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Mission & History @ TNP

Mission & Vision

The Naples Players continually seeks to enrich, educate and entertain our community through a superior theatre experience. We are a premier community theatre, seeking to inspire passion for the performing arts through unparalleled access to the process, experience, and conversations surrounding the arts and our community.

Our Impact

2019 was a record-setting year at The Naples Players.  Our impact on the Naples community continues to grow and define our culture.  To learn more about our growth, programs and impact in 2019, please use the link below to view our 2019 Annual Report. 

Our Rich History

The Naples Players was founded on January 19, 1953, an idea which originated a year earlier at the home of Henry and Mary Watkins. Its first production, I Remember Mama, was staged in what is now Gulfview Middle School on March 20, 1953.

For more than two decades The Naples Players staged rehearsals and performances out of local auditoriums, restaurants, and even patrons’ homes. It was not until 1975 that The Naples Players established a home base when a 40-seat playhouse was opened at 2363 Davis Boulevard. Having their own facility allowed TNP to focus on growing their classes and programs beyond just staged performances. Explosive growth followed and less than a decade later, they had outgrown their facility. After extensive renovations, the former Kon-Tiki Theatre was reopened as the new Naples Players theatre. A performance of Guys & Dolls was staged in March 1985 as the opening act.

First Location of TNP on Davis Blvd Opened in 1975

Cast of First TNP Performance of I Remember Mama, March 20, 1953

Unfortunately, the exterior of the new facility began to suffer irreparable damages in the early 1990’s and the search was on again for a new place to call home. During this time, the theatre still thrived and put on an extensive season of performances, classes, and programs. In the early 1990’s 5th Avenue South was not nearly the hub of Naples it is today. The Naples Players took a chance on developing a plot of land that was flanked by failing storefronts and a lack of foot traffic. In order to build a theatre from the ground up, an unprecedented fundraising effort was launched. The first major gift came from Frances Pew Hayes followed by additional gifts from Peg and Herb Sugden, Lois and Dick Blackburn, and Jay and Patty Baker. Three successive yearly grants from the State of Florida totaling nearly $1.5 million helped create the final result: the 1998 debt-free opening of The Naples Players’ Sugden Community Theatre on 5th Avenue South, with the play Me and My Girl.

Today, the Naples Players is celebrating its 66th Season of performances, programs, and classes that inspiring our community and defining our culture for the future of the arts in Naples.

Helpful Info

Donate

Help us rise to the challenge of raising $100k for the Holidays at

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Facility Health Plan

With Advanced Air Filtration, Virucidal Sanitization, UltraViolet Air Purification, and a proactive BIOPROTECT

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COVID Impact Report

See how The Naples Players is serving our community during this unique time

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Support TNP

BECOME A DONOR

Donations play a critical role in allowing us to present a year filled with spectacular musicals, laugh-out-loud comedies and thoughtful dramas.

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THANKS TO OUR SPONSORS

BOX OFFICE

The Naples Players
701 5th Avenue South, Naples, Florida 34102

(239) 263-7990
Monday-Friday: 10am to 4pm
Saturday: 10am to 4pm

*Will-Call & Wait-List opens 2 hours before curtain

Main OFFICE

(239) 434-7340
Monday-Friday: 10am to 4pm
Saturday: 10am to 4pm

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Guidestar Platinum Seal of Transparency 2020  Culture Builds Florida Logo   Florida Weekly's 2019 Best  Best of Naples:  Gulfshore Life Best of Naples

Voted Best Live Theatre for 17 Consecutive Years