Former President Of Fidelity Personal Investments Named Chair Of Gulfshore Playhouse's Next Stage Campaign

Former President Of Fidelity Personal Investments Named Chair Of Gulfshore Playhouse's Next Stage CampaignGulfshore Playhouse, Naples' premier professional regional theatre, has announced Steve Akin as chair of its Next Stage capital campaign.

Akin currently serves on the Gulfshore Playhouse board of directors. Former president of Fidelity Personal Investments, the retail, mutual fund, and brokerage division of Fidelity Investments, Akin is a longtime supporter and arts advocate. He served as chair and remains a trustee emeritus of the Boston Lyric Opera, the largest and longest-operating full-staged opera in New England. He also served on the Board of Trustees of the New England Conservatory and was President of the Kansas City Lyric Opera, and Mansfield Ohio Symphony.

"We truly appreciate Steve's experience, dedication, generosity and wisdom," said Kristen Coury, Gulfshore Playhouse Producing Artistic Director. "His leadership will bring the new Gulfshore Playhouse to life. His contribution will result in significant and lasting value to the cultural life of Naples."

Last spring, the announcement of Patty and Jay Baker's $10 million matching gift to Gulfshore Playhouse ignited the $45 million Next Stage capital campaign that kicked off earlier this month. The campaign fund total includes the purchase of the land at Naples Square, construction costs, and a maintenance endowment.

Anticipated plans for the new Gulfshore Playhouse includes two new theatres and an education center on a three-acre parcel at the corner of 1st Avenue South and Goodlette-Frank Road that will extend the core of downtown to the east of 5th Avenue. Plans include a mainstage proscenium theatre with sloped stadium seating, which will be used for large-cast musicals, classics, and world premiere comedies and dramas. It will also include a separate Studio Theatre, a grand lobby, bar, gardens, and an exclusive patron lounge as well as an education wing featuring rehearsal rooms, classrooms, and space for children's theatre events. The complex will support the expansion of Gulfshore Playhouse's theatrical programming as well as education programs focused on pre-professional training in acting, voice, and movement as well as expand its in-school and after-school education programs.

Final architectural renderings will be unveiled at the March 26 Bubbles, Baubles and Broadway Gala at The Ritz-Carlton, Naples.

Gulfshore Playhouse is committed to enriching and strengthening the cultural fabric of our region by creating and producing professional theatre productions of a national standard that celebrates the diversity of our audiences, draws people together to discover a new understanding of oneself, and gives back in a spirit of outreach and service.

For more information about Gulfshore Playhouse, the Bubbles, Baubles, and Broadway gala, or the Next Stage Campaign, visit or call 239-261-PLAY (7529).

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