When Theatre is in Your Blood…

by Lauren Speirs
Linda Mizeur has been snow birding to Bonita Springs from Saratoga, New York for 14 years. She’s been coming to The Naples Players since the very beginning of her time in Florida.

“I have to be involved in theatre, that’s my life. I was born and raised in a suburb of Kansas City and never in a million years did I think I would see Broadway shows but living in Saratoga we were just a two-hour train ride away!”

In Kansas City, Linda regularly attended local theatres and an outdoor theatre. “Gisèle MacKenzie was in The King and I and it was one of the first shows I ever saw. Theatre has been in my blood from the beginning. I can remember my dad strutting across the living room singing The Music Man. I never did anything professional, I just always enjoyed theatre and did shows in Kansas City and Upstate New York.”

Linda first heard about TNP and immediately came to check it out. “I read about The Naples Players in the paper and The Women of Lockerbie was the first show I saw here – I was blown away. After that, I took a tour of the facilities and was so impressed! The theatres I performed in previously were the type where you had to go up the stairs, outside and back in to get to the other side of the stage. To see the rehearsal space, costumes, and fly systems, I thought, ‘this is professional and not your typical community theatre.’”

As a volunteer with The Naples Players, Linda feels the friendly vibes within the organization. “Everyone is so welcoming here, it’s a family. My favorite show that I’ve done was definitely Always a Bridesmaid. It was so fun. All of us ladies got along and we were truly best friends, there was no acting for that part of the story. We really supported each other.

I also really loved The Music Man because I was remembering my dad.” In TNP’s production of The Music Man, Linda says, “they did the ending differently and every cast member had an instrument.

Some of us could play an instrument (in real life) and we all started marching and playing. My friends who came to see it loved it and were so surprised!”

Linda got her performing start here at The Naples Players. “I started with Readers Theatre in the show Clarissa, written by Carol Fenstermacher. That was my first performance down here and I was so grateful to be given the chance. I had acted before but TN didn’t know that.

Readers Theatre is a great way to start out here.” Linda will play Della in The Cake and says, “What’s really interesting is that they were going to do The Cake up north back in 2020 and the director said to me, ‘Will you please audition? ’but I was going to be in Naples. I reported back to them that they were my inspiration for doing this play now. I am so excited and humbled to portray Della. She is the opposite of me in beliefs but her heart is large and giving.”

Beyond her Naples Players family, Linda has a big support system in her life. “I have a wonderful husband, Joe, three fabulous children, and six of the best, smartest, most beautiful grandchildren, ages one to 22 years.” Linda shares her passion for theatre with her oldest granddaughter, Savannah. “She’s coming down in a few weeks and I said, ‘Savannah, you know what we’ll be doing right?’ and she replied ‘running lines.’ She knows the drill! She’s done some wonderful work in New York City and has a fabulous voice. She’s in college and working full time and I’m so proud of her.”

The Naples Players is delighted to have Linda in our volunteer family! TNP is a place to come and watch theatre with your friends and you can also join in on the action by becoming part of our volunteer family.

Interested in volunteering? There are abundant opportunities at The Naples Players! Volunteers have options to commit to time frames ranging from 2.5 to 5.5 weeks. TNP volunteers are also wearing masks in the building to ensure everyone stays safe and healthy.

For more information, please contact Pamela Larkin Caruso at plarkincaruso@naplesplayers.org or 239 434 7340 ext. 104.

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.