On September 21st the third annual Silver Palm Awards were announced, recognizing the outstanding theatrical achievements of members of the South Florida Theatre League during the 2009-2010 season. Playwright Tony Finstrom, TV personality Iris Acker, and Press Club President Ron Levitt compose the Silver Palm Committee, which receives nominations from prominent South Florida journalists and theatre critics, as well as Theatre League members, before the final list of recipients is presented. Silver Palms have gone to some 30 individuals and/or groups during the past two theatre seasons.
"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". These awards differ from the Carbonell Awards (South Florida's equivalent to the Tony Awards) in several ways. Silver Palm Awards often recognize sustained excellence for several performances during a season, the award cannot be given to previous winners, and the categories may change from year to year as worthy contributions arise. Past categories have included: Outstanding Performances, Outstanding New Talent, Outstanding New Emerging Theatre Company, Outstanding Producer, Outstanding Director, Outstanding Musical Direction, Outstanding Support of the South Florida Theatre Community, Outstanding New Work / Playwright, Outstanding Ensemble of Actors, Outstanding Sustained Excellent Work in South Florida Theatre, and Outstanding Stage Manager & Crew.
The 2010-2011 Silver Palm Award Recipients:
Caldwell Theatre Company: For their Outstanding Concert Presentations of Sunday In The Park With George and Into The Woods.
New Theatre: For twenty-five years of producing Outstanding New Plays in South Florida.
J. Barry Lewis: Outstanding Direction for 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.
Ardito: Outstanding Choreography for Bubbling Brown Sugar, The Drowsy Chaperone, and Mack and Mabel at Broward Stage Door, and Evil Dead: The Musical at The Promethean Theatre.
Tim Connelly: Outstanding Set Design for Blasted at GableStage.
Eric Alsford: Outstanding Musical Direction for Miss Saigon at Actors Playhouse.
Taso Stavrakis: Outstanding Special Effects for Evil Dead: The Musical at The Promethean Theatre.
Tyler Smith: Outstanding Special Props for Evil Dead: The Musical at The Promethean Theatre.
Jackie Rivera: 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 Walk Into A War at Florida Stage and the Quarrel at GableStage.
Previous Silver Palm honorees from 2008 and 2009 including 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.
This year's awards presentation will be at the Theatre League Festival's closing party on Monday, October 25, 2010 from 7:00 PM to 11:00 PM at The Green Room behind Revolution Live in downtown Fort Lauderdale. The party is open to the public for a $25 charge, while Theatre League members may attend for free. You may call League Executive Director Andie Arthur for reservations at 954-557-0778.