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History & Mission

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History & Mission

Mission Statement
TheatreZone is dedicated to enriching the cultural offerings in Southwest Florida by presenting professional theatrical productions and educating students of all ages to appreciate and engage in the performing arts.

History

Mark and Karen Danni brought Broadway to Naples in 2005 after they moved from New York City to Southwest Florida.

Music and theatre majors, respectively, Mark and Karen had performed on Broadway, in off-Broadway productions and in touring companies before Mark accepted a job to launch the theatre program at the Community School of Naples, where he still works today.

Mark, Karen and Founding Managing Director Larry Goodsight established TheatreZone as 501(c)(3) non-profit organization in 2005. They also obtained a Small Professional Theatres Contract with the Actors’ Equity Association (the professional actors’ union), which ensures access to the best actors, singers, dancers, musicians and stage management professionals.

TheatreZone’s inaugural season opened March 16, 2006, with Mack and Mabel starring Gary Sandy, best known for appearing in television’s WKRP in Cincinnati.

Throughout the years, TheatreZone has presented what we often refer to as the “lost treasures of Broadway” so audiences can enjoy shows they have never seen or not seen often, as well as Broadway classics. More than 200 professional actors from across the country come to Naples each September to audition for the coveted roles in these productions.

In fall 2018, Mark won the Baldwin Wallace University Conservatory of Music Alumni Achievement Award. Each year, the Conservatory of Music recognizes an outstanding alumnus who embodies the entrepreneurial spirit so deeply rooted in Baldwin Wallace culture. The university noted that Mark not only shines in this regard, but is an accomplished musician, contributes to the development of future musicians, and serves voluntarily in the community.