Gulfshore Playhouse and the Naples Philharmonic perform Shakespeare for the entire 11th Grade of Collier County
A mysterious island. Young love. Dark magic. Those are some of the elements that enthralled the entire 11th grade of Collier County when they attended last week's production of "Shipwrecked," a new adaptation of Shakespeare's "The Tempest" performed by Gulfshore Playhouse and the Naples Philharmonic at Artis-Naples.
The two local arts organizations first teamed up in 2017, when they presented "Starcrossed," an adaptation of "Romeo and Juliet," free of charge to Collier County Public Schools' 2019 and 2020 graduating classes. This second production continues the partnership's efforts to enhance students' understanding of Shakespeare's work and provide them the opportunity to watch world-class performances by professional actors and musicians.
The "Shipwrecked" cast included professional actors Samuel Ashdown, who appeared in "Starcrossed;" Jeffrey Binder, associate artistic director at Gulfshore Playhouse and a regular on its stage; Christopher Gerson, whose previous credits include "Our Town" and "The Servant of Two Masters;" and Angela Janas, who's appeared previously with Gulfshore Playhouse in "The Revolutionists," "Starcrossed," and "The Merchant of Venice." Several local students are part of the production's movement ensemble.
Performances for school groups took place Sept. 26 and 27 at Hayes Hall, the grand hall of Artis-Naples. Radu Paponiu, the associate conductor of the Naples Philharmonic, lead the orchestra for the event.
"Productions like 'Shipwrecked' help enhance our commitment to education at Gulfshore Playhouse," said Kristen Coury, the theatre's producing artistic director. "Gulfshore Playhouse Education has impacted thousands of Southwest Florida students through initiatives such as our STAR Academy after-school and summer program and ThinkTheatre in-school residency program. This partnership with the Naples Philharmonic at Artis-Naples and Collier County Public Schools serves as another way to introduce local students to the life-changing power of the arts."
Gulfshore Playhouse is passionately committed to enriching the cultural landscape of our 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. The Playhouse's work is inspired by a belief in the magic of theatre 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.
This focus is also at the core of its newest endeavor - the creation of a cultural landmark facility in downtown Naples. Plans are currently underway for the new Gulfshore Playhouse Theatre and Education Center at Goodlette-Frank Road and First Avenue South, which will include two theatres and an education wing to support programming for children, adults, and families.
For more information about Gulfshore Playhouse, visit www.gulfshoreplayhouse.org or call 239-261-PLAY (7529).