Arts Edition

Courtesy of The Gulf Front Players

Sarasota’s newest theater company, The Gulf Front Players, is about to present its first show, A.R. Gurney’s “Love Letters,” May 19 at the Sarasota Classic Car Museum The play was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Drama.  We’ll learn more about the play from director and co-star Michael Marcello.  We’ll also explore the Gulf Front Players unique outreach mission with the company’s managing director Nairn’ Gillet.  Proceeds from the company’s public performances help to bring their plays to audiences at senior centers, assisted living and skilled nursing facilities and other groups.

According to the U.S. Department of Defense, about 1,300 military service members transition back into civilian life every day.  The reintegration process can come with serious challenges including post-traumatic stress disorder and other mental health challenges, and a new Southwest Florida-based initiative called HeroSong, aims to help through the therapeutic power of music.  

Courtesy of Robert Bidney

Southwest Florida-based singer, songwriter, guitarist and pianist Robert Bidney performs live in-studio ahead of his concert at the All Faiths Unitarian Congregation in Fort Myers, May 4, sponsored by the American Community Music Association.  The performance marks the release of his second album, “Rush of Hope,” which comes out this month. 

Courtesy of The Florida Repertory Theatre

The Florida Repertory Theatre in downtown Fort Myers holds its 6th annual PlayLab Festival May 9-12.  The festival gives emerging and established playwrights an opportunity to workshop and develop their plays with a director and a cast of professional actors and will culminate with a public reading of five new stage plays and one musical.  We’re joined by Florida Rep Artistic Director Greg Longenhagen and Associate Artistic Director and PlayLab Artistic Director Jason Parrish, both of whom will be directing plays during the festival.  We’ll also speak with playwrights Daryl Lisa Fazio and Bruce GrahamA whose plays will be featured in this year’s festival.

Tara Calligan / WGCU Public Media

Musicians with the FGCU Jazz Nonet take over WGCU’s performance studio with a live performance!  Members of the group include students studying music performance and music education at Florida Gulf Coast University’s Bower School of Music.  Under the direction of Jazz Studies professor and bassist Brandon Robertson, members of the ensemble have spent the last semester studying the music of Miles Davis and Gil Evans from the iconic 1957 compilation album “Birth of the Cool.”