Gulfshore Playhouse presents Maytag Virgin on Naples stage

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 Gulfshore Playhouse is bringing audiences to the Deep South with its live production of Maytag Virgin.

Gulfshore Playhouse’s second equity-approved production this spring, performances began March 20 and run through April 3.

Ian Merrill Peakes (photo by Matthew Schipper)

Written by Audrey Cefaly and directed by Broadway veteran Jeffrey Binder, this romantic comedy will have audiences falling in love with the starring couple as they go on an unexpected journey of self-discovery, love and healing. On leave from her job as a high school teacher after a sudden loss, the last thing Lizzy Nash expected was a blossoming relationship with the mysterious man who moves in next door. Both hiding a world of secrets, Lizzy and her new neighbor Jack intrigue and bewilder one another as their relationship progresses.

“Audiences will enjoy seeing the romantic connection build between Lizzy and Jack,” said Kristen Coury, CEO and producing artistic director for Gulfshore Playhouse. “Watching their story unfold is sure to bring smiles to patrons’ faces.”

Real-life spouses Karen and Ian Merrill Peakes star as Lizzy and Jack. Karen has performed extensively on the stages of Philadelphia, appearing at venues including the Walnut Street Theatre (Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime, A Woman of No Importance, A Comedy of Tenor) and Arden Theatre Company (A Little Night Music, Prayer for Owen Meany, Twelfth Night). She has received Barrymore Award nominations for The Real Thing at the Wilma Theater; and Born Yesterday at People’s Light. Karen has also performed at Shakespeare Santa Cruz, Peterborough Players and Folger Theatre; and narrates audiobooks for Brilliance Audio, Tantor Audio, and others.

Ian Merrill Peakes has previously appeared at Gulfshore Playhouse in Something Intangible. His frequent Philadelphia-area appearances include performances at Lantern Theater Company (Molly Sweeney, The Craftsman), Wilma Theater (Body of an American, The Invention of Love), and Theatre Exile (Red Light Winter, Invisible Hand). He has received Barrymore Awards for Something Intangible and All My Sons at Arden Theatre Company, and Sideman at Philadelphia Theatre Company. Ian also boasts a number of regional credits in productions at venues such as Seattle Rep, Folger Theatre, Denver Center for the Performing Arts, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Shakespeare Santa Cruz and Pittsburgh Irish and Classical Theatre.

Ian Merrill Peakes and Karen Peakes (photo by Matthew Schipper)

Members of the creative team include scenic designer David Arsenault; costume designer Jennifer Bronsted; sound designer Sean McGinley; lighting designer Dalton Hamilton; and stage manager Jamie A. Eckhold.

Tickets for Maytag Virgin range from $23 to $71, and are available at

As part of Gulfshore Playhouse’s commitment to keeping patrons safe at the theater, a robust health and safety plan has been developed in accordance with guidelines by the CDC, OSHA, City of Naples and Naples Community Hospital. Safety protocols implemented at Gulfshore Playhouse include mandatory face masks, physically distanced seating with 50% capacity, extensive cleaning and disinfecting measures, air purification, ticketless entry and digital playbills. For a full listing of safety measures, visit

Performances are Wednesday through Sunday.

Gulfshore Playhouse performs at the Norris Center, 755 8th Ave. S., Naples.


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