2014 RECOMMENDATION PANEL:
A freelance journalist specializing in interior design, architecture and travel, Al Alschuler is a past president of both the South Florida International Press Club and the Interior Design Guild of South Florida. For three decades he has actively supported local theatre, having successively served on the Boards of Directors of the Players Repertory Theatre (and as the founding chairman of its fledgling Conservatory at the Coconut Grove Playhouse), New Theatre, Skyline Theatre Company and City Theatre. Avid theatergoers, he and his partner continue to share an unabashed appreciation for creative stagecraft and production values.
J.W. Arnold is Arts & Entertainment Editor at “South Florida Gay News” and a regional contributor to “Cabaret Scenes,” the official publication of the Cabaret Foundation. He has nearly 10 years’ experience covering the South Florida performing arts scene and is a member of the American Theatre Critics Association, Music Critics Association of North America and Gay and Lesbian Critics Association. Arnold earned music degrees from Central Methodist University and the University of Auckland, New Zealand.
A proud member of Actors’ Equity for decades Kay Brady has always received joy and edification from live theatre onstage and as an audience member. She is an award- winning actor having appeared in hundreds of productions throughout the U.S. and Canada, has directed,taught and adjudicated theatre for young adults, and has written and broadcast theatre reviews for the Straw Hat Circuit. Kay continues to record voice- overs and to dub for foreign films and soap operas.
Thomas J. Bruckner
Thomas J. Bruckner has been teaching theater at Boynton Beach Community High School since the school’s opening eight years ago. He is a playwright and has been a member of the Dramatist Guild for over twenty years. Bruckner has produced a number of his original plays with his students. It is a process which encourages student input and inspires young writers while creating material which is meaningful and socially relevant to today’s young adults. He is a passionate and outspoken teacher activist on arts education and public education issues as a whole.
Currently an adjunct teacher/director at Miami-Dade College, Ellen Davis has been a Carbonell panelist for many years. She also has been a teacher at the New World School of the Arts and an active director at professional theaters throughout South Florida during her professional career.
Mark Demeter is a Producer / Director for BECON-TV, and a professor at Broward College where he teaches television production. Mark has a love for theatre that started as a child when he got involved in school productions and community theatre. He was also raised on classical music as his father was a concert violinist. Mark has a passion for the theatre and is constantly looking for ways to bring theatre and TV together. He is currently the director and associate producer for “Spotlight on the Arts” a weekly TV show that shines a light on the theatre and entertainment community of South Florida.
Nancy Gillen Doyle
The former Director of Group Sales for Broadway Across America at the company’s Fort Lauderdale headquarters, Nancy Gillen Doyle is experienced in sales, marketing and promotions and is an avid theatergoer and arts patron.
Alvin Entin is the chairman of the board of the Pembroke Pines Theatre of the Performing Arts, arguably South Florida’s largest and most successful community theater program at present. He is also a successful trial attorney with over 30 years experience, currently of Entin & Della Fera PA. Entin also performs in community theater, and was instrumental in the formation of an association of community theaters in South Florida. His other avocation is boxing, and he was appointed twice to the Florida Boxing Commission and served as its Chairman for two years. He resigned from the Commission in 2006 to become outside Counsel to Seminole Warriors Boxing.
Jason Evan Fisher
Jason Fisher has been a South Florida theatre critic for the past 13 years and is proud to be one of the youngest theatre critics in the area. Reviewing for such avenues as college radio, internet television and most recently internet radio, Jason has tried to reach the most amount of people to spread his love of theatre to.
Jason is the host of 5 Minutes to Curtain which can be heard on both www.w4cy.com and also on iheart radio. While he is not reviewing theatre, Jason is on the Board of Directors of both Outre Theatre Company and Wellington Ballet Theatre. He hopes to continue educating the youth about the importance of theatre in everyday life.
Donna L. Horkey, MS, PHR, has been a theater lover since she was 7 years old when she made her stage debut in her sister’s high school production of Saroyan’s “The Time of Your Life.” She went on to leading lady roles in many musicals through college, tried her hand at stage managing, handling props, doing make-up, and directing, and even did a two-month summer stock run of “Godspell” all over the Southeast. When the “real world” hit, Donna pursued a career in Human Resources, and has had her own management consulting practice since 1988, specializing in executive coaching, training, and investigating sexual harassment and employment discrimination nationwide. She served as adjunct faculty in the graduate business school at Nova Southeastern University (NSU) for 5 years, and has been President of the HR Association of Broward County, the Florida State HR Council, the Eckerd College Alumni Association, and the Sunrise Pops Orchestra. Donna is an ardent admirer of people who earn their living in the challenging world of theater and makes the effort to support live theatre by seeing as much of it as possible!
Marlyne Marzi Kaplan
Marzi Kaplan served, for 23 years, on the UM School of Law adjunct law faculty. Having a J.D. and an M.A. in English, she taught Law, Language, and Literature, including Drama (from Antigone to Inherit the Wind) and First Amendment freedoms of Press, Speech, and Expression. A Hollywood Poet Laureate, a South Florida International Press Club (SFIPC) member, and a former language columnist for THE FLORIDA BAR NEWS, Kaplan chaired THE FLORIDA BAR JOURNAL and THE FLORIDA BAR NEWS Editorial Board. Over decades in South Florida, she has served on cultural-arts Boards of Directors. E.g., WPBT Channel 2 public TV; the Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival (FLIFF); the Miami Book Fair International (MBFI). Kaplan’s essays and reviews appear in newspapers and journals.
Mark Keller is president of Keller Monash Productions, and executive vice president of The Event Management Group. He coproduces a Broadway Cabaret Series featuring stars from the Broadway and International Cabaret worlds with The Crest Theatre in Delray Beach. Having recently completed producing special events for The Orange Bowl as well as for The Coca Cola Company, he is also working on two shows on their way to Broadway: The Great Game and Sportin’ Life. Keller began his career in the theatre as a stage manager in New York and is a proud member of The Actors Equity Association.
Jill Kratish has worked for the Broward Center for the Performing Arts since its opening in 1991. After first serving as a stage technician, she joined the Production department and later moved into the Programming department. Currently the Director of Programming, she focuses on all of the family, educational, Broadway and Off-Broadway programming for the Broward Center and its affiliate venues. A native of South Florida, Kratish is on the board of the Theater League of South Florida, is the President of the Florida Professional Presenters Consortium, the Co-Chair of the Touring Committee of the Broadway Green Alliance, and is a Tony Voter. She holds a B.A. in theater from the University of Florida.
Dancing and acting in high school led Lynn Kobrin to major in English and Drama in college. As a member of the Drama Society Delta Psi Epsilon, she was involved with play production as a actor and dancer. After graduate work she taught literature, drama, poetry, creative and expository writing for 30 years in New York City system as well as directing the school musicals. While teaching in Missouri, she was the faculty advisor for the high school yearbook which was consistently chosen as an example of outstanding yearbook for 500 publisher representatives. Presently she is the editor for her community’s newsletter. Since retiring and moving to Florida, as an avid lover of the theater, she is extremely impressed with the quantity and the quality of South Florida’s theater productions from the smaller to the larger venue, from the experimental to the familiar.
Paul Levine is a film reviewer and columnist for Around Town newspaper and president of Famous Faces Entertainment and Special Events Company, with divisions including a SAG franchised talent agency. Prior to establishing his own firm, he was a branch manager with United Artists and sales representative for Warner Brothers.
Bio coming soon . . .
Myrna Loman has been the Producer of the West Boca Theatre Company of the Levis JCC since its inception 16 years ago. In addition to producing, directing, acting and teaching theatre, Myrna’s professional background has been in teaching English, Theatre and Contemporary Issues as an adjunct professor and Adult Education instructor. She served as Executive Director of the Jewish Arts Foundation, as well as Cultural Arts Director, Program Director, and Special Events Coordinator for a number of social service agencies in South Florida. Currently, Myrna is moderating and organizing International Film Series for numerous groups, such as the JCC, Boca Raton Museum of Art, as well as charitable and social organizations. In addition, she is lecturing at adult education symposiums and other venues on Pop Culture,History of Theatre and Cinema, and Women and Art. A long-time docent and former chair of the Docent Council for the Boca Raton Museum of Art, Myrna is also a member of the Distinguished Scholar Lecture Series for the JEC.
Through his company, Verve Central Productions, Matt has provided special event services for companies such as the first national Broadway tour of THE BOOK OF MORMON, Thomson-Reuters, Best Corporate Events, TeamBonding, Recipe For Success, The Miami Jewish Film Festival, The Miami Gay Men’s Chorus, Winter Party Festival, The Katonah-Lewisboro School District, and private firms and individuals throughout Florida and New York.
Matt has served as a theatrical producer, director, manager, administrator, educator, and consultant for various live entertainment & theatrical organizations, including Norwegian Cruise Line, Broadway Across America, Arté Diem (international cirque-theatrical company), JDZ Productions, Second Stage Theatre (NYC), Daryl Roth Theatre (NYC), Writers & Artists Talent Agency (NYC), The Gage Group Agency (NYC), Camp Broadway (NYC), New World School of the Arts (Miami, FL), Zoetic Stage at the Adrienne Arsht Center (Miami, FL), The Plaza Theatre (Manalapan, FL), and national theatrical tours.
An independent theater and film producer, Karen Poindexter previously served as producer and/or associate producer with the Clematis Street Theatre at The Cuillo Centre, Hirschfeld Theatre [Miami Beach], Burt Reynolds Jupiter Theatre as well as with national and international theater/film productions.
Tom Regnier is an attorney and teacher. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree in English (Phi Beta Kappa) from Trinity College, Connecticut, where he performed in several plays and wrote theatre reviews for the college newspaper. He earned his Juris Doctor degree, summa cum laude, from the University of Miami School of Law, and his Master of Laws degree from Columbia Law School in New York, where he was a Harlan F. Stone scholar. He has clerked for both state and federal judges. Tom frequently speaks and blogs on the U.S. Constitution. He has performed in dozens of theatrical productions, including seven Shakespeare plays. In January 2013, he played attorney David Boies in a staged reading of “8,” Dustin Lance Black’s play about the Proposition 8 trial in California, performed at the University of Miami School of Law.
Tom has taught a seminar on Shakespeare and the Law, as well as other law courses, at UM Law and has also taught at the John Marshall Law School in Chicago. His audio interview on The Law in Hamlet can be heard on The Shakespeare Underground’s website. His article Could Shakespeare Think Like a Lawyer? was published in the University of Miami Law Review in 2003 and prompted a letter of appreciation from Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens. He has presented lectures at Shakespeare conferences around the country on various aspects of the law in Shakespeare’s plays. Tom is a trustee of the Shakespeare Oxford Fellowship, an organization that explores the Shakespeare authorship controversy. Tom wrote the chapter on Shakespeare’s knowledge of law in the 2013 book, Shakespeare Beyond Doubt? Exposing an Industry in Denial.
Jennifer Sierra-Grobbelaar is the Marketing and Media Relations Director for Cirque Dreams where she also serves as Company Manager on various national tours. Prior to Cirque Productions, Jenn was with Broadway Across America for over 13 years in various capacities including Subscription Ticketing Manager, Venue Operations Manager for Parker Playhouse, Education Liaison with Florida Theatrical Association as well as Public Relations & Marketing Operations Director for events throughout the state of Florida.
John Chase Soliday
John Soliday is a Carbonell Award-nominated theater director, long time member of the Society of Stage Directors and associate professor of theatre and motion pictures at the University of Miami. He chairs the National Communication Association’s “Theatre, Film and New Multi-Media Division.” He teaches graduate and undergraduate theatre and motion picture/video directing, acting, screenwriting, theory and history. He is Director of the 20 year old Czech National Film School’s English Film, Photography and New-Multi Media Program in Prague. Dr. Soliday served as UM’s School of Communication director of graduate studies for seven years developing and supervising the school’s M.A., M.F.A. and Ph.D. programs in motion pictures, journalism, public relations and communication studies. A longtime Carbonell panelist, he has been a member of several national companies including the Tyrone Guthrie Theatre. He is also a former member of Actor’s Equity. Six of the more than 70 professional productions he has directed have set box office records for the producing theatres.
Dr. Terrie Temkin, a renowned board governance consultant, is a principal of the international firm CoreStrategies for Nonprofits, Inc. For 20 years she has focused extensively on strengthening the arts and culture community. An avid theater, dance and jazz fan, she is often seen in the audience not only locally, but in any community in which she is working. Moreover, she has dedicated her volunteer time to furthering the arts. Recently, she participated in the development of the cultural plan CreativeBroward 2020. She was recognized by ArtServe as the 1999 Business Volunteer for the Arts. And, upon first moving to Southeast Florida, she was very involved in Arts and Business Council – Miami. Known to many for the “On Nonprofits“ column she has written for over a decade, Terrie has also written four books, has chapters in four others and is currently editing an anthology on governance. Her articles are found in publications the world over. In addition, Terrie teaches nonprofit governance at Florida Atlantic University.
Michael Yawney recently directed Heather Woodbury’s 12-hour solo extravaganza As the Globe Warms, which was seen at Los Angeles’s Disney Concert Hall and Austin’s Vortex Rep. and Kenny Finkle’s A Thousand Years at FIU’s Alternative Theater Festival. For Orchestra Miami, he directed Amahl and the Night Visitors and Stravinsky/Vonnegut’sAn American Soldier’s Tale. Yawney co-curated The Iranian Theater Festival at Brooklyn’s Brick Theater in Spring 2011 and directed Something Something Uber Alles there. As a playwright-in-residence at New York Stage and Film/Vassar Powerhouse, he developed the script for 1,000 Homosexuals, which debuted at the Arsht Center. As dramaturg for Camposition, he oversaw the development of The BugChasers, a dance/theater piece that also premiered at the Arsht. Previously, Yawney was Artistic Director of New York’s Bad Neighbors Theater and received his M.F.A. from Columbia University. Currently Yawney teaches at Florida International University where he directed The House of the Spirits,The Ruby Sunrise, and Cardenio and sits on the board of The South Florida Theatre League.
2014 JUDGING PANEL:
A working actress in theater & films & television, Iris Acker produced, hosted and promoted theater on her T.V. show On Stage with Iris Acker for 27 years. Currently she’s producing SPOTLIGHT ON THE ARTS, on BECON T.V. in Miami Broward & Palm Beach County. Acker was the first Actors Equity Liaison for Florida and initiated The Equity Casting Hotline, which is now an Equity National feature. She also brought the half-price theater ticket concept to South Florida, originally titled “Ticket Madness.” Acker directed the Carbonell Award show for several years and has been nominated for Carbonells as well. She currently serves on the board of directors of The Florida International Press Club.
Mary Damiano is an award-winning writer, editor, and theater critic based in Broward County. Mary has been covering the South Florida arts scene since 2000 and has had more than 2,000 articles published in dozens of publications, including the Miami Herald, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, New Times, South Florida Gay News, She Magazine, the Miami Sun Post, BroadwayWorld.com, MiamiARTzine.com and FloridaTheaterOnStage.com. She is the founding editor of MiamiARTzine.com and creatively shepherded the online arts magazine through its first 100 issues. She wrote and delivered the arts report on the radio show Issues Over the Rainbow for three years. Mary also co-wrote the 2003 feature film, Hunting for Herschell. Originally from Jersey City, Mary’s love affair with theater began when she saw her first show at the Paper Mill Playhouse on a school field trip. In 2005 she worked at the historic Coconut Grove Playhouse as the public relations and marketing coordinator. She has written several short plays that have been seen in staged readings and her play, Word Count, kicked off the staged reading series of the South Florida Theatre Festival in 2013. Mary has been involved with the Carbonell Awards since 2004 and is the organization’s managing director.
The Miami Herald theater critic since 1979, Christine Dolen was a member of the Pulitzer Prize drama jury in 1997, a Journalism Fellow at Stanford University in 1984-85, a Senior Fellow in the National Arts Journalism Program at Columbia University in 1999, and the recipient of the George Abbott Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Arts in 2001. She previously covered arts and entertainment for the Columbus Dispatch (Ohio) and the Detroit Free Press. She is the daughter of Carbonell and Abbott Award-winning performer, the late Bill Hindman.
Cheryl Dunn Bychek
An accomplished actress involved with the development of the Theatre Club of the Palm Beaches, which led to the current Florida Stage, Cheryl Dunn Bychek also became involved in theatrical public relations and marketing until shifting to a real-life family role. She has remained involved in regional arts activities, particularly as a member of the Carbonell Awards voting panels for many years.
Hap Erstein was the Pulitzer Prize-nominated theater critic for the Washington Times and a member of the voting panel of the Helen Hayes Awards and most recently served as theater and film critic for the Palm Beach Post. He has been a long time member of the Carbonell Awards panel, and drama critics circle chairman and officer in the former South Florida Critics Circle. He currently writes about the arts for the Stuart News, blogs and reviews theater and film for the Palm Beach ArtsPaper (www.pbartspaper.com) and talks on films on WJNO radio, 1290-AM.
Tony Finstrom has worked in journalism in New York at “After Dark Magazine” and at “The Soho Weekly News.” He studied playwrighting at New York’s Circle Repertory Company, at Primary Stages, and at Long Island’s Bay Street Theatre. He has worked at Circle Rep, Bay Street Theatre, Reckless Theatre Company (NYC), Playwrights’ Theatre of East Hampton (Long Island), the Oddfellows Playhouse (of the Hamptons) and, in Florida, at Brian C. Smith’s Off Broadway Theatre and The Public Theatre of South Florida, serving as Box Office, House and Company Manager, and in various other capaticites. He is an award winning playwright who founded his own theater company in Fort Lauderdale, “Footlights Inc,” and is the chairman and co-founder of South Florida’s Silver Palm Theatre Awards. The Theatre League of South Florida awarded him their 2006 Remy Award for outstanding service to the local theatre community, and a 2008 Silver Palm Award for his outstanding contribution to the 2008 South Florida Theatre Festival. The Mosaic Theatre named him a recipient of the Jack Zink Spirit Award for 2011, having “demonstrated excellence in the areas of leadership, creativity, commitment and passion for the arts.” He currently sits on the Board of Directors for the South Florida International Press Club, and is a member of the Dramatists Guild of America.
Bill Hirschman is founder, editor, and chief critic of Florida Theater On Stage, a professional website of news and reviews. He was the founding critic of the former South Florida Theater Review which led to his work earning the best criticism award from the Society of Professional Journalists’ Sunshine State Awards. He has been a critic for the Sun Sentinel since 1998. His work has also appeared in the Miami Herald, American Theatre, Variety, The Sondheim Review, and, later this season, the Best Plays Yearbook. He is also a member of the executive committee of the American Theatre Critics Association and chairman of its New Plays Committee, responsible for selecting recipients of the ATCA/Steinberg and Osborn new play awards, with cash prizes totaling $25,000.
Editor/theatre critic of Florida Media News and theater critic for ENV Magazine, Ron Levitt is also a contributor to the Huffington Post and various national and syndicated state media. He is president of the South Florida International Press Club; past secretary of the local chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists and is a free lance writer and theater critic/columnist for a number of publications. Levitt served as Florida Assistant Secretary of State, overseeing Florida/s art and cultural affairs. A former United Press Staff Correspondent, he also founded Levitt Public Relations Group, which was one of the largest p. r. firms in Florida. He has served as president of the Dade Cultural Alliance, vice chairman of the Miami-Dade Cultural Affairs Council, Florida and Southeastern Chairman of the Public Relations Society of America and as president of both the French-American and European-American chambers of commerce. He also was vice president and is current adviser to the Theatre league of South Florida and is on the advisory board of WLRN Public Radio /Television, on the Executive Committee of the University of Miami Citizens Board, and is a member of the American Theatre Critics Association. A Carbonell judge for the past seven years, Levitt also has taught creative writing at the University of Miami. He is a decorated former U.S.Naval Journalist, and was editor of the Marianas Eagle, a weekly newspaper named the best service publication by the Department of Defense.
Michael Peyton is the Senior Corporate Marketing Representative for WLRN Public Radio & Television. He plays a major role in the regional marketing of the theater community. In association with the Theatre League of South Florida, he developed and administers (with WLRN) www.culturalconnection.org, the same day half price ticket program. Peyton also founded the South Florida Theatre Festival. An avid arts patron and philanthropist, he sits on the advisory boards of The Arts and Business Council of Miami and Arts Park, City of Hollywood and is a board member of PRADO, Public Radio Association of Development Officers.
John Thomason is the entertainment editor and chief critic and reporter with Forum Publishing weekly newspapers, a subsidiary of the Sun-Sentinel. A regular contributor to City Link Metro Mix and the Detroit Metro Times, Thomason has also written extensively for the Orlando Weekly.
A Carbonell Awards panelist for several years, Betsy Weisman is accounting manager of the Broward Performing Arts Foundation, Inc. and has extensive experience at the Broward Center in the marketing, public relations and other administrative operations.
R. Kent Wilson
Kent Wilson holds a B.A. in Psychology/Forensic Psychology from Southern New Hampshire University and has worked in corporate America as a project manager and division manager in the software industry yet he has a varied theatrical background that includes many aspects of performance, stage production, administration, support, and critical review. His experience includes positions as assistant director, stage manager, sound designer/technician, dramaturg, script doctor and actor in dramas, comedies, musicals, comedy improvisation, and Shakespeare. He served as president of the Southeastern Arts, Media, and Education (SAME) Project. SAME produced over 70 plays, original film, and video works, including ‘Promise of Life’, a documentary on people living with AIDS, and the organization published Amethyst, a semi-annual journal of creative writing and visual arts. Kent also served as a free-lance theater reviewer providing articles that were published in Atlanta weekly newspapers and magazines. He has served as a board member for The Public Theatre of South Florida, a Theater Ambassador for the National New Play Network, and continues to utilize his skill sets in service to an assortment of local production companies.
BOARD OF TRUSTEES:
Scott Shiller, President
Executive Vice President, Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts; Miami
Jan Goodheart, Vice President
Vice President of External Affairs, Broward Center for the Performing Arts; Ft. Lauderdale
Donald R. Walters, Esq., Secretary & Treasurer
Johnson & Walters P.A.; Coral Springs
Marketing Director, Raymond F. Kravis Center for the Performing Arts; Palm Beach
Jerome J. Cohen
Attorney, Business Entrepreneur, Civic and Arts Activist, Philanthropist; Miami
Eric B. Fliss
Managing Director, South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center; Miami
Ricardo J. Gonzalez III
Director, Beaux Arts Gallery, Manuel Carbonell & Family; Miami
Community Development Director, Broward Cultural Division; Ft. Lauderdale
Director of Grants, Palm Beach County Cultural Council; Palm Beach