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2015-16 Silver Palm Theatre Awards





The South Florida Silver Palm Theatre Awards committee, founded nine years ago to honor theatrical excellence in South Florida, has announced that this year it will present the coveted award to 28 individuals and organizations.”The Silver Palm Awards are presented annually to those who’ve made an outstanding or unique contribution to South Florida Theatre,” explained Silver Palm Awards Executive Committee Chairman Tony Finstrom.  “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.” “Every year it seems to get harder to determine who should be honored,” says Finstrom.  “The talent pool in South Florida is strong and has grown so much over the past nine years.  We gave out only 13 awards our first season of existence.  Last December we gave out 27 of them.  This December we’ll give out 28.”

The awards are determined by a vote of the South Florida Theatre Press Corp, who Finstrom drafts each year into submitting recommendations for outstanding contributions to South Florida Theatre. Finstrom (a playwright), Becon TV talk show host Iris Acker, and Florida Media News critic Ron Levitt compose the Silver Palm Executive Committee, who receive the recommendations from South Florida journalists and theatre critics, then tally the votes and draw up the final list of recipients. This year’s Silver Palm Advisory Council consisted of Christine Dolen (, Miami Herald, Sun-Sentinel), Hap Erstein (Palm Beach Post, and Palm Beach, Bill Hirschman (, and, John Thomason (Boca Raton Magazine,, and New Times), J.W. Arnold (South Florida Gay News), Roger Martin (, Michelle F. Solomon.(, and, Skip Sheffield (, Boca Raton Tribune, and Atlantic Avenue Magazine), John Lariviere (, and ), Jeffrey Bruce (, and Mary Damiano (,,, and South Florida Gay News.)

Silver Palm Awards have been presented to over 150 individuals and/or groups during the previous eight theatre seasons, and the “2015-2016 Season” consisted of shows that opened between September 1st, 2015 and August 31st, 2016.  This year the awards presentation will again be held during the annual South Florida Theatre League‘s Holiday Party on Monday, December 5th, 2016, from 7:30 PM to 10:00 PM, at a location to be announced.  Theatre League members attend free of charge, and the event is open to the public for a general admission charge.  For further information and/or reservations, call League Executive Director Andie Arthur at 954-557-0778, or e-mail her at:   For more information about South Florida’s Silver Palm Theatre Awards, go to:

The 2015-2016 Silver Palm Award Recipients:


– Joseph Adler for his outstanding direction of “The Royale,” “It’s Only a Play,” “Stalking the Bogeyman,” “Constellations,” “Disgraced,” and “A Minister’s Wife” at GableStage

– Alex Alvarez for his outstanding performances in “Stalking the Bogeyman” at GableStage, and “Or,” at Thinking Cap Theatre

– Meredith Bartmon, an outstanding new talent, for her performances in  “Summer Shorts” at City Theatre, and “Hello, Dolly!” at The Wick Theatre

– Clive Cholerton for his outstanding direction of “1776” at Palm Beach Dramaworks

– Aygemang Clay, an outstanding new talent, for his performance in “The Royale” at GableStage

– Lindsey Corey for her outstanding performances in “Stripped” at Zoetic Stage, and “Violet” at Slow Burn Theatre Company

– Chris Crawford for his outstanding performance in “Buyer and Cellar” at Actors’ Playhouse

– Jodi Dellaventura for her outstanding set design for “The Nether” at Area Stage

– Christopher Demos-Brown for his outstanding new play Stripped at Zoetic Stage

– Caryl Fantel for her outstanding musical direction of “Passion” at Zoetic Stage, and “Spring Awakening” at Slow Burn Theatre Company

– Patrick Fitzwater for his outstanding direction and choreography of “Big Fish,” “Spring Awakening,” and “Heathers” at Slow Burn Theatre Company

– Peter Wayne Galman for his outstanding performances in “The Nether” at Area Stage, and “Kiss Me, Kate” at the Maltz Jupiter Theatre

– Jeni Hacker for her outstanding performance in “Passion” at Zoetic Stage

– Bill Hirschman of Florida Theater On Stage for his outstanding theatre criticism and coverage of the South Florida theatre scene

– Laura Hodos for her outstanding performances in “The Will Rogers Follies” at the Maltz Jupiter Theatre, “Romance, Romance” at Slow Burn Theatre Company, “1776” at Palm Beach Dramaworks, “The Minister’s Wife” at GableStage, and “Toxic Avenger” at Actors’ Playhouse

– Ron Hutchins for his outstanding choreography of “West Side Story” at Actors’ Playhouse

– Matt May & Jennifer Sierra-Grobbelaar, for writing and producing the outstanding interactive theatrical experience “Diego & Drew Say I Do” at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts

– MNM Productions, awarded to the producers Marcie Gorman-Althof & Michael Lifshitz, for their outstanding new theatre company, and the outstanding ensemble of “And the World Goes Round at the Kravis Center for the Performing Arts, comprised of Clay Cartland, Jinon Deeb, Shelley Keelor, Michael Scott Ross and Leah Sessa

– Stuart Meltzer for his outstanding direction of “Stripped,” “Rapture, Blister, Burn” and “Passion” at Zoetic Stage

– Elizabeth Price, an outstanding new talent, for her performance in “Reborning” at Theatre at Arts Garage

– Paul Reekie for his outstanding musical direction of  “And The World Goes Round” and “Hair” at MNM Productions

– Nicholas Richberg for his outstanding performances in “Passion” at Zoetic Stage, and “1776” at Palm Beach Dramaworks

– Leah Marie Sessa, an outstanding new talent, for her performances in “And the World Goes Round” at MNM Productions, “Romance, Romance” and “Heathers” at Slow Burn Theatre Company, and “A Minister’s Wife” at GableStage

– Kelly Shook for her outstanding choreography of “I Love a Piano” at The Wick Theatre

– Avery Sommers for her outstanding performance in “The Devil’s Music: THE LIFE AND BLUES OF BESSIE SMITH” at Theatre at Arts Garage

– Shane Tanner for his outstanding performances in “Big Fish” and “Violet” at Slow Burn Theatre Company,  “1776” at Palm Beach Dramaworks, and “A Miniter’s Wife” at GableStage

– Emily E. Tarallo, an outstanding new talent, for her performances in “Big Fish” at Slow Burn Theatre Company, “Curtains” at The Wick Theatre, “Hair” at MNM Productions, “Footloose” at the Marquee Theatre Company, and “West Side Story” at Actors’ Playhouse

– Paul Tei for his outstanding direction of “The Flick” at Mad Cat Theatre Company