2019 RECOMMENDATION PANEL:
Al Alschuler (Miami-Dade)
An ardent advocate of South Florida’s regional theater since the 1970s, Al Alschuler served successively on the Boards of Directors of the Miami’s Players Repertory Theatre, Coconut Grove Playhouse (and chairman of its Conservatory), Skyline Theatre, New Theatre, and City Theatre. Past president of both the South Florida International Press Club and the Interior Design Guild of South Florida, Al is a longtime journalist specializing in the arts and travel, interior design and architecture, as well as editing numerous publications.
Kay Brady (Broward)
A proud member of Actors’ Equity for decades and seven-time Carbonell Award nominee, 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 Bruckner (Palm Beach)
Thomas Bruckner has been a theatre geek since his days in college where he had the pleasure of having several of his plays produced by the theatre at New Mexico State University, home of Tony Award-winning playwright Mark Medoff. One of his plays received a commendation from the Kennedy Center. For 10 years Bruckner taught theater at the high school level creating original plays with student voices and input. A 30-year member of the Dramatist Guild, Thomas as recently devoted more of his time to writing and illustrating graphic novels and has dived into teaching art, his other true love, at West Boca Community High School. He has been a teacher for 29 years, still creating art that is relevant to our young adults and ever advocating the importance of art education and development. Everyone is an artist, too many are afraid to paint
Nancy Doyle Cohen (Miami-Dade)
Nancy Doyle Cohen is the membership director at the 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 is experienced in sales, marketing, and promotions and is an avid theatergoer and arts patron.
Sean Cutler (Broward)
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 (Broward)
Mark Demeter is a Producer /Director for BECON-TV and volunteers for ACT of Davie as a lighting designer. 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 producer for “Spotlight on the Arts” a weekly TV show that shines a light on the theatre and entertainment community of South Florida.
Alvin Entin (Broward)
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 of experience, currently of Entin & Della Ferra PA. Alvin 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 (Broward)
Janet Erlick is the Executive Artistic Director of award-winning Florida Children’s Theatre, which offers year-round classes, productions, and outreach programming. She teaches, directs and acts in the community and developed the theatre’s comprehensive outreach program that now serves over 25,000 people each year. In-school programs include conflict resolution, literacy improvement through drama and arts infusion across the academic curriculum. She also creates ongoing partnerships with many social service organizations, frequently working with families dealing with terminal illness and children with special needs or living in residential centers. Her ongoing work in the community reflects her assertions as a cultural advocate: the arts have the power to transform lives, to heal, to celebrate, to challenge and to connect. Currently, she serves as Chair of Broward County’s Cultural Executives Committee, as a member of the Executive Committee of the Broward Cultural Council, and is very involved with Leadership Broward and Broward Women’s Alliance, among others. She is the President of Swarthmore College’s Alumni Council, where she graduated with a double major in Theatre and Psychology.
Robert Holtzman (Miami-Dade)
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 a 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 master’s degree in communications from FIU. Favorite acting roles include the Marquis de Sade in Marat/Sade and George in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
Donna Horkey (Broward)
Donna L. Horkey, MS, PHR, has been a theater lover since she was seven 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 five 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.
David Jobin (Broward)
David Jobin is the President and CEO of Our Fund Foundation, an LGBT community foundation in South Florida. Is his previous career, David spent more than 25 years working in professional theatre and the performing arts and managing and Executive Director of City Theatre Company (Pittsburgh, PA), Magic Theatre (San Francisco, CA) 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), Mrs. Bob Cratchit’s Wild Christmas Binge (Christopher Durang) and Ghetto Superstar (Billy Porter.)
Larry Jurrist (Broward)
Larry Jurrist is a Carbonell Award-nominated actor and has been active in South Florida theatre since the 1980s, performing with New Theatre, GableStage, Hollywood Playhouse, Stage Door Theater, Florida Playwrights Theater, and Seniors Acting Up, among others. Larry also taught Spanish for many years and served as International Baccalaureate Coordinator at North Miami High School before retirement.
Lynn Kobrin (Palm Beach)
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 an actor and dancer. After graduate work, she taught literature, drama, poetry, creative and expository writing for 30 years in the 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 an 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.
Jill Kratish (Broward)
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, Jill is currently VP of FLLC, a Venue Green Captain for the Broadway Green Alliance, and a Tony Voter. She holds a B.A. in theater from the University of Florida.
Myrna Loman (Palm Beach)
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.
Missy McArdle (Palm Beach)
Missy McArdle is an eight-time Carbonell nominee for her performances in Cabaret, Fiddler on the Roof, On the 20th Century, 1776, My One and Only, Another Part of the Forest, A Moon for the Misbegotten and Irving Berlin’s White Christmas. Other favorites include Anne Sullivan in Monday After the Miracle, Mama Rose in Gypsy, Berlin to Broadway with Kurt Weill, The Belle of Amherst originating the role of Connie in Waistwatchers: the Musical and Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings in Invasion of Privacy. An accomplished musician, she performs vocally and instrumentally throughout South Florida and shares an interest in early music with her husband, Glen Rovinelli.
Teri Mitze (Palm Beach)
Teri Mitze’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, and Congressman Patrick Murphy. Teri was District Secretary for Representative Irving Slosberg, director of constituent services for Senator Joseph Abruzzo and now holds that position with State Representative Tina Polsky.
Ileana Oroza (Miami-Dade)
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 the editor of the Weekend and Sunday Arts sections and eventually supervised all of the newspaper’s arts coverage. She was also the 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.
Karen Poindexter (Palm Beach)
Karen Poindexter is a Producer for Regional, Broadway and London theatres including the Tony-Nominated Musical The News, Prince of Central Park, Love Thy Neighbor and the 25th Anniversary production of Hair at the Old Vic Theatre in London. Karen has produced over 100 musicals and plays for the Burt Reynolds Theatre, Hirschfeld Theater, Broadway and London stages. Numerous stars and celebrities appeared in her productions including; Burt Reynolds, Farrah Fawcett, Dom Deluise, Charles Nelson Reilly, Charles Durning, Kirstie Alley, Parker Stevens, Marilyn McCoo, Cathy Rigby, Sarah Jessica Parker, Judd Nelson, Robert Hays, Bebe Neuwirth, Joanne Worley, Valerie Harper. As a Producing Manager for Regional/Broadway theaters, Ms. Poindexter’s lead responsibilities included Programming, Negotiating Rights, Union Negotiations, Contracts, Marketing, and Budget Development. Poindexter produced Diva Diaries, A Sassy New Musical” in Chicago at the Lakeshore Theater with development productions at the Tampa Bay Center for the Performing Arts and the Broward Center. Additional spotlight achievements include having developed and presented new musicals/plays for Helen Hayes, NY HBO Studio, NYC Fringe Festival, New York Music Festival and NYC Cabarets with original production of Lost Boy written by actor/director/writer Ron Palillo (aka Horshack of Welcome Back Kotter) and Picture Incomplete, a one-man musical garnering critical raves and awards. A scholarship program honoring Ron Palillo, partner, for his many contributions to the arts. Ms. Poindexter’s Film/Television credits include Prince of Central Park (based on the Broadway musical) starring Kathleen Turner, Danny Aiello, Harvey Keitel, and Cathy Moriarty; BL Stryker, ABC Mystery Wheel Movie of the Week for 2 seasons, starring Burt Reynolds and Ozzie Davis; and Cop and a Half starring Burt Reynolds and Ruby Dee, directed by Henry Winkler with Imagine Films and Universal Pictures. She is a Founding Board Member for Burt Reynolds Institute for Theater Training, G-Star School of the Arts and continues to contribute her time to several arts organizations including the Carbonell’s, South Florida Theater Awards.
Tom Regnier (Broward)
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 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. As a lawyer, he has clerked for both state and federal judges. Tom frequently gives talks on the U.S. Constitution. He has performed in dozens of theatrical productions, including eight 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. He has been performing with Peter Galman’s Shakespeare Troupe of South Florida since 2017. In 2019, he played Oberon and Theseus in the Troupe’s presentation of A Midsummer Night’s Dream at South Florida high schools.
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 was president for four years of the Shakespeare Oxford Fellowship, an organization that explores the Shakespeare authorship controversy. He wrote the chapter on Shakespeare’s knowledge of law in the 2013 book, Shakespeare Beyond Doubt? Exposing an Industry in Denial. He was interviewed about the Shakespeare authorship question on BECON-TV’s Spotlight on the Arts in 2016. A video of Tom’s GableStage presentation, “Did Shakespeare Really Write Shakespeare?”, is available on YouTube. His talk on “Hamlet and the Law of Homicide,” also available on YouTube, was chosen as one of the inaugural presentations in the Dade County Bar Association’s Thurgood Marshall Distinguished Lecture Series.
Jennifer Sierra-Grobbelaar (Broward)
Jennifer Sierra-Grobbelaar is the Director of Marketing for the Broward Center for the Performing Arts. Previously, she has spent nearly a decade as the Marketing and Media Relations Director for Cirque Dreams. Prior to that, her theatrical administration career blossomed at Broadway Across America 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 both Cirque Dreams Broadway commemorating Broward Center’s 20th Anniversary and WE…The Passion and Rhythm of the People, 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 held its World Premiere at Broward Center for the Performing Arts Spring 2016 and received a Silver Palm Award for Outstanding Interactive Theatrical Experience. Together in 2017, they co-produced the 10th Anniversary Celebration of the Silver Palm Awards.
John Soliday (Miami-Dade)
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 (Broward)
Joyce Sweeney is the author of 14 novels for young adults and two chapbooks of poetry. Her first novel, Center Line, won the First Annual Delacorte Press Prize for an Outstanding Young Adult Novel. Many of her books appear on the American Library Association’s Best Books List and Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers. Her novel Shadow won the Nevada State Reading Award in 1997. Her novel Players was chosen by Booklist as a Top Ten Sports Book and by Working Mother magazine as a Top Ten for Tweens. Her novel, Headlock (Holt 2006), won a Silver Medal in the 2006 Florida Book Awards and was chosen by the American Library Association as a Quick Pick for Reluctant Readers.
Her first chapbook of poems, Impermenance, was published in 2008 by Finishing Line Press, her second, Wake Up will be released by the same publisher this spring. She has had numerous poems, short stories, articles and interviews published; and her play, First Page Critiques was produced in 2011.
In 2011, Joyce and a coalition of local playwrights, directors, and actors formed The Playgroup LLC, which conducts workshops for playwrights and actors and produces original works by local playwrights. The Playgroup currently presents three productions a year at their home base, The Willow Theatre in Boca Raton.
Terrie Temkin (Broward)
Dr. Terrie Temkin, a renowned board governance consultant, is a principal of the international firm CoreStrategies for Nonprofits, Inc. For over 25 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 or visiting. Moreover, she has dedicated her volunteer time to furthering the arts. Besides serving as a Carbonell panelist, 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 wrote for 25 years, Terrie has also written five books and has chapters in four others. Her articles are found in publications the world over. In addition, Terrie teaches nonprofit governance at Florida Atlantic University.
Tony Walsh (Broward)
A native New Yorker with a 47-year career in the arts as actor, singer, theater director, playwright, educator, arts administrator and presenter, Tony Walsh 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.
Betsy Weisman (Broward)
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.
Pauline Winick (Miami-Dade)
Pauline Winick has been an active community leader in the cultural arts for almost four decades; In 2002 she was honored as the Arts Advocate of the Year. In addition to her work on behalf of the Miami Dade Library Foundation, she was a member and eventually Chairman of both the Miami Dade Cultural Arts Council as well as a founding member and eventually Chairman of the Miami Beach Cultural Council. She was a Founding Member of The Miami City Ballet.
Michael Yawney (Miami-Dade)
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 Michael 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.
2019 JUDGING PANEL:
R. Kent Chambers-Wilson (Broward)
The world of nonprofit organizations is the environment Kent Chambers-Wilson lives in. As well as being a Carbonell Judge, he is a narrator/monitor for Insight for the Blind and has previously served as Board President for the South Florida Theater League. He is a member of the management team at a software company that creates donor management and fundraising management applications for nonprofit associations. His theater experience includes positions as assistant director, stage manager, sound designer/technician, dramaturg, script doctor, singer, and actor in dramas, comedies, musicals, comedy improvisation, and Shakespeare. Kent also served as a free-lance theater reviewer providing articles that were published in Atlanta weekly newspapers and magazines. He holds a B.A. in Psychology/Forensic Psychology from Southern New Hampshire University.
Mary Damiano (Broward)
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 2,500 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, and MiamiARTzine.com. She is the founding editor of MiamiARTzine.com and creatively shepherded the online arts magazine through its first 100 issues. Mary was arts editor of The Express for three years, and 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. 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. Currently, Mary works at Florida Children’s Theatre, serves on the board of the South Florida Theatre League, and is arts writer and theatre critic for The New Pelican newspaper. Mary has been involved with the Carbonell Awards since 2004 and is the organization’s managing director.
Christine Dolen (Broward)
The Miami Herald theater critic from 1979 to 2015, 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. Currently, she does freelance theater writing and criticism for ArtburstMiami.com/The Miami Herald and for SouthFlorida.com/Sun-Sentinel.
Cheryl Dunn Bychek (Palm Beach)
An accomplished actress involved with the development of the Theatre Club of the Palm Beaches, which led to 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 (Palm Beach)
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 blogs and reviews theater and film for the Palm Beach ArtsPaper (www.pbartspaper.com) and talks on films on WJNO radio, 1290-AM.
Bill Hirschman (Broward)
Bill Hirschman is founder, editor, and chief critic of Florida Theater On Stage, a professional website of news and reviews, which he has operated with his wife Oline Cogdill for more than Kseven years. 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, Playbill, Variety, and The Sondheim Review. He is also the chairman of the Executive Committee of the American Theatre Critics Association and past chairman of its New Plays Committee, responsible for selecting recipients of the ATCA/Steinberg and Osborn new play awards. He has received the Jack Zink Spirit Award, the South Florida Theatre League Remy Award, and the Silver Palm award.
Mark Keller (Palm Beach)
Andrea O’Connell (Broward)
Andrea is a proud, long-time Actors Equity member. She earned a Bachelor’s degree in Theatre Performance from Florida Atlantic University, and a Master’s degree, in Theatre Performance, from Purdue University. After graduate school, Andrea returned to South Florida to work in South Florida’s burgeoning theatre scene. 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 Actors’ Playhouse at the Miracle Theatre, the Brian C. Smith theatre, and other venues in Florida. In 1997, Andrea “retired” from the theatre to begin a career as an Instructional Designer, channeling her passion for writing and performance into improving workplace performance in the corporate world. Andrea is currently an Instructional Design Consultant with Humana. She is also a photographer. www.andrea-oconnellphotography.net
Michael Peyton (Miami-Dade)
Michael Peyton spent 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 the 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 generating over $1,000,000 in revenue for participating organizations. Peyton also founded the South Florida Theatre Festival, the Summer Youth Theatre Festival, and The Florida Keys Museum and Attractions Weekend. Following retirement, he founded CultureForce, your mobile window to the cultural arts, creating a digital cultural village. CultureForce brings theatres, museums, music, and dance organizations, film and attractions together under the CultureForce mobile umbrella. 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 (Broward)
As a critic and features writer, John Thomason covers South Florida theatre for Time Out Miami, Florida Theater On Stage and Boca Raton magazine. He has also written extensively for Miami New Times and Palm Beach ArtsPaper.
Breakdown by County
Palm Beach 6
Palm Beach 3
BOARD OF DIRECTORS:
Donald R. Walters, Esq, President/Treasurer
Donald R. Walters, P.A.; Coral Springs
Don Walters is an Attorney and Managing Partner of Donald R. Walters, P.A., a full-service Real Estate Law Firm with offices in Pompano Beach and Coral Springs, Florida. Don graduated from the University of Georgia with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and received his Juris Doctor from the University of Florida College of Law. His involvement in the legal community includes stints serving on the boards of the North Broward Bar Association, the Broward County Bar Association, Stephen R. Booher American Inn of Court, and Legal Aid of Broward County/Coast to Coast Legal Services. In addition to his law practice, Don has been active in the South Florida theater community for over thirty years as an actor and stage manager and served five terms as President of the Hollywood Playhouse. He has been on the Board of Trustees of The Carbonell Awards since 2009 and is currently serving his third term as President, and as Chairperson of the Steering Committee of the South Florida Cappies, The Critics and Awards Program for High School Theater, since 2006. After 20 years in Coral Springs, Don recently moved back to the east-side where he was raised and currently resides in Lauderdale-By-The-Sea, Florida.
Linda Birdsey, Vice President
Marketing Director, Raymond F. Kravis Center for the Performing Arts; Palm Beach
Jody Leshinsky, Secretary
Cultural Venues Programming Manager, Pompano Beach Cultural Affairs Department
Jody Leshinsky spent most of her professional career in Broward County government with nearly 30 years at the Broward Cultural Division as an Arts Administrator. She was responsible for all of the public relations, marketing, advertising, social media and the website, including publishing a fine arts magazine, Cultural Quarterly. In 2016, Jody retired from County government and took the leap into the nonprofit world where she worked with the company responsible for the Pompano Beach Amphitheater and the opening of the brand-new Pompano Beach Cultural Center. The following year she was hired to run two cultural organizations for the Pompano Beach Community Redevelopment Agency, and today she is the Cultural Venues Programming Manager for the City of Pompano Beach’s Cultural Affairs Department.
Director, Programming, Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County; Miami
Joanne Benko is currently director, programming at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County. Joanne joined the Arsht Center in the summer of 2006 and has also worked in Box Office and Marketing. Prior to the Arsht Center, she worked at the Coconut Grove Playhouse for its last 3 seasons. Joanne joined the Carbonell Awards family in 2012 as a volunteer and became a board member in 2014. Joanne is a Miami native and graduated from Florida International University where she studied Photography and Art History. Joanne has always loved the Arts, with live music being her main passion. She is also quite the coffee enthusiast but needs it to keep up with her 3-year-old!
Public Art & Design Administrator, Broward Cultural Division – Fort Lauderdale
Ricardo J. Gonzalez III
Director, Beaux Arts Gallery, Manuel Carbonell & Family; Miami
Ricardo J. Gonzalez III is a registered architect in the State of Florida. Mr. Gonzalez has a degree in Architecture from the University of Miami with a minor in art. Since 1971, he enjoyed an extensive architectural practice throughout Florida and owned a successful development and construction company. He established Beaux Arts Gallery, ak Carbonell Sculptures Ltd. in 1987 for the purpose of representing Carbonell, being of the few galleries in Miami dating to that time. Twelve years ago, he retired from his other endeavors and has dedicated himself full time to the art gallery and the promotion of Carbonells’ sculptures.
Mr. Gonzalez is the nephew of Sculptor Carbonell and has full authority over the oeuvre of Carbonell as well as being the Trustee of the Estate of Manuel Carbonell.
Vice President of External Affairs, Broward Center for the Performing Arts; Ft. Lauderdale
General Manager, Aventura Arts & Cultural Center
Jeff Kiltie is currently the general manager for the Aventura Arts & Cultural Center in Aventura, Florida, an affiliated venue of the Broward Center for the Performing Arts. With over thirty years of experience in all aspects of the performing arts industry, from being an Equity stage manager to directing, producing, designing, and even running a follow-spot, Jeff recently graduated from IAVM’s Venue Management School. Prior to assuming the GM role at Aventura in 2016, Jeff was the event services manager for the venue since its opening in 2010. Jeff has also served as the production supervisor for the Broward Center for the Performing Arts, as production stage manager for multiple regional, touring, and off-Broadway productions. He was the resident stage manager at several venues as well as several non-theatrical ventures including the manager of Computer Village, National Health & Nutrition, and co-owner/managing partner of Video Village. Jeff grew up in Miami, Florida, studied theater at Florida International University, and currently lives in Wilton Manors with his husband James and their two elderly cats.
President, Public Relations by Schweikhart
Gary Schweikhart is president of PR-BS, Inc., a full-service public relations firm based in Boca Raton. Clients include the Kravis Center for the Performing Arts, Coral Springs Center for the Arts, Palm Beach Photographic Centre, Lynn University Conservatory of Music & Live at Lynn Theatre Series, Palm Beach Poetry Festival, Arts Garage, DCOTA, Caffe Luna Rosa, Mounts Botanical Garden, MusicWorks, etc. He is co-founder of the Gold Coast PR Council and the popular series Culture & Cocktails at The Colony in partnership with the Cultural Council of Palm Beach County. Gary was formerly VP of PR at Office Depot, Senior Media Manager for The Sharper Image retail chain, Managing Editor of The San Francisco Sentinel, a radio/TV talk show host, print and broadcast theater reviewer for over a decade, and a producer of numerous stage shows, rock concerts and citywide festivals in Omaha, Nebraska.
Miami-Dade County Cultural Affairs Council; Miami