The curtain rises on the Art Center’s next theater program | Events

The passing of the torch to Marco’s theatrical stage is now official with the Arts Center Theater announcing its schedule of events for its 2022-2023 season, which will mark the band’s debut.

The program premiered recently to a large, enthusiastic gathering at the Marco Island Center for the Arts, which added the new program to its already long list of offerings for adults and children. The ACT will use the same space at the Marco Town Center once occupied by The Marco Players, which ceased operations in late February after more than 20 years of entertainment under Beverly Dahlstrom, the theater company’s executive artistic director.

“Tonight, we are here to celebrate the brand new commercial venture of the Marco Island Center for the Arts as we begin our very theatrical journey,” Hyla Crane, Executive Director of the Art Center, told the veterans ensemble of the island theater scene, center board members, volunteer participants and other arts enthusiasts.

Significant time constraints meant it took a Herculean effort to make this new “enterprise” a reality, she explained. Crane said the Center did not learn of Marco Players’ decision not to renew its Marco Town Center lease until mid-May. The arts center officially became the new tenants on July 1, which required negotiations with Marco Town Center owner Brixmor Property Group to unfold at an accelerated pace.

“It was something that happened at lightning speed,” she added, regarding the negotiations and the creation of a programming season. “It’s not something we’ve had years to prepare for, or even months. But this is just the beginning for us.

Crane then passed the mic to someone she described as “instrumental” in making it all happen – Charlie Blum, Art Center board member and entertainment industry veteran, who will chair the Art Center Theater Committee.

In his more than 40 years as a concert promoter, talent buyer, theater manager, television producer and artist manager, the now semi-retired Blum has earned an excellent reputation as a as an entertainment industry executive, having worked with such luminaries as The Jacksons, Frank Sinatra, Christina Aguilera, Tom Petty, Liza Minelli, Dolly Parton, Jay Leno and Jerry Seinfeld. He spent the last 30 years of his career as CEO, talent buyer and president of the Star Plaza Theater outside of Chicago.

“Thanks to the exceptional leadership of the Board of Directors of Jim Richards and the exceptional efforts of General Manager Hyla Crane, we are extremely excited to not only expand our mission to enhance the performing arts element who is already part of our organization, but also to be able to try to ensure the survival of community theater on Marco Island,” Blum said Not to step in after decades of “wonderful performances” by the Marco Players would have been “sad news.” for theatergoers and for the wider community, he added, “So, as they say in show business, ‘the show must go on.’

The inaugural season of ACT will feature six plays:

From October 26 to November 13: “Apartment 3A”, written by the famous theater and film actor Jeff Daniels

Nov. 30-Dec. 18: “The Fantasticks,” the hit 1960 Broadway musical that continued to entertain audiences nationwide for decades to come.

January 4 to January 22, 2023: “The Odd Couple” by Neil Simon.

February 8 to February 26, 2023: “Plaza Suite” by Neil Simon.

March 15 to April 2, 2023: “Hollywood Arms”, by Carol Burnett and her daughter Carrie Hamilton.

April 19 to May 7, 2023: “The Foreigner,” a 1984 comedy by Larry Shue that has become a staple of professional and amateur theater.

Readers’ theatrical performances are also scheduled, starting Aug. 7 with “Parade and Mr. Prince,” by Marco resident Mitch Eil. A special event is scheduled for August 13e – “Lyndy’s Magic Parlor”, a magical comedy show starring Lyndy Phillips. Tickets for “Lyndy’s Magic Parlor” are on sale now on the Art Center website: www.marcoislandart.org. On August 14, “An Evening of One Acts”, by Alex Costell, Leslie Sanderson and Maryann Clavin will take the stage. “The Swingset”, by Kristyn Estes, is August 21, 2022.

Collaboration with other community institutions will be central to the Act.

Blum said community outreach will be a focal point for ACT. Creating internship opportunities and educational opportunities with island schools on the island is being explored, including utilizing the expertise of Marco Island Academy Performing Arts Instructor Chris Dayett. Additionally, discussions are underway with two other Marco theater groups, the Island Theater Company and the Sisbarro Acting Studio youth theater program, as well as the Naples Players and the Bonita Springs Arts Center.

Exploring collaboration opportunities with Marco businesses and local media is also a priority, Blum said.

“There’s so much more we can do to be all inclusive, and we love it,” he added. “But the ultimate partner in this effort is you. We invite you to join us on this journey and create unforgettable memories on and off stage.

For more on the Arts Center Theater, including acting auditions and purchasing tickets, stay tuned to marcoislandart.org – tickets for ‘Lyndy’s Magic Parlor’ are on sale now! The Marco Island Center for the Arts is located at 1010 Winterberry Drive. The phone number is 239-394-4221.