The Carbonell Awards Announces

Major Operational Changes in 2021


(South Florida – November 27, 2020) Donald R. Walters, Esq., board president of the Carbonell Awards, South Florida’s Theater & Arts Honors, today announced that the nonprofit organization is instituting several major operational changes in 2021. These changes are due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic that has basically eliminated live theater presentations until sometime next year and are also in response to observations shared in recent months about the Carbonell’s current award process and historic commitment to diversity.

Accordingly, the Carbonell Awards is announcing that it is:

+ Extending its previously announced suspension of reviewing local theatrical productions until October 2021.

 + Converting its review calendar from annual to seasonal, running from October 1 through September 30 beginning in 2021.

 + Moving the annual Carbonell Awards ceremony to November or later, with the next awards presentation scheduled for 2022.

 + Eliminating the position of Managing Director at this time due to budgetary considerations.

 + Launching a systematic review and revision of the current award eligibility requirements, recognition guidelines, and organizational rubrics to simplify and make more transparent the entire process. This revision process will run January through May 2021 and be fully implemented prior to the start of the next Carbonell season.

 + Inviting local theaters and interested individuals, including current recommendation panelists and judges, to join in this hands-on revision process through a series of monthly 90-minute Zoom meetings on Mondays at 7:30 pm, reflecting the current breakdown of rules and requirements on the Carbonell website:

  • January 11 – The Award Process
  • February 8 – Production Eligibility Requirements
  • March 8 – Resident Theater Eligibility Rules & Regulations
  • April 12 – Specific Award Eligibility Requirements
  • May 3 – Recommendation Panel & Judges

 + Committing to increase diversity and fairness in structure and community outreach, including more diverse board members, recommendation panelists, and judges, while encouraging new and diverse voices, genres, aesthetics, and perspectives.

 + Supporting local theaters as they actively implement their own strengthened diversity goals, both on-stage and backstage, which will inevitably be reflected in future Carbonell nominations and awards.

 “As we announced in September, the Carbonell Awards is committed to using this pandemic timeout for reflection, reimagination, and reinvigoration of our 44-year bond with South Florida’s professional theaters. During this extensive review and revision process, we understand that everything is on the table,” said Walters. “Please remember that we all share the identical goal of quickly reviving and constantly celebrating a strong, proud, talented, diverse, and inclusive theatrical community.”

Scholarship Fund Link

About the Carbonell Awards

Along with New York’s Drama Desk and Chicago’s Joseph Jefferson Awards, the Carbonell Awards are among the nation’s senior regional arts awards and predate others including Washington, D.C.’s Helen Hayes Awards. The Carbonell Awards fosters the artistic growth of professional theater in South Florida by celebrating the diversity of our theater artists, providing educational scholarships, and building audience appreciation and civic pride by highlighting achievements of our theater community. Named after Manuel Carbonell, an internationally-renowned sculptor, who designed the original solid bronze and marble award in 1976, each season volunteer panelists and judges choose nominees and recipients from hundreds of shows produced on stages throughout the tri-county area. For more information, visit