The Marco Island Foundation for the Arts is proud to announce Gina Sisbarro-Penzo as their 2018 Artist of the Year. Gina has directed and produced numbers of plays over the past 20 years through the Greater Marco YMCA, the Marco Players Theater, and her own Sisbarro Acting School/Studio which provides acting classes for elementary, middle school, high school students and adults. She has been an inspiration to hundreds of children and teens on Marco Island, working tirelessly to share her love of theater.
Gina’s greatest joy has been watching her students take their acting to the next level, whether it is studying theater in college, acting for larger venues such as the Naples Players or landing acting roles for movies or TV. She has seen five of her actors enrolled in theater arts as a major or secondary degree. Her next creative endeavor for local talent is two summer camps at the Greater Marco YMCA where two performances are scheduled.
What you may not know is that Gina is the owner and operator of Marco Mystery and History, the only ghost tour that exists in Collier County. The tour runs October through March. Gina actually plays the character, Martha Horror, herself, and employs other actors for the tour. “Martha Horror” has made appearances at many local clubs and has been hired for storytelling in private homes as well as at the Arlington Memory Care.
Gina earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Leisure Services at East Stroudsburg University, Pennsylvania and has directed, produces and written plays over the past 25 years. Some of the plays include “A Christmas Carol”, “The Breakfast Club” and “The Odd Couple”. She wrote two original productions, “The Men of Rushmore and Their Wives” and “Battlefield of Brotherhood”. Her most recent play was “The Three Musketeers” which she produced and directed as a fundraiser for the Marco Island Academy.
At their annual luncheon, the Marco Island Foundation for the Arts will honor Gina Sisbarro-Penzo as “Artist of the Year” along with five students who will be receiving scholarships. The local students receiving scholarships include Logan Fischer, Brianna Monroe, Joseph Byrne, Brenda Perez and Anastasia Baran. The organization awards scholarships to local students majoring in visual arts, performing arts or literary arts each June.
The public is invited to honor Gina and the scholarship recipients on Saturday, June 16, 2018 at Wesley United Methodist Church, 11:30 AM – 1:30 PM. Cost is $20/person. Reserve your ticket by sending a check made out to MIFA to Carolyn Burger, 282 Sand Hill Street, Marco Island, FL 34145. Please include your email address. You may call 239-389-0280 for further information.