The South Florida Silver Palm Theatre Awards committee honoring theatrical excellence in South Florida will present the award to 28 individuals and organizations in its ninth season.
The recipients range from veterans like Joseph Adler and Avery Sommers to newer names like Emily Tarallo and Aygemang Clay.
“The Silver Palm Awards are presented annually to those who’ve made an outstanding or unique contribution to South Florida Theatre,” explained Silver Palm Awards Executive Committee Chairman Tony 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.”
“Every year it seems to get harder to determine who should be honored,” says Finstrom. “The talent pool in South Florida is strong and has grown so much over the past nine years. We gave out only 13 awards our first season of existence. Last December we gave out 27 of them. This December we’ll give out 28.”
The awards are determined by a vote of the South Florida theatre press corp, who Finstrom drafts each year into submitting recommendations for outstanding contributions to South Florida Theatre.
Finstrom, a playwright; BECON TV talk show host Iris Acker, and Florida Media News critic Ron Levitt compose the Silver Palm Executive Committee, who receive the recommendations from South Florida journalists and theatre critics, then tally the votes and draw up the final list of recipients.
This year’s Silver Palm Advisory Council consisted of Christine Dolen (artburstmiami.com, Miami Herald, Sun-Sentinel), Hap Erstein (Palm Beach Post, and Palm Beach ArtsPaper.com), Bill Hirschman (FloridaTheaterOnStage.com, and FloridaWeekly.com), John Thomason (Boca Raton Magazine, FloridaTheatreOnStage.com, and New Times), J.W. Arnold (South Florida Gay News), Roger Martin (MiamiArtzine.com), Michelle F. Solomon.(MiamiArtzine.com, and FloridaTheaterOnStage.com), Skip Sheffield (SKipsheffield.com, Boca Raton Tribune, and Atlantic Avenue Magazine), John Lariviere (TalkinBroadway.com, and ArtsAmerica.org ), Jeffrey Bruce (TalkinBroadway.com), and Mary Damiano (MaryDamiano.com, MiamiArtzine.com, BroadwayWorld.com, and South Florida Gay News.)
Silver Palm Awards have been presented to over 150 individuals and/or groups during the previous eight theatre seasons, and the 2015-2016 Season consisted of shows that opened between September 1st, 2015 and August 31st, 2016.
This year the awards presentation will be held during the annual South Florida Theatre League’s Holiday Party on Monday, December 5th from 7:30 o 10 p.m. at a location to be announced. Theatre League members attend free of charge, and the event is open to the public for a general admission charge. For further information and/or reservations, call League Executive Director Andie Arthur at 954-557-0778, or e-mail her at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information about South Florida’s Silver Palm Theatre Awards, go to: http://www.silverpalmawards.com.
The 2015-2016 Silver Palm Award recipients, in alphabetical order, are:
Joseph Adler for his outstanding direction of The Royale, It’s Only a Play, Stalking the Bogeyman, Constellations, Disgraced and A Minister’s Wife at GableStage
Alex Alvarez for his outstanding performances as the predator in Stalking the Bogeyman at GableStage, and the king in Or, at Thinking Cap Theatre
Meredith Bartmon, an outstanding new talent, for her performances in Summer Shorts at City Theatre, and Hello, Dolly! at The Wick Theatre
Clive Cholerton for his outstanding direction of 1776 at Palm Beach Dramaworks
Aygemang Clay, an outstanding new talent, for his performance as boxer Jay Jackson in The Royale at GableStage
Lindsey Corey for her outstanding performances as the immigrant mother in Stripped at Zoetic Stage, and the disfigured traveller Violet at Slow Burn Theatre Company
Chris Crawford for his outstanding performance in the one-man tour de force Buyer and Cellar at Actors’ Playhouse
Jodi Dellaventura for her outstanding set design for The Nether at Area Stage creating two starkly different enviroments.
Christopher Demos-Brown , the playwright, for his outstanding new play Stripped at Zoetic Stage
Caryl Fantel for her outstanding musical direction of Sondheim’s Passion at Zoetic Stage, and Spring Awakening at Slow Burn Theatre Company
Patrick Fitzwater for his outstanding direction and choreography of Big Fish, Spring Awakening and Heathers at Slow Burn Theatre Company
Peter Wayne Galman for his outstanding performances in The Nether at Area Stage, and Kiss Me, Kate at the Maltz Jupiter Theatre
Jeni Hacker for her outstanding performance as the dying possessive woman in Passion at Zoetic Stage
Bill Hirschman of Florida Theater On Stage for his outstanding theatre criticism and coverage of the South Florida theatre scene
Laura Hodos for her outstanding performances in The Will Rogers Follies at the Maltz Jupiter Theatre, Romance, Romance at Slow Burn Theatre Company, 1776 at Palm Beach Dramaworks, The Minister’s Wife at GableStage, and Toxic Avenger at Actors’ Playhouse
Ron Hutchins for his outstanding choreography of West Side Story at Actors’ Playhouse
Matt May & Jennifer Sierra-Grobbelaar, for writing and producing the outstanding interactive theatrical experience Diego & Drew Say I Do at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts
MNM Productions, awarded to the producers Marcie Gorman-Althof & Michael Lifshitz, for their outstanding new theater company, and the outstanding ensemble of And the World Goes Round at the Kravis Center for the Performing Arts, comprised of Clay Cartland, Jinon Deeb, Shelley Keelor, Michael Scott Ross and Leah Sessa
Stuart Meltzer for his outstanding direction of Stripped, Rapture; Blister, Burn and Passion at Zoetic Stage
Elizabeth Price, an outstanding new talent, for her performance as the troubled doll artist in Reborning at Theatre at Arts Garage
Paul Reekie for his outstanding musical direction of And The World Goes Round and Hair at MNM Productions
Nicholas Richberg for his outstanding performances as the conflicted soldier in Passion at Zoetic Stage, and as Richard Henry Lee in 1776 at Palm Beach Dramaworks
Leah Marie Sessa, an outstanding new talent, for her performances in And the World Goes Round at MNM Productions, Romance, Romance and Heathers at Slow Burn Theatre Company, and A Minister’s Wife at GableStage
Kelly Shook for her outstanding choreography of I Love a Piano at The Wick Theatre
Avery Sommers for her outstanding performance in The Devil’s Music: THE LIFE AND BLUES OF BESSIE SMITH at Theatre at Arts Garage
Shane Tanner for his outstanding performances in Big Fish and Violet at Slow Burn Theatre Company, his fiery Carolina representative 1776 at Palm Beach Dramaworks, and A Minister’s Wife at GableStage
Emily E. Tarallo, an outstanding new talent, for her performances in Big Fish at Slow Burn Theatre Company, Curtains at The Wick Theatre, Hair at MNM Productions, Footloose at the Marquee Theatre Company, and West Side Story at Actors’ Playhouse
Paul Tei for his outstanding direction of The Flick at Mad Cat Theatre Company