2 Naples theaters announce 2023-24 seasons: What to know

Dave Osborn
Naples Daily News
"Mud Row" is a play by Detroit-born actress and playwright Dominique Morisseau. It delves into the love between sisters, a "riveting, humorous, and hopeful story." "Mud Row" is playing at Gulfshore Playhouse in Naples this month. (Photo by Matthew A. Schipper)

Two theater companies have announced their 2023-24 seasons.

Gulfshore Playhouse and the Studio Players this week revealed a variety of play themes, from drama to musicals.

Krisiten Coury, CEO and producing artistic director of Gulfshore Playhouse, also released more news. She said construction delays have pushed the opening to 2024 of the new The Baker Theatre and Education Center. Gulfshore Playhouse productions will continue at the Norris Center, 755 Eighth Ave. S., Naples.

“We had to cancel our original production of '26 Miles' due to Hurricane Ian,” Coury said in a news release.

“I am so glad we are able to bring this sweet, charming, family drama back to our stage in our final season in the Norris Center."

What looks intriguing in Gulfshore Playhouse 2023-24 season lineup?

The play "26 Miles" that runs Oct. 12-29 delivers more cleverly crafted family stories to the stage like "Mud Row" in the current season. For "26 Miles," a mom and her estranged teenage daughter trek from Philadelphia to Wyoming. It's billed as a "story of a modern family rediscovering understanding, redemption, and love."

And the rest of the season: A fun, original holiday musical Winter Wonderettes (Nov. 16-Dec. 17); a world premiere of "The Refugees" (Jan. 11-Feb. 4, 2024), a furturistic story about a well-to-do Connecticut family ending up as refugees in the Middle East due to a civil war in the United States. Gulfshore Playhouse calls it a "bold new comedy exploring patriotism, identity, and belonging."

An exterior look of the education center at the new Gulfshore Playhouse state-of-the-art Baker Theatre and Education Center, now set to open in 2024.

"Into the Breeches!" (Feb. 15-March 10, 2024), a World War II tale about a group of actresses who unite for a play on the homefront that's called a "sweet, hilarious and heartwarming play" celebrating "the power of art to rally a community and see us through the darkest of times." The final play of the season is "She Loves Me," a musical set in a 1930s European parfumerie about pen pals that also inspired the 1998 blockbuster rom-com "You've Got Mail."

With 5 new plays in 2023-24 for The Studio Players, which ones stand out?

The Studio Players recently announced its 11th season offers a little bit of everything.

The plays are: "The Cemetery Club" by Evan Mencell (Aug. 4-20); "Superior Donuts" by Tracy Letts (Oct. 27-Nov. 12); "The Lifespan of a Fact," based on the book by John D'Agata & Jim Fingal (Jan. 19-Feb. 4, 2024); "Bus Stop" by William Inge (March 8-24); and "Doubt a Parable" (May 3-May 19, 2024).

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"Superior Donuts," which premiered on Broadway in 2009, delves into the relationship between a onetime '60s radical who owns a Chicago doughnut shop and his relationshiop with a young Black assistant. The comedy is often compared to a '70s sitcom, tackling race, class and other issues of that time.

"The Lifespan of a Fact" book is essentially the two authors' discussions over seven years about journalism and column writing. What is fake news and what is not? Studio Players call the upcoming play version "timely and terrifically funny."

The Studio Players productions are at Golden Gate Community Center's Joan Jenk Auditorium, 4701 Golden Gate Parkway, Naples. More at or 239-398-9192.

Dave Osborn is the regional features editor of the Naples Daily News and News-Press. Follow him on Instagram @lacrossewriter and on Twitter @NDN_dosborn.