Carbonell Awards Announces Honorees of Six Special Awards 2023

Christina Alexander – Vinnette Carroll Award
(Photo Credit: Bachi Frost)

Katie Christie – Vinnette Carroll Award




So many people contribute their talents to making South Florida theater soar—directors, actors, technical experts, support staff, playwrights—the list is endless. But also many people and organizations work behind the scenes, offering support in a different way.

And these people need to be honored, as The Carbonell Awards does.

Last week we announced the Carbonel Awards nominations of the various performance categories. See our story here.

Now we pay tribute to the honorees of the Carbonell Awards’s six special awards.

Those honorees are Christina Alexander and Katie Christie, Bill Hirschman, Ronnie Larsen, Maltz Jupiter Theatre, James Samuel Randolph, and Slow Burn Theatre Company. (Yes, I am one of the people being honored.)

Carbonell Awards 2023 will be presented during the Carbonell Awards Ceremony on Monday, November 13, at 7:30 p.m. at the Lauderhill Performing Arts Center, 3800 NW 11th Place, Lauderhill. Tickets are $37 each (including facility fee) and are available for public purchase online at

“While we will be honoring 20 specific theatre performances, production elements, and shows presented from September 2022 through August 2023, the Carbonell board of directors also voted to bestow the Special Awards,” said Gary Schweikhart, board president of the Carbonell Awards.

The honorees and the awards are:

The Vinnette Carroll Award
For significant achievement in advancing the cause of diversity, equality, and inclusion in South Florida theater.)
Christina Alexander & Katie Christie
Through their work with Voices United, a non-profit organization designed to promote social justice through the arts while nourishing and connecting warriors of change locally, nationally and around the world, Christina Alexander and Katie Christie have officially led the South Florida Theatre League’s AntiRacism Theatre Strategies Cohorts, in which over a dozen local theatres have participated—City Theatre, Juggerknot Theatre Company, Lost Girls Theatre, Miami New Drama, Theatre Lab, and Zoetic Stage. In these cohorts, participants worked on skill-building, alliance-building, issue framing, messaging, systems analysis, coaching, and cultivating solutions.
Previous winner: Marshall L. Davis (2022), managing director of the African Heritage Cultural Arts Center (AHCAC) in Miami’s Liberty City.

Bill Hirschman – Charlie Cinnamon Award

The Charlie Cinnamon Award
(Honoring an individual who contributes significantly to the support of the arts in South Florida and to the Carbonell Awards program.)
Bill Hirschman
A professional journalist since high school, Bill Hirschman was a theatre critic for the South Florida Sun Sentinel for many years. His articles and reviews have appeared in The Miami Herald, Variety, American Theatre, The Sondheim Review,, South Florida Theatre Review, and on his widely read website, He is the former chair of the executive committee of the American Theatre Critics’ Association and remains on its board; a former judge for the Carbonell Awards and a current judge of the Silver Palm Awards; and a judge for the Silver Knight competition in drama in Broward County.
Previous winners: Hap Erstein (2022), Jennifer Sierra-Grobbelaar (2019), Tony Finstrom (2018), and Jerome J. (Jerry) Cohen (2017).

Maltz Jupiter Theatre – Ruth Foreman Award
(Photo Credit: Miami In Focus Architectural Photography)

The Ruth Foreman Award
(Recognizes contributions to South Florida theater development by an individual or group, for singular achievement and/or career contributions.)
Maltz Jupiter Theatre
Celebrating its 20th anniversary season this year, the Maltz Jupiter Theatre is Florida’s largest award-winning LORT theatre. With the support of the Maltz Family Foundation, its dedicated board of directors, supportive donors and the leadership of Producing Artistic Director/Chief Executive Andrew Kato, the theater has enjoyed phenomenal growth in artistic producing and educational programming at its Goldner Conservatory. Following a successful $42 million renovation of its facilities, the organization is fully committed to advancing opportunities for its entire community through inclusion, diversity, equity, and access. Outside of its artistic achievements, over the last two decades, the Theatre has provided thousands of jobs and tens of millions of dollars toward economic activity in northern Palm Beach County. As a 501(c)3 not-for-profit producing organization, the theater’s operations employ 48 year-round and seasonal employees, as well as 100 visiting artists each season, and receives additional support from close to 400 volunteers.
Previous winners: Teresa Maria Rojas (2022), The Amparo Experience (2020), Juggerknot Theatre Company (2019), Nicole Stodard (2018), and Florida Children’s Theatre (2016).

The Bill Hindman Award
(Honoring significant, long-term contributions to the region’s cultural life and onstage career achievement by performing artists based in South Florida.)
James Samuel Randolph

James Samuel Randolph – Bill Hindman Award

A professor in the Theater Division at New World School of The Arts, James Samuel Randolph is a Carbonell Award-winning actor who has appeared in over 100 plays, commercials, television shows and feature films. In addition, he has directed scores of plays and musicals at New World including Into the Woods, Titanic the Musical, Macbeth, The Country Wife, The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby, and I Have Before Me a Remarkable Document By a Young Lady from Rwanda. Hailed for his Shakespearean performances, Randolph has also taught at The University of Miami, The University of Florida, and Barry University.
Previous winners: Margot Moreland (2022), Barbara Bradshaw (2020), Harriet Oser (2015), and Don McArt (2013).

The Howard Kleinberg Award
(Honoring an individual or organization for contributions to the health and development of the arts in South Florida.)

Ronnie Larsen – Howard Kleinberg Award
(Photo Credit: Dennis Dean)

Ronnie Larsen
An actor-director-playwright-producer whose work has been seen in South Florida as well as Off-Broadway and around the world, Ronnie Larsen is the creative force behind The Foundry in Wilton Manors. Although his theater company is small, his impact on theater here has been huge in a relatively short time, drawing diverse artists and audiences (LGBTQ+, straight, male and female) to his often hilarious, always powerful productions. His chain of hits from Ronnie Larsen Presents/Plays of Wilton include both his original scripts (One More Yesterday, The Actors, Grindr Mom, Making Porn, Sauna) and works by other top playwrights (Michael McKeever, Lucas Hnath, Lynn Portas & Dan Clancy). He recently launched Ronnie Larsen Presents/Women of Wilton to produce Last Summer at Bluefish Cove.
Previous winners: Andie Arthur (2022), Deborah Margol (2018), Christine Dolen (2015), and Iris Acker (2014

The Bill von Maurer Award for Theatrical Excellence
(Honoring a theater company that exemplifies excellence for the totality of its programming: productions, educational outreach, developmental programs, and audiences served.)

Slow Burn Theatre Company – Bill von Maurer Award
(Photo Credit: Slow Burn’s MARY POPPINS by Larry Marano)

Slow Burn Theatre Company
With 45 productions over the past nine years at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts, Slow Burn Theatre Company consistently delivers high-quality shows that have garnered numerous prestigious nominations and awards, including multiple Carbonell and Silver Palm recognitions. Founders Patrick Fitzwater and Matthew Korinko are dedicated to bringing dynamic, musical productions to diverse audiences including teachers and students through ticket discounts, neurodiverse and hearing-impaired communities through sensory-inclusive and open-captioned performances, and senior citizens through its Elder Arts program. In addition to providing employment opportunities for hundreds of professionals within the region, Slow Burn is committed to nurturing a sophisticated talent pool that contributes to the growth and vibrancy of the local theater community.

Previous winners: Theatre Lab (2022), Palm Beach Dramaworks (2020), and City Theatre (2015).

There actually is another special award, but this one was announced in July. We are so pleased to again mention this deserving honoree.

The George Abbott Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Arts
Christine Dolen

Christine Dolen

The theatre critic for the Miami Herald from 1979 to 2015, Christine Dolen is a still a vibrant freelance reviewer and arts writer, primarily for Her stories and reviews continue to appear in the Miami Herald, South Florida Sun Sentinel, New Times, Inspicio,, and in other print and online publications, including American Theatre Magazine. She was also an editorial board member of the Best Plays Theater Yearbook. She is the recipient of a Silver Palm Award, the South Florida Theatre League’s Remy Award, and the Carbonells’ Howard Kleinberg Award. In November 2011, American Theatre Magazine named her as one of a dozen of the country’s most influential theater critics.
Previous winners: Michael Tilson Thomas (2022), Barbara & Lawrence E. Stein (2022), Kelley Shanley (2020), Michael McKeever (2019), and Gail Garrisan (2018)

As part of the 2023 Carbonell Awards, $2,000 Jack Zink Memorial Student Scholarships will be presented to Diane Danyang Li (Broward County), Emily Moreland (Palm Beach County), and Addison Doris Stone (Miami-Dade County).

The Carbonell Awards ceremony is being produced by playwright, actor, and designer Michael McKeever and Stuart Meltzer, the founding artistic director of Zoetic Stage—both of whom have won multiple Carbonell Awards and previously produced and directed numerous Carbonell Ceremonies. Double 2023 Carbonell nominee Caryl Fantel is returning as Music Director/Program Consultant.

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