Blazing a Cultural Trail at Gulfshore Playhouse

While the theater world stood still last year, Kristen Coury, the force behind Gulfshore Playhouse, was a whirlwind. As the founder, CEO, and producing artistic director of the professional production company, Coury was re-thinking how to bring theater virtually to local audiences while negotiating with the Actors’ Equity Association for approval for live productions. She was also keenly focused on developing a cultural campus, with the Baker Theatre and Education Center taking centerstage.

The Gulfshore Playhouse Next Stage Capital Campaign kept pace with Coury. The construction documents for the $60 million campus were finalized in September, giving potential donors the opportunity to take “a digital fly-through,” Coury says, of the 350-seat mainstage and 125-seat studio theaters, rather than assessing the scope of her vision from a sole exterior rendering. “We showed people the depth of the project and how it will serve the community and be impactful,” she says. “There are many ways this campus will engage people and change the face of downtown.”

Cathy Chestnut, Naples Illustrated

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