Cory Dunn is the Production Manager at Gulfshore Playhouse.
We all know that BIG things are in the works for the future of Gulfshore Playhouse, and while some of that might seem a little further down the line, the Gulfshore Playhouse team has taken some giant steps in the past year. Between our first large-scale musical (My Fair Lady), the world-premiere of Do This, and the first fully-produced Shakespeare in the region (The Merchant of Venice), we have been expanding our possibilities on stage as we prepare for a new theater building in Naples! However, that expansion meant we needed more space for our talented staff members who create the scenic and costume elements to do their work. So, with the help of CRE Consultants and David Wallace, we secured a brand new production shop location on South Horseshoe Drive – a perfect location to help us bridge the gap between the early days of Gulfshore Playhouse and the bright future that lies ahead.
Last season, Gulfshore Playhouse housed an average of 10 staff members in a 3,000 square foot scenic shop where we constructed and painted all of our sets and props without air conditioning and in pretty cramped work areas. Additionally, our Costume Shop was located at the Norris Center in a small office at the end of the hall, making costume construction for our team of three and costume fittings with actors very difficult and tight. As we moved into this upcoming season, we knew that it was an absolute necessity to give our staff the appropriate facilities and space they needed to create the wonderful art they put on our stage, especially with our production staff and interns expanding to a total of 21 members next season!
Our new shop allows us to collect all production departments under one roof, fully air conditioned and complete with an appropriate amount of work floors and offices. Spanning 7,434 square feet, our new production shop contains a scenic shop floor, where all of our sets are constructed, as well as a separate prop and paints floor, where smaller items can be constructed and all materials can be painted. Additionally, the building contains a Costume Shop roughly three times as big as the one at the Norris Center. Now we are able to hold all of our stock costumes, as well as a clean prop construction area where soft goods can be sewn and stored away from saw dust. Our new production shop also holds offices for our scenic, costume, lighting, sound, props, paints, and production management staffs – uniting our team and allowing for more effective communication and teamwork.
It was a year-long process to try and find the perfect place for us as we prepare for the new building, and we cannot thank CRE Consultants and David Wallace enough for their tireless effort to get us set-up! Our fantastic Director of Development, Lana Aylwin, put us in touch with David and it was a perfect match. They helped us assess our needs quickly and got us into the new building in a pinch, and we are forever grateful for their support. Hopefully, the benefits of these better working conditions and additional spaces will show as we continue to produce world-class productions on the Gulfshore Playhouse stage!