The Award Process


  • The recommendation panel evaluates shows on opening weekend. Their recommendations determine if the show continues to the next level of consideration.
  • The judging panel evaluates only those shows which have been recommended by the recommendation panel. The judging panel makes the Carbonell Award nominations and subsequently determines the winners.
  • Panelists are notified of the status of eligible shows and their assignments via a weekly “hotline” e-mail.



The skills and experiences of the panelists vary considerably yet all have a great knowledge of the theatre, whether professionally (as directors, actors, designers, etc.), journalists, academically (professors of drama, language, etc.), or as experienced theatergoers.



  • Panelists donate their time and travel. There is no monetary compensation.
  • Candidates for the panel must have resided in South Florida and actively attended theater for the past five years.
  • Panelists must have access to the Internet to receive information and forward reports.
  • Members of the recommendation panel must submit reports by noon on the Monday following the opening night of the assigned show.
  • Members of the recommendation panel who cannot attend a show appointed to them must arrange to be covered by another member of the recommendation panel.
  • Members of the recommendation panel are required to attend all of the shows assigned. Any nominator who misses a show without scheduling an authorized substitute will receive a warning and may be placed on probation with the understanding that if any other shows are missed, that individual may be removed immediately from the nominator pool.
  • Members of the judging panel must see 90 percent of all recommended shows.
  • Members of the judging panel must report attendance to the Carbonell administration.
  • Panelists must evaluate productions to which they have been assigned with complete impartiality.
  • Panelists must refrain from suggesting to anyone advance knowledge of a nomination/win before the Carbonell administration makes those determinations public.
  • Panelists must immediately communicate to the Carbonell administration if, for any reason, there may be a real or perceived conflict of interest with any artist or theatre.



1)   The Recommendation Process

  • The Carbonell Awards administration assigns six recommendation panelists to attend one of the first few performances of any eligible show, typically on opening weekend.
  • Typically, recommendation status will be determined within the first week that nominators are able to attend performances.
  • Each recommendation panelist forwards a report for the assigned production which evaluates the production in regard to each award category.
  • To gain a recommendation, the production must be recommended in a specific award category (e.g. specific performance, design, best production, ensemble, new work) by four of the six panelists, or in two specific categories by three panelists.

2)   The Nominating Process

  • The judging panel is not informed of what categories led the show to be recommended to continue for further consideration. Therefore, each recommended show is considered by judges for all categories.
  • Each member of the judging panel must see at least 90 percent of all shows recommended for further consideration. The judging panel may not consider any show which was not recommended for further award consideration.
  • The judging panel convenes in a nomination session. Members of the judging panel may vote upon only those shows they saw.
  • The judging panel may nominate no more than five contenders in any category.

3)   The Nominating Process

  • Judges complete a ballot of all nominees.
  • Judges may not vote upon any shows they did not see.
  • In the event of a tie, further balloting occurs to determine a single winner.