Gulfshore Playhouse Joins Prestigious LORT as Their 77th Member
Gulfshore Playhouse has become the 77th member of the League of Resident Theatres (LORT), the largest association of professional theaters in the United States. This signals the next stage in the trajectory of Gulfshore Playhouse, as well as Naples’ growing importance as a cultural hub.
LORT member organizations are located in every major market in the United States and include prestigious theaters like Lincoln Center Theater in New York, The Goodman Theatre in Chicago, La Jolla Playhouse in San Diego and many others across 30 states and Washington D.C. LORT Theaters collectively issue more contracts to professional actors, through the professional actors’ union, the Actors’ Equity Association, than Broadway and commercial tours combined. Many Broadway, Tony-winning hits like “Dear Evan Hansen,” “Jersey Boys,” “Come From Away,” and more were first produced by LORT organizations. Gulfshore Playhouse aims to contribute to this long-standing tradition of producing the highest quality productions in the nation and is already in conversations with Broadway producers who are interested in producing their shows here first.
“When I first founded Gulfshore Playhouse, I dreamed of two things: 1) Winning the Tony Award for Best Regional Theater and 2) Becoming a member of LORT. Half of that dream has officially come true! By joining LORT, we are putting Naples on the map for professional theater. It is thrilling to join the pantheon of theatrical giants who have shaped the landscape of American theater for the last century, and it is a sign of all the good things to come as we transition to the Baker Theatre and Education Center. I am thrilled that Gulfshore Playhouse is playing its part in helping Naples blossom into a vibrant arts destination,” said CEO and Producing Artistic Director Kristen Coury.
Becoming a member of LORT signifies the highest level of quality, budget, expertise and production values of any theater in the nation. Being named a LORT theater requires a months-long selection process and approval from the LORT Board of Directors and three of the major professional theatrical unions: Actors’ Equity Association, Stage Directors and Choreographers Society and United Scenic Artists. LORT membership is also based on weekly box office averages and seat capacity for the theater.
Becoming a LORT member grants access to the nations’ top actors, directors and designers. LORT is also a forum for sharing information regarding all aspects of theater. They provide opportunities for LORT members to study, discuss and exchange information on such non-labor management issues as development, marketing, public relations, education and technology, as well as provide a forum for developing professional relationships. With its collective bargaining agreement, LORT requires a higher base salary so the creatives hired by Gulfshore Playhouse will be chosen from a pool of the top talent in the nation who will work with the ever-growing Naples-based staff to create high-caliber productions. By joining the organization, Gulfshore Playhouse will help enhance Naples’ national profile as an arts and culture destination. According to data from the Arts and Cultural Production Satellite Account (ACPSA), arts and culture account for 3.5% of the gross state product (GSP) and over a quarter of a million jobs each year. As a LORT organization, Gulfshore Playhouse will serve as a boon for the local economy by attracting new arts-lovers to the region and creating job opportunities.