Palm Beach Dramaworks takes in most Carbonell nominations
Palm Beach Dramaworks leads the pack as the most-nominated theater with 15 nominations for the 33rd annual Carbonell Awards. Florida Stage in Manalapan received eight nominations. The nominations, released Monday, recognize excellence in regional theater in Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade counties. Among the shows for which Dramaworks was nominated were Eugene Ionesco's seldom-produced absurdist play The Chairs and Souvenir, an offbeat play with music based on a true story about a tone-deaf society maven whose daffy concerts packed the house in the 1930s and 1940s. Dramaworks productions also provided three of the five nominees in the category of best actress in a play. "I'm enthusiastic and invigorated that people are responding to the kind of work we're doing," said William Hayes, Dramaworks' producing artistic director. "To know that plays like Souvenir and Ionesco's The Chairs were nominated for best play is thrilling." Dramaworks, founded in 2000, has received more nominations in the past. The theater in West Palm Beach was showered with 16 nominations for the 2004-05 season. But nominations don't ensure wins. That year, the theater took home just three awards. The awards, started by theater critics, are run by the nonprofit Carbonell organization. The 2008 winners will be announced during a ceremony April 6 at the Amaturo Theater at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts in Fort Lauderdale. Ticket prices for the ceremony have been halved to $25. "In a difficult economic year for regional theaters, the board of directors did not want to compete with theaters for sponsors or make the ticket price burdensome," said Savannah Whaley, board member and managing director. The ceremony will be scaled down from past years, but details have not been finalized, she said.