The gift form the Bakers will support construction of a 56,000-square-foot complex with two state-of-the-art theaters, one of which will seat four hundred people; a hundred-and-fifty-seat black box studio; an art gallery and educational wing; an atrium; and a café open to the public. In addition, VIP members of the playhouse will have their own lounge area, while actors and playhouse officials will get new rehearsal space, a new costume shop and storage, and new administrative offices. A feasibility study for the $45 million "Next Stage" capital campaign is under way, with the campaign expected to be launched as soon the study is completed.
Groundbreaking on the new complex, which will present a variety of pre-Broadway productions, is expected to happen within the year, with the grand opening celebration planned for 2019.
"The dream from the moment that I founded Gulfshore Playhouse in 2004 has been to create a Tony Award-winning regional theatre that would make Naples proud," said the theater's founder and producing artistic director, Kristen Coury. "Thanks to [the Bakers], Gulfshore Playhouse is well on its way to becoming a cultural institution that will contribute to the region, the nation, and the art of theater for generations to come."