Meet Andy! You may have spotted him on Saturdays with a guitar in tow or perhaps you recognize his name from a juried art exhibit. Andy loves the arts because he embraces an improved quality of life.

How did you become involved with the Alliance?

I began attending the Alliance for the Arts after I met fellow member Chip Withrow during February Album Writing Month at a French Connection open mic night. Chip told me that his wife Anna was teaching a free yoga class at the Greenmarket and I wanted to try taking a live class instead of just home videos. I really loved taking the class outdoors with an in-person teacher. The musical vibe of the Greenmarket with friendly vendors attracted me immediately. My wife Debby and I started attending regularly.

What is your favorite part about being an Alliance member?

Seeing musical performances by friends or their works on display in a member or juried art show.

Which author, playwright, songwriter, or artist has influenced you the most?

My love of art and music and resulting creativity is an assemblage of bits and pieces of thousands of songs and artworks by literally hundreds of artists and musicians. Those who have influenced me the most are Terry Lynn Spry, Sarah Kiser, Patrick Conolly, Claudia Goode, Chip Withrow, Pete Benson, Bruce Gallant, Bill Metts, Bruce Hecksel, Kat Epple, Mare Wakefield, Patchouli, Friction Farm, Becky Warren, Lauren LaPointe, Tara Leaver, and everyone involved with the local Americana Community Music Association.

What would the title of your memoir be?

“A Work In Progress”

What would you say to encourage others to get connected with the Alliance?

This is where you will find your tribe.

Why are the arts important to you?

For an improved quality of life. The arts help me channel, process, and express feelings and emotions more effectively than anything else.

Alliance Favorites:

I can’t leave the Green Market without buying: A smoothie bowl

If you want to buy me a gift, choose work from this local Alliance member artist: Terry Lynn Spry

Florida heat means nothing when this outdoor festival/concert comes around at the Alliance!” Peace Day in the Park

Say hello to Maria! If you stop by on Saturdays or enjoy our Bluegrass series on Sundays, you may have spotted Maria at the desk or in the gift shop putting her expertise in the art business to work here at the Alliance!


How did you become involved with the Alliance?

Many years ago I was invited by a friend to attend an exhibition at the Alliance, because of my background in the Art Business she wanted me to be involved, I was really busy at that time, but I kept it in the back of my mind.

Why did you choose to become a volunteer at the Alliance?

After retiring from my Art Business and meeting the new Executive Director Lydia Antunes Black in 2009, I decided to become a volunteer at the Alliance and is been a joy and privilege ever since.

Which author, playwright or artist has influenced you the most?

British writer and philosopher Aldous Huxley. After reading “Brave New World” at the age 15, I never again observed the world in the same way. The book describes a futuristic world state of genetically modified humans. His prediction is a reality in our present world.

What would the title of your memoir be?

“A Life Not So Ordinary”- I have lived on different continents, assimilating different cultures, creating different families and have very different stories to tell. It has been an adventure.

What would you say to encourage others to get connected with the Alliance?

Because the Alliance promotes the arts and provides a place where artists and collectors can create and network. The Alliance also engages kids and what they see, touch and think about once they step through the door, helps them to realize how important the arts are. I believe that becoming a member is actually the best way to help the Alliance to continue promoting the arts.

My Alliance Favorites:

I can’t leave the GreenMarket without buying: Bread and Vegetables

If you want to buy me a gift, choose work from this local Alliance member artist: Jayne Baker

Theatre Conspiracy at the Alliance for the Arts is proud to announce its 26h consecutive season, which includes beloved classics, comedic favorites and award-winning new plays from the most popular unknown playwrights.

“I really am looking forward to this year,” says founder and producing artistic director, Bill Taylor. “Not only have we put together an incredible line-up of shows, we also have incredible casts.”

Season subscriptions range from $138 per person for 6 shows to $160 per person for all 8 shows. Individual ticket prices are $26, $11 for students or $22 for Alliance members.

Performances are Thursday, Friday and Saturdays with a 7:30 p.m. start time and Sunday matinees at 2 p.m.

Audio described shows are also available on selected dates. For theatregoers who are blind, or have moderate to severe vision loss, the Alliance will provide a specially trained describer who verbalizes what’s happening on stage during pauses in dialogue. The describer uses a headset microphone, while individuals using the service listen through a receiver with a single earpiece. Reservation of headsets is required prior to the show by calling 239-939-2787.

To widen the post-show conversation and discuss what the art onstage means to us as individuals and as a society, the Alliance will facilitate a community conversation through talkbacks on selected dates. Talkbacks allow the audience to ask questions and express their thoughts, ideas on issues revealed in the play through the form of meaningful discussion with the cast, director or panel guests. The opportunity is included with ticket purchase.

To purchase tickets or for more information, call the box office at 239-939-2787, visit 10091 McGregor Blvd. Fort Myers, FL or go online at

Harvey a Pulitzer Prize-winning American Classic comedy by Mary Chase and directed by Bill Taylor
Starring Brendan Powers, Rachel Burrtram, Miguel Cintron, Lauren Drexler, Dena Galyean, Joann Haley, Stephen Hooper, Scott Thompson and Patrick Day

Aug. 15-17, 22-24 at 7:30 p.m.
Aug. 18 and 25 at 2 p.m.

Elwood P. Dowd insists on including his friend Harvey in all of his sister Veta’s social gatherings. Trouble is, Harvey is an imaginary six-and-a-half-foot-tall rabbit. To avoid future embarrassment for her family—and especially for her daughter, Myrtle Mae—Veta decides to have Elwood committed to a sanitarium. When they arrive at the sanitarium, a comedy of errors ensues.

Production is kindly sponsored by Bruce and Janet Bunch and Noreen Raney.

Engagement Rules mostly a comedy by Rich Orloff and directed by Bill Taylor
Starring Jim Yarnes, Carolyn England, Cicero McCarter and Sonya McCarter

Sept. 20-21, 26-28 and Oct. 3-5 at 7:30 p.m.
Sept. 29 and Oct. 6 at 2 p.m.

A comedy with bite, Engagement Rules follows the intertwined lives of two couples who advise and support each other on challenges of love, sex and the soul. The younger couple (early 30s) is recently engaged, and the older (in their 70s) has been married over fifty years. Engagement Rules strives to avoid old arguments and pat answers as it explores with compassion and humor the challenge of love and commitment.

Engagement Rules is the winner of the annual Janet and Bruce Bunch New Play Contest Award, presented by Theatre Conspiracy.

It’s a Beautiful Wound written and performed by Rich Orloff

One night only: Sept. 23 at 7:30 p.m.

The true story of Rich’s adventures in underground therapy using MDMA (a.k.a. Ecstasy) and psilocybin mushrooms. These sessions, based on cutting-edge experiments to help people heal from deep psychological wounds, propel Rich beyond his ego and defenses into a journey that both challenges his perceptions and reveals possibilities he never before considered. Inspired by the autobiographical monologues of Spalding Gray, It’s a Beautiful Wound takes the audience through the experience of psychedelic-assisted therapy in an honest, amusing, and deeply compelling way.

It’s a Beautiful Wound is the tale of one person’s journey towards reconciliation with the soul… with a slight detour for an appendectomy.

5 Lesbians Eating a Quiche by Evan Linder and Andrew Hobgood and directed by Stephanie Davis
Starring Dena Galyean, Cantrella Canady, Karen Goldberg, Lucy Sundby and Madison Mitchell

Oct. 24-26, 31 and Nov. 1-2 at 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 27 and Nov. 3 at 2 p.m.

A 2012 New York International Fringe Festival sensation  and cult favorite of theatre companies across the country, 5 Lesbians Eating a Quiche is a farcical, audience-interactive celebration of sisterhood and survival.

The Susan B. Anthony Society for the Sisters of Gertrude Stein are having their annual Quiche Breakfast. When the Communists attack, the closet doors blow open as secrets, repressed desires and an insatiable hunger for quiche are released.

 The Mountaintop by Katori Hall and directed by Rick Sebastian
Starring Derek Lively and Sonya McCarter

Jan. 16- 18, 23-25 at 7:30 p.m.
Jan. 19 and 26 at 2 p.m.

The Mountaintop is a two-person drama about the last day of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The entire play is set in the Lorraine Hotel room, the evening before his assassination. King is alone, trying to create yet another powerful speech. When he orders a cup of coffee from room service, a mysterious woman arrives, bringing much more than a late-night beverage. What follows is a reflective, often funny, often touching conversation in which Dr. King examines his achievements, his failures and his unfinished dreams.

Baskerville: A Sherlock Holmes Mystery by Ken Ludwig and directed by Rachael Endrizzi

Feb. 13-15, 20-22 at 7:30 p.m.
Feb.  16 and 23 at 2 p.m.

Get your deerstalker cap on — the play’s afoot! Sherlock Holmes is on the case. The male heirs of the Baskerville line are being dispatched one by one. To find their ingenious killer, Holmes and Watson must brave the desolate moors before a family curse dooms its newest heir. Watch as our intrepid investigators try to escape a dizzying web of clues, silly accents, disguises, and deceit as five actors deftly portray more than forty characters. Does a wild hellhound prowl the moors of Devonshire? Can our heroes discover the truth in time? Join the fun and see how far from elementary the truth can be.

August Wilson’s King Hedley II, directed by Sonya McCarter

March 5-7 and 12-14 at 7:30 p.m.
March 8 and 15 at 2 p.m.

King Hedley II shares the story of King – a man recently released from prison, attempting to rebuild his life amid changing times and a backdrop of the crime and drug struggles in the community where he exists. King dreams of a life of stability and self-reliance beyond incarceration, gangs and broken family. The play dares to ask what it takes to transcend the limitations of life and personal circumstance, and if pure will is enough to change a man’s destiny.

King Hedley II is part of August Wilson’s ten-play American Century Cycle that, decade by decade, examines African American life in the United States during the twentieth century.

This production is kindly sponsored by Noreen Raney.

The Roommate by Jen Silverman and directed by Stephen Hooper
Starring Lauren Drexler and Mariantte Torres

May 7-9 and 16, 17 at 7:30 p.m.
May 10 and 17 at 2 p.m.

Sharon, in her mid-fifties, is recently divorced and needs a roommate to share her Iowa home. Robyn, also in her mid-fifties, needs a place to hide and a chance to start over. But as Sharon begins to uncover Robyn’s secrets, they encourage her own deep-seated desire to transform her life completely. A dark comedy about what it takes to re-route your life – and what happens when the wheels come off.

To purchase tickets or for more information, call the box office at 239-939-2787, visit 10091 McGregor Blvd. Fort Myers, FL or go online at