2018-2019 Silver Palm Award Honorees Announced

The South Florida Silver Palm Theatre Awards, founded twelve years ago to honor theatrical excellence in South Florida, has announced that this year it will present the coveted award to 26 individuals and organizations.

The awards are to recognize those who made an "Outstanding Contribution to the South Florida Theatre Season" (dating from September 1st to August 31st of each year), who have residency in South Florida" explained Silver Palm Awards Executive Producer Matt May. "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."

The awards are determined by a vote of the South Florida Theatre Press Corp, as well as select individuals within the theater industry, who are drafted each year into submitting nominations for outstanding contributions to South Florida Theatre. The nominations are then tallied, from which a final list of recipients is determined.

Silver Palm Awards have been presented to over 200 individuals and/or groups during the previous eleven theatre seasons, and the "2018-2019 Season" consisted of shows that opened between September 1st, 2018 and August 31st, 2019.

With the passing of co-founder Iris Acker in September, 2018, Tony Finstrom, co-founder and then Executive Producer, created the first annual "Iris Acker Award for Sustained Excellent Work in South Florida Theatre," last year. This year, Matt May, Michael McKeever, and Andy Rogow, who serve as the awards' Administrative Committee, have initiated an annual award in Finstrom's name. In addition to the South Florida Theatre Press Corp and individuals that make up the Nominating Council, South Florida theatre companies and venues were invited to contribute nominations for these two namesake awards.

This year's awards ceremony will be produced by May, who co-produced the past two year's awards ceremonies and receptions, and the multi-talented, multi-Silver Palm Award-winning actor/playwright/designer/"host with the most," Michael McKeever, will again emcee the ceremony. South Florida actress Sandi Stock will serve as the "Trophy Assistant," and Past Silver Palm Award recipient Conor Walton, who co-produced last year's event, is serving as producer of the post-ceremony reception which he, along with his husband and theatre philanthropist, Mark Traverso, are sponsoring.

"In recent years, one of the fun things Tony most enjoyed about the Silver Palm Awards, was providing "swag" said May. "This year is no exception, as we're carrying on Tony's legacy. Donna and Frank Horkey, consistent theater and arts patrons and supporters, are sponsoring this year's 'take-away gift'." "We're extending a huge "thank you" to the Horkeys," said May.

Special thanks also go to ArtServe, Amy Pasquantonio/Amatista Photography, Conor Walton and Mark Traverso, and Insight For The Blind, for their in-kind contributions to the evening's festivities. And finally, thanks to Cheryl Dunn Bychek and Lynn Korbin, sponsors of the Tony Finstrom Champion of South Theatre Award and the Iris Acker Award for Sustained Excellent Work in South Florida Theatre." Additional sponsorship opportunities are available. Interested parties should contact May at SilverPalmAwards@aol.com.

Open to the public, there is a $21 advance reservation admission charge, or a $25 cash-only admission charge at the door. Tickets will go on sale on or around October 1. For further information, visit: http://www.silverpalmawards. com.

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The 2018-2019 Silver Palm Award recipients, in alphabetical order, are:

David Arisco, for his Outstanding Direction of MEMPHIS and DOUBT at Actors' Playhouse at the Miracle Theatre

BROADWAY FACTOR, for Producing the "Outstanding Interactive Theatrical Experience," AMPARO

RITA COLE, for her Outstanding Performances in SKELETON CREW at GableStage, A RAISIN IN THE SUN at New City Players, and DOUBT at Actors' Playhouse at the Miracle Theatre

Ryan Didato, for his Outstanding Performance in THE CURIOUS INCIDENT OF THE DOG IN THE NIGHT-TIME at Zoetic Stage

Niki Fridh, for her Outstanding Performances in TAR BEACH at Theatre Lab and THE CURIOUS INCIDENT OF THE DOG IN THE NIGHT-TIME at Zoetic Stage

MARY ELIZABETH GUNDLACH, for her Outstanding Direction of A RAISIN IN THE SUN at New City Players

Jeni Hacker, for her Outstanding Performance in SWEENEY TODD and Outstanding Movement Direction of THE CURIOUS INCIDENT OF THE DOG IN THE NIGHT-TIME at Zoetic Stage

TERRY HARDCASTLE, for his Outstanding Performances in SWEENEY TODD at Zoetic Stage and DOUBT at Actors' Playhouse at the Miracle Theatre

MICHEL HAUSMANN, Outstanding Producer of Miami New Drama, mounting bold, provocative plays that reflect its community's identity, anxieties, and issues

Ron Hutchins, for his Outstanding Choregraphy for MEMPHIS at Actors' Playhouse at the Miracle Theatre

Jovon Jacobs, Outstanding New Talent, for his performances in FENCES at Palm Beach Dramaworks, SKELETON CREW at GableStage, and A RAISIN IN THE SUN at New City Players

MICHAEL MCCLAIN, for his Outstanding Set Designs for THE CURIOUS INCDIENT OF THE DOG IN THE NIGHT-TIME at Zoetic Stage, JEKYLL & HYDE at Slow Burn Theatre Company, and HARLOWE at Theatre Lab

STUART MELTZER, for his Outstanding Direction of THE CURIOUS INCIDENT OF THE DOG IN THE NIGHT-TIME and SWEENEY TODD at Zoetic Stage

Margot Moreland, for her Outstanding Performance in MAMMA MIA! at Maltz Jupiter Theatre

Mallory Newbrough, for her Outstanding Performance in BETTE & BARRY at Island City Stage

MARINA PAREJA, for her Outstanding Costume Design for SWEENEY TODD at Zoetic Stage

Rick Pena, for his Outstanding Costume Designs for JEKYLL & HYDE at Slow Burn Theatre Company

Angie Radosh, for her Outstanding Performance in BREADCRUMBS at Primal Forces Productions

GIANCARLO RODAZ, for his Outstanding Direction and Highly Theatrical Vision of SHE KILLS MONSTERS and THE WIZARD OF OZ at Area Stage Company

LOURELENE SNEDEKER, for her Outstanding Solo Performance in BLONDE POISON at Primal Forces Productions

KAREN STEPHENS, for her Outstanding Performances in KINGS at GableStage, HAVIN' OUR SAY and SISTERS at Primal Forces Productions, and FENCES at Palm Beach Dramaworks

PAUL TINE, for his Outstanding Musical Direction of SWEENEY TODD at Zoetic Stage, and HEDWIG & THE ANGRY INCH, LEGALLY BLONDE, FREAKY FRIDAY, and JEKYLL & HYDE at Slow Burn Theatre Company

Gregg Weiner, for his Outstanding Solo Performance in EVERY BRILLIANT THING at Zoetic Stage and his varied performances in SUMMER SHORTS

"Iris Acker Award for Sustained Excellent Work in South Florida Theatre," sponsored by Lynn Kobrin, to JANET ERLICK, for 29 years at Florida Children's Theatre

"Tony Finstrom Champion of South Florida Theatre," sponsored by Cheryl Dunn Bychek, to MICHAEL & Mary Ellen PEYTON



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