press release

Palm Beach Dramaworks’ 2020 Gala:
“A Star is Born”
13th Annual Shelly Award Given to
Stephen L. Brown
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It was a starry night at the Kravis Center’s Cohen Pavilion on January 25, with starbursts of lights on the walls, centerpieces of flowers with jutting stars and framed photos of famous child stars, and most important, starry-eyed burgeoning artists showcasing their talent before enthralled guests. That was the scene at Palm Beach Dramaworks’ 2020 Gala: “A Star is Born,” which celebrated an up-and-coming generation of gifted artists and highlighted the company’s many education initiatives that nurture creativity and ignite the imagination. Marilyn Meyerhoff and Sam Feldman were the Gala Chairs. 
Marilyn Meyerhoff and Sam Feldman
Marsha and Stephen Rabb
PBD Producing Artistic Director William Hayes and Managing Director Sue Ellen Beryl welcomed over 200 guests, including Honorary Chairs Marsha and Stephen Rabb. Entertainment was provided by “jazz royalty” Jill and Rich Switzer, back for the third straight year, with special guest Chris Santiago.
Chris Santiago
Among the evening’s many high points was the presentation of the 13 th annual Shelly Award to Stephen L. Brown, former chair and current vice chair of PBD’s board of directors. The award is named after the late theatre impresario Shelly Gross and honors an outstanding individual in recognition of his or her exceptional commitment, support, and advocacy on behalf of the company. It was also announced that, beginning next year, PBD will offer a new honor, the Stephen L. Brown Award for Education.
Sue Ellen Beryl, Stephen L. Brown, and William Hayes
“Steve has had a huge impact on PBD and the Shelly Award is our way of acknowledging how grateful we are for all he’s done,” said Hayes. “He is particularly passionate about education, and it was his generosity that gave us the very substantial seed money to launch our education department. We could think of no better way to honor him than to initiate an education award in his name.”
As guests dined on peppercorn seared filet of beef, cipollini onions, haricots verts, and rosemary roasted purple Peruvian fingerling potatoes, followed by tart “rouge” and mascarpone mousse, they saw first-hand the impact that the education department has had on students throughout Palm Beach County. Director of Education and Community Engagement Gary Cadwallader introduced a video highlighting many of PBD’s outreach and education initiatives, which includes stories of life-changing experiences by students and others who have participated in the various programs. 

Guests were then treated to excerpts from Benj Pasek and Justin Paul’s Edges , the musical that was produced last summer by theAcademy@pbd in its inaugural season. The talented students who appeared in Edges on PBD’s mainstage reunited for the Gala performance. The cast was made up of Catherine Boynton, Jaime Brustein, Braden Chavers, Lily Counihan, Chloe Laine-Lobsinger, Coco Pollard, and Alexa Rubenstein.
Catherine Boynton, Jaime Brustein, Braden Chavers, Lily Counihan, Chloe Laine-Lobsinger, Coco Pollard, and Alexa Rubenstein
Generous supporters of the evening included Gala Sponsors Marilyn Meyerhoff & Sam Feldman, and Sally Nathanson & Albert Feldman; Dinner Sponsors Nancy & Gene Beard, Stephen Brown & Jamie Stern, and Sherry & Stephen Jacobs; Decorations Sponsors Esther & Sid Dinerstein; Entertainment Sponsors Louise & Barry Snyder; Table Sponsors Akerman LLP – Beth Alcalde, Penny Bank, Susan Bloom, The Honorable Ann Brown, Susan & Larry Goldfein, Roe Green & Priscilla Heublein, Judy & Lew Kramer; Oasis – Diane & Mark Perlberg, Marsha and Stephen Rabb; Cocktail Sponsors Beverly J. Myers and Marlene & Martin Silver; Gift Bag Sponsors Esther & Sid Dinerstein, Clara & Jerry Miao, Oblio & Barry Wish, and StarGroup International; Photography Sponsors Tina & Jeff Bolton, First Republic Bank – Charles Orozco, Helga & John Klein, Priscilla R. Leslie, Sidney Lesowitz & Peter Rogers, Phyllis & Herb Siegel, and Lee Wolf & Jordan Cohen; and Media Sponsors Jupiter Magazine and The Palm Beacher .

The Gala Committee was made up of Penny Bank, Nancy Beard, Tina Bolton, Esther Dinerstein, Sherry Jacobs, Sidney Lesowitz & Peter Rogers, Pamela McIver, Carlton Moody, Arlene & Richard Siudek, and Louise Snyder.
Louise Snyder and The Honorable Lois Frankel
Dr. Ted Poritz and The Honorable Ann Brown
Sally Nathanson and Albert Feldman
Nancy and Gene Beard
“We are so grateful to everyone who helped make our biggest fund-raising event of the season a huge success,” said Beryl. “Money raised at the Gala plays a crucial role in sustaining the company, and our chairs, honorary chairs, sponsors, and committee all worked diligently to produce a very special evening. I also want to thank Jill and Rich Switzer and Chris Santiago for providing wonderful entertainment, and the amazing student performers, who dazzled us.”
Stephen L. Brown and Jamie Stern
Sue Ellen Beryl and William Hayes
Louise and Barry Snyder