CARBONELL AWARDS Announces 2022 Winners of George Abbott Award and Six Special Awards
George Abbott Award Recipients:
Michael Tilson Thomas
Barbara & Lawrence E. Stein
Special Award Recipients:
Andie Arthur, Marshall L. Davis, Hap Erstein, Margot Moreland, Teresa María Rojas, and Theatre Lab at FAU
Carbonell Awards 2022 will be Presented at Lauderhill Performing Arts Center on Monday, November 7, at 7:30 p.m.
Gary Schweikhart, board president of the Carbonell Awards, South Florida’s Theater & Arts Honors, today announced the recipients of the prestigious George Abbott Award and six Special Awards that will be presented at the Carbonell Awards Ceremony on Monday, November 7, at 7:30 p.m. at the Lauderhill Performing Arts Center at 3800 NW 11th Place, Lauderhill, FL 33311. Tickets are only $32 each (including facility fee) and will soon be available for public purchase.
“Although we held a virtual awards ceremony in mid-2020, this will be our first live, in-person event since April 2019,” said Schweikhart. “We’re looking forward to a truly joyous celebration at our new and larger location as we recognize more members of our theatre community while including even more friends, fans, family members, and local theater lovers.”
“While we will be honoring 20 specific theatre performances, production elements, and shows presented from October 2021 through September 2022, the board of directors of the Carbonell Awards has voted to use the upcoming awards ceremony to bestow two years of the prestigious George Abbott Award and six Special Awards, including our first Vinnette Carroll Award,” he added.
The George Abbott Award
for Outstanding Achievement in the Arts
Michael Tilson Thomas
Barbara & Lawrence E. Stein
Named after the legendary Broadway director, producer, playwright, and actor, the George Abbott Award honors an individual (or team) who has contributed significantly to the artistic and cultural development of the region. Because there was no Carbonell Awards ceremony in 2021, this year there are multiple winners for this award:
Michael Tilson Thomas is cofounder and Artistic Director Laureate of the Miami Beach-based New World Symphony, as well as Music Director Laureate of the San Francisco Symphony and Conductor Laureate of the London Symphony Orchestra. A composer and pianist as well as one of the great figures in the world of classical music, Tilson Thomas comes from a family of artists: His grandparents, Boris and Bessie Thomashefsky, were Yiddish theater stars, and his parents Ted (who changed his surname) and Roberta Thomas worked in the movie industry. The winner of a dozen Grammy Awards, he appears on more than 120 recordings, and among his many honors are the National Medal of Arts and the 2019 Kennedy Center Honors. His dedication to music education and to expanding the ways people can experience concerts are exemplified by his work with the New World Symphony, which he cofounded in 1987. More than 1,200 young musicians have passed through “America’s Orchestral Academy,” with 90 percent maintaining careers in music, and a vast number of music lovers have connected with Tilson Thomas, other conductors and the orchestra via free WALLCAST concerts on the large projection wall at the state-of-the-art Frank Gehry-designed New World Center.
Barbara & Lawrence E. Stein are the founders of Actors’ Playhouse, which will celebrate its 35th season in 2022-23. Active in multiple community organizations and as founding members of Congregation Bet Breira, the Steins launched their theater company in 1988 with a production of “Man of La Mancha” at a former twin movie theater in Kendall. When Hurricane Andrew destroyed the facility, the couple entered into an agreement with the City of Coral Gables to renovate and restore the historic Miracle Theatre on Miracle Mile, opening their new home in 1995 with another “Man of La Mancha” and building a legacy as Miami-Dade County’s premiere producer of large-scale musicals. Since then, Founding Executive Producing Director Barbara Stein and Founding Board Chairman Lawrence Stein, along with Artistic Director David Arisco and Children’s Theatre and Education Director Earl Maulding, have continued to grow the two-stage company where thousands of theater professionals (including Tony Award winner Rachel Bay Jones) have appeared, while uncounted children have begun learning their craft or simply enjoyed experiencing the art of theater.
Previous Abbott Award winners since 2010 include Kelley Shanley, President & CEO of the Broward Center for the Performing Arts (2020); playwright, actor and scenic designer Michael McKeever, co-founder of Miami’s Zoetic Stage (2019); Gail Garrison, founding artistic director of City Theatre’s Summer Shorts Festival (2018); former Kravis Center CEO Judith Mitchell (2016); Shirley Richardson & Patricia E. Williams, the co-founders of the M Ensemble, Florida’s leading African-American theater company (2015); Scott Schiller, former executive vice president of the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts (2014); Patrick Dupré Quigley, founder, conductor and producing artistic director of Seraphic Fire (2013); Mario Ernesto Sanchez, founder and producing artistic director of Teatro Avante and the International Hispanic Theatre Festival of Miami (2012); Jay H. Harris, a member of The League of American Theatres and Producers (2011); and Patrice Bailey, Dean of Theater at New World School of the Arts (2010).
The Vinnette Carroll Award
Marshall L. Davis
This new award is named for the distinguished playwright, actress, and theater director who was the first African-American woman to direct on Broadway and the first to receive a Tony Award nomination for directing. After moving to South Florida in the 1980s, she founded the Vinnette Carroll Repertory Company, sharing her creative gifts with countless theater professionals. This award honors an individual, theater or organization for significant achievement in advancing the cause of diversity, equality, and inclusion in South Florida theater. The inaugural winner of the Vinnette Carroll Award is Marshall L. Davis.
Marshall L. Davis has served for 38 years as managing director of the African Heritage Cultural Arts Center (AHCAC) in Miami’s Liberty City, where artists such as Oscar winner/playwright Tarell Alvin McCraney and Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater artistic director Robert Battle got their start. A former drama teacher, Davis created a multi-arts curriculum and programming to nurture thousands of arts students, many of whom have gone on to study in arts magnet programs or received scholarships to study at top arts institutions such as the Juilliard School. Adding an art gallery and black box theater to the AHCAC campus, Davis has helped make a creative home for young artists, companies and audiences.
The Charlie Cinnamon Award
Named after the legendary press agent, this award honors an individual who not only contributes significantly to the support of the arts in South Florida, but also has given dedicated service to the Carbonell Awards program. The 2022 winner of the Charlie Cinnamon Award is Hap Erstein.
Washington D.C. native Hap Erstein served for 15 years as theater and film critic of The Palm Beach Post, though (as he writes) he “narrowly escaped becoming an engineer” when he earned his degree from the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Currently he writes for Palm Beach ArtsPaper and talks about new movies on WJNO Radio, and he has taught a theater appreciation course for Florida Atlantic University’s Lifelong Learning Society. He has devoted many years of service to working as a judge in the region’s Carbonell Awards program, traveling to theaters in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties to evaluate dozens of shows each year.
Previous Cinnamon Award winners include the Broward Center’s Director of Marketing Jennifer Sierra-Grobbelaar (2019); Tony Finstrom, playwright and founder of the Silver Palm Awards, (2018); and longtime arts patron and Carbonell judge Jerome J. (Jerry) Cohen (2017).
The Ruth Foreman Award
Teresa María Rojas
Established in 2000, and named after the pioneer theater director and producer, this award recognizes contributions to South Florida theater development by an individual or group, for singular achievement and/or career contributions. The 2022 winner of the Ruth Foreman Award is Teresa María Rojas.
Teresa María Rojas is an actor, producer, director, poet and educator who was born in Havana. She trained at Cuba’s Prometo Theatre under Francisco Morín, worked in Cuban television, then went to work for Radio Caracas Television in Venezuela before moving to Miami. Her theater work has been seen in Cuba, Ecuador, the Dominican Republic, Mexico, Spain and the United States. A great part of her legacy comes from her work as the founder and director of Prometeo at Miami Dade College, where she worked to preserve Spanish-language theater among young artists—one of whom was future Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Nilo Cruz. She is the proud recipient of three endowed theater chairs and the Lifetime Achievement Award from the International Hispanic Theatre Festival.
Previous Foreman Award winners include The Amparo Experience (2020); Juggerknot Theatre Company (2019); Nicole Stodard (2018); Florida Children’s Theatre (2016); The Naked Stage (2014); GableStage, Tarell Alvin McCraney, Stratford-on-Avon’s Royal Shakespeare Company, and New York’s Public Theater for their collaboration on Shakespeare’s Antony and Cleopatra (2013); Actors’ Equity Association (2012); Broward Center for the Performing Arts (2010); Michael Hall (2007); Lawrence E. Stein & Barbara Stein (2004); Dorothy Willis (2003); The M Ensemble Company (2002); and Jan McArt and Bob Bogdanoff (2001).
The Bill Hindman Award
Named after the veteran South Florida actor, this award honors significant, long-term contributions to the region’s cultural life and onstage career achievement by performing artists based in South Florida. The 2022 winner of the Bill Hindman Award is Margot Moreland.
Margot Moreland is one of South Florida’s best-known actors, as well as being a principal representative on the Council for Actors’ Equity Association for more than 20 years. She has received four Carbonell Awards for her performances in “Ruthless!,” “Tomfoolery,” “Heartbeats” and “Annie,” and a Silver Palm Award for her work in “Mamma Mia!.” In addition to her work as an actor, Moreland has taught at the University of Miami as well as giving master classes at Barry University and Rollins College. She has appeared in City Theatre’s Summer Shorts Festival, including an early edition with the actor for whom her award is named – Bill Hindman.
Previous Hindman Award winners include Barbara Bradshaw (2020); Harriet Oser (2015); Don McArt (2013); Rafael De Acha (2007); Meredith Lasher (2004); David Kwiat (2003); Randolph Dellago (2002); Kenneth N. Kurtz (2001); and Harold Bergman & Jimmy Gamonet De Los Heros (2000).
The Howard Kleinberg Award
Named afterthe longtime editor of The Miami News, this award honors an individual or organization for contributions to the health and development of the arts in South Florida. The 2022 winner of the Howard Kleinberg Award is Andie Arthur.
Andie Arthur is a playwright, dramaturg and co-founding artistic director of Lost Girls Theatre. She is also executive director of the South Florida Theatre League and an adjunct faculty member at Miami’s New World School for the Arts. Arthur’s work has been produced at multiple companies in the region, and she has also participated in the Kennedy Center’s Summer Playwriting Intensive, the Miami-Dade Department of Cultural Affairs Playwright Development Program, the Greenhouse and the Overnight Theatre Festival. At the League, she shepherded the development of such programs as AntiRacism Theatre Strategies, Summer Theatre Fest, the return of Unified Auditions, many professional development workshops and the creation of the South Florida Theatre League Relief Fund to assist artists, administrators and technicians impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Previous Kleinberg Award winners include Deborah Margol (2018); Christine Dolen (2015); Iris Acker (2014); Mary Becht (2011); Theatre League of South Florida (2007); New World School of the Arts (2006); Mark Nerenhausen (2004); Elizabeth Boone (2003); Jay H. Harris (2002); Rhoda Levitt (2001); and GableStage, Miami Light Project, Grupo Cultural Teatro La Ma Teodora, concert promoter Debbie O’Hanian, Hugo Cancio and the American Civil Liberties Union (2000).
The Bill von Maurer Award for Theatrical Excellence
Theatre Lab at FAU
Named after the longtime theater critic and journalist for Miami News and South Florida SunSentinel, this award honors a theater company that exemplifies excellence for the totality of its programming: productions, educational outreach, developmental programs, and audiences served. The 2022 winner of the Bill von Maurer Award is Theatre Lab at FAU.
Theatre Lab, the professional resident company at Florida Atlantic University, has a reach far beyond its intimate 99-seat Heckscher Stage theater space. Devoting itself to new work, first under founding artistic director Louis Tyrrell and now under the leadership of Matt Stabile, the company’s mission is to “inspire, develop and produce new work, artists and audiences” through its performances, workshops and conversations with leading playwrights and theater artists. Theatre Lab’s reading and development events include its annual New Play Festival, the Playwright’s Forum and MasterClass Series. Its educational outreach for students in grades 4 to 12 has provided more than 10,000 students with workshops in creative writing and theater, live theater experiences, and the opportunity to create and perform in original productions. For the region’s theater community, Theatre Lab has also hosted the Overnight Theatre Project and two Online Original Monologue Festivals to raise artist relief funds during the pandemic.
Previous von Maurer Award winners include Palm Beach Dramaworks (2020); City Theatre (2015); Maltz Jupiter Theatre (2011); and Actors’ Playhouse at the Miracle Theatre (2007).
Carbonell Awards Ceremony 2022
“We are proud that the Lauderhill Performing Arts Center is the venue of choice for an organization that highlights and encourages the performing arts throughout South Florida. We can’t wait to celebrate with everyone at this year’s in-person event,” says Desorae Giles-Smith, Lauderhill City Manager.
Several hundred actors, musicians, performers, writers, directors, technicians, producers, reviewers, designers, specialty artists, and diehard theater fans are expected to attend the glamorous, entertainment-packed event that is widely recognized as South Florida’s version of Broadway’s Tony® Awards.
Fantel Music, the acclaimed South Florida producer of both live and virtual music and theater presentations, is producing the upcoming Carbonell Awards Ceremony, just as it did the virtual event in 2020. The wife-and-husband team of Caryl Fantel (music director, event producer, pianist, teacher, composer) and Roy Fantel (drummer, percussionist, teacher, video-audio producer) have successfully developed, directed or produced numerous concerts, shows, and staged events throughout South Florida.
In addition to the two George Abbott Awards and six Special Awards, at this year’s entertainment-packed event, additional awards will be presented in 20 competitive categories. Eligible productions were evaluated by a diverse group of more than 30 experienced judges representing all three participating counties (Broward, Miami/Dade, Palm Beach) utilizing a transparent grading process.