Staff Report

SOUTH FLORIDA – Gary Schweikhart, president of the Carbonell Awards that recognize theatrical and performance excellence in South Florida, has announced the nonprofit organization’s expanded team of judges for the 2022-2023 theater season.

They include Christine LeShay of Delray Beach, a playwright and owner/artistic director of A.C.T.S. of Life Productions, who began her career in 1993 as stage manager and sound technician for the Quest Theatre & Institute in West Palm Beach, and later made her acting debut under the artistic direction of Bhetty Waldron.

Her fellow new judges are Noah Cuellar, Mike Jeknavorian, Greg Schuh and David Simson from Broward County; and Dale King and Barbara Bradshaw from Palm Beach County.

“We have an outstanding panel of 35 experienced judges, many of whom have been working with the Carbonell Awards for years,” said Schweikhart, “but also seven new volunteer judges, all very highly qualified, who have a passion for and openness to all kinds of theater, including plays, musicals, new works, classics, immersive and multidisciplinary theater. … This may be the most impressive and diverse roster of Carbonell judges in our 45year history.”

Veteran judges include Deborah Nix, also of Delray Beach, a retired school counselor, lifelong theater student and goer, and seven-year judge for the “Read Together” program of the Palm Beach County Literacy Coalition. who has been active with the Karamu Theatre in Cleveland, the Red Barn Theater in Woodstock, NY, and the Alliance/AUC Players in Atlanta.

Other Carbonell Awards judges for 2022-2023:

In Broward County, Jerry Arbella (Wilton Manors), R. Kent Chambers-Wilson (Lauderdale Lakes), Mary Damiano (Oakland Park), Mark Demeter (Davie), Donna Horkey (Davie), Larry Jurrist (Hollywood), Jill Kratish (Fort Lauderdale), and John Thomason (Deerfield Beach).

In Miami-Dade County, Adalberto Acevedo (Miami), Al Alschuler (Miami), Alice M. Billman (North Miami), Nancy Cohen (Miami), Christine Dolen (Davie), Marjorie O’Neill-Butler (Miami Beach), Ileana Oroza (Miami Beach), Ellen Rusconi (Miami), John Soliday (Miami), and Pauline Winick (Miami Beach).

In Palm Beach County, Dr. Lhisa Almashy (Lake Worth), Barbara Bradshaw (Delray Beach), Cheryl Dunn Bychek (Royal Palm Beach), Hap Erstein (West Palm Beach), Allen H. Jones (West Palm Beach), Mark Keller (Delray Beach), Teri Mitze (Greenacres), Jeremy Quinn (Boynton Beach), Linda Shorrock (Boynton Beach), and Jan Sjostrom (Boca Raton).

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 and predate others, including Washington, D.C.’s Helen Hayes Awards.

The Carbonell Awards are named after Manuel Carbonell, an internationally-renowned sculptor, who designed the original solid bronze and marble award in 1976, the signature trophy that is given annually to Carbonell Award winners.

Over the last 45 years, the Carbonell family has donated more than $250,000 in awards.

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