Excellence in South Florida theater to be honored in August





                              Caryl Fantel                                                 


                          Alyssa Fantel


The Carbonell Awards, which recognize excellence in South Florida theater, will air the 44th ceremony virtually at 7:30 p.m. Monday, Aug. 3. People will be able to view the pre-recorded program on the Carbonell’s Facebook page and website, hosted through the Broward Center for the Performing Arts’ YouTube channel. Also, The Carbonell Awards organization will archive the ceremony. This will allow people to watch it later on the Broward Center for the Performing Arts’ YouTube channel.

Actually, April 6 was the scheduled date for this year’s honors. However, organizers postponed the ceremony due to the coronavirus pandemic. The program, named after internationally-renowned sculptor Manuel Carbonell, who designed the bronze and marble award in 1976, recognizes and honors “excellence in theater and the arts.”

Each year, volunteer panelists and judges pick shows produced in theaters within the tri-county region of Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach counties.

Although this year’s event will take place online, an aura of celebration will surround the usually boisterous ceremony, said board president Donald R. Walters. In fact, many affectionately refer to the Carbonells as South Florida’s “theater prom.”

“While the Carbonell Awards was very much looking forward to holding our first ceremony at the Lauderhill Performing Arts Center, we are determined to present a fun and exciting event virtually, where we can publicly celebrate some very talented performers, directors, designers, and theater companies, even in today’s socially-distanced environment,” Walters said.

Specifically, for the 44th Carbonell Awards, Palm Beach Dramaworks shows earned a record-breaking 29 nominations overall. That’s the most of any theater within the tri-county region of Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach counties. Meanwhile, downtown Miami-based Zoetic Stage received 20 nominations. That is the most for any Miami-Dade County theater.

Over in Ft. Lauderdale, Slow Burn Theatre Company earned 12 nominations, the most of any theater in Broward County. Overall, out of the more than 80 shows that opened in 2019 at regional theaters, 62 were eligible for nominations.

The ceremony will include awards presentations in 20 competitive categories, featuring 100 different nominations. Also, four special honors, including the prestigious George Abbot Award, are on tap. To view a complete list of this year’s nominees, visit https://carbonellawards.org/news/44th-annual-carbonell-award-nominations/.

Another ceremony highlight will involve awarding the 2020 Jack Zink Memorial Student Scholarship. Specifically, recipients are Skye Alyssa Friedman (Palm Beach County, $3,000), Jeremy Fuentes (Broward County, $2,000), and Amaris Rios (Miami-Dade County, $1,000).

In addition, GableStage’s late Producing Artistic Director, Joseph Adler, will be mentioned during a part of the program set aside for memorial. Adler served as GableStage’s Producing Artistic Director for 22 years, where he garnered many Carbonell awards. He died in April, following an 18-month battle with pancreatic cancer.

Fantel Music, including Carbonell Award winner Caryl Fantel, will co-produce the virtual ceremony. Caryl has been part of the award show’s production team for 12 years. She is a two-time Silver Palm Award-winning music director, pianist, and vocal coach. Caryl’s daughter, Alyssa, will also produce the program.The younger woman is an actress, acting coach, and award-winning playwright.

The Fantels have asked members of the South Florida theater community to e-mail a three-second video or photograph of themselves with a sign. It should indicate in three words or less why theater matters to each sign bearer. The program can feature a limited number of signs. Therefore, the earlier people send in an entry, the greater the chance that the Fantels will include it. Participants should e-mail the video to rfantel@gmail.com by June 24.

“Take a video or picture of you with a sign displaying your answer so you and your message are seen clearly,” Caryl advised on Facebook. “Please record the video horizontally. You may wear casual clothing. There’s no need for dressy attire (unless you want to!) Try to shoot in a well-lit room and don’t stand in front of a window. If possible, have the light shine toward you. Keep the camera steady. This is only video or a picture, audio will NOT be included. If you are self-taping, please trim the video so we don’t see you stopping and starting it (it should be roughly 3 seconds long).”

In her Facebook post, Caryl encouraged participation.

“We want to hear from you!,” she wrote. “It’s been months since we have been able to hold space for one another, create with one another, laugh with one another, discuss with one another, or be there physically for one another. Because theatre is collaborative, and our community would not be what it is without each and every person in it, we want to take this opportunity to include YOUR voice and message in this year’s 44th Annual Carbonell Awards.”

Along with New York’s Drama Desk and Chicago’s Joseph Jefferson Awards, the Carbonell Awards are among the nation’s senior regional arts awards. They predate others, including Washington, D.C.’s Helen Hayes Awards. The Carbonell Awards foster the artistic growth of professional theater in South Florida by celebrating the diversity of our theater artists, providing educational scholarships, and building audience appreciation and civic pride by highlighting achievements of our theater community.

For more information, visit www.carbonellawards.org. To view the 44th Carbonell Awards, log onto https://www.facebook.com/CarbonellAwardsInc/ or :  https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCwYGa-RlNvCuRe34c0TxntA


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