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Gulfshore Playhouse Adds Regional Culinary Leader Brian Roland To Consultant Team


Gulfshore Playhouse Adds Regional Culinary Leader Brian Roland To Consultant Team

Gulfshore Playhouse, Naples' premier professional theatre, has announced Brian Roland of Crave Culinaire/Venue Naples has joined the consultant team designing the Food and Beverage program for the new Theatre and Education Center. Currently in the design development phase, the Next Stage Capital Campaign is rounding the corner on $25 million raised toward the construction goal for the new theatre, which will be built at the corner of Goodlette-Frank Road and First Avenue South.

"I was honored to be asked to serve as an advisor to review culinary operation decisions," said Roland. "Right now, I'm guiding conversations around dining services for the new bar and café. We met with the design team to ensure functionality of the space to best serve the Playhouse patrons."

"Brian's experienced, professional perspective is a huge asset for us as we plan how we're incorporating food and beverage from the beginning," said Kristen Coury, Founder and Producing Artistic Director of Gulfshore Playhouse. "We really appreciate his commitment to Gulfshore Playhouse, and we're excited to continue working together as the new facility becomes a reality."

Offering more than 40,000 square feet of space, the new Gulfshore Playhouse Theatre and Education Center will extend the Downtown Naples corridor further east, spurring economic growth in that quadrant. The new Center will include a 350-seat Mainstage Theatre where large-cast musicals, treasured classics, and other popular works will be staged.

The new theatre will also feature a second, more intimate, Studio Theatre where a diverse array of programming from edgier new works to Theatre for Young Audiences will be produced, as well as performances by students of Gulfshore Playhouse Education. The dedicated theatre and education wing's classrooms and rehearsal spaces will host activities accessible to students of all ages and socioeconomic backgrounds.

Crave Culinaire will be the exclusive caterer for food service at the bar and for events at the new Gulfshore Playhouse Theatre and Education Center, which will feature several event spaces, with removable seating to allow for tables and chairs, plus other spaces for passed hors d' oeuvres.

Catering partner of choice for Gulfshore Playhouse, Roland and his team also currently lead all catering services at Opening Night Receptions for every show, along with patron parties and thank you dinners.

To assist with Gulfshore Playhouse fundraising efforts, Crave Culinaire furthered their commitment to the professional theatre by donating auction dinners at events to help get more supporters involved.

"The amounts generated by the dinners has been doubling and tripling, raising between $40,000 and $50,000 per event," said Roland.

"It's a pivotal year for Gulfshore Playhouse, and we want to continue to help them with fundraising and awareness," said Roland. "They have a lot of work to do, and we are in their corner," he said.

This holiday season, Roland's experience with Gulfshore Playhouse won't be limited to behind the scenes. He and his wife, Nicole, recently had walk-on roles in the Christmas production of "It's A Wonderful Life: A Radio Play" - an auction item that was purchased by a donor at last year's Gulfshore Playhouse Gala and gifted to the them.

"I'm more about improv, while Nicole prefers to plan," said Roland. "We're excited to have had the opportunity to participate and have some fun!"

The Next Stage Capital Campaign was launched in 2016 by the Bakers and the Gulfshore Playhouse Board of Directors under the leadership of Bob Harden, in support of Coury's vision. The land for the three-acre parcel was purchased in 2017, and renowned architects H3/Arquitectonica under the guidance of Bernardo Fort-Brescia were selected as the lead design architects in the spring of 2018. Gulfshore Playhouse and the Capital Campaign Committee, led by Board of Director Chair Steve Akin are focused on achieving the funding needed to break ground January 2021.

The work of Gulfshore Playhouse is inspired by a belief in the magic of theatre to expand the imagination, challenge the senses, provoke discussion, and revitalize in audiences an understanding of their common humanity. This belief drives the care with which Gulfshore Playhouse treats its artists, audiences, students, staff, and members of the greater community. Its Board is deeply committed to excellence in theatre and to enriching even further the cultural quality of Naples and the region.

For more information about Gulfshore Playhouse, visit or call 239-261-PLAY (7529).

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