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Visual and Performing Artists and Their Events in the news September 22-30, 2023


This is who and what’s creating news in Southwest Florida’s visual and performing arts community this week:


1     ACTORS


Nicole Anderson is Alma Hix in ‘Music Man Musical’

Nicole Anderson plays the part of Alma Hix in The Music Man Musical. Her character sings one of the show’s most memorable lines, “Oh yes, that woman made brazen overtures, with a guilt-edge guarantee / She had a golden glint in her eye and a silver voice with a counterfeit ring / Just melt her down and you’ll reveal / a lump of lead as cold as steel / Here, where a woman’s heart should be.” Nicole’s prior credits include Grimhilde, the Evil Queen, in Disney’s Descendants: The Musical and one of the Ancestors in Addams Family, a role that followed a 25 year hiatus in on-stage appearances.



Emilie Baartman plays Brooke in ‘Noises Off’ at Lab Theater

Emilie Baartman is a Naples actor, singer, dancer and costume and set designer. She appears in the role of Brooke in Noise Off at Lab Theater. Emilie’s stage credits include Lucinda in Into the Woods, Kia in The Last Schwartz for New Phoenix Theatre, work in the ensemble of Head Over Heels for New Phoenix Theatre and Texas flight attendant Gloria in Boeing Boeing for The Naples Players. You will find all of Emilie’s theatrical credits here.



Seth Balcer is Willard Hewitt in ‘Footloose’ at Cultural Park

Seth Balcer plays the part of Willard Hewitt in Footloose at Cultural Park Theatre. Seth’s previous stage credits include sadistic dentist Orin in Little Shop of Horrors, the Narrator in Into the Woods, and Dewey Finn, an energetic down-on-his-luck wannabe rock superstar, in School of Rock, all at Belle Theatre in Cape Coral. When he’s not center stage, you will typically find Seth on drums, which is where he was for Rent at Fort Myers Theater.



Gerrie Benzing is Mother Superior in Drinking Habits at Belle Theatre

A local stage and film actor, director, musical theatre instructor and the founder and creative director of, Gerrie Benzing plays Mother Superior in Drinking Habits for The Belle Theatre. Gerrie’s credits include Gertrude in Save Hamlet (for Lab Theater), Raven in Trouble (at the Vista View Mobile Home Estates) for Florida Rep, Brooke in Other Desert Cities for The Studio Players, Florence Ungar The Odd Couple: Female Version (Belle Theatre, 2022), Madame de Volanges in Dangerous Liaisons (Lab Theeater, 2022) and Lee in Charles Busch’s The Tale of the Allergist’s Wife for New Phoenix Theatre (2022). Read Gerrie’s extensive theatrical credits here.



Lemec Bernard plays Sterling Johnson in August Wilson’s Radio Golf’

Lemec Bernard plays the part of Sterling Johnson in August Wilson’s Radio Golf. He has previously appeared in the roles of attorney Henry Brown in David Mamet’s Race at Lab Theater, multiple roles in Confusions (which consisted of three one-act plays, The Still Alarm by George S. Kauffman and Alan Ayckbourn’s Between Mouthfuls and A Talk in the Park), Hedley’s bestie Mister in August Wilson’s King Hedley II,  and Tom in Engagement Rules. Read the rest of Lemec’s theatrical credits here.



Jania Boucher plays Poppy in Noises Off at The Lab

Jania Boucher plays the part of Poppy in Noises Off at Lab Theater. She previously appeared as Marcella in Save Hamlet. Boucher was introduced in the short film Until Then produced by Three Block Radius in 2018. Born with a passion to perform, Jania has more than 20 years of experience in multi-styled dance and is also skilled as a singer-songwriter, making her a genuine triple threat.



Margie Legner Bowman is brassy Snow White in ‘Disenchanted’ at Belle Theatre

Margie Legner Bowman unflinchingly plays a brassy, no-nonsense Snow White in Disenchanted the Musical for The Belle Theatre. Margie’s previous credits include the Baker’s wife in Stephen Sondheim’s Into the Woods and foot-spelling William Barfee in The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee and Sissy in A Piece of My Heart for Cultural Park Theater.



Steven Coe is Freddy in ‘Noises Off’ at Lab Theater

Actor Steven appears in the role of Freddy in Noises Off at Lab Theater. Steven’s credits include Hamlet in Lab Theater’s summer spoof Save Hamlet, David in The Foreigner for Players Circle Theatre, Happy Mahoney in Clown Bar for Theatre Conspiracy at the Alliance for the Arts, Mitch Brenner in The Birds: A Parody, the impudent, bitingly witty rake Vicomte de Valmont in Lab Theater’s production of Dangerous Liaisons, Chris in Killer Joe and Jim Fingal in Lifespan of a Fact for Players Circle Theatre. Go here for the rest of Steven’s extensive theatrical credits.



Ryan Porter Craig is Father Chenille in ‘Drinking Habits’ at Belle Theatre

Ryan Porter Craig appears as Father Chenille in Drinking Habits at Belle Theatre. Previous credits include the Wolf and Prince Charming Stephen Sondheim’s Into the Woods (at new Phoenix Theatre), the voice of Audrey II for Belle Theatre in Little Shop of Horrors, multiple roles for Gulf Coast Symphony in their holiday revue, Snowbird Follies, the dual roles of Dr. Henry Jekyll and Edward Hyde in New Phoenix Theatre’s production of Jekyll & Hyde the Musical and King Basilius for New Phoenix in Head Over Heels.



Waner Del Rosario is Garry/Roger in ‘Noises Off’ at Lab Theater

Waner Del Rosario (Garry/Roger) is making his theater debut in the roles of Garry/Roger in Noises Off. No stranger to performing, he holds awards in extemporaneous speech, and teaches Public Speaking for Camp HSR!, a homeschool day camp. As a graduate of the CHANGE Program in Fort Myers, an acting class that is focused on increasing equity and diversity in the performing arts, where he benefitted from the wisdom, coaching and encouragement of Sonya McCarter.



Les Englehart in the role of Tim in ‘Noises Off’

Les Englehart returns to Lab Theatre in the role of Tim in Noises Off. Previous credits include Cecil Haversham/Arthur the Gardner in Lab’s production of The Play That Goes Wrong. Les graduated with a B.F.A in Musical Theatre from Florida Southern College, where he performed as Herr Schultz in Cabaret, Ben in The Secret Garden, Disciple in Jesus Christ Superstar, Pops in Kiss Me, Kate and more.



Emily Feichthaler in ensemble of ‘Footloose’ at Cultural Park Theatre

Emily Feichthaler appears in the ensemble of Footloose for Cultural Park Theatre. Her recent stage credits include Heather Duke (Green Heather) in The Belle Theatre’s production of Heathers the Musical Teen Edition (2023), Vicki/Maggie/Judy in A Chorus Line Teen Edition for Melody Lane Theatre (2023), Little Eponine in Les Miserables for Melody Lane Theatre (2021), Footloose for Fort Myers Theatre (2021) and Matilda in Matilda the Musical JR. for Creative Theater Workshop. You will find the rest of Emily’s stage credits here.



Diane Hembling reprises role of Mrs. Paroo in ‘Music Man’ musical

Diane Hembling reprises the role of Mrs. Paroo in The Music Man Musical at Fort Myers Theatre, a character she performed, along with Mrs. Darling, in The Music Man for Cultural Park Theatre. Diane made her Fort Myers Theatre debut in the role of Marmee March in Little Women. She performed professionally as Cinderella’s Stepmother in the Herb Strauss Theater’s production of Into the Woods. Diane’s community theater credits include Peter Pan, Sweeney Todd and Brigadoon, as well as numerous shows at Cultural Park Theatre in Cape Coral.



David Hernandez is Reverend Moore in ‘Footloose’

David Hernandez appears in the role of Reverend Shaw Moore in Footloose the Musical at Cultural Park Theatre. David’s previous stage credits include Paul in A Chorus Line for Melody Lane Theatre (2023), Manolo in Odd Couple: Female Version for The Belle Theatre (2022), Spot Conlon/Nunzio in Newsies for The Belle Theatre (2022) and Mitch Mahoney in The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee for Melody Lane Theatre (2020).



Art Keen appears as Selsdon in ‘Noises Off’

Art Keen appears in the role of Selsdon in Noises Off at Lab Theater. A certified theater arts and social studies teacher with a B.S. in Theater Arts from SUNY Oneonta, Art’s local stage credits include Claudius in Lab’s summer spoof Save Hamlet, Alonso in The TempestThe Crucible, Jimmy Rogers in Lab Theater’s world premiere of Zalman Velvel’s D.M.V. and Manolo Costazuela in Del Tura Repertory Company’s production of The Odd Couple: Female Version.



Terry Lavy in the role of ‘Music Man’ Harold Hill

Terry Lavy plays the part of Harold Hill for Fort Myers Theatre in The Music Man Musical. Hill’s a con man who poses as a boys band music instructor in order to sell musical instruments and uniforms to an unsuspecting small town. To get the sale, he promises to train them but plans to skip town without providing any music lessons inasmuch as he cannot play a note and doesn’t know the first thing about music. View Terry’s stage credits here.



Emma Luke-Said is Princess Badroulbadour in ‘Disenchanted’

Emma Luke-Said is Princess Badroulbadour for The Belle Theatre in Disenchanted the Musical. Emma’s prior stage credits include Mrs. Beauregarde for Fort Myers Theatre in Willy Wonka, work in the ensemble of Beauty and the Beast for Fort Myers Theatre and the role of Go-to-Hell Kitty and work in the ensemble of Chicago for Gypsy Playhouse. Read the rest of her stage credits here.



Maliyah Mattis kissed a frog in Belle Theatre’s ‘Disenchanted’

Maliyah Mattis plays the part of the Princess Who Kissed a Frog in Disenchanted the Musical for The Belle Theatre. Having been left out of the kingdom for decades, this Black princess is here to claim her throne and celebrate inclusivity and diversity in fairy tales. Wonderfully witty, joyous, confident and clever with a turn of phrase, this Princess loves a funny pop culture reference. The role follows that of Yellow Heather (Heather McNamara) in Heathers the Musical Teen Edition for The Belle Theatre.



Bailey McArthur in Footloose’ at Cultural Park Theatre

Bailey McArthur appears for Cultural Park Theatre in Footloose the Musical. Bailey’s previous stage credits include Tricia in A Chorus Line for Melody Lane Theatre, a Venue-a-Go-Go Girl in Rock of Ages for Melody Lane Theatre and Lucinda in Into the Woods for Belle Theatre.



Cicero McCarter plays Old Joe Barlow in August Wilson’s ‘Radio Golf’ 

Cicero McCarter appears in August Wilson’s Radio Golf in the role of Elder Joseph (“Old Joe”) Barlow. An August Wilson veteran, he was previously seen in the role of Wining Boy in Theatre Conspiracy’s production of August Wilson’s The Piano Lesson, Canewell (a/k/a Stool Pigeon) in King Hedley II, Bynum Walker in Joe Turner’s Come and Gone, Hedley in Seven Guitars and Slow Drag in Ma Rainey’s Black BottomThe rest of Cicero’s stage and film credits are here.



Reuben Morgan is Lloyd in ‘Noises Off ‘ at Lab Theater

Reuben Morgan plays the part of Lloyd in Noises Off at Lab Theater. His first play was By the Way, Meet Vera Stark in September 2022, followed by Kitch in Lab’s production of Antoinette Nwandu’s surrealist drama Pass Over. His theatrical goals and aspirations are modest. A Fort Myers native, Reuben is the youngest of seven and credits his family (especially is brother Travis) and friends as his greatest influences.



Bradyn Parmelly is Ren McCormack in ‘Footloose’ at Cultural Park Theatre

Bradyn Parmelly appears as Ren McCormack in Cultural Park Theatre’s production of Footloose. Bradyn’s recent stage credits include Pippin in Pippin (2023) and Danny Zuko in Grease (2023) at Cultural Park Theatre, as well as Grantaire in Les Miserables (2023) and Greg in A Chorus Line (2023) with Melody Lane Theatre. Other credits include Leon Czolgosz in Assassins (2021) and Seymour Krelborn in Little Shop of Horrors (2020).



Donna Richman is Sister Augusta in ‘Drinking Habits’ at Belle Theatre

After acting for many years in New York, Donna Richman mades her Florida debut at New Phoenix Theatre in the role of Norma in Deborah Laufer’s The Last Schwartz. She next appears in the role of Sister Augusta in Drinking Habits at The Belle Theatre. Favorite past roles include Katherine in Welcome Home (Billboard Players), Renee in After-Play (Theatre Box), Karen in Plaza Suite (Herricks Players), Molly in The Front Page (Hofstra/USA), Claudia in Nuts and Felicity in The Shadow Box (Thursday Night Theatre).



Cassie Sampson is Sleeping Beauty in ‘Disenchanted the Musical’

Cassie Sampson transitions from Witch and Cinderella’s stepmother to Sleeping Beauty in The Belle Theatre’s production of Disenchanted the Musical. Not only is the role perfect for this versatile actor, but the character is a perfect foil for Brandy Miller-Chapman’s Snow White. She’s flippant, irreverent and an unpredictable cut-up who loves to dance, sometimes uncontrollably, as this is part of being perfectly and uniquely herself. Go here to view all of Cassie’s theatrical credits.



Stephanie Sabelhaus is Rapunzel in ‘Disenchanted’ at Belle Theatre

Stephanie Sabelhaus appears in the role of Rapunzel for The Belle Theatre in Disenchanted the Musical, and American capitalism won’t turn this campy, Mel Brooksian songstress into a damsel in distress. Brunehildesque, strong and fun-loving, this Rapunzel is bent on getting her fair share from those who make bank off of fairy tale princesses. Stephanie was last seen at Belle Theatre as Olive Madison in Belle Theatre’s production of Odd Couple: Female Version. Go here for more.



Bridget Scott is librarian Marian Paroo in ‘Music Man Musical’

Bridget Scott plays prim and proper librarian and piano teacher Marian Paroo in The Music Man Musical for Fort Myers Theatre. Her character is an astute judge of character, and immediately sees through con man Harold Hill, who arrives in town posing as a boys’ band organizer as a ploy to sell the town band instruments and uniforms he knows absolutely nothing about. But when Harold helps Marian’s younger brother overcome his lisp and social awkwardness, Marian begins to fall in love with him. You will find Bridget’s previous stage credits here.



Stacy Stauffer goes undercover as Sally in ‘Drinking Habits’ at Belle Theatre

Stacy Stauffer is a talented character actor who lives and performs in Fort Myers. She appears in the role of Sally for The Belle Theatre in Drinking Habits. Her previous stage credits include the President’s press secretary for Lab Theater in POTUS, Or Behind Every Great Dumbass Are Seven Women Trying to Keep Him Alive and Cinderella’s stepmother in Into the Woods at New Phoenix Theatre. You will find all of Stacy’s credits here.



Cassy Terwilliger is Cinderella for The Belle Theatre in ‘Disenchanted the Musical’

Cassy Terwilliger is perky, quirky Cinderella in The Belle Theatre’s production of Disenchanted the Musical. This Cinderella is impish and enthusiastic, especially when it comes to being a real life princess, but she’s about to discover that there’s more to being a princess than pretty gowns and glass slippers. Cassy was last seen as the Baker’s Wife in Into the Woods at New Phoenix. Go here to see all of her stage credits.



Tracy Weaver is Sister Philamena in ‘Drinking Habits’ at Belle Theatre

Originally from Pennsylvania, Tracy Weaver has performed at many community theater venues in Pennsylvania and Florida. Tracy next appears as Sister Philamena in Drinking Habits at The Belle Theatre. The actor/singer’s stage credits include Madame, Ella’s cruel and demeaning stepmother in Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella at The Belle Theatre and Rosemonde in Dangerous Liaisons. Go here for the rest of Tracy’s stage credits.



Madelaine Weymouth is Belinda in ‘Noises Off’ at Lab

Madelaine Weymouth appears in the role of Belinda in Noises Off at Lab Theater. Maddy’s most recent acting credits include Voice in Theatre Conspiracy’s production of The Hatmaker’s Wife, Jen in Bekah Brunstetter’s The Cake for the Alliance for the Arts, Claudia Faith Draper in Nuts for The Studio Players, Elina in The Chechens, Betty Schaefer in Lab Theater’s summer spoof Sunset Schmoulevard and Clarice Orsini in Jordan Tannahill’s Botticelli in the Fire. Go here for the rest of Madelaine’s theatrical credits.



Holly Zammerilla is Dotty in ‘Noises Off’ at Lab Theater

Holly Bogert Zammerilla appears as Dotty in Noises Off at Lab Theater, where she previously played multiple roles (Mrs. MacGruder, Mrs. Bundy and, of course, a bird) for Lab Theater in its 2022 summer spoof of The Birds. Holly made her stage debut in Lab Theater’s 2019 Christmas Show Let Nothing You Dismay, where she played Noreen, Charlotte and Bubbie. She has also played the part of Tammie Sue in The Lives of Great Waitresses. Go here for the rest of Holly’s theatrical credits.





Carmen Crussard directs ‘Addams Family’ for Alliance Youth Theatre

Carmen Crussard directs Addams Family for Alliance Youth Theatre September 29-October 1. As the Youth Theatre Director for the Alliance for the Arts since 2012 that she has directed PippinThe Hunchback of Notre Dame, Calvin Berger, Monty Python’s Spamalot the Musical, Heathers the Musical, Almost, Maine, Peter Pan, Jr. and Xanadu, Jr. Carmen also works full-time as the Theatre Director at Cypress Lake High School Center for the Arts. While bringing out the best in adult actors may indeed be satisfying, what makes Carmen’s heart skip a beat is helping children develop into young actors, directors and stage hands. Read the rest of Carmen’s theatrical credits here.



Sonya McCarter directs August Wilson’s ‘Radio Golf’ for Theatre Conspiracy

Sonya McCarter is an actor, director and instructor. She is directing Radio Golf for Theatre Conspiracy at the Alliance. Sonya’s other directing credits include Pass Over for Lab Theater, Dorothy Marcic’s SISTAS: the MusicalFairviewThe Color Purple, Lorraine Hansberry’s A Raisin in the Sun, August Wilson’s The Piano LessonKing Hedley IISeven Guitars, Joe Turner’s Come and Gone, and Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, Lydia Diamond’s The Bluest Eye and George C. Wolff’s The Colored Museum. You will find the rest of Sonya’s theatrical credits here.





Local photographer provides images of hope at Alliance ‘Storm Stories’ exhibit

One of the artists participating in the Alliance for the Arts’ Storm Stories exhibit in September is photojournalist Kinfay Moroti. Through 11 paired photographs, he presents “Hope: The Other Side of Hurricane Ian.” In this WGCU segment, he shares where his inspiration for the exhibition came from.



‘Ian’s Eye’ by Dana Donkle at Alliance for ‘Storm Stories’

On view at the Alliance for the Arts through September 30 is Storm Stories. The exhibit features 53 works by Florida artists in reaction to Hurricane Ian. Dana Donkle’s acrylic painting, Ian’s Eye, was chosen as the work that best represents the sentiment of the exhibition. “This piece captures the experience of watching the storm’s intensifying colors on the weather maps as it made its way to our city,” Donkle remarks in her Artist Statement. Read the rest of this Spotlight here.



‘Rise Up’ by Alexandra Wilkinson at Alliance for ‘Storm Stories’

On view at the Alliance for the Arts through September 30 is Storm Stories. The exhibit features 53 works of art by Florida artists in reaction to Hurricane Ian. Alexandra Wilkinson’s Rise Up is one of the works juried into the show. “The mythical phoenix bird is associated with renewal and regeneration,” Wilkinson points out. “It is a symbol of hope, resurrection and rebirth. With the knowledge and experience of the difficult times we have endured, we will RISE UP gracefully and peacefully from Mother Nature’s ever-challenging and devastating circumstances.” The rest of this Spotlight is here.



Linda Benson’s ‘Elsa’s Survival’ at Alliance for ‘Storm Stories’

Linda Benson’s collage, Elsa’s Survival, is one of the artworks juried into Storm Stories, on view now through September 30 at the Alliance for the Arts. When Ian struck, Linda and her 110-pound Great Pyrenees dog, Elsa, resided comfortably in small house situated on a canal that empties into the Caloosahatchee River. But as Ian bore down on them, muddy river water surged into the structure, forcing Linda and Elsa onto the dining room tabletop. Watching warily as the water continued to rise, she slipped a life vest onto the 110-pound Great Pyrenees and donned one herself. Go here to find out what happened next.



Stacey Brown’s ‘Watching Ian’ at Alliance for ‘Storm Stories’

Stacey Brown’s mixed media work, Watching Ian: A Sudden Realization, is one of the artworks juried into the Alliance for the Arts’ Storm Stories exhibition. Besides a gifted artist and Union Artists Studio member, Brown is a Clinical Psychotherapist specializing in trauma. “Watching Ian: A Sudden Realization is a self-portrait,” Stacey notes. “I rode out the storm alone with my dog and two cats, watching it all happen through the bedroom window.” Read the rest of this Spotlight here.



Leah Schneider’s ‘Conniving to Survive’ at Alliance for ‘Storm Stories’

The fate of Rachel is a topic on the lips of many in Fort Myers. The 97-year-old Grecian maiden was severely damaged when Hurricane Ian’s winds toppled the immense bougainvillea and wrought iron fence that previously stood behind her. In Conniving to Survive, Leah Schneider puts into pictures the emotions being experienced by many of those who’ve come to love and identify with The Spirit of Fort Myers.

“Our family was cleaning up just like yours after the storm,” Leah relates. “We were tired and emotional, some days full of tears, seeing images and hearing stories of those who fared worse.”

Read the rest of this Spotlight here.



Leoma Lovegrove’s ‘Painting Up a Storm’ at Alliance for ‘Storm Stories’

On view in the main gallery of the Alliance for the Arts through September 30 is Storm Stories, a visual art exhibit that features 53 works of art by Florida artists in reaction to Hurricane Ian. Leoma Lovegrove’s Painting Up a Storm was one of the artworks juried into the show.

“When the Storm Stories exhibition was announced, I had to be a part of it,” says Leoma, whose house was destroyed by Ian. “My Painting Up a Storm was created with the remaining bits and pieces of my premises after Hurricane Ian hit.”

Read the rest of this Spotlight here.



Denny Porter’s ‘Ian’s Fury’ at Alliance in ‘Storm Stories’

On view in the main gallery of the Alliance for the Arts through September 30 is Storm Stories, a visual art exhibit that features 53 works of art by Florida artists in reaction to Hurricane Ian. Denny Porter’s Ian’s Fury is one of the works juried into the show.

Read the rest of this Spotlight here.





John Davis highlights ‘Storm Stories’ on WGCU’s Gulf Coast Life

The Alliance for the Arts in Fort Myers is marking the one-year anniversary of Hurricane Ian’s landfall with a series of related content including a juried exhibition titled “Storm Stories.” In cooperation with the Gulf Coast Writers Association, the Alliance is also offering a published book of Hurricane Ian experiences with 80 contributing writers telling their stories of survival, loss, heroism, humanity and resilience, and showcasing a related exhibition of works from award-winning photographer Kinfay Moroti titled “Hope: The Other Side of Hurricane Ian.” Visit WGCU to listen to Alliance Executive Director Molly Rowan-Deckart discuss the show with John Davis on this week’s edition of Gulf Coast Life.



‘One Endless Voice’ exhibits at Marco Island Center for Arts through October 2

One Endless Voice to Enhance Our Traditions is on exhibition at the Marco Island Center for the Arts now through October 2. This collection of artworks shines a spotlight on the power of art to convey personal family history, traditions, and culture. A testament to the profound impact of artistic expression in sharing and preserving the stories that define us, this unique exhibition celebrates the potent ability of art to transcend time and space, providing a medium through which artists can narrate their family history, traditions, and culture to a captivated audience. Visitors have the privilege of immersing themselves in an array of artistic forms, from paintings and sculptures to photography and mixed media creations, each masterfully weaving personal narratives into a larger cultural fabric.

The exhibition runs through October 3rd. There will be gallery reception from 5:30 to 7:00 p.m. on September 12th.

Marco Island Center for the Arts brings a wide variety of arts to its community through art exhibitions, engaging educational programs for adults and children and a diverse assortment of events. The Art Center serves as a professional and financial driver for visual and performing artists and educators through exhibition, performance and teaching opportunities while being a catalyst that fuels economic development, an understanding of cultural diversity and community cohesion.



‘Just Flowers’ and Austin Bell photography at Marco Center for Arts in September

Complementing One Endless Voice to Enhance Our Traditions, the evocative works of Austin Bell are being exhibited in La Petite Galerie at the Marco Island Center for the Arts during the month of September. Austin Bell’s captivating photography captures moments that resonate with the shared human experience.

Marco Island Center for the Arts inspires artistic expression and advances education and appreciation of the arts. The Art Center honors Marco Island and Southwest Florida’s rich, diverse, and creative heritage through active community engagement in the visual and performing arts.



Abstract expressionism of Karen Gozzo Nolan at DAAS in September

In September, DAAS CO-OP Art Gallery & Gifts will exhibit the abstract art of Karen Gozzo Nolan.

Nolan is primarily a self-taught abstract expressionist. Her paintings are influenced by music, the emotion that comes from it, and her love for vibrant color. “The paint and brush become my instrument and my art is the song it plays,” says the artist.

In her artist statement, Nolan describes her painting as very private, exhilarating, yet exhausting in a good way.

“Disappearing into the art, my tools become the instruments, the paint becomes the music,” Nolan expounds. “Once a piece has begun, it moves forward with the same musical artist until complete. I have been labeled an abstract expressionist by my peers. My paintings are emotionally vibrant, painted brightly with the passion of the song. As far as my memory goes, connecting music with color was something I thought everyone did.”

Nolan was born in Connecticut, where she lived until she was 28 years, when she relocated to Vermont. While she has been creative and an art lover since childhood, life as a single mother didn’t allow her to follow her dreams of being a professional artist. While living in Vermont, she was the manager of a home decorating center for over 13 years. This afforded her the opportunity to work closely with contractors, selecting interior and exterior products and color pallets for new homes and condominium construction projects.

After battling a rare disease, Karen vowed to follow her lifelong passion. But it wasn’t until relocating to Rotonda West in 2013 that she was well enough to pursue her dream. Today, painting is an outlet of escape or, as she puts it, “her distraction from life, and a place of total meditation and peace.”

The opening reception for this exhibition is scheduled from 6:00 to 9:30 p.m. on Friday, September 1st, in conjunction with Fort Myers Art Walk.

The exhibition will be on display through October 1st, 2023.

DAAS CO-OP Art Gallery & Gifts is located at 1815 Fowler Street, in the Butterfly Estates complex in Fort Myers, FL. The gallery’s business hours are Wednesday to Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

More information about the venue and/or how to become a member can be found at or by calling 239-590-8645.





Alliance Youth Theatre opens Halloween season with Addams Family

The Alliance Youth Theatre opens the Halloween season with The Addams Family (young part). It’s the musical that celebrates the wackiness in every family – as well as every father’s nightmare. Wednesday Addams, the ultimate princess of darkness, has grown up and fallen in love with a sweet, smart young man from a respectable family whom her parents have never met. She confides in her father and begs him not to tell her mother. Now, Gomez Addams must do something he’s never done before– keep a secret from his beloved wife, Morticia. Read the rest of this advance here.



‘Disenchanted’ opens at Belle Theatre on September 28

Poisoned apples. Glass slippers. Who needs ‘em? Not Snow White and her posse of disaffected princesses in the hilarious hit musical that’s anything but Grimm. Forget the princesses you think you know—the original storybook heroines have come back to life years and years after their supposed “happily ever after,” and they’re not too thrilled with how things turned out. In fact, they’re jaded, sassy, enlightened and empowered. And what better way for them to express their disenchantment with the “princess complex” than through song? So if your theatrical tastes run toward the vulgar, get ready to have the time of your life. Tiaras optional. You will find play dates, times and a cast list here.



Catch a preview of ‘Disenchanted the Musical’ on WGCU

Listen on WGCU for a preview of Disenchanted the Musical, which plays at The Belle Theatre September 28th through October 8th. Dennis Giacino’s Disenchanted is an unapologetic rebuke of P.C. – no, not political correctness, but the misogynistic Princess Complex that Disney permeates each of Disney’s princess sagas from Snow White and Cinderella to Beauty and the Beast and The Little Mermaid – or, as Snow White, succinctly puts it: “You know, that age old idea in which you are only desirable – and valid – if you are a beauty-obsessed, ditzy, insecure Bambi-like waif.” Hear more here.



Tim Smith ‘Drinking Habits’ farce opens at Belle Theatre on October 13

Tim Smith’s farce, Drinking Habits, opens at Belle Theatre on October 13. The story follows two nuns at the Sisters of Perpetual Sewing who have been secretly making wine to keep the convent’s doors open. But two reporters who are former fiancees are hot on their trail. They go undercover as a nun and priest, but their presence, combined with the addition of a new nun, spurs paranoia throughout the convent that spies have been sent from Rome to shut them down. Wine and secrets are inevitably spilled as everyone tries to preserve the convent and reconnect with lost loves. Go here for play dates, times and ticket information.



Michael Frayn’s ‘Noises Off’ opens September 8 at Lab Theater

Noises Off opens at Lab Theater on September 8th. An ineffective director, actor love triangles, a drama queen, and a perpetually drunk actor are only the beginning of the problems with getting a British sex comedy in front of an audience. A play within a play, Noises Off is a slapstick farce with outrageous onstage and behind-the-scenes shenanigans that’ll leave you gasping for air.

Read here for play dates, times and a cast list.



Theatre Conspiracy producing August Wilson’s last play

Theatre Conspiracy at the Alliance for the Arts is producing August Wilson’s last play, Radio Golf, October 19-29. Radio Golf is also the last of the ten plays comprising Wilson’s Century Cycle. Wilson died several months after Radio Golf‘s premiere in 2005 from cancer at the age of 60.

Read the rest of this advance here.

Go here for play dates, times and ticket information.

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