Longtime Naples philanthropists donate $100K to Gulfshore Playhouse

Patty Baker: “We like to feather where we nest.'

Patty & Jay Baker (center) with Jorge Brinkerhoff (at left) & Linda Flewelling (at right) at the opening night gala of the critically acclaimed Gulfshore Playhouse show 'The Importance of Being Earnest.' 'Earnest' broke the single-day box office record for Gulfshore Playhouse.

Gulfshore Playhouse

Patty & Jay Baker (center) with Jorge Brinkerhoff (at left) & Linda Flewelling (at right) at the opening night gala of the critically acclaimed Gulfshore Playhouse show "The Importance of Being Earnest." "Earnest" broke the single-day box office record for Gulfshore Playhouse.

Walter Turken Award recipients Jay and Patty Baker with Kizzie at the Humane Society Naples gala in March 2013.

Kimberly Young

Walter Turken Award recipients Jay and Patty Baker with Kizzie at the Humane Society Naples gala in March 2013.

Subscriptions and single tickets are available at gulfshoreplayhouse.org or by phone at 1-866-811-4111.

Gulfshore Playhouse at Norris Community Center

755 Eighth Ave. S., Naples, FL

— Patty and Jay Baker, already prominent philanthropists in the Naples area, will be getting even more exposure in coming months.

Gulfshore Playhouse announced Thursday morning that the Bakers had donated $100,000 to the group, becoming "Season Benefactors" for the group's 2013-14 season.

“We like to feather where we nest," Patty Baker said in a Gulfshore Playhouse news release. "We believe in Naples, and we believe that Naples needs a great professional regional theatre."

Longtime arts patrons, the Patty and Jay Baker Theatre Complex at Milwaukee Repertory Theater bears their name, as does the Patty and Jay Baker Naples Museum of Art. Jay is the retired president of Kohl’s Corporation, while Patty has produced several Broadway hits, most recently "Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf" and the Tony-Award winning musical "Memphis."

The current Gulfshore Playhouse season concludes with the final three performances of "The Whipping Man" this weekend. Terrence McNally drama "Master Class" opens in the Daniels Pavilion at the Naples Philharmonic April 4.

Founding artistic director Kristen Coury plans one of her typically ambitious seasons for 2013-14. A new play festival hopes to spark interest in summer theater, while world premiere of drama "The God Game" will be produced in association with Capital Repertory Theatre in Albany, New York. Hot Broadway play "Venus in Fur" starts the season off with a sexy bang.

"I am extremely grateful to Patty and Jay Baker for their belief in what we do," Coury said in a news release. "It is so gratifying to know there are such wonderful people here who value live theater."

The Gulfshore Playhouse season also includes "Something Intangible," "Jacob Marley’s Christmas Carol," Ken Ludwig farce "The Game's Afoot and Arthur Miller classic "All My Sons." The inaugural New Works Festival will run August 12-17, with performances August 16 and 17.

Subscriptions and single tickets are available at www.gulfshoreplayhouse.org or by phone at 1-866-811-4111.

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