The Carbonell Awards Announces Winners of Jack Zink Memorial Scholarships 2024

The selection of recipients is based on talent, experience and demonstrated commitment to the theater, with one winner from each of the three area counties.

By: Mar. 19, 2024
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Carbonell Awards has announced the three young winners of the 2024 Jack Zink Memorial Student Scholarships. The selection of recipients is based on talent, experience and demonstrated commitment to the theater, with one winner from each of the three area counties.

“The Jack Zink Memorial Scholarships are awarded to graduating high school seniors who have achieved a minimum 2.5 GPA and are intending to enroll in college to pursue a degree in theater or journalism. Each of the three winners will receive $2,000 when they have enrolled in college,” said Javier Siut, a member of the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs, who co-chairs the Carbonell's Scholarship Committee along with longtime Carbonell Judge Nancy Cohen.

Alexandra Dreszer – Miami-Dade County

A senior at the Miami Arts Charter High School, Alexandra Dreszer has flourished as a young artist ever since she first participated in a theatre summer camp at the Aventura Arts and Cultural Center that concluded with a production of You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown. She has since performed in numerous shows, including Chicago, Into the Woods, Legally Blonde, Ragtime, and The Drowsy Chaperone. “Theatre has allowed me to be a part of a community in which I feel seen, welcomed, and has given me immense joy and self-confidence,” says Dreszer. “It encourages me to move forward and become the best version of myself while doing what I love.” So far, her enrollment application has been accepted by the University of Central Florida and Indiana University Bloomington.

Lillian JonesPalm Beach County

A senior at the Alexander W. Dreyfoos School of the Arts in West Palm Beach, Lillian Jones has been performing since the age of 4 and says she found her “place in the African American diasporic experience as an artist” while performing in Mamma Mia! Her theatre credits include roles in Chicago, Little Shop of Horrors and Pippin, as well as a professional stint in Crumbs from the Table of Joy at Palm Beach Dramaworks. Because “statistics indicate that Black children have the least access to arts education,” Jones says her long-term goal is to open career and arts-driven centers catering to the Black community. She has already been accepted at Howard University in Washington, D.C., and Chapman University in Orange, California.

Morgan Brooke Wilder – Broward County

A senior at North Broward Preparatory School in Coconut Creek, Morgan Brooke Wilder has been pursuing theatre since childhood and has already been part of more than 20 productions, including dance showcases and three operas. She has also the opportunity to delve into the technical aspects of theatre, such as stage management, costumes, marketing and publicity, playwriting for a 24-hour play festival, and even directing a new play in collaboration with Manhattan Theatre Club. Last summer, she immersed herself in the week-long Musical Theatre Audition Intensive at the Interlochen Center for the Arts in Michigan.  So far, her enrollment application has been accepted by Point Park University in Pittsburgh and the Manhattan School of Music.

The annual Carbonell scholarship is named for Jack Zink (1947-2008) who was a major voice in South Florida entertainment coverage for more than three decades. During his long career, he was employed as entertainment editor, columnist, critic and reporter at each of South Florida's major newspapers—The South Florida Sun-Sentinel, The Miami Herald, The Palm Beach Post & Evening Times, and The Fort Lauderdale News. Mr. Zink was the founder and a past president of the Carbonell Awards, a past president of The American Theatre Critics Association, and during his lifetime was a recipient of both the Sun-Sentinel newspaper's highest honor, The Fred Pettijohn Award, given annually to the publication's top reporters, and South Florida's George Abbott Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Arts.

The 47th annual Carbonell Awards Ceremony will be held on Monday, November 11, at the Lauderhill Performing Arts Center, at which all three of this year's Jack Zink Scholarship recipients will be celebrated.

About The Carbonell Awards

The Carbonell Awards fosters 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. More than 20 professional theater companies in Broward, Miami-Dade and Palm Beach counties participate in the awards process every year. The Carbonell Awards also celebrate the accomplishments of local artistic leaders by presenting several Special 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 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 47 years, the Carbonell family has donated more than $250,000 in awards. For more information, please visit