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Project for $53M theater hits fundraising milestone

Officials hope to break ground on the new Gulfshore Playhouse in Naples by the end of 2020.

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  • | 10:29 a.m. August 6, 2019
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Courtesy. Rendering of the planned Gulfshore Playhouse in Naples.
Courtesy. Rendering of the planned Gulfshore Playhouse in Naples.
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NAPLES — The Next Stage Capital Campaign, behind a $53 million project to build a new home and facility for Gulfshore Playhouse in Naples, recently met a major goal: reaching $10 million in gifts and pledges, which kicks in a matching $10 million donation.

The $10 million match challenge is from philanthropists and Broadway producers Patty and Jay Baker, which they made in 2016. In addition to the Bakers, lead donations include a recent significant gift from Naples philanthropists and Broadway producers Sandi and Tom Moran, longtime supporters of arts in the area, according to a statement. Another noteworthy pledge is from downtown Naples developer Phil McCabe.  Pledges and donations from several dozen other areas donors, including the Wynn Family, round out the matching gifts, the release states.  

Initial gifts and pledges have now reached $20 million to support the construction of the new Gulfshore Playhouse Theatre and Education Center, at the corner of Goodlette-Frank Road and First Avenue South. The theater and education center, planned at more than 40,000 square feet, will include a 350-seat Mainstage Theatre; a second, more intimate Studio Theatre; and a diverse array of programming, according to a statement.

“Our new home will make possible the latest in sound, lighting and production technology,” Gulfshore Playhouse founder and CEO Kristen Coury says in the statement. “With a Broadway-sized stage, part of our plan will be to incubate new works in preparation for transferring the productions to New York. Importantly, the momentum provided by meeting the Baker Match will also support our efforts to invite other generous Naples theatre-lovers and philanthropists to join us as we grow closer to our $53 million construction and land goal.”

The Bakers and the Gulfshore Playhouse board, under the leadership of Bob Harden and in support of Coury’s vision, launched the Next Stage Capital Campaign in 2016, according to the statement. The land for the three-acre parcel was purchased in 2017, and architects H3/Arquitectonica, under the guidance of Bernardo Fort-Brescia, were selected as the lead design architects in spring 2018. Officials hope to break ground on the project by the end of 2020.











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