CARBONELL AWARDS Announces Winners of 2020 Jack Zink Memorial Scholarships


The Carbonell Awards Announces Winners of the 2020 Jack Zink Memorial Scholarships


Skye Alyssa Friedman – Palm Beach County

Jeremy Fuentes – Broward County

Amaris Rios – Miami-Dade County


(South Florida – April 6, 2020) Donald R. Walters, Esq., board president of the Carbonell Awards, South Florida’s Theatre & Arts Honors, today announced the three young winners of the 2020 Jack Zink Memorial Student Scholarships. The selection of recipients is based on talent, experience and demonstrated commitment to the theater, with one winner from each of the three area counties.

“Today was supposed to be our 44th awards ceremony, an elegant entertainment-packed event at the Lauderhill Performing Arts Center—before the coronavirus pandemic grabbed top billing and forced us to postpone until later this year,” said Walters. “But we refuse to let the virus delay the announcement of this year’s three talented scholarship winners.”

Skye Alyssa Friedman – Palm Beach County

A homeschooled senior from Jupiter, Skye Friedman has been performing since the age of five. She studies acting, dance and voice at the Maltz Jupiter Theatre Goldner Conservatory of Performing Arts, Paris Ballet & Dance, and Craig Wich Voice Studios. She made her Broadway debut in Annie in 2013, and has appeared in professional productions of The Audience, Billy Elliot, The Music Man, and The Sound of Music at the Maltz, as well as COPA student productions of The Diary of Anne Frank, West Side Story, CATS, and Anything Goes. A member of Actors’ Equity, her TV credits include Nickelodeon’s I Am Frankie, Food Network’s Cupcake Wars, as well as assorted commercials. Friedman is a member of the Maltz Youth Touring Company, a Kretzer Kid, and was a Broward Center for the Performing Arts Teen Ambassador for two years.

Jeremy Fuentes

Jeremy Fuentes – Broward County

A graduating senior from Hallandale High School, Jeremy combines his passion for performing with a strong commitment to community service by appearing in various productions that shed light onto social injustices and bring the stories of underrepresented communities to life. He has won many accolades in both his academics and theatrical competitions, and is determined to pursue a BFA in acting, where he will be the first person in his family to go to college.

Amaris Rios

Amaris Rios – Miami-Dade County

Since she was 14 years old, Amaris Rios has dedicated herself to musical theater training in Boston, New York City and Miami. She has performed in 14 productions in Miami Country Day School’s award-winning theater program, as well as the Muse Center for the Arts and the John Davies Theatre Center for the Arts. Amaris has performed with the Boston Conservatory and Berklee College of Music, and received Superior Honor ratings three years in a row at the Florida State Thespian Conference. A skilled musician who produces original music and cover songs, Rios also is an artistic social entrepreneur who reinvented her garage space into a black box where other artistic youth: musicians, poets, actors, can perform their original content once a month. As a proud musical theater major, she intends to use her talents for increased minority representation on the stage.

“The Jack Zink Memorial Scholarships are awarded to graduating high school seniors who have achieved a minimum 2.5 GPA and are intending to enroll in college to pursue a degree in theater or journalism. The funds will be disbursed to the students selected when they have enrolled in college,” added Javier Siut, member of the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs, who chairs the Carbonell’s Scholarship Committee.

The scholarship is named for Jack Zink (1947-2008) who was a major voice in South Florida entertainment coverage for more than three decades. During his long career, he was employed as entertainment editor, columnist, critic and reporter at each of South Florida’s major newspapers — The South Florida Sun-Sentinel, The Miami Herald, The Palm Beach Post & Evening Times and The Fort Lauderdale News. Mr. Zink was the founder and a past president of the Carbonell Awards, a past president of The American Theatre Critics Association, and during his lifetime was a recipient of both the Sun-Sentinel newspaper’s highest honor, The Fred Pettijohn Award, given annually to the publication’s top reporters, and South Florida’s George Abbott Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Arts.

While the final date for this year’s ceremony is still uncertain for the 44th Annual Carbonell Awards—which is South Florida’s version of Broadway’s Tony Awards®—Palm Beach Dramaworks shows earned a record-breaking 29 nominations overall, the most of any theater in the tri-county region. Zoetic Stage received 20 nominations, the most for any theater in Miami-Dade County, and Slow Burn Theatre Company in Fort Lauderdale earned 12 nominations, the most of any theater in Broward County. Out of more than 80 shows that opened in 2019 at regional theaters, 62 were eligible for nominations.

About The Carbonell Awards

Along with New York’s Drama Desk and Chicago’s Joseph Jefferson Awards, the Carbonell Awards are among the nation’s senior regional arts awards and predate others including Washington, D.C.’s Helen Hayes Awards. The Carbonell Awards fosters the artistic growth of professional theater in South Florida by celebrating the diversity of our theater artists, providing educational scholarships, and building audience appreciation and civic pride by highlighting achievements of our theater community. Named after Manuel Carbonell, an internationally-renowned sculptor, who designed the original solid bronze and marble award in 1976, each season volunteer panelists and judges choose nominees and recipients from hundreds of shows produced on stages throughout the tri-county area. For more information, visit