2017 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.
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.
Sean is presently the Producing Director of Florida Children’s Theatre (FLCT) where he serves as the senior resident show director and lighting designer, having directed and designed over 20 main season productions since joining the team in 2007.
Directorial and design highlights include Sweeney Todd, Les Miserables, Cats, Starlight Express (performed entirely on roller skates), and Hamlet. Prior to FLCT, Sean served as the Managing Director of the award‐winning Colony Theatre Company in Los Angeles. New York credits include Company/General Management for several Off-Broadway shows including The Donkey Show, The Karaoke Show,American Rhapsody: Songs of The Gershwins, and Jacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living In Paris. He was also a member of the management team of Blue Man Group’s NYC production of Tubes. Sean began his career as a member of Ruth Foreman’s Pied Piper Players in Miami where he acted in children’s theatre productions beginning when he was eight years old. He first acted professionally at age 12 when he was cast in Do I Hear A Waltz? and received his Equity card at age 14 playing the role of Eugene in Brighton Beach Memoirs, for which he was nominated for a Carbonell Award for Best Actor during the 1986-87 season. After graduating as the Theatre Dean’s Award recipient from the New World School of the Arts in 1989, Sean went on to earn a BFA in Film and Television production from NYU. Following graduation, he continued to act professionally performing Off-Broadway and regionally, and studying at HB Studios, Michael Howard Studios, among others. While acting was his first love, Sean realized over time that producing, directing, designing and teaching are all equally rewarding and is grateful he was able to master a diverse set of skills that have allowed him a vibrant, successful, and life-long career in the theatre.
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 Doyle Cohen
Nancy is the Membership Director at Jewish Museum of Florida-FIU. She is also 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.
Janet Erlick is the Executive Artistic Director of award‐winning Fort Lauderdale Children’s Theatre where she oversees both the administrative and artistic components of the theatre. She teaches, directs and acts in the community and developed the theatre’s comprehensive outreach program that now serves over 32,000 people each year. That program includes A Bridge From Me to You anti‐bullying program for public school fifth graders, From Page to Stage in‐school literacy program and an Arts Integration Program for classroom teachers to learn how to infuse the arts across the academic curriculum. She created partnerships with many cultural and social service organizations throughout South Florida and frequently facilitates workshops. Currently, she serves as the Chair of the Broward Arts Connection and is a member of the Cultural Executives Committee of Broward and a Board member for Broward Women’s Alliance. She is a graduate of Leadership Broward and is active on many of their committees. A former recipient of the City of Hope Businesswoman of the Year Award, Janet also received a Woman Extraordinaire Award from South Florida Business Leader, the Remy Service Award from South Florida Theatre League and was an honoree of Spring for the Arts. Most recently she received the Outstanding Contribution to Arts Education award through Arts Ed Forever, a program of Broward Cultural Division and Business for the Arts of Broward. She is a graduate of Swarthmore College with a double major in Theatre and Psychology, and is the President Designate of the Alumni Council.
Robert Holtzman began his career as a professional actor and director, moved into theatre management, event production, advertising/public relations and finally education. As a publicist and marketer, he’s been involved in the launch and success of several of South Florida’s top cultural organizations, including Miami Film Festival, Festival Miami, GableStage, Coconut Grove Playhouse, Miami City Ballet, Actors’ Playhouse and Gusman Cultural Center. As producer, he spent three years as general manager of the Tampa Theatre, presenting theatre, jazz, rock, classical and film offerings, including the pre-Broadway premiere of Bully starring the late James Whitmore. Bob is currently an adjunct professor at Florida International University and Barry University.He studied theatre at Carnegie-Mellon University and holds a masters degree in communications from FIU. Favorite acting roles include the Marquis de Sade inMarat/Sade and George in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
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!
Prior to being the Executive Director of the Stonewall National Museum & Archives in Fort Lauderdale since 2013, David spent over 25 years working in professional theatre and the performing arts as Managing and Executive Director of City Theatre Company (Pittsburgh, PA), Magic Theatre (San Francisco) and the Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington DC. New plays developed under David’s leadership at City Theatre include The Pavilion (Craig Wright), String of Pearls (Michele Lowe) and Mrs. Bob Cratchit’s Wild Christmas Binge(Christopher Durang).
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.
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 and second national Broadway tours of THE BOOK OF MORMON, Thomson-Reuters, Best Corporate Events, 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), and national theatrical tours. With his writing and producing partner, Jennifer Sierra-Grobbelaar, Matt is the Co-Creator & Co-Producer of Diego & Drew Say I Do, premiering at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts in 2016.
Teri Solomon Mitze
Teri’s career in the theatre and politics began in a high school production of Bye Bye Birdie. She had the only non-singing role and Lee Atwater, later to become Chairman of the National Republican Party, played Conrad Birdie. After college, Teri accepted an associate producer position at the John F Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. Following two seasons at the Center, and for the next 22 years, Teri was the founder/producer of The Great American Children’s Theatre. Other career favorites were producing national television commercials, a year with RKO Pictures, and working with Swinsky/Kardana in New York City. Teri has worked on political campaigns for Congressman Jim Moody, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Congresswoman Geraldine Ferraro, Congressman Patrick Murphy and is currently District Secretary for Representative Irving Slosberg.
After a career as a lecturer at the University of Miami’s School of Communication and as an editor at The Miami Herald, Ileana Oroza is now a freelance editor with a special focus on cultural issues and Latin American affairs. At The Herald, she was editor of the Weekend and Sunday Arts sections and eventually supervised all of the newspaper’s arts coverage. She was also assistant managing editor for news, in charge of 1A. At the University of Miami, Ileana taught a wide variety of journalism classes, many of which included arts coverage. In 1994-95, Ileana was a fellow of the National Arts Journalism Program at Columbia University. For many years, she was a member of the board of the Cintas Foundation, which grants fellowships to Cuban artists living outside Cuba. She also served as a member of the advisory board of Artburst, which provides arts coverage to the South Florida media..
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 Social Media and website administrator for the Carbonell Awards. Full time, she is the Marketing and Media Relations Director for Cirque Dreams. Prior to joining Cirque Productions, her theatrical administration career blossomed at Broadway Across America with over 13 years of experience in various capacities including National Subscription Ticketing Manager, Parker Playhouse Venue Operations Manager, Education Liaison with Florida Theatrical Association and Public Relations & Marketing Operations Director for events throughout the state of Florida. She was an Associate Producer of Cirque Dreams Broadway commemorating Broward Center’s 20th Anniversary and the Associate Producer for WE, the culminating event of Broward 100’s Duende Centennial Celebration directed by Neil Goldberg. With her friend and writing partner Matt May, Jenn is the Co-Creator & Co-Producer of Diego & Drew Say I Do which saw its World Premiere at Broward Center for the Performing Arts Spring 2016. She sits on the advisory Board of the South Florida Theatre League has been a Carbonell Awards Voting Panelist for over 15 years.
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.
Joyce Sweeney is the founding member and artistic director of The Playgroup LLC. A novelist and creative writing teacher, Joyce has a special love for developing and producing original work by South Florida playwrights. The Playgroup has been in existence for five years and holds monthly critique groups for Playwrights and actors at the Glades Road Library in Boca Raton. In addition the group produces three shows a year, one of which is the popular Shortcuts series of ten-minute plays. Joyce has directed numerous short plays as well as the full length productions; Broken Angels by Todd Caster, Joseph Andrews, adapted by Peter Hawkins, The Monster Projectby Brian Harris, Last of the Aztecs by Joe Feinstein and Little Piggies by Todd Caster. The group also works in conjunction with the Florida Center for The Book on special projects for The Big Read: most recently, an adaptation of To Kill a Mockingbird. As the founder of a startup company Joyce has also had some practice at every aspect of production, from stage managing to set design to marketing to collecting money at the door in a little cigar box. So she has a keen appreciation of how hard everyone works to make a successful production.
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.
A native New Yorker with a 47-year career in the arts as actor, singer, theater director, playwright, educator, arts administrator and presenter, Tony holds a bachelor of Arts in Speech and Theatre from Hofstra University and a masters from Adelphi University in Educational Theatre, with additional studies in Shakespeare, the result of a grant from the national Endowment of the Arts. Being fortunate to work and study with theatre and film icons including Academy Award winners Jose Ferrer and Robert Wise, playwrights Edward Albee and Tennessee Williams, and the musical theatre team of Wright and Forrest, Tony remains active as a theatre professional, directing, acting and consulting in regional theatres and schools. With his last position as Executive Director of the Thrasher-Horne Center for the Arts in northeast Florida, Tony presented over 350 international and nationally known artists and productions, including Broadway road shows, dance performances and musical concerts and curated 75 visual arts exhibits with over 550 visual artists. A recent recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts grants for presenting professional dance, Tony is also a current member of Actors Equity, Florida Professional Presenters Consortium and the Players in New York City.
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.
2017 JUDGING PANEL:
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.
Paul Levine is a film/ DVD reviewer and columnist for Around Town newspaper. He owns & operates, award winning Famous Faces Productions & Entertainment company with divisions including a SAG/AFTRA franchised talent agency. & Special Events Company— Prior to establishing his own firm, Paul was a branch manager with United Artists Motion Pictures and sales representative for Warner Brothers Motion Pictures.-From 1965-1971, Paul was a non-voting member of The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, (THE OSCARS!)~
Andrea O’Connell has loved the theatre since strapping on those patent leather tap shoes at the age of five. After attending the Nova High School of Performing Arts and performing in a handful of shows at Fort Lauderdale’s Parker Playhouse, Andrea earned her Bachelors degree in Theatre Performance at Florida Atlantic University, then her Masters degree in Theatre Performance at Purdue University, in West Lafayette, Indiana. After graduate school, Andrea returned to South Florida to work in the burgeoning professional theatre where she earned both her Actors Equity and her Screen Actors Union cards. Memorable roles include: Eliza in Pygmalion, Ophelia in Hamlet(Carbonell nomination), Ophelia in Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, Helena in A Midsummer Night’s Dream with the Florida Shakespeare Festival. Andrea worked in a number of plays at the Caldwell Theatre, including Bus Stop, Les Liaisons Dangereuses, Angel Street, the Heiress, Curious Savage, and more. She also appeared on stage at The Actors Playhouse – Miracle Theatre, the Brian C. Smith theatre, The Fort Lauderdale Public Theatre, and other venues in Florida. In 1997, Andrea became an Instructional Designer, channeling her passion for writing and acting into improving workplace performance. She earned a Master of Science in Human Resource Management while working at Nova Southeastern University as Associate Director of Training. Andrea is currently an Instructional Design Consultant, writing and designing eLearning for various corporate clients. She is also a photographer. www.andrea-oconnellphotography.net
Michael Peyton spent the past 20 years with WLRN Public Media and finished his career as Director of Marketing for WLRN Public Radio & Television. He played a major role in the regional marketing of theater and cultural community. In association with the Theatre League of South Florida, he developed and administered (with WLRN) www.culturalconnection.org, the same day half price ticket program. Peyton also founded the South Florida Theatre Festival, the Summer Youth Theatre Festival and The Florida Keys Museum and Attractions Weekend. Michael is an avid arts patron and philanthropist. He was on the advisory board of The Arts and Business Council of Miami and was an active 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 DIRECTORS:
Donald R. Walters, Esq, President & Treasurer
Donald R. Walters, P.A.; Coral Springs
Jody Leshinsky, Vice President
Vice President for Administration, Cultural Arts Creatives; Pompano
Joanne Matsuura Benkö – Secretary
Marketing Director, Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts; Miami
Vice President of External Affairs, Broward Center for the Performing Arts; Ft. Lauderdale
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
Public Art & Design Administrator, Broward Cultural Division – Fort Lauderdale
Ricardo J. Gonzalez III
Director, Beaux Arts Gallery, Manuel Carbonell & Family; Miami
Bama Lutes Deal
Cultural Council of Palm Beach County; Lake Worth
Miami-Dade County Cultural Affairs Council; Miami