The Faces in the Crowd by Cody Nickell

It’s been a busy few months at The Playhouse. We’ve designed, built, rehearsed, opened and closed two great shows, successfully celebrated our new season with a super fun fundraising party, played a round of golf with a very generous group of guys and gals, danced our butts off on Fifth Avenue’s Halloween party (I believe there may be video evidence of this on the interwebs, for those inclined to search), launched our new Synergy Series with award winning panelists, and survived the construction outside the Norris Center (thank you to all who managed to find your way to us).  One of our merry band of theatre makers even weathered Sandy, getting stuck in NYC for a week.

Now the sets have been taken down, our amazing cast from faraway climes put back on airplanes to return from whence they came, and we have a momentary respite to reflect before the New Year brings some very long hours and our next four incredible productions.

There is much to be grateful for on this Day of Thanks. As I look back on the last two months, there is no shortage of things for which I could give thanks, but there is one in particular that I would like to highlight today (other than the thanks I give that I can now indulge my deep and abiding love for Christmas music, without provoking scorn from the public, nor annoying my endlessly tolerant wife, too much), and that is my gratitude to the faces in the crowd.

I have always believed the most amazing part of making theatre is the profound sense of community that is created between a group of actors and the audience.  And now I find myself at the beginning of a two-year stint here in Naples and the sense of community that I have found at The Playhouse is overwhelming.  The staff, our ushers, our Board, the newcomers, the old hats, our Ambassadors, the Norris Center gang, everyone I have had the pleasure to meet and start to get to know, they are all so full of pride with the theatre that is being made at Gulfshore Playhouse.  So thank you to all the smiling faces. Without you, our community of supporters, the laughers and clappers, we couldn’t do what we do. Thank you.

And a special thank to our fearless leader, our founder, Kristen Coury, and my amazing coworkers.  Thanks for opening the door to this gypsy actor, allowing me a place to unpack my bags, and a chance to get to know what is proving to be a wonderful community.

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