The Carbonell Awards Names Elizabeth Dashiell as Carbonell Coordinator & Welcomes Five New Judges for 2023-2024 Theater Season

Elizabeth Dashiell (Credit: Photos by Jacek)

(South Florida – September 5, 2023) Gary Schweikhart, board president of the Carbonell Awards, South Florida’s most highly coveted recognition of theatrical and performance excellence, announced that Elizabeth Dashiell has joined the nonprofit organization as Carbonell Coordinator for the 2023-2024 season.

A longtime theater insider, Dashiell has been Co-Producer of the Palm Beach Shakespeare Festival since 2013 after serving 10 years as the annual event’s PR/Marketing Director. For the last decade, she has also produced the annual indie film festival swede fest palm beach™, managed multiple PR and promotional projects for the Kravis Center for the Performing Arts and Howard Alan Events, continues to be a board member of the Palm Beach County Attractions Committee, and is an adjudicator for The Pathfinder Awards/Theater. Dashiell replaces Kent Chambers-Wilson, who served as Carbonell Coordinator for two seasons and is now moving to Georgia.

“Kent has done an outstanding job for the Carbonell Awards, both as Coordinator and as a judge; he will be greatly missed,” said Schweikhart.

In her new position, Dashiell will manage an expanded team of 38 judges who will collectively see and evaluate more than 120 different productions at more than 35 professional theaters across Broward, Miami-Dade and Palm Beach Counties. The theater season runs between September 1, 2023, and August 31, 2024.

New judges for the 2023-2024 theater season include:

+ Nancy Duerr (Miami) is an actor, spokesperson, TV host, and voice over artist who works TV, film, commercial, and theater contracts across the country. She has served on National and Local Boards of SAG and SAG-AFTRA for the last 25 years and was a member of the G1 team that merged the two unions.

+ Sharon Geltner (Boynton Beach) is an award-winning writer and multimedia communication specialist who covers travel, hospitality, arts and entertainment, Palm Beach society, and more. The author of Charity Bashed, a mystery satire that was a semifinalist in Amazon’s Breakthrough Novel contest, she is a contributing writer/reviewer for Palm Beach Arts Paper.

+ Isadora Zia Hernandez (Miami Beach) is employed by the New World School of the Arts – Theater Division, where she coordinates meeting and travel, maintains the division calendar, and assists visiting guest artists.

+ Lynne Schaefer (Tamarac) has many years of experience working as Production Manager/Assistant Stage Manager for numerous shows at Zoetic Stage (I Am My Own Wife, Moscow, The Santaland Diaries, Frankenstein), and prior to that worked fulltime on various Broadway productions (Working, Da, The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas), and in video production/script development for Sony/BMI for Billy Joel, Kiss, The Gypsy Kings, and Fresh Prince. She has also worked in the international nonprofit sector developing and supporting cultural and educational programs.

+ Gilda Steiger (Hallandale Beach) is a communication and marketing professional with over 20 years of experience in multi-media marketing for hospitality and hotel clients. A life-long lover of theater, she has served as executive assistant to author and playwright Norman Shabel since 2021, responsible for producing his six plays and publishing eight mystery novels.

Carbonell Awards 2023

The 46th annual awards ceremony will be held on Monday, November 13 at 7:30 pm at the Lauderhill Performing Arts Center at 3800 NW 11th Place, Lauderhill, FL 33311. Awards will be presented in 20 competitive categories—based on scores submitted by the Carbonell judges—and up to seven special awards. The talented and experienced team that are returning to produce, write, and direct this year’s ceremony are Michael McKeever, the award-winning playwright, actor, and designer, and Stuart Meltzer, the founding artistic director of Zoetic Stage.

The 2023 list of Carbonell Award nominees will be announced in mid-September, and the Special Award recipients will be revealed in October.

Hundreds of actors, musicians, performers, writers, directors, backstage technicians, producers, reviewers, designers, specialty artists, and diehard theater fans are expected to attend the glittery, entertainment-packed event that is South Florida’s version of Broadway’s Tony Awards®.

About The Carbonell Awards

The Carbonell Awards fosters the artistic growth of professional theater in South Florida by celebrating the diversity of our theater artists, providing educational scholarships, and building audience appreciation and civic pride by highlighting achievements of our theater community. More than 20 professional theater companies in Broward, Miami-Dade and Palm Beach Counties participate in the awards process every year. The Carbonell Awards also celebrate the accomplishments of local artistic leaders by presenting several Special Awards.

Along with New York’s Drama Desk and Chicago’s Joseph Jefferson Awards, the Carbonell Awards are among the nation’s senior regional arts awards and predate others, including Washington, D.C.’s Helen Hayes Awards. The Carbonell Awards are named after Manuel Carbonell, an internationally renowned sculptor, who designed the original solid bronze and marble award in 1976, the signature trophy that is given annually to Carbonell Award winners. Over the last 45 years, the Carbonell family has donated more than $250,000 in awards. For more information, please visit