Carmen Cusack to Star in One-Woman World Premiere DO THIS at Gulfshore Playhouse; Sheryl Kaller to Direct!

Gulfshore Playhouse, Southwest Florida's Premiere Professional theatre, is very excited to announce that 2016 Tony Award-nominee Carmen Cusack will star in the one-woman, world premiere of Do This by Karen Siff Exkorn, which will run from January 7th through the 28th.

Do This will be directed by Tony Award-nominee Sheryl Kaller and will be produced by The Playhouse through special arrangement with Broadway producer Ken Davenport and Davenport Theatricals, LTE.

Ms. Cusack comes to Gulfshore Playhouse following her role as Alice Murphy in Bright Star on Broadway for which she received a Best Actress nomination at the Tony Awards. Bright Star, with Music and Book by Steve Martin; Music and Lyrics by Edie Brickell, received a nomination for Best Musical. Ms. Cusack has also starred as Fantine in the West End's production of Les Miserables, Elphaba in the Chicago and National Tour of Wicked, and many others.

Ms. Cusack will join a team that includes Tony-nominated director Sheryl Kaller for Gulfshore Playhouse's third World Premiere production. Do This follows one woman's journey through marriage, motherhood and a maze of obstacles as she navigates an unexpected life-changing experience. Do This is a solo tour-de-force that celebrates the trials and triumphs of the human spirit and the resilience of the human soul.

KAREN SIFF EXKORN is an author, playwright and consultant. Do This was a semi-finalist in the Eugene O'Neill Theater Center's 2015 National Playwrights Conference. Karen's multi-media performance piece, Body & Soul, was performed at the Gene Frankel Theatre in NYC and her solo play, Who's They, was performed at the Knitting Factory in NYC. Author of the bestselling book, The Autism Sourcebook: Everything You Need to Know About Diagnosis, Treatment, Coping and Healing-From a Mother Whose Child Recovered (HarperCollins 2005), Karen is also a contributing writer for Huffington Post and Today.com. She has been featured on Good Morning America, Today Show, CNN, CBS, The View, NBC Nightly News, Nightline, and in the New York Times and Wall Street Journal. An internationally acclaimed motivational speaker, Karen is founder of Speak On, a corporate training company that specializes in presentation skills and media training. Karen has a B.A. from Brown University and an M.A. from the Gallatin School of Individualized Study at New York University, where she serves on the board. She is also a board member of New York Collaborates for Autism (NYCA). Karen lives in upstate New York with her husband, son and dog.

Sheryl Kaller's direction was seen this season on the world premiere of Winnie Holzman's play Choice at the Huntington Theater. She also recently directed the world premiere of Billy Porter's play While I Yet Live at Primary Stages, the world premiere of Nick Blaemire's new musical A Little More Alive (Barrington Stage, Kansas City Repertory Theatre), Roundabout Theatre Company's Underground production of Too Much Too Much Too Many by Meghan Kennedy, and the LCT3 production of Mr. Joy by Daniel Beaty. Sheryl directed Terence McNally's Tony nominated play on Broadway, Mothers and Sons with Tyne Daly. Ms. Kaller received a Tony Nomination for Best Director for the Broadway production of Next Fall by Geoffrey Nauffts. She has directed at many theaters including The New Group, Pasadena Playhouse, Primary Stages, Williamstown Theatre Festival, A.C.T., New York Stage and Film, The Geffen, Philadelphia Theater Company, Bucks County Playhouse, the York, EST, National Theater of the Deaf and Naked Angels. She has directed and developed a plethora of new plays and musicals with writers including Christopher Durang, ReGina Taylor, Dick Beebe, Theresa Rebeck, and Alan Menken. Sheryl is currently in development with David Henry Hwang, AnnMarie Milazzo, Jonatha Brooke, Josh Radnor and Geoffrey Nauffts, among others.

Carmen Cusack recently concluded her critically acclaimed and Tony-nominated star turn in Steve Martin and Edie Brickell's Broadway musical, Bright Star. It was her first Broadway role. Most recently, she was seen in New York City Center's gala production of Sunday in the Park with George. Just before that, she starred in For the Record: Scorsese at The Wallis in Beverly Hills. Previously, she starred in the Chicago premiere of The First Wives Club: The Musical, and she received a Jeff Award nomination for Sunday in the Park with George at the Chicago Shakespeare Theater. She starred in the world premiere of Bright Star at The Old Globe, followed by a Kennedy Center run for which she was nominated for a Helen Hayes Award. She starred as 'Lynn Gardner' in Carrie at MCC, 'Nellie Forbush' in Lincoln Center's national tour of South Pacific, for which she received a second Helen Hayes nomination, and 'Elphaba' in the first US tour and Melbourne, Australia productions of Wicked. Her West End credits include 'Eva Cassidy' in Over the Rainbow, 'Fantine' in Les Miserables, 'Rose' in The Secret Garden, 'Kim' in Personals, and 'Christine' in Phantom of the Opera. She studied opera at the University of North Texas.

Gulfshore Playhouse is also thrilled to feature Ms. Cusack as the entertainment for the annual Bubbles, Baubles and Broadway Gala on March 13th, 2017.

Gulfshore Playhouse is passionately committed to enriching the cultural landscape of the region by producing professional theatre to the highest artistic standards and providing unique educational opportunities to diverse groups of people in a spirit of service, adventure, and excitement. Gulfshore Playhouse's work is inspired by a belief in the magic of theater to expand the imagination, challenge the senses, provoke discussion, and revitalize in the audience an understanding of common humanity. This belief drives the respect with which Gulfshore Playhouse treats its artists, audiences, students, staff, and members of the greater community. For more information about Gulfshore Playhouse, visit www.gulfshoreplayhouse.org or call 239.261.PLAY (7529).

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