Dream Factory

Audrey Zielenbach is the Artistic Content Curator at Gulfshore Playhouse.

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Concept Rendering of the future home of Gulfshore Playhouse

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probably heard about Gulfshore Playhouse’s future Theatre and Education Center. It’s a really exciting time, but also a really busy one. Not only are we managing the daily operations of the theatre, preparing for our 2019-2020 season, education programs, and various events, we are simultaneously working with architects to design the building and working internally to plan for how our organization will operate once we are in that building. This past week, we had two incredibly productive, big idea meetings specifically about how our Artistic and Education teams will grow in the very near future.

One of the most exciting things about working with theatre is having colleagues who bring with them a wealth of experience, knowledge, and ideas. All of this is channeled into the work we do, but it also proves to be incredibly valuable during these brainstorming sessions. We bring in ideas from places we’ve worked, people we’ve known, things we’ve learned about what has or has not worked, and how we can blend these ideas with new ones to carve out our own path.

All of this experience and knowledge was brought to the table during these meetings. Because we will have two performance spaces in the new building in addition to a vast amount of space for Education programming, we are going to need a lot more manpower! Across a total of nearly 10 hours of brainstorming throughout the week, we managed to come up with a working list of positions that will be added and a rough idea of their accountability. Cool, right? It’s like getting to work in a dream factory!

A few of the exciting things that came out of this meeting:

  • Artistic and Education will be one department going forward. This is pretty common as Education programs essentially are all artistic programs, just for a different population!
  • In the future, we will have someone on staff who will be focused on forging artistic partnerships with community groups in order to engage our community in the arts and expose our larger audience to art unique to our region!
  • This department is going to be HUGE! There are currently 4 people on the Artistic team and 2 full-time on the Education team. This will at least triple with the additional Artistic and Education staff. Not to mention that we are going to develop an acting apprentice company who will act in Theatre for Young Audience shows, act on the mainstage, serve as teaching artists, and perform a wide variety of other tasks during their time with us!

This building gets more real with every passing day. It’s a thrill to be on the journey with you all! I can’t wait to meet all my new colleagues!

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