As the winners are announced Theatre Chat shares an exclusive from Silver Palm Awards Founder Tony Finstrom. Theatre Chat helps put faces and names to the Silver Palm Awards, and shares the unique differences from The Silver Palm Awards to The Carbonell Awards. A local actor brought it to my attention, that they enjoyed seeing the names of the individuals that share input on the final outcome of the Silver Palm Awards.
Many awards around the globe don't share the names, or put a faces to the advisory council, which can be disturbing to those who are not chosen. What makes The Silver Palms special is this, the awards are determined by a vote of the South Florida Theatre Press Corp, who Tony Finstrom drafts each year into submitting recommendations for outstanding contributions to South Florida Theatre. So who puts this team of avid press theatregoers together?
Tony Finstrom a playwright, Becon TV talk show host, along with Iris Acker, and South Florida International Press Club President and Florida Media News/ENV Magazine 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 J.W. Arnold (South Florida Gay News), Richard Cameron (Theatre Chat, Miracle Theatre Examiner for examiner.com, and www.BroadwayGlobal.org), Mary Damiano (BroadwayWorld.Com, FloridaTheaterOnStage.com, and South Florida Gay News),Christine Dolen (The Miami Herald), Bill Hirschman (FloridaTheaterOnStage.com, and FloridaWeekly.com), John Lariviere (TalkinBroadway.com), Roger Martin (MiamiArtzine.com) Skip Sheffield (Boca Raton Tribune, Atlantic Avenue Magazine, and L.A.'s Realize Magazine), Michelle F. Solomon (MiamiArtzine.com, and FloridaTheaterOnStage.com), John Thomason (New Times, and Boca Raton Magazine).
So what makes this awards so special? Silver Palm Awards Executive Committee Chairman Tony Finstrom shares the difference. "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." Silver Palm Awards have been presented to over 70 individuals and/or groups during the previous five theatre seasons, and the "2012-2013 Season" consisted of shows that opened between September 1st, 2012 and August 31st, 2013.
So you ask what are the differences were between the Silver Palm Awards and the Carbonell Awards? "With the Silver Palm Awards we try to pole as many South Florida theatre journalists as are willing to participate, to find out just who they believe should be honored for their outstanding contribution to South Florida theatre each season. Some of them are Carbonell Award Judges, and some of them are not involved with the Carbonell Awards at all.I, myself, am a Carbonell Judge! Our season runs from September 1st to August 31st each year. The Carbonell Awards judge productions produced from January 1st to December 31st each year. We don't give out "Best Play" or "Best Musical." We leave those decisions to the Carbonell Awards." Tony Finstrom.
"What I'd like to think we mostly try to do is award and encourage smaller theatre companies, young actors, and some who don't fall into logical categories that the Carbonell Awards might reward. Everyone likes to be patted on the back for a job well done, and put on a pedestal for a moment. And that's all we really try to do with the Silver Palm Awards." Tony Finstrom.
"It is importnat to know that each of the awards ceremonies, the Silver Palm Awards and Carbonell Awards are held at different times of the year. The press on each individual ceremony helps boots ticket sales, bringing new awreness of artists, shows and success for the arts in South Florida." BroadwayGlobal.
"So over the years we've given out awards (that the Carbonell Awards never could, because they don't fall into their logical categories), for such things as Outstanding New Talent, Outstanding New Emerging Theatre Company, Outstanding Musical Tracks, Outstanding Support of the South Florida Theatre Community, Outstanding Ensemble of Actors, Outstanding Sustained Excellent Work in South Florida Theatre, Outstanding Fight Choreography, Outstanding Performance as a Theatre Critic, Outstanding Work as an Executive Director & Board Chairman of a Theatre Company, Outstanding Adaptation and Production of a Classic, Outstanding Stage Manger & Crew, etc." Tony Finstrom.
"And, of course, unlike the Carbonell Awards, not every category is necessarily awarded every year, and multiple choices in various categories may be awarded. There are no nominees, no winners/losers, and no limit to the number of citations given in any category. And, in truth, there are no real “categories.” So we make a big effort not to compete with the Carbonell Awards. We're fashioned more after the Off-Broadway Obie Awards, and they are most definitely the Broadway Tony Awards of South Florida. Which is great, because there's room for both, that way." Tony Finstrom.
The Silver Palm Awards was founded six years ago to honor theatrical excellence in South Florida. This year the awards presentation will be held during the annual Theatre League Holiday Party, on the 20th Anniversary of the founding of the South Florida Theatre League.
The Silver Palm Awards will be held at Stache, a 1920s drinking den located at 109 SW Second Ave. in downtown Fort Lauderdale on Monday, December 2nd, 2013, from 7:30 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.. The party is open to the public, but there is a $25 admission charge. Theatre League members attend free of charge. Call League Executive Director Andie Arthur for reservations, and further information, at 954-557-0778. For more information on South Florida's Silver Palm Theatre Awards, visit www.silverpalmawards.com.
The 2012-2013 Silver Palm Award recipients, in alphabetical order, are: Antonio Amadeo, for his outstanding work as producer, writer, director, designer and actor in 'A Man Pts On A Play' at The Naked Stage. 2) Stephanie Ansin, for her outstanding creative staging and production of 'THREE SISTERS' at the Miami Theatre Center. 3) Ann Kelly Anthony, for her outstanding hard work and commitment as Executive Director and Board Chairperson at the Mad Cat Theatre Company. 4) Andie Arthur, for six years of outstanding and dedicated work as the Executive Director of the South Florida Theatre League. 5) Matt Corey, for his outstanding Sound Design for 'THE BIRDS' at Mosaic Theatre. 6) James Danford, for his outstanding Stage Management, working at various theatres (many of them in South Florida) for over thirty years. 7) Christine Dolen, for thirty-four years of outstanding and distinguished theatrical criticism at the Miami Herald, and for her relentless commitment to the South Florida theatre community. 8) Lela Elam, for her outstanding performance in 'Ruined' at GableStage. 9) Patrick Fitzwater, for his outstanding direction and choreography of 'Side Show' at Slow Burn Theatre. 10) Ethan Henry - for his outstanding performances in 'A Raisin In The Sun' at Palm Beach Dramaworks, and in 'King Hedley II' at M Ensemble. 11) Andrew Kato, for his outstanding work as Producing Artistic Director of the Maltz Jupiter Theatre. 12) Jan McArt, for her outstanding effort to develop new plays by Florida Playwrights through staged workshops at her Lynn University New Play Reading Series. 13) Harriet Oser, for her outstanding performance in 'Driving Miss Daisy' at The Plaza Theatre. 14) Skye Whitcomb and Outre Theatre, for emerging as the outstanding new professional company in South Florida this season. 15) Nicholas Richberg for his outstanding performance in 'COCK' at GableStage. 16) Erin Joy Schmidt, for her outstanding performances in 'Blow Me' at Mad Cat Theatre, and in 'Other Desert Cities' at Actors' Playhouse. 17) Nicole Stodard, for producing consistent and outstanding presentations of daring and challenging works at Thinking Cap Theatre, and for her outstanding adaptation and production of 'The Rover.' 18) Shorts Gone Wild,' awarded to John Manzelli of City Theatre and Andy Rogow of Island City Stage, for their co-production of the outstanding LGBT theatre piece of the South Florida theatre season. 19) Tom Wahl, for his outstanding performance in 'I Am My Own Wife' at Zoetic Stage and 20) MikeWesterich, for his outstanding performance in 'Tick Tick Boom,' at Outre Theatre.