Ten Palm Beach County Students Earn Lebow Award For
Excellence In Shakespearean Performance
(West Palm Beach, FL) – The Ninth Annual Alan Lebow Award for Excellence in Shakespearean Performance was held on January 27 in the Kravis Center’s Khoury Family Dance Rehearsal Hall. Awards were presented to ten Palm Beach County students from four local high schools following a competition process.
Created by Kids’ Dreams, Inc., in memory of its co-founder, Alan Lebow, the award program engages students from Title I high schools and provides the opportunity for them to perform short selections from William Shakespeare’s works before a panel of distinguished judges. The student competition took place on January 13, at which they performed their selected work and were evaluated and scored by three judges in five categories of performance: concentration, emotional commitment, energy, evidence of understanding, and overall performance.
The Top Winner, earning a $1,000 cash prize, was Morgan Kennedy, a junior at Boynton Beach Community High School. Two other Top Winners, Daniel Powers and Mitchell Saulog, both seniors at Royal Palm Beach Community High School, each earned $750. Kennedy, who had earned an Honorable Mention in the 2017 competition, this year performed a monologue from Much Ado About Nothing.
Three students earned Honorable Mention awards and $500 each: Ashley Rivas, a senior at Boynton Beach Community High School, Carlos Riviera, a senior at Atlantic High School and Kathleen Wilkinson, a junior at Boynton Beach Community High School. Four other students received recognition as Distinguished Participants and earned $250 each. A total of $5,000 was given to the top 10 winners.
Judith Mitchell, Chief Executive Officer of the Kravis Center, welcomed guests to the Lebow Award ceremony and recognized Patricia Lebow, president and co-founder of Kids’ Dreams, for her commitment to providing arts opportunities for children in the community. She also welcomed Amanda Lebow Distenfeld, Vice President of Kids’ Dreams and daughter of Alan and Patricia Lebow, this year’s award presenter. In 2015, Kids’ Dreams made a gift to the Kravis Center to permanently endow the Lebow Award.
“My father loved Shakespeare’s works and would recite passages to us around the dinner table,” said Lebow Distenfeld. “My parents understood that beyond the beauty of Shakespeare’s words, the discipline it takes to study and practice a soliloquy and perform before an audience helps students gain confidence and prepare for whatever career paths they pursue in life.”
Palm Beach State College President Ava Parker gave the keynote address, and after the ceremony, all the students who had participated in the Lebow Award were invited to attend a performance of Shakespeare’s Hamlet. The performance, produced by Aquila Theatre Company, was held in the Kravis Center’s Rinker Playhouse.
For more than 25 seasons, the Kravis Center has helped students of all ages fuel their imaginations and expand their lives through comprehensive arts education programs. Last season, nearly 60,000 children from Palm Beach, Broward, Martin, St. Lucie and Okeechobee counties attended performances through the S*T*A*R Series. To learn more about the Kravis Center’s educational programming, please visit kravis.org/education-community.
Morgan Kennedy (Boynton Beach Community High School)
Daniel Powers (Royal Palm Beach Community High School)
Mitchell Saulog (Royal Palm Beach Community High School)
Ashley Rivas (Boynton Beach Community High School)
Carlos Riviera (Atlantic High School)
Kathleen Wilkinson (Boynton Beach Community High School)
Saneya Graves (Boynton Beach Community High School)
Sefania Jacques (Atlantic High School)
Savanna Sweeney (Boynton Beach Community High School)
Kathie Torres (Royal Palm Beach Community High School)