Gulfshore Playhouse’s feel-good year: ‘Barefoot in the Park,’ ‘Steel Magnolias’

Gulfshore Playhouse Producing Artistic Director Kristen Coury read a comment about an upcoming play, and it confirmed her schedule for the upcoming season.

“‘That’s too heavy. I’m not in the mood for that with the war,'” she recalled of the message. She understands, she said: “We’re coming out of a pandemic, and who thought there’d be a war, too?”

 As if in reply, Gulfshore has programmed some sure-fire smiles for next season: “Barefoot in the Park” and “Steel Magnolias.” It’s decidedly different programming for Gulfshore.

“This year we wanted to keep our shows really small, because we weren’t sure what we were going to be able to do or what would happen with Actors Equity rules. And there aren’t too many small comedies,” she said. “But when your dramas are small, then they’re generally cerebral. There’s not a lot of action.”

As soon as the rules began to relax, comedies came out.

Harriet Howard Heithaus, Naples Daily News

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