The Bill Von Maurer Award for Theatrical Excellence, established in 2006 and named for the late theater writer and journalist for the Miami News and South Florida Sun-Sentinel, is given to the theater company that exemplifies excellence for the totality of its programming: productions, educational outreach, developmental programs, and audiences served.
2023: Slow Burn Theatre Company
With 45 productions over the past nine years at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts, Slow Burn Theatre Company consistently delivers high-quality shows that have garnered numerous prestigious nominations and awards, including multiple Carbonell and Silver Palm recognitions. Founders Patrick Fitzwater and Matthew Korinko are dedicated to bringing dynamic, musical productions to diverse audiences including teachers and students through ticket discounts, neurodiverse and hearing-impaired communities through sensory-inclusive and open-captioned performances, and senior citizens through its Elder Arts program. In addition to providing employment opportunities for hundreds of professionals within the region, Slow Burn is committed to nurturing a sophisticated talent pool that contributes to the growth and vibrancy of the local theater community.
2022: Theatre Lab
The professional resident company at Florida Atlantic University, Theatre Lab has a reach far beyond its intimate 99-seat Heckscher Stage theater space. Devoting itself to new work, first under founding artistic director Louis Tyrrell and now under the leadership of Matt Stabile, the company’s mission is to “inspire, develop and produce new work, artists and audiences” through its performances, workshops and conversations with leading playwrights and theater artists. Theatre Lab’s reading and development events include its annual New Play Festival, the Playwright’s Forum and MasterClass Series. Its educational outreach for students in grades 4 to 12 has provided more than 10,000 students with workshops in creative writing and theater, live theater experiences, and the opportunity to create and perform in original productions. For the region’s theater community, Theatre Lab has also hosted the Overnight Theatre Project and two Online Original Monologue Festivals to raise artist relief funds during the pandemic.
2020: Palm Beach Dramaworks
The recipient of a record-breaking 29 Carbonell Award nominations this season, Palm Beach Dramaworks is one of the premier cultural institutions in South Florida. The Wall Street Journal has called it one of the top ten regional theaters in the country. The professional, not-for-profit company is committed to enhancing the quality of life “through the transformative power of live theatre,” and since its founding in 2000, PBD has delighted, touched, and inspired theatergoers with exceptional productions of a wide range of fascinating, thought-provoking works, from classic to contemporary to world premieres. The theater is also dedicated to developing new plays, and The Dramaworkshop has become a nurturing, creative environment for playwrights to cultivate their evolving work. The company continues to expand and diversify its audience through thoughtful and entertaining community engagement initiatives, and its robust educational programs are transforming the lives of students throughout the county. To date, Palm Beach Dramaworks has won more than 30 Carbonell Awards.
2015: City Theater
City Theatre was honored with The Bill von Maurer Award, for its dedication to preserving and promoting the short-form play. Since its inception, the company has received over 15,000 national script submissions (with over 900 submitted for this season alone) and produced over 400 original short plays by established playwrights and important new voices in the theater industry. Best known for its award-winning Summer Shorts–America’s Short Play Festival, City Theatre also presents in its annual programming the CityWrights: A Professional Weekend for Playwrights Conference; Island Shorts, free county-wide play readings; and the LGBT-themed Shorts Gone Wild Festival. The company fulfills its educational mission with the Short Cuts Educational Tour that introduces students throughout South Florida to the art of theater, theater as literature, and theater as a medium for increasing awareness of and discussing solutions to issues facing society.
2013: Not Awarded
2012: Not Awarded
2011: Maltz Jupiter Theatre
The Maltz Jupiter Theatre is a professional not-for-profit regional theatre dedicated to the performing arts whose mission is to entertain, educate and inspire our community. In ten years, the Maltz Jupiter Theatre has become one of Florida’s preeminent professional theatres, committed to performance, production, and education through its collaborations with local and national artists. Located at the site of the former Burt Reynolds Dinner Theatre in Jupiter, the theatre is South Florida’s largest award-winning regional theatre. Under the leadership of Producing Artistic Director, Andrew Kato and Managing Director, Tricia Trimble, as well as a dedicated board and staff, the Theatre has received multiple Carbonell Awards and boasts a subscription base of more than 7,000. The Theatre has world-class facilities in support of its Conservatory of Performing Arts, which serves hundreds of students in after-school, weekend and summer programs. After receiving a prestigious John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Fund grant, the Theatre created the Emerging Artists Series in Musical Theatre Playwriting. Through this new program, the Theatre developed the musical Academy for the New York Musical Theatre Festival, which went on to win Best Musical at South Korea’s Daegu International Musical Festival. Also through the series, the Theatre commissioned the world premiere of Fanny Brice: The Real Funny Girl.
2010: Not Awarded
2009: Not Awarded
2008: Not Awarded
2007: Actors’ Playhouse at the Miracle Theatre
Established in 1988 by Executive Producing Director Barbara S. Stein and Founding Chairman of the Board Dr. Lawrence E. Stein, Actors’ Playhouse at the Miracle Theatre has garnered more than 230 Carbonell Award nominations and taken home the award more than 50 times. The non-profit company’s annual season of six mainstage and five children’s theater productions are attended by more than 175,000 people. The company offers professional training, an Annual National Children’s Theatre Festival now in its 13th year, educational programming and its Musical Theatre for Young Audiences series serves more than 50,000 children each year. In 1999, the Coral Gables Chamber of Commerce presented the company its Diamond Award for business development in the community.
2006: Florida Stage
Celebrating its 20th anniversary, Florida Stage is a not-for-profit professional theater producing contemporary works by both established and emerging playwrights in its 250-seat space in Manalapan (Palm Beach County).
*In 2010, Florida Stage moved to the Rinker Theater at the Kravis Center for the Peforming Arts, and subsequently closed its doors after 25 years, in June 2011.