2021-22 Silver Palm Awards Announced; Gala Set Oct. 17

A familiar slate of names and talents have been announced as recipients for the newly reconfigured Silver Palm Awards celebrating honoring South Florida theater artists.

As with last year, awards will be presented at a gala on Oct. 17 at The Addison restaurant in Boca Raton.

The Silver Palm Awards 2021-2022 honorees are:

*** A Wonderful World, Outstanding Production, Miami New Drama
*** Michael Amico, Outstanding Set Design, The People Downstairs, Intimate Apparel, The Belle of Amherst, all at Palm Beach Dramaworks
*** Lyle Baskin, Outstanding Set Design, The Price, GableStage
*** Kirk Bookman, Outstanding Lighting Design, The Belle of Amherst, Intimate Apparel, all at Palm Beach Dramaworks
*** Rita Cole, Outstanding Performance, Intimate Apparel, Palm Beach Dramaworks; The White Card, GableStage; Fefu and Her Friends, Thinking Cap Theatre
*** Patrick Fitzwater (Director), Marlo Rodriguez (Assistant Director), Jerel Brown (Choreographer), Outstanding Direction and Creative Staging, Once on This Island, Slow Burn Theatre Company
*** Niki Fridh, Outstanding Performance, To Fall in Love, Theatre Lab
*** Ronnie Larsen, Outstanding New Work, Direction and Producer, Come Out, Come Out, Ronnie Larsen Presents
*** Margaret Ledford, Outstanding Direction, Overactive Letdown, Theatre Lab
*** Margery Lowe, Outstanding Performance, The Belle of Amherst, Palm Beach Dramaworks
*** Michael McKeever, Outstanding New Work and Performance, The People Downstairs, Palm Beach Dramaworks; The Code, Ronnie Larsen Presents
*** Stuart Meltzer, Outstanding Direction and Creative Staging, Frankenstein, GringoLandia, Side by Side by Sondheim, all at Zoetic Stage
*** Lenora Nikitin, Outstanding Costume Design, Once on This Island, Head Over Heels, both at Slow Burn Theatre Company
*** Brian O’Keefe, Outstanding Costume Design, Almost Maine, Intimate Apparel, The Belle of Amherst, all at Palm Beach Dramaworks
*** Frank J. Oliva, Outstanding Set Design, The White Card, GableStage; Beauty and the Beast, Area Stage
***  Kim Ostrenko, Outstanding Performance, The Sound Inside, Boca Stage
*** Nicole Perry, Outstanding Intimacy Direction, To Fall in Love, Overactive Letdown, Theatre Lab; Lungs, New City Players; One in Two, Island City Stage
***Angie Radosh, Outstanding Performance, Suddenly Last Summer, Island City Stage
*** Giancarlo Rodaz, Outstanding Direction and Creative Staging, Beauty and the Beast, Area Stage
*** Andy Rogow, Outstanding Direction, Suddenly Last Summer, The Mystery of Irma Vep, both at Island City Stage
*** Gabriell Salgado, Outstanding New Talent, Frankenstein, GringoLandia, Zoetic Stage; The Code, Ronnie Larsen Presents
*** Theatre Lab, Outstanding Community Efforts for Development of New Works: Heckscher Theatre for Families productions, Future PAGES Project and LabRATS educational programs, the New Play Festival, and the Fair Play Initiative for LGBTQ+ plays and stories
*** Louis Tyrrell, Outstanding Direction, To Fall In Love, Theatre Lab
*** Elijah Word, Outstanding Performance, Kinky Boots, Slow Burn Theatre Company

The awards were co-founded in 2008 by artists Tony Finstrom and Iris Acker and arts journalist Ron Levitt to celebrate excellence in South Florida theater. Created more informally than the competitive Carbonell Awards, the Silver Palms do not designate nominees, and place no limit on the number of citations that might be given in any “category.” In truth, there are no official categories.

This year marks a new era for the Silver Palm Awards. Professionals working in all aspects of the theater industry were invited to participate as judges. A new scoring system was also created to allow for more flexible attendance and to give weight to the votes of judges who attended more performances.

The panel included Barbara Bradshaw, actor; Jeffrey Bruce, director/actor; Angel Burgos, sponsor; Kent Chambers-Wilson, director/actor; Mary Damiano, arts journalist; Christine Dolen, theater critic; Vanessa Elise, actor; Niki Fridh, actor; Patti Gardner, actor; Carey Brianna Hart, director/actor; Bill Hirschman, theater critic; David Jobin, President, Our Fund Foundation; Aaron Krause, theater critic; Michael Leeds, director; Lee Rubin, sponsor; Troy Stanley, actor; Karen Stephens, actor/playwright; John Thomason, theater critic.

Silver Palm judges submit their selections to the Silver Palm Executive Committee, citing those they feel should be recognized as having made an “Outstanding Contribution to the South Florida Theater Season.” All submissions are tallied and scored. The theater artists with the highest scores are awarded the honor. The founders have all passed away; the organization is now overseen by Andy Rogow and Michael McKeever. Sandi Stock is Managing Director.

The gala – which served as a major post-Covid get together last year – will be held at 6:30 p.m. Oct. 17 at 2 E. Camino Real in Boca Raton. It will include a complimentary specialty cocktail hour, full dinner, the presentation of the awards and dancing afterwards. Tickets for the event are $50 or $500 for a table of ten.  Tickets can be reserved at http://www.silverpalmawards.com,

The Silver Palm Awards Gala is sponsored by the Tony Finstrom Fund at Our Fund and Mark Traverso and Conor Walton.

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