HANDLE WITH CARE - Southeastern Premiere Kicks Off Gulfshore Playhouse Season

HANDLE WITH CARE - Southeastern Premiere Kicks Off Gulfshore Playhouse Season

Gulfshore Playhouse Announces Southeastern Premiere "Handle with Care" to Open 2011-2012 Season

Gulfshore Playhouse will begin their 2011-2012 season with the Southeastern Premiere of a new play Handle with Care, a romantic comedy by Jason Odell Williams, running October 28th through November 20th, with a preview October 27th. 

Handle with Care is the story of Ayelet, an Israeli girl who is dragged by her grandmother on a road trip to America in search of a dream. Despite a botched DHL delivery, an unexpected blizzard, and an ill-equipped translator who is not really cut out for the job, the clues her grandmother deftly leaves behind eventually lead Ayelet to find what she didn't even know she was looking for: her destiny.  

Playwright Jason Odell Williams will be in residence at The Playhouse throughout the rehearsal and performance process. Two special "Playwright Talk-backs" will take place after the 8 p.m. performance on November 10th and after the 3pm matinee performances on Sunday, November 13th and 20th. In the 2010-2011 season, three of Jason's plays were produced in New York. He began writing plays in 2007, and since then his work has been developed at Primary Stages, Manhattan Theatre Club, New Jersey Rep, The Bleecker Street Theatre, The Jewish Cultural Arts Theatre, Ensemble Studio Theatre, Rep Stage and The Baltimore Playwrights Festival.  

Jason's wife, Charlotte Cohn, will be playing Ayelet. Charlotte is a former Lieutenant in the Israeli Army and current Broadway performer. Charlotte is also an Ovation Award Winner for her performance in La Boheme at The Ahmanson Theatre in L.A. and a Bay Area Critics' Circle Award Best Actress nominee for her performance as ‘Hallelujah Lil' in Happy End at A.C.T. in San Francisco. Charlotte is also an operatic singer, and Gulfshore Playhouse and The Norris Center will be presenting her cabaret show called "Simply Complicated: The Elegant Escapades of a Danish-Israeli Opera Singing Tank Commander" on April 27th and 28th.  

Geraldine Librandi will play the role of Edna, the grandmother. Geraldine most recently starred in The Banyan Theater's production of Becky's New Car. Additional credits include regional theater at Long Wharf Theatre, Actor's Theatre of Louisville, Cleveland Playhouse, Alabama Shakespeare Festival, Triad Stage, Delaware Theatre Company, Asolo Repertory, Dallas Theatre Center, Trinity Rep, among others. Off-Broadway credits include Lost and Found (Lucille Lortel), The Crow Mill (The Cherry Pit), Caesar and Cleopatra (Harold Clurman), Sister Mary Ignasius (The Duplex), Approaching Simone (LaMaMa, E.T.C.). Television credits include The Sopranos (Patty Leotardo), Law and Order: CI, All My Children and Against the Law.  

Michael Zlabinger will play Josh. Michael's Off Broadway credits include: Desperate Writers; The Tempest; Five Women Wearing the Same Dress along with TV roles in "Guiding Light", "ER", "Buffy", "Pacific Blue", and MTV's Undressed; MTV's Now What?  

Justin Swain will play the role of Terrence. Justin has appeared on television, most recently in "Boardwalk Empire", "Law & Order" and "Law and Order: SVU". Film roles include "A Beautiful Mind"and "Be Still." Regional theatre credits include Williamstown Theatre Festival, and off Broadway at the Soho Rep and Rattlestick Theatre. Justin has written a number of plays including "BUMP" and "The Corn Maiden" (an adaptation of the novella by Joyce Carol Oates) which were performed off- Broadway in New York City and Miami. He also wrote Treesfall part of Dread Awakening Horror Festival performed at Primary Stages in New York City with Robert Funaro.

Founder and Producing Artistic Director Kristen Coury will direct. "I am proud to be producing a new play, and ecstatic to have found such a lovely play, which involve the very human, and yet universal themes of love, destiny, and difficulty communicating," notes Coury. "Additionally, what a treat to have the Playwright on hand for the rehearsal process as well. I'm delighted to be able to continue to support our mission to enrich, educate and entertain by bringing a brand new work to Naples." 

Gulfshore Playhouse's regional premiere production of Handle with Care will play October 27 through November 20, exclusively at the Norris Center, 755 8th Avenue South in Downtown Naples. The remaining 2011-2012 season will be Race by David Mamet, The Fox on the Fairway by Ken Ludwig and A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams.

For more information visit www.gulfshoreplayhouse.org.

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Beau Higgins Currently spending his time between New York and Florida, Beau was born to a theatrical family in Brooklyn. He studied drama at the Lee Strasberg Theater Institute and at HB Studios. He studied theater singing with Julia Sperratore and Helen Gallagher. Beau later taught drama at the Lincoln Center Square for the Arts. It was at this time Beau began working with the Theater Development Fund and helped found New York's famed HALF PRICE TICKET BOOTH. Early in his career, Beau was screen tested and contracted for Warner Brothers. He co-hosted, an early cable variety series on Manhattan's Teleprompter channel. At this time he directed the Johnny Specca musical, SEX IS..? at the Lincoln Center Library Theater. Beau has performed Off-Broadway in FAT FELL DOWN, The Comic Strip Theater's LITTLE LULU AND THE INVISIBLE INK and WILL THE REAL ZOOPERMAN PLEASE STAND UP. Around the country he has delighted audiences with his performances in ANYTHING GOES, THE APPLE TREE, GUYS & DOLLS, and HELLZAPOPPIN! He sang for New York audiences at such cabarets as The Duplex and Upstairs at the Downstairs. He has had numerous television appearances but is most proud to have been a winning contestant on the game shows JACKPOT and THE $20,000 PYRAMID.


 
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