From the moment Jeffrey Binder stepped onto a Broadway stage, he felt a sense of belonging to something greater than himself. He pursued that feeling for 15 years, starting with the Tony Award–winning play Side Man in New York and London. During this time, he also played Zazu the Bird in The Lion King, Mr. Banks in Mary Poppins, and was a member of the original cast of The Lieutenant of Inishmore. On screen, he portrayed a recurring character in the Glenn Close–led television show Damages. He joined Gulfshore Playhouse as its associate artistic director three seasons ago, and this past spring his play, Scapino, became the highest grossing show in the theater’s 14-year history. In addition to acting, playwriting, directing, and teaching, he’s devoted to fundraising for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS and local scholarships to help kids in need take advantage of Gulfshore Playhouse’s education programs. Next up? He’s thrilled to participate in Gulfshore Playhouse’s capital campaign to build a theater and education complex in downtown Naples.
Superpower wish: I’d like to be like Elizabeth Montgomery in Bewitched, complete with Agnes Moorehead and Paul Lynde as sidekicks.
Local hangout: Under the Shady Palm Pub is the playhouse’s favorite after-hours haunt to celebrate and have a beer.
His perfect day: A full morning and afternoon spent running around with my daughter and husband. Lunch with some pizza, doing a little writing, riding a bike or walking the beach, then heading to the theater to do a comedy to a packed house.
Bucket-list trip: Machu Picchu
Historic figures he’d love to meet: I’d love to spend a day with a few of our founding fathers and do a pub crawl with John Adams and Thomas Jefferson.
Favorite environmental escape: Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary
Something he can’t live without: Iced tea. It’s a problem