43rd Annual Carbonell Awards Winners


 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 25 professional theater companies in Broward, Miami-Dade, and Palm Beach counties participate in the awards process every year. Each season volunteer panelists and judges choose nominees and recipients from nearly 100 shows produced on our area stages. The Carbonell Awards also celebrate the accomplishments of our artistic leaders by presenting ‘Special Awards’ and support the next generation of artists and journalists by awarding scholarships. 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 to Carbonell Award winners.

Below is a complete list of this year’s Carbonell Award winners, followed by a breakdown of the awards by county, theater, and production.

Special Awards

Along with honoring excellence in regional theater for the previous year, a highlight of the annual Carbonell Awards ceremony is recognizing those who have made significant contributions to the arts. Three special Carbonell Awards were given to individuals who have made an impact on the arts in the region.

The George Abbott Award

Abbot - McKeever

The prestigious George Abbott Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Arts, awarded to an individual (or team) who has contributed significantly to the artistic and cultural development of the region, was presented to Michael McKeever, playwright, actor, scenic designer, and co-founder of Zoetic Stage, a Miami-based theater company dedicated to developing new work and bringing different and exciting points of view to established plays. Since its inception, the company has won numerous honors and citations and has become a leading force in the region’s artistic landscape. McKeever has written 30 full-length plays that have been produced at theaters around the world. In addition to writing, McKeever teaches seminars in playwriting at several Florida colleges and universities.

The Charlie Cinnamon Award

Special-Sierra-CinnamonThe Charlie Cinnamon Award honors an individual who not only contributes significantly to the support of the arts in South Florida but also for dedicated service to the Carbonell Awards organization, was awarded to Jennifer Sierra-Grobbelaar, Director of Marketing for Broward Center for the Performing Arts for her continued service to the Carbonell Awards In addition to her professional workload, Sierra-Grobbelaar has dedicated herself to volunteering for various arts organizations. She has been a Carbonell Awards panelist for about a decade, was an integral part of the organization’s PR committee for several years. Sierra-Grobbelaar worked with Charlie Cinnamon early in her career for almost ten years promoting theatrical productions for Broadway Across America. She has also served on the board of directors of the South Florida Theatre League, handled their social media for several years, and is currently part of the League’s advisory board

The Ruth Foreman Award

Special-Juggerknot-ForemanThe Ruth Foreman Award, named in honor of pioneer theater director and producer Ruth Foreman, to recognize contributions to South Florida theater development by an individual or group, for singular achievement and/or career contributions, was awarded to Juggerknot Theatre Company in recognition of Miami Motel Stories, an innovative immersive theater experience which gives a fictionalized glimpse into Miami’s past. Juggerknot Theatre Company was founded in 1998 by Tanya Bravo, the company’s current executive artistic director. The company helped redefine the burgeoning theater scene emerging from Miami’s Urban Core, showcasing and developing works from local and national playwrights.

Carbonell Awards 2018 Winners

Best Production of a Play  Indecent, Palm Beach Dramaworks

Best Director/Play  Stuart Meltzer, Wrongful Death and Other Circus Acts, Zoetic Stage

Best Actor/Play  Caleb Scott, Dancing Lessons, Zoetic Stage

Best Actress/Play  Betsy Graver, Queen of Basel, Miami New Drama

Best Supporting Actor/Play  Jay Russell, Indecent, Palm Beach Dramaworks

Best Supporting Actress/Play  Niki Fridh, Tar Beach, Theatre Lab

Best Production of a Musical  Memphis, Slow Burn Theatre Company

Best Director of a Musical  Bruce Linser, Woody Guthrie’s American Song, Palm Beach Dramaworks

Best Actor/Musical  Brian Golub, Memphis, Slow Burn Theatre Company

Best Actress/Musical  Anna Lise Jensen, The Bridges of Madison County, Slow Burn Theatre Company

Best Supporting Actor/Musical  Michael L. Walters, The Pirates of Penzance, The Wick Theatre

Best Supporting Actress/Musical  Jeni Hacker, Fun Home, Zoetic Stage

Best Musical Direction  Sean Powell, Woody Guthrie’s American Song, Palm Beach Dramaworks

Best Choreography/Musical  Patrick Fitzwater, Memphis, Slow Burn Theatre Company

Best Scenic Design (Play or Musical)  Christopher and Justin Swader, One Night in Miami, Miami New Drama

Best Lighting Design (Play or Musical)  Paul Black, Indecent, Palm Beach Dramaworks

Best Costume Design (Play or Musical)  Dawn C. Shamburger, The Revolutionists, Theatre Lab

Best Sound Design (Play or Musical)  Brad Pawlak, Indecent, Palm Beach Dramaworks

Best New Work (Play or Musical)  Christopher Demos-Brown, Wrongful Death and Other Circus Acts, Zoetic Stage

Best Ensemble Production (Play or Musical)  Indecent, Palm Beach Dramaworks

Awards by County

43        Miami-Dade
37        Palm Beach
21        Broward.

 Awards by Theater

7          Palm Beach Dramaworks
4          Slow Burn Theatre Company
4          Zoetic Stage
2          Miami New Drama
2          Theatre Lab
1          The Wick Theatre

Awards by Production

5          Indecent, Palm Beach Dramaworks
3          Memphis, Slow Burn Theatre Company