Kristen Coury is the Producing Artistic Director at Gulfshore Playhouse.
This weekend I was in New York for a Producing Conference put together by the esteemed Tony-Award winning producer, Ken Davenport. He started the weekend by showing a picture of himself when he was a young lad in his mid-twenties, intent on taking Broadway by storm, and not yet even sure how he was going to do that. Eventually, when he realized he wanted to be a producer, he started saying it out loud to anyone who would listen. Problem was, no one was listening, and he found himself with questions and no answers, and no sounding board. So he promised himself that when he achieved some measure of influence (which of course he did and then some) he would make ways for other producers and aspiring producers to find like minds, make communities, and forums for knowledge. A funny thing happened on the way to that forum, a blog was born, a board game was made, investing opportunities in Broadway shows brought us together, and now, drum roll, the Producers’ Super Conference.
What a fantastic weekend it was. Panels like “how to run festivals”, “what the not-for-profit theatres are looking for”, “how to find great directors”, and great insights from entertainment lawyers and agents. Panel after panel, hour after hour, the stage (and the attendees in the theatre audience at Playwrights’ Horizons on 42nd Street) was filled with passionate, talented, hungry theatre-makers who wanted nothing more than to put art on a stage, inspire others, and change the world. Since this is exactly what I eat for breakfast every day, you can imagine I was more than thrilled to break bread with these fantastic people with roots stretching from Manhattan to far points around the globe.
I left reinvigorated, reminded, refueled and recharged, and, the most important “re” word: READY. We have a huge future ahead of us here at Gulfshore Playhouse, one that is getting more exciting by the day. And I am ready to meet that future head-on, so that, together, we can build the NEW Gulfshore Playhouse into a home for world-class art and culture, a haven for new work, a den of creativity, good humor, and education. A place to think, relax, be invited to dig deep and laugh heartily. So much great news ahead. Stay tuned. We’ll be sure to leave the light on.