The 2019 Lebow Award for Excellence in Shakespearean Performance

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(West Palm Beach, FL) – The Alan Lebow Award for Excellence in Shakespearean Performance celebrated its 10th year on January 26 in the Kravis Center’s Khoury Family Dance Rehearsal Hall.  Awards were presented to 11 Palm Beach County students from seven local high schools following an adjudication process.

Sponsored 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 adjudication took place on January 12, 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 two Top Winners, each earning a $1,000 cash prize, were Morgan Kennedy, a senior at Boynton Beach Community High School and Ciara LaTouche, a senior at Royal Palm Beach Community High School. Kennedy was a Top Winner for a second year in a row. She performed a monologue from Henry VI and LaTouche performed one from The Tempest.

Four students earned Honorable Mention awards and $500 each: Anthony Mora, a senior at Royal Palm Community Beach High School, Richael Matute, a sophomore at Forest Hill Community High School, Jasmyn Mann, a senior at Glades Central Community High School and Elianah Esquenazi, a junior at Santaluces Community High School. Five other students received recognition as Distinguished Participants and earned $200 each. A total of $5,000 was given to the top 11 winners.

“At the beginning, I didn’t think I could do it – not the reading part, but the acting part,” said Jackie Pinos, a senior at Atlantic Community High School who participated for the first time. “But after the judges told me how well I did during the audition, I gained a lot of confidence, and now I’m actually going to look for this type of program at whatever college I attend.”

Judith Mitchell, CEO 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. In 2015, Kids’ Dreams made a gift to the Kravis Center to permanently endow the Lebow Award.

“I am pleased to honor the accomplishments of the 2019 Alan Lebow Award recipients,” Mitchell said. “This program would not be possible without the support of Kids’ Dreams. We also acknowledge the dedication and commitment of the high school teachers. Without their guidance and support, the students would not be prepared to participate in this outstanding program.”

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 A Midsummer Night’s Dream. The performance, produced by Aquila Theatre Company, was held in the Kravis Center’s Rinker Playhouse.

For more than 26 seasons, the Kravis Center has helped students of all ages fuel their imaginations and expand their lives through comprehensive arts education programs. Since 1992, 2.5 million schoolchildren from Palm Beach, Broward, Martin, St. Lucie and Okeechobee counties have visited the Kravis Center, attending performances through the S*T*A*R Series and participating in a wide variety of educational programming. To learn more, please visit kravis.org/education.   [

AWARD WINNERS

Top Winners

Morgan Kennedy (Boynton Beach Community High School)

Ciara LaTouche (Royal Palm Beach Community High School)

Honorable Mention

Elianah Esquenazi (Santaluces Community High School)

Jasmyn Mann (Glades Central Community High School)

Richael Matute (Forest Hill Community High School)

Anthony Mora (Royal Palm Beach Community High School)

Distinguished Participants

Caitlyn Huff (Boynton Beach Community High School)

Ne’Quann Raymond (Forest Hill Community High School)

Kathleen Wilkinson (Boynton Beach Community High School)

Harry Willis III (Palm Beach Gardens Community High School)

Haley Ann Woods (Atlantic Community High School)