The Naples Players (TNP) is announcing that local philanthropists Rocco and Joan Di Lillo have donated $1.5 million towards TNP’s capital renovation. “This donation recognizes the power of live performing arts and how it plays a role in lifting spirits, bringing people together and inspiring us all,” say Rocco and Joan.
The gift will be signified through the naming of the theater’s new technical theatre wing, encompassing the Scene Shop, Props Shop, Costume Shop, and Technical Offices. The new state-of-the-art technical theater wing is designed not only to support TNP’s high-quality performances, but also to train volunteers, students, and local educators on personal expression through theater.
“We are honored to receive the support of such thoughtful and experienced arts champions,” says Bryce Alexander, CEO and Executive Artistic Director. “Rocco and Joan have a clear understanding of the unique way that TNP impacts our community, and their participation has not only pushed us to new heights but ensured that the organization is highly impactful for years to come.”
The Naples Players’ current venue has served as a home for the local arts community for more than two and a half decades. While TNP programs and reach have experienced significant growth, the building and their message have remained the same: to build community through exceptional access to the power of theater. Invited by the city of Naples, FL in 1994 to build their facility on Fifth Avenue South, TNP was charged with serving as an anchor for the local community in the arts, while additionally helping to transform downtown Naples into a local and tourist destination. It clearly worked!
Annually serving more than 60,000 volunteers and members, accumulating more than 65,000 volunteer hours from more than 700 volunteers, and providing arts education to more than 10,000 children and adults, TNP is looking to the future.
“The Naples Players is becoming a cultural hub, leading a shift in the national perception of how theatres can influence their communities—and this building is a vital step in moving to the next level of impact,” said Peggy Monson, Board President. “Benefactors like Rocco and Joan’s support of live theatre opens the door to experience different perspectives that we may not be aware of or have contemplated.”
The renovated facility, designed by David Corban Architect, PLLC, will feature a large balcony in the renovated Kizzie Theater, a new educational theater (The Glass Theater), improvements to the space and technology in the Price Theater, and a cafe for volunteers, patrons, and the public.
The renovation project, led by custom commercial builder BUILD, headquartered in Naples, and financed by Lake Michigan Credit Union and FineMark Bank and Trust, is expected to be complete in the spring of 2024. The organization is hoping to raise $5 million more during that time.
“The Naples Players is a rare jewel that we hope this donation will help preserve. We believe TNP will grow in popularity and will continue to have a positive economic impact on the community,” said Joan and Rocco. “Donors can also share the opportunity to impact their communities through a gift to TNP today while leaving a long-lasting legacy for tomorrow” finished Mr. Alexander.
During the year-long renovation, TNP will continue performances offsite with a nine-show season.
For more information, and to make a donation to The Naples Players renovation project, please visit naplesplayers.org/campaign.
ABOUT THE NAPLES PLAYERS
The Naples Players is a non-profit community theatre committed to the enrichment, education, and entertainment of our community through a superior theatre experience. For more than seventy years, the theatre has served as the cultural jewel of downtown Naples, Florida.