Photography by Brian Tietz


Gulfshore Strong

As the COVID-19 crisis unfolded, people across the region stepped up and pulled together to safeguard and heal our community. Here are six individuals who demonstrate the resilient spirit of Southwest Florida.

Champion of the Arts, Bryce Alexander, The Naples Players Executive Artistic Director Those in the theater world have mastered the fine art of shape-shifting—adapting themselves, their sets and their costumes to fit any part. In that light, what Bryce Alexander has led The Naples Players to do in these past months quite neatly fits their play bill. Let’s start with the most extreme role they've taken on: personal protective equipment providers. At the onset of the pandemic, the costume shop stitched masks for NCH Healthcare System personnel. Then, set designers answered another call for help by building plexiglass intubation boxes to shield NCH doctors from COVID-19 exposure. The group had the materials on hand, remnants from the set of She Loved Me, and produced about a half dozen. “One of the first things we did as a staff was ask: What are the ways we can give back?” Alexander says. The 25-person team (which he kept on full payroll) didn’t stop there. They rewrote the script for theater education and live performance, launching web-based programming ranging from children’s story hours to adult Improv for Isolation to a virtual version of their previously scheduled play Becky’s New Car. Produced through Zoom, the show is believed to be one of the first digital theater productions in the country. Alexander is clear that the format is an alternative—not a replacement—for live theater. The $20 tickets for the show and other offerings, such as vi
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