Mr. Gurgol's theatrical and event development career began at 25 directing I Am A Camera at the Actors' Outlet in New York. Don Marshall, director of marketing for New York New England Telephone (NYNEX), saw the show and brought him on board to manage corporate entertainment for NYNEX.
For two years he wrote, designed, directed and produced events in Boston and New York ranging from large, festive galas for up to 800 people at the St. Regis Hotel, to intimate, lavish top management functions like the President's Club at the Helmsley Palace. As Live Entertainment Director, Mr. Gurgol created live events promoting American Movie Classics to thousands at major convention centers across the country. At the same time, he worked with the Gardner Stage in LA, teaching master classes while producing and directing Rupert's Birthday. The show sold out for months and was honored with two esteemed LA Drama-Logue awards: best directing and best acting.
Returning to his native Cleveland, Mr. Gurgol brought an innovative new production of the musical Rags to the JCC Halle Theater. His close collaboration with Pulitzer and Tony award-winning writer Joseph Stein resulted in a gala opening that drew Joseph Stein and the original Broadway producers. The show invigorated the Halle Theater, broke ticket sale records for both theaters where it appeared, and went on to be recognized by the Plain Dealer in 2000 as a landmark production.
Other notable directing credits include: The Long Goodbye, Over Here, Evita, Hannah...1939, And the World Goes 'Round, Grand Hotel and his Philadelphia production of Nite Club Confidential, which garnered five Barrymore award nominations, including best director.
Gurgol's theatrical career has offered him the opportunity to work with stars of stage and screen, including Margaret Hamilton, Cathy Rigby, Margaret Whiting, Connie Stevens, Patricia Morrison, and Tommy Tune. Founder and Artistic Director of Kalliope for five years, Mr. Gurgol chose a diverse selection of shows to direct, including A Grand Night for Singing, Carousel, Pete 'n' Keely, Summer of '42, The Christmas Carol Rag, A Little Night Music, Baby, Cabaret, Opal, the world premiere of Coming to America, 110 in the Shade, A to Z, Andrew Lippa's Wild Party, Nite Club Confidential, The Tiniest Gift, The Music of Jacques Brel, Dear World, Reflections and Fanny Hill
Mr. Gurgol directed A Little Night Music for the inaugural season of the new Opera Cleveland. He also served as master teacher and director for several of its educational outreach programs. In 2009, his production of Fiddler on the Roof opened the season at the Beck Center for the Arts to great success. His Sweeney Todd appeared at Cain Park in June 2010, and he directed "My Fair Lady" at the Beck Center for the Arts in 2011.
Mr. Gurgol was a strong proponent of new musicals, and fostered the development of several new shows with John Paul Boukis, his longtime collaborator.
- "The artistic vision of Paul Gurgol adds a unique and highly entertaining dimension to the area's professional theater landscape. The superb on-stage and backstage talent this theater attracts has yet to offer anything but stellar productions in its four years of operations."
- -Chagrin Valley Times
- "The goal was to create high-quality professional theater in an intimate, Off Broadway-style house. Gurgol scores an A-plus on that front: The level of artistry at Kalliope Stage is breathtaking."
- -Akron Beacon Journal
- "The world premiere of 'Coming to America' is yet another feather in the cap of Kalliope founder Paul Gurgol. Kalliope Stage has quickly become the area's leading producer of musicals."
- -Cleveland Plain Dealer