Actress Holland Taylor to speak at Gulfshore Playhouse luncheon

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Gulfshore Playhouse and event chairs Christine and Terrance Flynn have announced Broadway, film and television actress Holland Taylor as the keynote speaker at “Rising Stars,” a glamourous, red carpet luncheon to benefit Gulfshore Playhouse Education on Wednesday, Nov. 13 at The Ritz-Carlton, Naples, at 11 a.m.

Taylor, who will speak about the “Crisis of Cultural Education in America,” was nominated for a Tony Award for her portrayal of Gov. Ann Richards in the play Ann, which she also wrote. Taylor received an Emmy Award for her role as Judge Roberta Kittleson in The Practice; starred in The Front Page on Broadway opposite Nathan Lane; and will soon star in the Netflix sequel to To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before. She was also a four-time Emmy Award nominee for Best Supporting Actress in Two and a Half Men.

Guests will be greeted with a red-carpet arrival complete with live cameras and paparazzi. A formal sit-down luncheon in the Vanderbilt Ballroom will include an intimate Q&A with Taylor, along with featured entertainment by students from the Teen Conservatory program performing select pieces from Les Misérables.  

            “Education is a vital component of our mission,” said Kristen Coury, founder and producing artistic director for Gulfshore Playhouse. “From in-school residencies and pre-professional theatre training to community partnerships, audience engagement, and student matinees, Gulfshore Playhouse has introduced tens of thousands of Southwest Florida students to the life-changing power of the arts.”

            Gulfshore Playhouse Education initiatives, such as STAR Academy after-school and summer program and the ThinkTheatre in-school residency program, provide real-life skills and learning experiences that are invigorating, nurturing, and readily accessible to children and teens in Southwest Florida regardless of socioeconomic background. This past year, Gulfshore Playhouse Education served more than 14,000 individuals, 90% of whom participated at no cost to them through scholarships or subsidized funds.    

            Funds raised from this year’s Rising Stars will further the mission and provide additional scholarship opportunities for students in Lee and Collier counties.

Rising Stars sponsors include, Jane and Steve Akin, Erika and Peter Aron, Jane and Dave Wilson, Naples Illustrated and Naples Leather & Fine Furniture. Individual tickets are $400. VIP opportunities are also available and include an intimate pre-event dinner with star Holland Taylor. Table sponsorships start at $10,000. For information about tickets or sponsorship opportunities, visit or call 239-261-PLAY.

           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 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 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 or call 239-261-PLAY (7529).


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