Randolph A. Frank Prize For The Performing Arts Reveals Winner

The honorees received their prizes and split a $10,000 monetary award at the dinner held in the Cohen Pavilion at the Kravis Center.

By: May. 08, 2024
Randolph A. Frank Prize For The Performing Arts Reveals Winner
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The  2024 Randolph A. Frank Prize for the Performing Arts has been awarded to acclaimed entertainer Avery Sommers, Rosarian Academy Theatre and Fine Arts Director Robert Sherman and Alexander W. Dreyfoos School of the Arts Orchestra Director Jeffrey Adkins.

The honorees received their prizes and split a $10,000 monetary award at the dinner held in the Cohen Pavilion at the Kravis Center celebrating Palm Beach Symphony’s 50th anniversary season finale. Since 2019, the Symphony has managed and hosted the nomination process and award presentation that honors up to three individual performing artists and arts educators in Palm Beach County.

Recognized in the category of Performing Artist, Sommers has appeared on Broadway in Ain’t Misbehavin’, Chicago, Showboat and Broadway, as well as on the television (Miami Vice, B.L. Stryker and As The World Turns) and in films (Lost Everything, Mysterious, Letters to God, and Hiding Victoria). In addition to her appearances in area theaters that have earned her a Carbonell Award and seven more nominations, she is a frequent headliner at The Colony Hotel’s Royal Room, Kravis Center, Palm Beach Institute for the Entertainment Arts, Café Centro and Arts Garage. Ms. Sommers also performed with Palm Beach Symphony in its televised Fourth of July program The Sounds of Freedom. She gives back performing pro bono for numerous nonprofit organizations including the Cultural Council for Palm Beach County, the Arthur R. Marshall Foundation for the Everglades, the League of Women Voters for Palm Beach County and the Pride Lights at Centennial Fountain, among others. Sommers currently serves on the boards of directors for both the Carbonell Awards and the Maltz Jupiter Theatre, and on the Honorary Board of Advisors for The Society for the Preservation of the Great American Songbook.

Receiving the Randoph A. Frank Prize in the category of Performing Arts Educator, Sherman has served as classroom teacher as well as theater and fine arts director at Rosarian Academy for the past 24 years. During this time, he has successfully directed nearly 40 plays for students in grades two through eight. For twelve years, he taught the Fundamentals of Acting for the Burt Reynolds Institute for Film and Theater, where he directed several plays. In addition to the productions he has directed, Sherman has contracted with and hosted performances by the Palm Beach Symphony, The Chamber Music Society of the Palm Beaches and The Society of the Four Arts, among others. As a performer, Sherman has performed extensively in regional theater and co-starred in the film Marriage Material. For television, he was seen in a recurring role on Magic City and a costarring role on Burn Notice in addition to more than 200 commercials. Holding a Master of Education from the University of Miami, he completed a directing program at the Yale School of Drama, studied Contemporary Fiction and Shakespeare at Oxford University and is certified as a teacher in the Michael Chekhov Acting Technique. 

Double bassist and conductor Adkins is a native of West Palm Beach and is being honored in the Emerging Artist category. Adkins leads two of the area’s leading youth ensembles at The Alexander W. Dreyfoos School of the Arts, the String Orchestra and the Philharmonic, both of which consistently earn the highest distinctions at local festivals and assessments. Mr. Adkins partners with Palm Beach Symphony regularly, often having his Dreyfoos students perform at this orchestra’s events.  Prior to his directorship at Dreyfoos, Mr. Adkins served as the school’s double bass consultant and assistant conductor, roles he also held at Bak Middle School of the Arts and The Conservatory School. Committed to double bass instruction, he keeps a small private studio and serves as the Adjunct Professor of Double Bass at Florida Atlantic University where his students have advanced to some of the most prestigious collegiate music programs in the nation. He also remains active as a bassist in South Florida’s vibrant music scene where he has performed with Palm Beach Symphony as an assistant principal as well as section player, plus the Palm Beach Opera and Miami City Ballet, among others. Adkins holds both bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the Conservatory of Music at Lynn University.

Nominees were judged by a panel of industry professionals from within and outside Palm Beach on their contribution to the enhancement of the cultural and artistic life of Palm Beach County, their commitment to excellence in the field and, when applicable, their teaching experience. 

The Randolph A. Frank Prize for the Performing Arts was established in 2009 by Nancy and Jay Parker to celebrate the memory of their longtime friend Dr. Randolph A. Frank, who was an avid patron of the arts. They created the prize with founding chairman Steven Caras, acclaimed dancer, dance educator, and photographer. 

Nominations will reopen again in the fall. For more information, visit the programs and awards page at www.palmbeachsymphony.org.



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