For Immediate Release
November 20, 2015
THE SOUTH FLORIDA THEATRE LEAGUE
ANNOUNCES RECIPIENTS OF THE 2015 REMY AWARDS
Nine Unsung Heroes to Be Honored December 7 at Holiday Party
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE—Nine individuals will be honored with the South Florida Theatre League’s Remy Awards, which will be presented at the League’s annual holiday celebration on December 7, 2015 at Stache in Fort Lauderdale.
The Remy Awards are named in honor of Remberto Cabrera, the former Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs’ Senior Cultural Administrator and Chief of Cultural Development. The awards are given annually for Outstanding Service and for Pioneering in South Florida regional theatre.
“We are honored to present the Remy Awards to individuals who are such important members of our community,” says League President Carol Kassie. “These are the unsung heroes of South Florida theatre, whose contributions are absolutely essential to the success of our theatres and productions, but who often work behind the scenes and go unrecognized. This is our opportunity to say ‘Thank you’ for all that they do for the South Florida theatrical community.”
Along with the Service and Pioneer Awards, Remys will be presented for Outstanding Contributor to Community Theatre, Outstanding Contributor to Children’s Theatre, and Outstanding Behind-the-Scenes Theatre Professional, Civic Arts Leadership Award, and the Jay Harris Arts Leadership Award.
Theatres and theatre producers were asked to nominate individuals they felt were deserving of recognition, and a Theatre League committee was tasked with choosing the winners.
This year’s Remy Award recipients are:
The Pioneer Award – Sue Ellen Beryl and William Hayes, Palm Beach Dramaworks
The Pioneer Award is bestowed upon individuals who have, over the years, taken the lead and contributed substantially to the health, growth and development of the South Florida theatre community.
Sue Ellen Beryl is Managing Director and a co-founder of Palm Beach Dramaworks, a professional theatre company created in September of 2000. As an artist, Sue Ellen made her professional debut as a dancer in New York City at nine years old, and performed on stage and screen with such great theatrical artists as Zero Mostel, Theodore Bikel, Paul Sorvino, and Peter Genarro. A graduate of Pace University, Sue Ellen began her career in theatrical management as Managing Director of the Schimmel Center for the Arts, and Box Office Manager and Publicity Director for Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival. In addition, her business experience includes 10 years in the New York advertising industry and several years managing a family-owned business on the New York Commodity Exchange. Among her proudest achievements are her children, stepchildren, and grandchildren, in addition to her “baby”, Palm Beach Dramaworks. She is proud of her service to the community as a member of the Town of Palm Beach United Way Allocations Committee, past Chair of the Palm Beach County Cultural Council Cultural Executives Committee and is a “National Ambassador” for The Actors Fund.
William Hayes is a founding member of Palm Beach Dramaworks. Originally from Syracuse, William has an extensive list of directing credits, including such acclaimed PBD productions as Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (five Carbonell Award nominations, including Best Director and Best Play), American Buffalo (three Carbonell Award nominations, including Best Director and Best Play), A Delicate Balance (four Carbonell Award nominations, including Best Director and Best Play), Exit the King (three Carbonell Award nominations), The Lion in Winter (five Carbonell Award nominations, including Best Director and Best Play) and, most recently, My Old Lady starring Estelle Parsons. He is a 35-year veteran actor: PBD highlights include Cradeau in No Exit and Norman in The Dresser (Curtain Up Award and Carbonell Award nomination, Best Actor). Also a playwright, he is the recipient of the Charles M. Getchell Award, a member of the Dramatists Guild of America, and has served as a playwriting adjudicator for the Southeastern Theatre Conference and the Samuel French OOB Festival.
Locally, he adjudicates the drama portion of the annual Pathfinders Awards sponsored by the Palm Beach Post, is a member of the board of directors of the Economic Forum of Palm Beach County, and served on the City of West Palm Beach Cultural Affairs Council. He is the recent recipient of the 2014 Clyde Fyfe Award, presented by the Cultural Council of Palm Beach County, and a 2014 Silver Palm Award, presented by the South Florida Theatre League, “for his outstanding work as Producing Artistic Director” of PBD. William also serves as President of the Florida Professional Theatres Association and is a National Ambassador for The Actors Fund.
The Service Award – Ann Kelly Anthony
The Service Award is given to either individuals or organizations in recognition of their invaluable and outstanding contributions made through time, talent, service, and expertise by taking the initiative and actively participating and contributing to the growth and development of the South Florida Theatre League.
Ann Kelly Anthony is a former Chairman and board member of City Theatre as well as the former Chairman and Executive Director of Mad Cat Theatre Company. During her tenure at City Theatre, she was the Chairman during the organizations pivotal move from the Ring Theatre at the University of Miami to what is now known as the Carnival Studio Theater at the Arsht Theater. Along with business partner Paul Tei, with Paul at the helm on the artistic side of the company, Ann was responsible for the day to day and many nights management of Mad Cat, which included more duties that can be listed. Ann is also a past officer and board member of the South Florida Theatre League and served on the board for eight years. Her involvement in the South Florida Theatre community goes beyond these organizations, and she has always been available as a consultant at no charge and donor to many other arts organizations, as well as attending as many South Florida plays as possible. Ann is a current member of Funding Arts Network and will be servicing on the FAN screening committee for grants that will be awarded in 2016. All of Ann’s involvement in the arts has always been on a 100% volunteer basis. Ann is a member of the Coral Gables chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, and is a founder and co-owner of Skymar Capital Corporation where is responsible for commercial real estate loan originations and acquisitions across the U.S. Ann is happily married to actor and musician, Stephen G. Anthony.
The Civic Arts Leadership Award – Jody Horne-Leshinsky
The Civic Arts Leadership Award is given to individuals in public service who have significantly supported the arts.
Jody Horne-Leshinsky is responsible for assisting the Director with the operations of the Broward Cultural Division. Community Development, as a critical liaison to other divisions, departments, municipalities, 823 not-for-profit arts and cultural organizations and 10,000 artists, under Jody’s leadership, is a catalyst for collaborations, entrepreneurial ventures and artistic development. She received her bachelor’s degree from Indiana State University. A County employee since 1981, Jody joined the Cultural Division in 1988. During her tenure she has won numerous awards from the Advertising Federation of Fort Lauderdale, the National Association of County Information Officers, the National Association of Counties and Golden Pen Awards from the International Association of Business Communicators for the Cultural Quarterly magazine, logo design for the Cultural Information Center and the Cultural Division website. She lives in Lauderhill with her husband, Joel, and two daughters, Rachel and Adina, and is pursuing photography as an art form and passion. With multiple years with Broward County, coupled with her dedication and commitment to the arts and culture of this growing community, Jody continues to hone her strengths and leadership toward an area of economic stimulus through arts and culture, in the belief that this is a cornerstone for the success of any metropolitan area.
The Jay Harris Arts Leadership Award – Michael Spring
Named in memory of one of South Florida’s most dedicated arts patrons, the Jay Harris Arts Leadership Award honors those who have made a substantial contribution to the theatrical community in the ways that Jay Harris did—through leadership, on-going volunteerism, and financial support.
As Director of the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs, Michael Spring is responsible for supervision of a public arts agency with an annual budget of more than $30 million. In 2014, Mayor Carlos Gimenez expanded his responsibilities by appointing him to serve as a Senior Advisor for the County’s Cultural Affairs and Recreation portfolio, including the arts, parks and libraries. He represents the County and the Department on numerous cultural and civic organizations including service as Secretary of the board of directors of Americans for the Arts (the nation’s leading nonprofit organization for advancing the arts in America), a founding board member and officer of Americans for the Arts Action Fund, member and past President of the United States Urban Arts Federation, chairman of the board of the Florida Cultural Alliance, chairman of the 5-county regional arts alliance, the South Florida Cultural Consortium, director of the Miami-Dade County Tourist Development Council and member of the board of the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce. Over the almost 30 years that he has served the Department of Cultural Affairs, Michael Spring has helped build Miami-Dade County’s cultural community into a more than a $1 billion annual industry comprised of more than 1,000 non-profit cultural groups and thousands of artists. This work has encompassed: providing comprehensive support for the entire cultural community from artists to major institutions and grassroots and multicultural arts groups with a focus on neighborhood activities; establishing an ongoing cultural facilities improvements program, with more than $100 million of public funds devoted to improving existing and building new theaters county-wide; and developing initiatives to increase more participation in cultural activities for Miami-Dade’s residents and visitors. Michael Spring has a B.A. degree from the University of Miami and earned an M.A. in painting from New York University, involving studies in Venice, Italy. He continues to paint and develop his interests as a visual artist.
Outstanding Contributor to Children’s Theatre – Sean Cutler, Fort Lauderdale Children’s Theatre
Sean Cutler began his career as a member of Ruth Foreman’s Pied Piper Players in Miami, where he acted in children’s theatre productions beginning when he was eight years old. He first acted professionally at age 12, and received his Equity card at age 14 playing the role of Eugene in Brighton Beach Memoirs, for which he was nominated for a Carbonell Award. He is a graduate of the New World School of the Arts, where he was a Dean’s Award recipient in Theatre and holds a BFA in Film and TV production from NYU. After spending 15 years in New York and LA, working professionally off-Broadway and in regional theatre, Sean returned to South Florida where he presently serves as the Producing Director at Fort Lauderdale Children’s Theatre. As the senior resident show director and lighting designer, Sean has directed and designed over 20 main season productions including Sweeney Todd, Les Miserables, Through The Looking Glass, Starlight Express (performed entirely on roller skates), Seussical, and many more.
Outstanding Contributor to Community Theatre – Michael and Lillian Andron, Jewish Cultural Arts Theatre (JCAT)
Michael Andron is the Founding Artistic Director of JCAT, the J’s Cultural Arts Theatre, in NMB, now in its 9th season. A true renaissance man, Michael is an ordained Mohel, a Tai Chi Grand Master and 7th Degree Black Belt in Chinese Martial Arts, and director of Kodesh Center, a non-profit foundation for personal growth, Body-Mind-Energy development and Jewish Mindfulness. Michael is co-author—with his son Ben—of The Essential Guide to Energy Healing from Penguin/Alpha Books. He appeared in the long running, off-Broadway production of The Fantasticks, in its original home on Sullivan Street. He will be reprising his role as the old actor (Henry) later this season at JCAT. Prior to returning to Miami, he was Founding Artistic Director of the Oconee Community Theatre in South Carolina, now in its 43rd year, and served as the Founding Artistic Director of the Hillel Community Theatre in North Miami Beach for 20 years. He has taught at New World School of the Arts, North Carolina School of the Arts, and at New York University’s Department of Educational Theatre. His focus, in all of these institutions, centered on Martial Arts and Yoga as a Psycho-Physical Training Method for the Performing Artist.
Along with her husband, Michael, Lillian Andron is a co-founder and a driving force at JCAT and the other community theatres that Michael founded. As part of this life-long team, she is involved on some level with every single production, from administrative duties to backstage assistance, to training actors, to on-stage roles (her favorite). Lillian trained at NYU, the American Academy for Dramatic Arts and was certified by the True Acting Institute with the world-renowned teacher, Larry Silverberg, in the Meisner Approach to Acting. It all began when Michael met Lillian at an NYU audition (Michael directing, Lillian acting); she got the part and the rest is history. When she learned that Michael had graduated from Yeshiva University, she blurted, “Then why aren’t you in Medical School?” Her favorite role, however, is as Michael’s soul mate, Ben’s mom, Mich’s mother-in-love and grandma to Sarah, Joseph, Elchanan and Jacob.
Outstanding Behind the Scenes Contributor – Carlos Rodriguez – GableStage
Carlos Rodriguez was born in Pereira, Colombia and raised in Bogota. He came to the United States in 1993 and started working for GableStage in 1999. His first responsibility was working as Assistant to the Technical Director and within two years he became the Technical Director. Joseph Adler, Producing Artistic Director, says, “In the 16 years Carlos has been with us, he has become virtually indispensible. I don’t know anyone who has ever been more hard-working or committed.” Carlos enjoys the variety of work involved producing a new play every two months, because, “Each play is a new set of challenges, new things to research, new opportunities to learn and grow.”
The South Florida Theatre League’s Annual Holiday Party promises to be an exciting event, as the Silver Palm Awards will also be presented that evening. The party will take place at STACHE at 109 SW 2 Avenue in Fort Lauderdale, on Monday, December 7, at 7:30 pm. Admission is $25 for non-Theatre League members; there is no charge for League members in good standing.
For further information about the South Florida Theatre League and The Remy Awards, please contact Executive Director Andie Arthur at 954-557-0778 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
2015 Remy Award Recipients:
Service Award – Ann Kelly Anthony
Pioneer Award – Sue Ellen Beryl and Bill Hayes
Civic Arts Leadership Award – Jody Horne-Leshinsky
Jay Harris Arts Leadership Award – Michael Spring
Outstanding Behind the Scenes Contribution – Carlos Rodriguez
Outstanding Contribution to Children’s Theatre – Sean Cutler
Outstanding Contribution to Community Theatre – Michael and Lillian Andron