to the record-setting $260 million grossed by Jaws that year. Jaws went on to spawn sequels, and a whole new genre of B-movies such as Orca, Piranha, The Meg and the self-parody Sharknado spoofs. But none have achieved the cult classic status that Rocky Horror has enjoyed over the past 47 years. Go here to hear Director Robin Dawn Ryan, Frank-N-Furter actor Joey Bostic, Magenta’s alter ego Allison Lund and Parrish Danesh, who plays Brad Majors, talk up the show on WGCU.



Gulf Coast Symphony putting on annual ‘Haunted Halloween’ on October 30

Gulf Coast Symphony puts on its annual “Haunted Halloween – Symphonic Family Concert” at the Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall at FSW on Sunday, October 30. This not-so-spooky Halloween concert is sure to be fun for the whole family! The event starts at 1:00 pm with safe trick-or-treating and the Musical Discovery Zone™ in the lobby, where kids (and adults!) can try out the instruments of the orchestra. Costumes are encouraged and there will be children’s costume contests with prizes! At 2:00 p.m., activities move to the theater where the Gulf Coast Symphony will perform family-friendly Halloween music from movies like Harry Potter, Star Wars, Pirates of the Caribbean and many more! And for more on GCS’ 2022-23 season, go here.



Gypsy Playhouse’s coming-of-age musical ’13’ closes Sunday, October 23rd

Gypsy Playhouse’s production of 13 the Musical closes Sunday, October 23rd. With a bright, catchy pop score from Jason Robert Brown, equal doses of humor and pathos, and a cast of wildly talented teens, 13 is irresistible to grown-ups and almost-grown-ups alike.

The rest of this advance is here.

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



Director Kimberly Suskind dishes about 13 on WGCU

Artistic Director Kimberly Suskind dishes about Gypsy Playhouse’s production of 13 the Musical on WGCU, which also contains clips of three songs from the show. The music in 13 is exceptional. Jason Robert Brown’s score carries the audience through the storyline with one irresistible song after another, but you have to have some really good singers to do justice to this musical’s songbook and Suskind’s performers deliver. But it’s Mia Zottolo and Hannah Cruz who belt out numbers on this radio segment, which you can hear here.



‘Play That Goes Wrong’ closes with Sunday’s 2 p.m. matinee

Lab Theater’s hilarious The Play That Goes Wrong by Henry Lewis, Jonathan Sayer and Hendry Shields closes Sunday, October 23rd, with a 2 p.m. matinee. Part Monty Python, part Sherlock Holmes, and all mayhem, this Olivier Award-winning show is disastrously delightful. Go here for more on this production.

Go here for play dates, times and a full cast list.



Naples Performing Arts taking Narnia to area elementary and middle schools

Danica Murray and Cameron Rogers are two of Southwest Florida’s most promising young stage actors. You may have seen Murray as Caitlin O’Hare in Over the River and Through the Woods at Off Broadway Palm or Cloe in Bulletproof Backpack at Florida Repertory Theatre. Rogers burst onto the local theater scene in the role of Brad in Richard O’Brien’s Rocky Horror Show at New Phoenix Theatre and dazzled Laboratory Theater of Florida audiences with his deft and daring swordplay in Dangerous Liaisons.

Interestingly, Murray’s first exposure to theater was at a touring show about Thomas Edison that visited her elementary school. Rogers’s mom took him to a Broadway Palm Children’s Theatre production of C.S. Lewis’ The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe a short time after they’d seen the movie. Now Murray and Rogers are returning the favor by performing multiple roles in the Naples Performing Arts Center’s (NPAC) Theatre for Young Audiences production of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.

Naples Performing Art Center Associate Artistic Director Kody Jones said that while Theatre for Young Audiences (TYA) has been around for about four decades, it is new to many people, even avid theater-goers. But TYA has an important role in introducing elementary and middle school students to the performing arts.

Go here for the full story on WGCU.



More on Naples Performing Arts Center’s TYA production of ‘Lion, Witch and Wardrobe’

Naples Performing Arts Center has officially announced its first Theatre for Young Audiences (TYA) touring production, C.S. Lewis’ iconic The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe.  This new and innovative program delivers a fully-realized professional touring production to area schools.  Each production will be tailored to not only provide engaging and educational entertainment, but tie in with the host school’s curriculum and Florida’s Education Benchmarks and Standards. The highly-imaginative production runs 50 minutes and comes with an optional fifteen-minute Q and A with the actors following the performance.

The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe is a tour de force adventure that enables the audience to join our journey as we utilize imaginations and creativity to depict the stories of Narnia,” notes NPAC in its press release announcing the production, which stars Danica Murray and Cameron Rogers, who play storytellers as well as a dozen other characters within Narnia that careen in and out of the story with a simple costume change and complete physical and vocal transformation.

The production is directed by veteran TYA Director, Kody C Jones with support by NPAC Production Manager, Jenn Murray.

“There is nothing more special than TYA Theatre for Young Audiences,” says Jones. “It’s a program with the sole purpose of introducing the performing arts to as many kids as possible while introducing life skills and inspiring creativity and imagination.”

Recommended for 1st through 6th grades, the show is designed and directed to be performed any space, large or small whether it be a classroom or large theatre or gym.

For pricing questions or to book your tour today, please email Associate Artistic Kody C Jones at

And to listen to more on TYA and the production on WGCU, please click here.



New Phoenix Theatre goes steampunk in season-opening production of ‘Jekyll & Hyde’ 

New Phoenix Theatre opened its 2022-2023 season this past Thursday with Leslie Bricusse and Frank Wildthorn’s recreation of Robert Louise Stevenson’s 1886 gothic horror-thriller Jekyll & Hyde. The gripping tale of a brilliant mind gone horrifically awry, New Phoenix’s production of this disturbingly dark musical comes with a decidedly steampunk slant. Assuming the role of Costume Designer, Brenda Kensler will be outfitting the characters in steampunk. Drawing its inspiration from 19th century Victorian clothing and industrial machinery, the accessories are as distinctive as the clothing. Southwest Florida theater-goers will be holding their collective breath as we wait to see what Kensler has in store for this production. Go here for the full advance.

Play dates, times and a cast list can be found here.



Carpenter, Craig, Terwilliger and Hennessy talk up Jekyll & Hyde on WGCU

Director Scott Carpenter and leads Ryan Craig, Cassy Terwilliger and Tricia Hennessy talk up New Phoenix Theatre’s steampunk production of Jekyll & Hyde on WGCU Radio. Go here to hear what they have to say, as well as clips from some of the show’s powerful Act Two musical numbers like “In His Eyes,” “A New Life” and “The Way Back.” New Phoenix Theatre’s production of “Jekyll & Hyde” promises to be a tour de force. The cast is superlative. The leads have tremendous voices and the ensemble is comprised of phenomenal singers. Carpenter’s set is a study in steampunk architecture, and Kensler’s costumes are something to behold. Actor Ryan Craig points out this is also the perfect show for the Halloween season. Go here to listen to the segment.



Love and marriage devolve into laughter and mayhem in TNP’s ‘Blithe Spirit’

Noël Coward’s smash comedy hit Blithe Spirit closes October 23. Don’t miss the production where love and marriage devolve into laughter and mayhem – and ‘Till Death Do Us Part’ no longer applies. Here’s the set-up: Charles Condomine (James Dugan) is a fussy, cantankerous skeptic. But his spiritual skepticism vanishes when the ghost of his deceased first wife, Elvira (Erica Jones), accidentally materializes—but only to him. Elvira’s still in love and wants Charles back, and she’s not about to let a little thing like death stand in her way!

The rest of this advance is here.

Go here for play dates, times and ticket info.



Noel Coward comedy ‘Blithe Spirit’ puts new spin on vow ‘Till Death Do Us Part’

Noel Coward’s smash comedy hit Blithe Spirit closes October 23rd. First produced in Britain in 1941, this timeless farce puts a new spin on “Till Death Do Us Part” when a local medium conjures a writer’s first wife from the beyond and she decides she’s not leaving. Listen on WGCU as Director Emma Canalese and actor Jessica Walck provide the details.

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