Peter and the Starcatcher, Co-produced by UM’s Theatre Arts Department and the Arsht Center, Receives Three Carbonell Awards

Peter and the Starcatcher – a “grownup’s prequel to Peter Pan” co-produced by the College of Arts & Sciences Department of Theatre Arts and the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts – has won three Carbonell Awards.

Recognizing the best of theatre in South Florida, the Carbonell Awards are among the nation’s most prominent regional arts awards.

UM students (left to right) Timothy Bell, Abigail Berkowitz, Joshua Jacobson,
Robert Fritz, Alejandro Gonzalez del Pino and Timothy Boehm-Manion starred in
Peter and the Starcatcher with Carbonell Award nominee, equity actor and UM alum
Nicholas Richberg (far right). Photo Credit: Justin Namon.

Peter and the Starcatcher was the fourth work produced through a collaboration between the Arsht Center and the Department of Theatre Arts, which gave students the opportunity to work alongside professionals both in front of and behind the curtain – an apprenticeship-type arrangement that benefits all parties involved.

NDavid Williams, head of musical theatre in the Department, worked extensively on the score for the show. He said, “During production we never thought of our students as students. We treat all of our actors with the respect and dignity of professionals. That said, we had two superbly professional professional actors for our students to look toward as role models. This was a great opportunity for our students to see these two men at work and I would also like to suggest that it was a great thing for the older men in the cast to see the possibilities of the future of the art form in front of them too!"

Nicholas Richberg, a UM alumnus who starred as Black Stache (a precursor to Captain Hook), won the Carbonell for Best Actor/Play. He said, “I see us all as equals. We’re just actors on stage.”

In addition to Richberg’s nod, Yashinori Tankura took home Best Scenic Design and Eric Haugen nabbed Best Lighting Design. Ellis Tillman was also nominated for Best Costume Design.

The winners were announced at a star-studded ceremony on March 30, at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts.

“The Department of Theatre Arts is so pleased that we can give our students the opportunity to perform side by side with Equity actors, and to be recognized for their excellent work by the South Florida theatre community, ” said Stephen Di Benedetto, chair of the Department of Theatre Arts.

Williams added, “The value of our coproductions with the Arsht is unmeasurable. Our students, department and university all grow with this association. The pressure of still being in school while working on a professionally produced show truly prepares our students with a better understanding of the pressures and rigors of the ‘real’ theatre world. The added benefit of being at the Arsht is sheer joy. All in all, I can’t think of a partnership that is more valuable to us than the one we have with our friends at the Arsht.”

Named for sculptor Manuel Carbonell, who designed the statuette presented to winners, the Carbonell Awards were launched in 1976.

February 25, 2015