Talented locals make Arts Center theater a success | Entertainment

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Apartment 3A, a “sparkling adult romantic comedy from acclaimed actor Jeff Daniels,” was a leap of faith for Chris Dayett, director of performing arts at Marco Island Academy. Chris admitted “it was a big bite for him.” But he wanted to do something different since he mainly directs musicals and high school family content.

Chris wanted to direct a more mature comedy piece for Arts Center Theater (ACT) and it turned out to be an amazing experience for everyone involved. Play contains adult content!

For Apartment 3A, Chris came out of acting retirement and made his stage debut in Florida with the support of close friends and ACT cast and staff members.

According to Chris, the dialogue in Apartment 3A is told through dialogue, nuanced directing, lighting, and props all happening at once. The challenge is being able to observe each character very carefully – which was a great teaching moment for his students.

Chris’ MIA Theater and Production Design and Marketing course was hands-on. The students performed script analysis in class, including creating some of the stage costumes and props for the show in collaboration with Jim Swanker during production meetings. MIA’s talented team also created some of the social media graphics that were featured on Marco’s Center for the Arts social media pages. They provided their unique comments after reading the piece.






Dal (Mike McNees), Elliot (Gregory Hayes), Annie (Jackie Weiner) and Donald (Chris Dayett).








5. Apartment 3A receives applause and smiles from the audience..tif

Apartment 3A receives applause and smiles from the audience.


According to Chris, the stage set is what they created. The students also wrote press releases, and you’ll see their smiling faces greet viewers as they check in and lead them to their seats for the first two productions of the season. They will also help with the loading of Apartment 3A and in the upcoming play, The Odd Couple scheduled for November 30.

The Apartment 3A cast includes:

Jackie Weiner plays Annie, a new tenant in apartment 3A. Jackie is a television personality who “cares too much” and is caught between two guys. She is also in charge of a live telethon for public television to “keep Big Bird alive”.

Gregory Hayes plays Elliot, Annie’s co-worker “who carries a torch” for her.

Chris Dayett is Donald, an “annoying neighbor across the hall” who “became interested” in Annie.

Mike McNees is owner Dal, who describes apartment 3A as the best apartment in a “not so nice part of town”.

Corey Lewis is Tony who never appears on stage but instead is the voice of the broadcast producer.

What can viewers expect when they see the show? Annie, the new tenant of Apartment 3A, thinks she’s caught between two guys and the plot thickens. The play is definitely a romantic comedy with lots of banter, puns, and sprinklings of pixie dust.







6. MIA students, plus Principal Melissa Scott and cast members..tif

MIA students, along with principal Melissa Scott (center) and cast members Jackie Weiner, Gregory Hayes, Chris Dayett and Mike McNees.


According to Hyla Crane, executive director of the Marco Island Center for the Art, “being present with living, breathing people is important to the art of acting and to the human spirit.”

Don’t miss this experience with a group of very talented people that you know personally on Marco Island – like our City Manager, Mike McNees, who is so perfect as an owner! I’m sure you met Jackie Weiner at Bargain Basket. The talented Chris Dayett is the Director of Performing Arts at Marco Island Academy and we met several of his students. Gregory Hayes is a new transplant to Naples and has been involved in theater his entire life and hopes to be a long-term fixture at ACT. Corey Lewis spent his first 18 years in commercial television and most recently began his tenure at WGCU in May 2021.

Apartment 3A runs until November 13 – to purchase a ticket, please visit: www.marcoislandart.org.

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