Gulfshore Playhouse Announces New Director Of Education, Steven Calakos
Gulfshore Playhouse, Naples' premier professional theatre, welcomes Steven Calakos as the new director of education. An experienced elementary, middle, and high school teacher, actor, and artistic director of a theatre summer camp for kids, Calakos brings more than a decade of experience in theatre education to our region.
While simultaneously teaching school, Steven served as founder and artistic director of CHS Theatrical, a New Jersey-based independent theatre company that produced numerous productions as well as the annual South Jersey Student Theatre Festival for high schoolers. Calakos also has experience working directly with students of various ages, having served as a theater arts teacher and founder of the Visual and Performing Arts Academy at Vineland High School, director of theater productions for Vineland All Middle School Productions, and a teacher and drama club director at Petway Elementary School.
Calakos obtained his bachelor's degrees in theater and elementary education from Rowan University. He also served as a theater instructor at Rowan College of South Jersey Cumberland Campus. He has worked throughout the greater Philadelphia area as a professional actor, singer and model, and has developed and facilitated education programs with community partners, such as the Walnut Street Theatre in Philadelphia.
"I look forward to leading Gulfshore Playhouse Education, which already does such a great job of bringing the magic of theatre to local students of all ages," said Calakos. "I'm excited to bring everything I've learned from my past positions into this new role to expand upon what has been done and help the company expand toward its bright future."
"Steven's years of experience in theater education and management make him a perfect fit for the director of education position at Gulfshore Playhouse," said Kristen Coury, founder and producing artistic director of Gulfshore Playhouse. "He's created summer camps which lends itself well to our STAR Acadmy summer programs, taught arts programs in schools which will help with our ThinkTheatre in-school programming, and directed a number of student productions. I'm excited about all the ways Gulfshore Playhouse Education will expand its reach and deepen its ties in our community under Steven's leadership."
While the theater has been forced to suspend its remaining mainstage season productions at The Norris Center due to the Coronavirus pandemic, plans are still underway for education summer programming, including camps and classes for students ages 6 to 18.
The Playhouse also recently announced a new immersive audience engagement program - Artful Distancing. The free, weekly series of virtual theater-based content is designed to connect audiences, from the comfort of home, to the larger theater patron community around the country. The weekly program will air live on Wednesdays at 3 p.m. via Zoom, and feature online discussions with some of the nation's top professional artists, actors, scholars and more, who will provide a behind-the-scenes look at theater making.
For nearly16 years, Gulfshore Playhouse has been passionately committed to enriching the cultural landscape of our region by producing professional theater to the highest artistic standards and providing unique educational opportunities to diverse groups of people in a spirit of service, adventure, and excitement. The 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 its audiences an understanding of our common humanity. This belief drives the care 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).