Carbonell Awards Announces Winners in First Live Ceremony Since 2019

The 45th Annual Carbonell Awards Announces Winners in First Live Ceremony Since 2019 

From 20 Categories, Miami New Drama Wins Seven Awards, Four to Area Stage, and Slow Burn Theatre Nets Three 

Nine Theater & Arts Legends Honored with Special Awards

(South Florida – November 2022) Gary Schweikhart, board president of the Carbonell Awards, South Florida’s Theatre & Arts Honors, today announced that the 45th annual awards—the first live ceremony since 2019—attracted nearly 500 theater activists and enthusiasts.

“It was a truly joyous occasion when we celebrated the most diverse group of talented nominees—and winners—in our history,” said Schweikhart. “Each and every one is an exquisite example of South Florida’s theatrical excellence, all brilliantly flowering in this post-COVID cultural renaissance.”

From 20 competitive categories, Miami New Drama was the winner in seven (three for Papá Cuatro, and two each for A Wonderful World and The Cuban Vote). Area Stage earned four Carbonell Awards for Beauty and The Beast, and Slow Burn Theatre Company picked up three for Head Over Heels, Kinky Boots and Matilda.

Carbonell Awards 2022 – The Winners

Outstanding New Work, Play or Musical

Papá Cuatro, by Juan Souki (Miami New Drama)

Outstanding New Work, Winner Papa Cuatro, by Juan Souki – Miami New Drama

Outstanding Production, Play

Intimate Apparel (Palm Beach Dramaworks) 

Outstanding Production Play Winner – Intimate Apparel by Palm Beach Dramaworks


Outstanding Direction, Play

Delicia Turner Sonnenberg, One in Two (Island City Stage)


Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Lead Male Role, Play

Tom Hewitt, I Hate Hamlet (Maltz Jupiter Theatre)


Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Lead Female Role, Play

Natalie Cordone, I Hate Hamlet (Maltz Jupiter Theatre)

Lead Female Role, Play – Winner Natalie Cordone for I Hate Hamlet by Malt Jupiter Theatre


Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Male Role, Play

Jonathan Nichols-Navarro, The Cuban Vote (Miami New Drama)

Supporting Male Role, Play – Winner Jonathan Nicho – The Cuban Vote – Miami New Drama


Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Female Role, Play

Jeni Hacker, The Actors (Ronnie Larsen Presents)

Actor in a Supporting Female Role, Play – Jeni Hacker – The Actors Ronnie Larsen Presents


Outstanding Production, Musical

Beauty and the Beast (Area Stage)

Outstanding Production Musical Winner – Beauty and the Beast by Area Stage

Outstanding Direction, Musical

Giancarlo Rodaz, Beauty and the Beast (Area Stage)


Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Lead Male Role, Musical

Elijah Word, Kinky Boots (Slow Burn Theatre Company)


Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Lead Female Role, Musical

Mariaca Semprún, Papá Cuatro (Miami New Drama)

Lead Female Role, Musical Winner Mariaca Semprun – Papa Cuatro by Miami New Drama


Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Male Role, Musical

Imran Hylton, Beauty and the Beast (Area Stage)

Supporting Male Role, Musical – Imran Hylton – BATB by Area Stage


Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Female Role, Musical

Mallory Newbrough, Matilda (Slow Burn Theatre Company)

 Actor in a Supporting Female Role, Musical – Mallory Newbrough – Matilda by Slow Burn

Outstanding Music Direction

Rick Kaydas, Beauty and the Beast (Area Stage)


Outstanding Choreography

Oren Korenblum, Come Out! Come Out! (Ronnie Larsen Presents)

Outstanding Choreography – Oren Korenblum – Come Out Come Out by Ronnie Larsen Presents


Outstanding Scenic Design, Play or Musical

Adam Koch, A Wonderful World (Miami New Drama)


Outstanding Lighting Design, Play or Musical

Cory Pattak, A Wonderful World (Miami New Drama)

Outstanding Sound Design, Play or Musical

Javier Casas, Papá Cuatro (Miami New Drama)


Outstanding Costume Design, Play or Musical

Lenora Nikitin, Head Over Heels (Slow Burn Theatre Company)

 Outstanding Costume Design – Winner Leonora Niktin – Head Over Heels by Slow Burn Theater

Outstanding Achievement of an Artistic Specialty

Yuki Izumihara for Projection Design, The Cuban Vote (Miami New Drama)


Among the highlights of this year’s Carbonell Awards:

Presentation of two George Abbott Awards for Outstanding Achievement in the Arts to internationally acclaimed composer and conductor Michael Tilson Thomas, cofounder and Artistic Director Laureate of the Miami Beach-based New World Symphony; and Barbara & Lawrence E. Stein, the founders of Actors’ Playhouse at the Miracle Theatre, Miami-Dade County’s premiere producer of large-scale musicals, which will celebrate its 35th season in 2022-23. The award to Mr. Tilson Thomas was presented by veteran critic, Carbonell judge and previous Abbott Award winner Christine Dolen and was accepted by Howard Herring, President and CEO of the New World Symphony. The award to Mr. and Mrs. Stein was presented by David Arisco, Artistic Director at Actors’ Playhouse at the Miracle Theatre and also a previous Abbott Award winner.

Abbott Award recipients Barbara and Lawrence E. Stein – Photo by Mark James Photography

Presentation of the first Vinnette Carroll Award for significant achievement in advancing the cause of diversity, equality, and inclusion in South Florida theatre. The recipient is Marshall L. Davis, who has served for 38 years as managing director of the African Heritage Cultural Arts Center (AHCAC) in Miami’s Liberty City. The award was presented to Mr. Davis by Carbonell board member Avery Sommers, an award-winning Broadway, movie and TV veteran and cabaret headliner.

Inaugural – Vinnette Carroll Award recipient Marshall L. Davis – Photo by Mark James Photography

Presentation of five additional special awards to living theatre and arts legends:

  • The Charlie Cinnamon Award to longtime newspaper/radio critic and Carbonell judge Hap Erstein—presented by William Hirschman, publisher of

  • The Ruth Foreman Award to actor, producer, director, poet and educator Teresa María Rojas, founder and director of Prometeo at Miami Dade College—presented by former student and Carbonell Board Vice President Javier Siut, from the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs

  • The Bill Hindman Award to Margot Moreland, one of South Florida’s best-known actors and a principal representative on the Council for Actors’ Equity Association for more than 20 years—presented by previous winner Barbara Bradshaw, a Carbonell Award-winning actress and a new Carbonell judge, and Carbonell Treasurer Donald Walters, Esq.

  • The Howard Kleinberg Award to playwright, dramaturg and co-founding artistic director of Lost Girls Theatre Andie Arthur, who is also executive director of the South Florida Theatre League—presented by Carbonell Coordinator Kent Chambers-Wilson.

  • The Bill Von Maurer Award for Theatrical Excellence to Theatre Lab, the professional resident company at Florida Atlantic University, whose mission is to “inspire, develop and produce new work, artists and audiences”—presented by Nan Barnett, executive director of the National New Play Network.


Three talented veterans co-hosted the awards ceremony, including Miami-based theater, film and TV actor Daniel Llaca; actor, singer and director Geoff Short, board president of the Pembroke Pines Theatre of the Performing Arts and board secretary of the Carbonell Awards; and Avery Sommers, a Carbonell board member and seven-time Carbonell Award nominee.

A stirring In Memoriam tribute to nearly 30 theatre veterans who passed away during the last two years, including actors Linda Bernhard and Peter Librach, critics Ron Levitt and Terry Teachout, music directors Arthur Barnes and Paul Reekie, and producers Alvin Entin and Jan McArt.

Presentation of Jack Zink Memorial Scholarships ($2,000 each) to Kaja Andric (Palm Beach County), Emily Taylor Kaufman (Broward), and Antony Ojeda (Miami-Dade).

The evening started with a rousing parody of Seventy-Six Trombones (retitled 76 Great Shows) that combined Meredith Willson’s music with snappy new lyrics by Jeni Hacker, a Carbonell Award winner herself later in the evening. With the theme of “Community & Inclusion,” the music-packed ceremony also included performances from Beauty and the Beast and Come Out! Come Out!

 The show was conceived and created by Fantel Music, including Carbonell Award winner Caryl Fantel, who has been part of the award show’s production team for 13 years and is a Carbonell Award winner and a two-time Silver Palm Award-winning music director, pianist and vocal coach. In addition, Ms. Fantel led a lively evening of musical entertainment featuring local musicians and stage performers.

 Sponsors of the 45th Annual Carbonell Awards include the South Florida Cultural ConsortiumAdrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, Aventura Arts & Cultural Center, Broward Center for the Performing Arts, Carbonell Sculptures Ltd., Cultural Council for Palm Beach County, John Knox Village, Kravis Center for the Performing Arts, Miami-Dade County Auditorium, The Dennis C. Moss Center (formerly The South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center), Punchline Productions, South Florida Theatre League, and Donald R. Walters, P.A.

SEVENTY-SIX GREAT SHOWS Musical Number – Opens Ceremony – Photo by Gregory Reed


Awards by County

11     Miami-Dade

  6     Broward

  3     Palm Beach

Awards by Theater

7        Miami New Drama

4        Area Stage

3        Slow Burn Theatre Co.

2        Maltz Jupiter Theatre

2        Ronnie Larsen Presents

1        Island City Stage

1        Palm Beach Dramaworks

Awards by Production

4       Beauty and the BeastArea Stage

3       Papá Cuatro, Miami New Drama

2        A Wonderful World, Miami New Drama

2        I Hate Hamlet, Maltz Jupiter Theatre

2        The Cuban Vote, Miami New Drama

1        Come Out! Come Out!, Ronnie Larsen Presents

1        Head Over Heels, Slow Burn Theatre Company

1        Intimate Apparel, Palm Beach Dramaworks

1        Kinky Boots, Slow Burn Theatre Company

1        Matilda, Slow Burn Theatre Company

1        One In Two, Island City Stage

1        The Actors, Ronnie Larsen Presents


About The Carbonell Awards

The Carbonell Awards fosters the artistic growth of professional theatre in South Florida by celebrating the excellence and diversity of our theatre artists, providing educational scholarships, and building audience appreciation and civic pride by highlighting achievements of our theatre community. More than 20 professional theatre 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 various Special Awards.

Along with New York’s Drama Desk and Chicago’s Joseph Jefferson Awards, the Carbonell Awards are among the nation’s oldest regional arts awards and predate others, including Washington, D.C.’s Helen Hayes Awards. The Carbonell Awards are named after the internationally renowned sculptor Manuel Carbonell, who designed the signature solid bronze and marble award given annually to Carbonell Award winners. Over the last 45 years, the Carbonell family has donated more than $250,000 in awards. For more information, please visit

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