Christine Dolen is Named as Winner of Prestigious George Abbott Award 2023
The Carbonell Awards Names Christine Dolen as Winner of Prestigious George Abbott Award & Solicits Nominations for Six Special Awards
For only the second time since 1978, the prestigious George Abbott Award has a repeat recipient—Carbonell Awards co-founder Jack Zink received the award in 1989 and again, posthumously, in 2007. In 2023, the Abbott Award goes to longtime South Florida theatre critic and Carbonell judge Christine Dolen, who originally received the honor 22 years ago.
The theatre critic for the Miami Herald from 1979 to 2015, Dolen is a still a vibrant freelance reviewer and arts writer, primarily for ArtburstMiami.com. Her stories and reviews continue to appear in the Miami Herald, Sun-Sentinel, New Times, Inspicio, FloridaTheaterOnStage.com, and in other print and online publications, including American Theatre magazine. She was also an editorial board member of the Best Plays Theater Yearbook.
Dolen holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in journalism from Ohio State University, was a John S. Knight Journalism Fellow at Stanford University in 1984-85, and a senior fellow at Columbia University’s National Arts Journalism program in 1999. Two years earlier, she was a member of the Pulitzer Prize drama jury.
Her previous honors include the Green Eyeshade in criticism from the Atlanta Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists and first place in arts writing in the Missouri Lifestyle Journalism Awards. She has also received a Silver Palm Award, the South Florida Theatre League’s Remy Award, and the Carbonells’ Howard Kleinberg Award. In November 2011, American Theatre Magazine named her as one of a dozen of the country’s most influential theater critics.
"It has been the great honor of my professional life to chronicle the evolution of South Florida theater for nearly 50 years. The thousands of hours I've spent watching and evaluating the work of dedicated artists throughout the region have meant so much to me that I'm still spending time in lots of darkened theaters, now for ArtburstMiami.com,” says Dolen.
“I am so thankful that the Carbonell Awards board has chosen to recognize me a second time with the George Abbott Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Arts. My late friend and colleague, critic Jack Zink, is the only other two-time recipient,” she adds. “I knew Mr. Abbott and spent many hours interviewing him when he was in his 90s and 100s (not a typo). His effervescent wife Joy became a dear friend with whom I presented the Abbott Award at the Carbonell ceremony for many years. Because of all that history, because of the stories and artists that continue to transport and inspire me, I am immensely grateful."
Previous Abbott Award winners since 2010 include internationally acclaimed composer and conductor Michael Tilson Thomas, cofounder and Artistic Director Laureate of the Miami Beach-based New World Symphony (2022); Barbara & Lawrence E. Stein, the founders of Actors’ Playhouse at the Miracle Theatre (2022); 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 Garrisan, 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 Shiller, 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).
Nominations Sought for Six Additional Carbonell Special Awards
The Carbonell Awards program expects to announce this year’s nominees in 20 specific categories in early September, and the recipients of this year’s Special Awards a few weeks later, including:
+ The Vinnette Carroll Award for significant achievement in advancing the cause of diversity, equality, and inclusion in South Florida theater.
+ The Charlie Cinnamon Award honors an individual who contributes significantly to the support of the arts in South Florida and to the Carbonell Awards program.
+ The Ruth Foreman Award recognizes contributions to South Florida theater development by an individual or group, for singular achievement and/or career contributions.
+ The Bill Hindman Award honors significant, long-term contributions to the region’s cultural life and onstage career achievement by performing artists based in South Florida.
+ The Howard Kleinberg Award honors an individual or organization for contributions to the health and development of the arts in South Florida.
+ The Bill von Maurer Award for Theatrical Excellence honors a theater company that exemplifies excellence for the totality of its programming: productions, educational outreach, developmental programs, and audiences served.