Carbonell Awards To Bradshaw, Dramaworks, Shanley & Amparo

The Amparo Experience

A veteran actress, an acclaimed theater company, a venue executive and a ground-breaking production will be recognized with the Carbonell’s “special awards” when the program is presented online next month.

Barbara Bradshaw, Palm Beach Dramaworks, Kelley Shanley and The Amparo Experience will be spotlighted when the 44th annual awards gala, postponed from April 6 because of COVID-19, is streamed on YouTube at 7:30 p.m. Monday, August 3.

The program will also announce the winners in 20 competitive categories recognizing excellence in South Florida theater during calendar 2019.

The Broward Center for the Performing Arts will host the broadcast through their YouTube Channel (
Information on how to access the virtual ceremony will be posted on the Carbonell’s Facebook page (
and website ( some time in the coming weeks.

The special awards recipients this year are:

The George Abbott Award
Kelley Shanley

Considered the most prestigious award in the area, the Abbott Award for Outstanding Achievement In The Arts, is given to an individual or team who has contributed significantly to the artistic and cultural development of the region. The award may be given for accomplishments within the year, or for a lifetime. Named after the legendary Broadway producer, the award is voted upon by former recipients, members of the Carbonell board of directors, and a cross-section of media, arts, and local cultural leaders.

Shanley has been president and CEO of the Broward Center for the Performing Arts since 2009. He served as the Center’s Executive Vice President/General Manager for the previous 10 years. During his tenure, Shanley led two successful capital campaigns that significantly expanded the campus and its programs. A $60 million campaign completed in 2014 “solidif(ied) its standing as one of the most-forward thinking performing arts entities in the nation—one that delivers some 700 performances a year and an economic South Florida impact estimated at $130 million,” according to New York-based LMG Publishing in a recent article.

In addition, Shanley introduced programs to manage other venues in the region, such as the Parker Playhouse which is undergoing a $30 million renovation in Fort Lauderdale. Shanley’s vision, to build community through the arts, led the growth of the center’s award-winning education programs, serving more than 3.2 million students to date.

Previous winners of The George Abbott Award include playwright, actor and scenic designer Michael McKeever, co-founder of Miami’s Zoetic Stage (2019); Gail Garrison, founding artistic director of City Theatre’s Summer Shorts Festival (2018); Kravis Center CEO Judith Mitchell (2016); and Shirley Richardson & Patricia E. Williams, the founders and creative team behind M Ensemble, Florida’s oldest continuing African-American theater company (2015).

The Bill Von Maurer Award
Palm Beach Dramaworks
Established in 2006 and named for the late theater writer and journalist for the Miami News and South Florida Sun Sentinel, this award is given to the theater company that exemplifies excellence for the totality of its programming: productions, educational outreach, developmental programs and audiences served.

On the cusp of celebrating its 20th season, Palm Beach Dramaworks is one of the premier cultural institutions in South Florida. The Wall Street Journal’s critic and arts journalist Terry Teachout spotlit it by calling 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 Carbonell’s  news release stated.

The theater is also dedicated to developing new plays some of which have had their world premieres on its stage. It’s Dramaworkshop nurtures playwrights evolving their work. The company continues to expand and diversify its audience through thoughtful and entertaining community engagement initiatives, and its robust educational programs transform the lives of students throughout the county. To date, Palm Beach Dramaworks has won more than 30 Carbonell Awards, and currently has 29 nominations going into next month’s ceremony. Producing Artistic Director William Hayes and Managing Director Sue Ellen Beryl have developed a reputation for enviable artistic productions and for carefully developing a solid fiscal base, in part through careful courting of community leaders and donors.

Previous winners of The Bill Von Maurer Award include City Theater in Miami (2015), Maltz Jupiter Theatre (2011), and Actors’ Playhouse at the Miracle Theatre in Coral Gables (2007).

The Bill Hindman Award
Barbara Bradshaw
Named after a prolific actor in Florida and across the country, this award was established in 2000 to recognize contributions to South Florida theater development by an individual or group, for singular achievement and/or career contributions.

The recipient of four Carbonell Awards for Best Actress and a 17-time nominee, Barbara Bradshaw came to South Florida 45 years ago, found her theater “home” and never returned to New York. She was a founding member of the Caldwell Theater company, where she performed in 47 different productions. With well over 200 shows nationwide on her resume (100+ here in South Florida and many others in North Carolina), Bradshaw has appeared locally at Actors’ Playhouse, Palm Beach Dramaworks, Kravis Center, Florida Stage, Mosaic Theatre, Maltz Jupiter Theatre and the Coconut Grove Playhouse. She has received the coveted Los Angeles Drama-Logue and The Silver Palm awards, and last year was honored by the Florida Professional Theater Association (FPTA) with the Lifetime Achievement Award. An actress of considerable range and an encyclopedia’s worth of skills, she has created memorable roles after two weeks of rehearsal or two hours before a staged reading,

Previous winners of The Bill Hindman Award include actress and 10-time Carbonell nominee Harriet Oser (2015); veteran stage/film/TV performer Don McArt (2013); and Rafael De Acha, founder of the New Theatre in Coral Gables (2007).

The Ruth Foreman Award
The Amparo Experience
Established in 2000 and named after the pioneer theater director and producer, this award recognizes contributions to South Florida theater development by an individual or group, for singular achievement and/or career contributions.

This immersive event set in a downtown Miami mansion stunned observers with an eight-month run so popular that only a rent increase spelled the end of the project. Written by Vanessa Garcia and staged by Victoria Collado, the play with considerable live music traced the Castro regime nationalizing the Havana Club rum empire from the Arechabala family, the ensuing Cuban diaspora and the family joining forces with the Bacardis to revive the “real” Havana Club rum recipe in the United States in defiance of the Cuban government. Told with multiple tracks simultaneously with a large cast and a live band, the event had groups of patrons travel from room to room until they ended in one large gathering for the emotional finale.

Previous winners of The Ruth Foreman Award include Juggerknot Theatre Company for Miami Motel Stories (2019), Nicole Stodard for her role in the GAP Play Reading Series at Thinking Cap Theatre (2018), Florida Children’s Theatre in Fort Lauderdale (2016), and The Naked Stage for its annual event The 24-Hour Theatre Project (2014).

The Carbonell Award’s virtual ceremony is being produced by Fantel Music, including Carbonell Award winner Caryl Fantel, who has been part of the award show’s production team for 12 years and is a two-time Silver Palm Award-winning music director, pianist and vocal coach; and her daughter Alyssa Fantel, an actress, acting coach and award-winning playwright.

Palm Beach Dramaworks

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