The third annual Silver Palm Awards were announced today, recognizing outstanding work during the season that just ended in shows presented by members of the South Florida Theatre League.
The 16 awards include the first husband and wife duo, Avi Hoffman and Laura Turnbull, and the first time the awards have recognized behind-the-scenes work in props and special effects.
The awards differ from the Carbonells in several ways. Awards often recognize sustained excellence for several performances during a season; the award cannot be given to previous winners; the categories can change from year to year as worthy contributions arise.
Suggestions are made by critics and journalists, but elected by the awards committee: Tony Finstrom, committee chairman, playwright and veteran theater professional; Iris Acker, actress, teacher and television host, and Ron Levitt, critic, Florida Press Club president and theater activist.
“The Silver Palm Awards are presented annually during the Festival to those who’ve made an outstanding contribution to the South Florida theater season,” explained Finstrom. “There are no nominees, no winners or losers, and no limit to the number of citations given in any ‘category,’ though there really are no official categories.”
The awards presentation will be at the Theatre League Festival’s closing party at 7 p.m. Monday, Oct. 25 at The Green Room (owned by Revolution Live) in Fort Lauderdale. Tickets for the public are $25, but Theatre League members attend free of charge. Call League Executive Director Andie Arthur for reservations at 954 – 557-0778.
This year’s Silver Palm recipients are:
Caldwell Theatre Company for their outstanding concert presentations of Stephen Sondheim’s Sunday In The Park With George and Into The Woods
New Theatre for 25 years of producing outstanding new plays in South Florida
J. Barry Lewis for his outstanding direction of Copenhagen and Three Tall Women at Palm Beach Dramaworks
Christopher Demos-Brown, playwright, for his outstanding new work When The Sun Shone Brighter at Florida Stage
Chrisso Ardito for outstanding choreography for Bubbling Brown Sugar, The Drowsy Chaperone and Mack & Mabel at Broward Stage Door, and Evil Dead, The Musical at The Promethean Theatre
Tim Connelly for outstanding set design for Blasted at GableStage
Eric Alsford for outstanding musical direction for Miss Saigon at Actors Playhouse
Taso Stavrakis for outstanding special effects for Evil Dead, The Musical at The Promethean Theatre
Tyler Smith for outstanding special props for Evil Dead, The Musical at The Promethean Theatre
Jackie Rivera for outstanding new talent for her performance in Speech & Debate at GableStage
Dan Kelley for his outstanding performance in and his direction of The Drowsy Chaperone at Broward Stage Door
David Hemphill for his outstanding performances in Equus at New Theatre, The Glass Menagerie at Broward Stage Door, Macon City at Naked Stage, Farragut North at GableStage and Summer Shorts / Undershorts at City Theatre
Erin Joy Schmidt for her outstanding performances in Reasons To Be Pretty and Fifty Words at GableStage, Dying City at Mosaic Theatre and Summer Shorts / Undershorts at City Theatre
Nick Duckart for his outstanding performances in Farragut North at GableStage, Why Torture Is Wrong at Mosaic Theatre, Dr. Radio at Florida Stage, Secret Order at Caldwell Theatre and The Glass Menagerie at Broward Stage Door
Laura Turnbull for her outstanding performances in Rock ‘N’ Roll at Mosaic Theatre, Equus at New Theatre, Summer Shorts / Undershorts at City Theatre and Distracted at Caldwell Theatre
Avi Hoffman for his outstanding performances in Two Jews Walked Into A War at Florida Stage and The Quarrel at GableStage
Previous Silver Palm honorees from 2008 and 2009 include the late Bruce Adler, Joseph Adler, John Archie, Beacon Television, Barbara Bradshaw, Bill Castelino, Matthew William Chizever, Clive Cholerton, Eric Fabregat, Tony Finstrom, Florida Media News, Israel Garcia, Nanique Gheridian, Doug Jones / Sixth Star Entertainment & Marketing, Lara Kinzel, Margaret R. Ledford, Christopher McGovern, Miami-Dade Cultural Affairs Department, Naked Stage, Angie Radosh, Barbara Stein, Jim Stork, Jules Tasca, Ricky Waugh, Gregg Weiner and WLRN.